On Her Majesty's Secret Service

(GB, 1969, 142 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST George Lazenby,Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Gabriele Ferzetti, George Baker, Ilsa Steppat


Matinee show Sun Sept 1 (only) All Ages Show, under 19s welcome

When Sean Connery called it quits (the first time) the producers considered several actors, including Timothy Dalton. But in the end they entrusted the role to an Australian whose acting experience was limited to commercials, most famously the cigarette ad, "You’re never alone with a Strand" and another for a Fry’s Chocolate Cream.

Lazenby received mixed reviews for his efforts but by the time the film came out he had already fallen out with the producers and announced he would not revisit the role. Yet this is one of the strongest movies in the series, with excellent action scenes and a rare emotional core courtesy of Bond’s unusually sincere attachment to a woman, Diana Rigg’s Countess Tracy di Vincenzo.

Bond rescues the suicidal Tracy and is brought at gunpoint to meet her father, Marc-Ange Draco (Gabriele Ferzetti), the head of one of the largest criminal organizations in Europe. Draco strikes a deal with Bond, agreeing to reveal the location of Blofeld, if Bond will look after his daughter.

Director Peter Hunt edited several of the earlier movies and his handling of the action is especially impressive.