Her name is Lazenby. George Lazenby. In 1968, this beginner actor had the heavy task of replacing at short notice the creator of the role of James Bond, Sean Connery, in In the Secret Service of His Majesty . Fortunately supported during the shooting by his accomplice on the screen, the bewitching Diana Rigg, the first heroine of Bowler hat and leather boots , the Australian actor remains, half a century later, one of the most convincing 007 of the saga.
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More than fifty years later, the scenario of this Bondian UFO echoes our agonizing news. In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Queen Elizabeth's best agent again and again confronts her worst enemy, Specter No.1, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, played by Telly Savalas, the future hero of the Kojak series. The latter - never in the vein of demonic ideas - plans to spread a virus, called Omega, in order to cause famine. Helped by the Countess Teresa di Vincenzo (Diana Rigg), the spy 007 will do everything and of course succeed in thwarting the apocalyptic plans of the supreme head of the criminal organization.
Lazenby, a former car salesman
Before being stamped Caesar of the Caesar of bondophilia, all is not rosy, at the beginning of 1968, when Sean Connery, after five films in the skin of 007, tired of being reduced to the secret agent of service, decides to put his Walther PPK in the locker room. The two historic producers of the franchise, Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman are working to find a replacement for the irreplaceable Sean.
Roger Moore is already suspected, but his commitment to the series Le Saint prevents him from freeing himself. The bosses of Eon productions are reduced to passing tests. The exercise smiles on an Australian model who displays the same size and a false air of the first holder of the role. Spicy anecdote: an accomplished sportsman, George Lazenby breaks the nose of one of the stuntmen during a fight. This leaves impressive Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and Peter Hunt, the director. The new Bond will therefore be embodied by ex-car salesman ...
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The miraculous actor finally found, the film is therefore staged under the direction of Peter Hunt, a gifted editor who has displayed his talent on Doctor No and Goldfinger . He first chose the splendid scenery of the Swiss Alps, which recalls, not in detail, the famous Piz Gloria described in the eponymous novel by Ian Fleming. On the peak of the mountain, the technicians install in a post-modern hotel the lair of the head of the Specter like an eagle's nest dedicated to its Machiavellian businesses.
Steeped in imagination, the director imagines a myriad of waterfalls that he knows he can magnify later during the editing. The frantic fights with ski, an athletic prowess on the cable of a cable car, a race of bobsleighs ... will soon become references for the genre of the action film.
James Bond (George Lazenby) married Teresa di Vincenzo (Diana Rigg) in In the service of His Majesty Leemage
Tracy Bond, a fiery and passionate woman
But it is the exceptionally romantic fabric of the script that gives it all its salt. For the first time, on screen at least, James Bond falls in love. The chosen one of her heart is fiery, passionate and aristocrat. In the dress of Countess Teresa di Vincenzo, Diana Rigg is perfect. It helps the secret agent to eradicate the absolute evil personified by an ever more perverse Blofeld. Bond capsizes in front of this woman who has the same qualities as him. She is the daughter of a Corsican mafia but her feelings are noble. He marries her. The wedding fizzled. For the first time, the mission ends in drama. Tracy is murdered. Exegetes, keen on psychoanalysis, will see in this tragic event the explanation of his impossibility of loving ...
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Despite rave reviews, Her Majesty's Secret Service remains the least profitable James Bond in history. And Sean Connery will return two years later in L es Diamants sont éternel s. Eternal, like him.
Orange or Canal VOD platforms allow you to see or re-watch Her Majesty's Secret Service. As an appetizer, the movie trailer:
In His Majesty's Secret Service by Peter Hunt, filmed in 1968 and released in 1969, with George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas ...