Spending Christmas Eve morning with a cup of coffee, a stack of Christmas cookies and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). This remains my favorite Bond film, for all sorts of reasons. Of course, I think Lazenby makes an excellent Bond and wish he’d make more.
But this morning, it was John Barry’s music and John Glen’s editing that got my attention. The way the action scenes are put together is unlike other Bond pictures. With Peter Hunt, a former Bond editor, making his directorial debut, I’m sure he had all sorts of things he wanted to try. He and Glen (who also worked as a 2nd unit director) were close friends and must’ve had a blast. It’s weird to me that the Bond movies Glen directed didn’t have the snap this one does, and it’s a shame Hunt didn’t do another Bond.
The Blu-Ray of OHMSS is quite nice. If you decide to put yours on as you wrap those last few presents or dig into the eggnog, my recommendation is to select the mono mix, which is what played theaters, and darken your TV a bit — the 35mm prints were not this bright.
By the way, the image up top is the cover of the program from the picture’s London premiere in December of 1969.
They’re making a big deal these days about the 60th anniversary of the James Bond movies (Dr. No came out in 1962).
To mark the occasion, here’s George Lazenby and Diana Rigg having a bit of wedding cake in my favorite Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). Of course, the happy couple never got around to celebrating their first anniversary.
And though it’s coming a bit late, here’s to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Directed by Terence Young
Starring Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman, Jack Lord
Over the years, I’ve had the Connery Bond movies in about every format there is — film, Beta tape, laserdisc (three different editions of some of them), DVD and Blu-Ray. And while I don’t see that list getting any longer any time soon, this new package is really cool and worth looking at.
Dr. No (1962), the first in the series, is 60 years old. Time flies when you have a license to kill! A new 60th anniversary “steelbook” edition is one the way from MGM UK — and it’s a really terrific package.
The deluxe package gives you:
• Steelbook of Film on Blu-ray
• A Rigid Slipcase (good idea since those steelbook things scuff easily)
• Theatrical Poster
• New 32-Page Booklet
• Dragon Tank Buildable Board Figure
• 4 Lobby Card Reproductions and Envelope
The Dragon Tank model sounds like fun, and the cover reflecting Maurice Binder’s innovative title design (there’s a great story behind those) is a nice touch. If you don’t have Dr. No, this’d be a great way to get it. Coming in October.
The Graham Cinema in Graham, North Carolina, is running a James Bond film every Monday and Tuesday night. Tonight is From Russia With Love (1964).
The Graham Cinema
119 N Main St, Graham, NC 27253
This is a great old theater and they typically put a great image on the screen. Of course, you can’t go wrong with these early Bond pictures. I’m hoping they include On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
The screensavers on Roku are pretty cool, featuring all sorts of hidden references and images to old movies. Tonight, I noticed a couple of things worth sharing. First was King Kong and Godzilla (thankfully looking like their 1962 selves instead of those wretched new things).
Then, there’s 007’s bullet-marked Aston Martin DB5 parked along a Christmas street scene.
Please forgive the crummy-looking phone-photo-of-the-TV-screen quality.
Just saw this special Sean Connery commemorative Walther PPK. The engraving is really impressive.
Sir Thomas Sean Connery
(August 25, 1930 – October 31, 2020)
What does the world do when Sean Connery isn’t around? He has passed away at 90. There will be a lot about him being James Bond, and not near enough about what a brilliant actor he was.
All along there were signs of just how good he was. Ever see The Hill (1965)? He made it look like he was walking through those Bond movies — standing his own as the locations, the sets, the everything just got bigger and bigger. That must’ve been quite a task.
Oh, that’s You Only Live Twice (1967) up top. He’s so cool in that one, he hits a guy with a couch! And at the bottom, an IB Tech frame from Goldfinger (1964).
Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg DBE
(July 20, 1938 – September 10, 2020)
Diana Rigg has passed away at 82. She was a great actress, doing fabulous work on stage, on TV and on film.
What always impressed me about her was that she went after good work — from Shakespeare to The Avengers to a James Bond movie to Theatre Of Blood (1973) — nothing seemed to be beneath her if she found it interesting. And she was always terrific.
Here she is with George Lazenby working on On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). Note the banner for Corgi toys, the company that made those great die-cast James Bond toys.
It’s easy to forget that the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) is a Christmas movie. But here’s James Bond (George Lazenby) hanging around the Christmas tree with Blofeld’s brainwashed “Angels Of Death.”
Here’s wishing you all the joys of the season — and that you get that 1969 Aston Martin DBS you asked for.
Directed by Ralph Thomas
Starring Richard Johnson, Daliah Lavi, Beba Loncar, Robert Morley
Network Releasing in the UK has announced their upcoming (February) Blu-Ray release of Some Girls Do (1969). The second picture with Richard Johnson as a revamped Bulldog Drummond, coming after Deadlier Than The Male (1967), Some Girls Do is a fun, lively 60s spy movie.
Some of the film was shot at Pinewood Studios at the same time as On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) — Joanna Lumley and Virginia North appear in both. And by the way, Terence Young wanted Richard Johnson to play James Bond when he directed Dr. No (1962).