On December 18th 1969, a new Bond film exploded onto cinema screens with a glittering Royal World Premiere at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square, London in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Kent.
It was the film debut of Australian actor George Lazenby, who took over the role of agent 007 from the legendary Sean Connery who had defined the role since the first film in 1962. Today, on it´s 45th anniversary, ‘ON HER MAJESTY´S SECRET SERVICE’ is still a controversial issue for many Bond and Film Fans – some love the film and hold it in highest regard, while others don´t like it at all. Various reasons divide both sides and talking about the 6th Bond film in the franchise at fan meetings and gatherings across the globe can spark many heated conversations.
Aside from that, ‘OHMSS’, as the film is referred to in Fan jargon, has given the world of James Bond an incredible amount of memorable scenes, impressions and memories.
First and foremost, it is the astounding winter setting of the Swiss Alps in which a large part of the plot unfolds – Piz Gloria on top of the Schilthorn has, along with the villages in the valley below, long become a Number 1 Bond-Tourist-Destination. The remarkable skiing sequences, filmed by Willy Bogner, were a delight to watch and wonderfully accompanied by this iconic John Barry composition which is “Escape from Piz Gloria”. The soundtrack in itself is a piece of magnificent composing by the late John Barry who captivated mind and soul of moviegoers in scoring some of the finest tracks in Bond history. While the title theme to the film remained instrumental for the only time in the entire Bond history, Louis Armstrong delivered the perfect romantic song which would last for ages: “We have all the Time in the World”.
Sadly, this was not true for Bond and his wife Tracy (played by Diana Rigg) who is shot shortly after the marriage ceremony at the end of the film. It was the only time that Bond walked down the aisle.
Casting Telly Savalas as 007s iconic arch-enemy Blofeld was a masterstroke. Though to some he did not seem particularly frightening and dangerous, his plan to blackmail the United Nations with the deadly virus Omega certainly was. In general, Savalas´ portrayal of Blofeld is seen as second in line to Donald Pleasance´s performance two years prior to ‘OHMSS’, in ‘YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE’.
No matter if the film divides opinions or if George Lazenby was the wrong choice for the role of agent 007, ‘OHMSS’ remains a milestone in James Bond history and has just become interesting again – we fans see certain references to the film in the production of the newest adventure ‘SPECTRE’ which is currently being filmed.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY OHMSS