5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Best of the Bond Pictures, 12 Dec 2004
I'll preface this review by saying, this was the first Bond picture I ever saw (so I had no sense of Connery's performance). Having said that- and confirming Connery is the best of all the actors to have played Bond- OHMSS remains my personal favorite.
I also will state that George Lazenby (for my money), is the only other person to have played Bond well. He played it differently and yet he was able to carry off the suave and the brutal sides of the character with great style. This was no easy feat- even with Peter Hunt's help. To fill the shoes of both Connery and Bond was no easy task and, being the first to do so in what has been a succession of actors now, was both tough and overwhelming in weight and response.
This film departed from the rest of the series and reached back to both the elements of the books, and giving Bond an equal in his love interest. Tracy (the magnificent Diana Rigg) was dangerous, self destructive and yet mesmerizing. This film demands some sudden vulnerability and humanity from Bond, and this is where I think Lazenby and Hunt succeeded. They still retain enough of the gadgets, the threat to the world ( Telly Savalas in a finally fleshed out, equally suave and terrific portrayal of Bond's arch enemy, Ernst Stavaro Blofeld), and the womanizing. Still- Bond is suddenly seen needing or wanting something more.
It has John Barry's best Bond score (with Louis Armstrong singing the love theme in what was one of his best and last performances).
The fight sequences are great- the locations, pure Bond in scope and size and the performances of all, above and beyond. M, Moneypenny and Q, and Gabriele Ferzetti (as Rigg's father)- all terrific.
A recent polling indicated that this had placed in the top 5 of all Bond films with the British. Considering the trashing that Lazenby took when it was released (and through the years), there must be some long overdue comfort in that. One has only to read some of my fellow reviewers to see- a great many of us feel that way, too.
I even felt, any time I saw Connery interviewed about the others, that quietly he felt Lazenby had probably followed him the best. Connery is a class act and it isn't in his nature to get into such things but he actually spoke about ways he could have helped him- which I thought was a tipping of the cap of sorts.
There has been much written about why Lazenby didn't return to the role- his side and theirs. Sad for both parties and for the fans of the series. It would have been interesting to see him do a few more although, if you only have one in the fold- OHMSS is pure gold.
This never happened to any of the other guys that followed!
One for Bond purists, Bond fans and for the romantics, too. There's a marvelous love story here.