(above: the coat of arms of the Bleauchamps; like Richard III, Blofeld has a swine on his shield.)
Charles Helftenstein of CommanderBond.net just did a book (with some trace amounts of source material from me) about the 007 movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969); remembered by the public as the one with that Australian git in it. Rather than make the case for it once more (I know Steve P. thinks it’s a bummer), or repeat the story that seeing it on New Year’s Day 1970 at the Academy Theater in Pasadena was the single most formative thing that made me a film critic…let me just run down its good qualities fast:
Diana Riggs’ performance as a Antioniesque rich girl awakened by adventure and the right kind of man;
Peter Hunt’s brilliantly edited, lens-flare rich snow sequences, including the first and last use of a bobsled run for a deadly chase;
John Barry’s soundtrack, featuring what is reportedly the first use of the Moog Synthesizer in a film score, containing the last recording by Louis Armstrong;
and the emphasis on romance, which makes it a Bond film one doesn’t have to apologize for when watching it with ladies present.
OHMSS, as its friends call it, has more movie (and more Ian Fleming) in it than any of the other Bonds. Even the inexperience of George Lazenby, the git in question, means less over the years. Was there ever a moment in the Bonds as soulful as the instance where Bond, run to earth at an ice rink, basically gives up and waits to be killed until he’s rescued by Tracy?