I hadn't seen On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) since the summer circa 1987 when my brother and I went to Video Station and rented a new James Bond movie every day or two. And, frankly, I wasn't remembering a bit of it until Bond put on his kilt and wandered into the dinner party at about the 1/3rd mark. Which is weird, because this is the movie that opens with Diana Rigg, an actress so associated with Avengers and other work that I'd forgotten she was ever a Bond girl. Maybe THE Bond girl, depending on your definition.
What I had known for years was the following:
- This was the one starring George Lazenby, the man who was not asked back
- People really, really seem to like this one, or at least refer to it a lot
- Connery still came back for a couple more of these
On the whole, I enjoyed the movie well enough. Lazenby is pretty good in the action sequences, which show the change in film from the early 1960's to 1969. But he's just not my favorite actor, and not my favorite Bond, falling somewhere around Pierce Brosnan. He always seems surprised to be in every scene or something, and seems less likely to just stab you with a salad fork than Connery (and certainly Craig). Still, he can throw a punch, looks confident with a machine gun and can wear a ridiculous tuxedo without looking like a maniac.
Bond, in Argentina, sees a young woman about to drown herself and saves her (Diana Rigg). The woman's father is a notorious international crimelord, but smaller scale than Bond's usual target, Blofeld. Her father offers to help Bond find Blofeld if he'll woo and marry his daughter so she'll calm the hell down, I guess. It doesn't make a lot of sense.
Bond and Tracy, Rigg's character, fall in love-ish, and then Bond is off to Switzerland posing as a genealogist who Blofeld has hired to help him secure a Count-ship. Yes, there are amazing ski-chases at some point. There's a plot to use brain-washed young women to destroy the world's agriculture, some sexing at high altitudes, Telly Savalas as Blofeld, and not really enough Diana Rigg for my dollar. After years of work on The Avengers, she does know her way around an action sequence, I'll give her that.
But I don't necessarily see why folks seem to like this one in particular. It was okay, certainly, and had impact on the series, but I prefer the Connery films that led up to this one, I guess.