On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Reviewed on 2010 September 8
An atypical Bond entry, noted for the only time we see George Lazenby as 007, and one of the few times (if any) we see Bond truly in love.
After a very happy Q (Desmond Llewelyn) geeking out over his most mundane-looking agent toy — radioactive lint to track one’s quarry — we cut to the man of the hour. Bond is zipping along in his Aston Martin, just sort of basking in his own awesomeness, when he’s almost run off the road by a beautiful woman who appears to be bent on killing herself. Tracy Di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) is a handful, apparently taking after her father, crime lord Marc Ange Draco (Gabriele Ferzetti). Despite his crime empire, Draco and Bond become odd partners of sorts. Draco wants Bond to marry his daughter Tracy to keep her safe, offering Bond a ridiculous sum of money and information on their common enemy, SPECTRE strongman Blofeld (Telly Savalas), as a wedding present.
I’ve heard people either love or hate this one. I love it and in fact Mr. Shukti says it’s his favorite Christmas movie. I thought Lazenby was cartoony handsome and perfectly capable of wearing the Bond mantle. Anything with any incarnation of Bond running around in a kilt is fine by me, and I think Tracy is one of the strongest and most memorable Bond girls, initial deathwish notwithstanding. A solid plot and not one but two villains, one softer and more humanized that we’ve seen before, make it an unusual win.
Four chocolate morsels.