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The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service Paperback – 18 Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Spies LLC (18 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984412603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984412600
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.9 x 28 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By John Cox on 28 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
There have only been a handful of "Making of" James Bond books, and being official publications, they have not always provided a very satisfying look behind the scenes. Eon Productions do not open their doors very wide, something that Bond fans know all too well. In fact, the last two "making of" books have just been a collection of set photographs. That is why Charles Helfenstein's The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service is true manna from heaven for the James Bond fan. This is the most comprehensive look behind the scenes of a James Bond movie EVER.

Here is the complete story of the making of this particularly fascinating and unique James Bond film (now generally regarded as one of the best of the series). The author starts with the writing of the original 1963 novel, uncovering much never-before-revealed information from various Fleming archives and dispelling a few long-held myths (Bond's Scottish heritage was not a nod to Sean Connery). He also tracks the lengthy script development, which spanned many years as OHMSS was twice considered for production and then postponed. There's even a gatefold breakdown of all the scripts and their changing elements -- something you certainly will never find in any official "making of" book.

Casting of one-time Bond George Lazenby is covered in great detail, as is all aspects of the production. There is just too much here to go into, but know that there is, literally, a major revelation on every page. There is more information contained in the photo captions than you'll find in the entire text of most "making of" books. Even if you're not a James Bond buff, seeing the day to day production of a movie made in the swinging '60s is a real treat.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Schofield on 22 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bond movie books are usual lousy, self-indulgent retreads of well worn and well known facts. Chuck in the latest movie, reheat and serve. Most writers seem only to be in it to get their name on the Bond bookshelf and claim themselves as some kind of expert. An expert would know better than to publish.

There have, however, been two classics we have been lucky enough to have enjoyed in recent years. Both are must haves.

The first is Robert Sellers' "The Battle for Bond". Priceless.

The second is Charles Helfenstein's book here. Absolutely marvellous.

This is the perfect guide to the ultimate Bond film: imagine a literary version of Peter Hunt's labour of love and here it is. Full of indepth insight from the genesis of Fleming's novel, through production and, of course, the movie's notorious aftermath. Lovingly written and imaginatively illustrated, I doubt there is an image left that has not been reproduced here, showing the progress from Fleming's creation to today, the "feel" of OHMSS wonderfully recreated.

A MUST have for the shelf of EVERY serious Bond fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pete. on 3 Feb 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a huge James Bond fan I have always held the belief that O.H.M.S.S. is the best film in the series directed by the Great Peter Hunt who gave Bond fans a very close adaptation of my favourite Fleming novel. Charles Helfenstein has written a superb book about the making of O.H.M.S.S. It is excellently written with great photographs and hugely entertaining for all Bond fans. If you are into O.H.M.S.S. buy this book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Delmo Walters Jr. on 29 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
There have been previous books that covered the making of a particular Bond film, from Roger Moore's personal account of the filming of LALD in his James Bond Diary and Sally Hibben's authorized The Making of License to Kill to Garth Pearce's books on the first two Pierce Brosnan films, Ian Johnson's TWINE Companion, and Greg Williams' Bond On Set series which are more photo books than making of. This book takes the best of those and goes even further. It's a "warts and all" book that covers every aspect of the film, from the book the film is based on to the first attempts at a script, through the actual filming, and ending with critical reaction while literally leaving no stone unturned. With behind the scenes/making of books I tend to go for the photo heavy type books and this one doesn't disappoint. The writing is concise, never drags, and holds your attention throughout. I finished the book in two days as I could not put it down. It's a shame there isn't a book like this written for each Bond film. If you're a James Bond fan, you have to buy this book. If you're a fan of this particular film, it's a must own! If you think you know this movie, think again.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Lovett on 18 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
What is quite apparent while reading this book is the amount of time, effort and detail that has been poured into it, rewarding the reader not only with an exhaustive history of the film, but by also revealing a myriad of undisclosed facts, documents and rare photographs. Ardent fans of the film will be delighted to learn that there really is a treasure trove of information to be found between its covers.

If you are a fan of the film or Bond in general, I strongly recommend buying this wonderful book. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening read from start to finish - You will not be disappointed. I am sure director Peter Hunt and Ian Fleming would be extremely proud of the author's efforts. The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Charles Helfenstein is a worthy tribute to a very special and unique Bond film.
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