That's No Moonraker: On Her Majesty's Secret Service
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June 27th, 2020
Pete and Alex have all the time in the world to discuss the 6th James Bond movie.
- Longest title for a James Bond film and longest movie until it was surpassed by the 2006 Casino Royale.
- Sixth movie based on the 10th novel (11th book). Ian Fleming wrote this while in Jamaica filming Doctor No.
- They thought about going straight from You Only Live Twice to The Man with the Golden Gun and Roger Moore. But Cambodia was too unstable to film there. Roger Moore couldn't wait around because he was busy filming "The Saint".
- The entire ending bit was going to be the cold open for Diamonds are Forever if Lazenby had signed on for another movie.
- The opening theme features the first use in a Bond song (and one of the first uses period) of a synthesizer.
- Fourth appearance of Blofeld but only the second time we've seen his face.
- Amazingly, Diana Rigg is not dubbed!
- The avalanche was real; it was a controlled avalanche triggered by the Swiss Mountain service.
- Much of the skiing and bobsled stuff was filmed on location with stunt people.
- They got as much footage as they could and then wrote the sequence around it instead of the other way around—e.g., the part where Bond falls out of the bobsled—the stunt man really fell out of the bobsled.
- When Bond is pretending to be Sir Hillary Bray, he is dubbed By George Baker (the guy who actually played Hillary Bray) during that entire sequence and for a good chunk of the movie.
- They thought about having Lazenby do the voice himself, but his impression was not good enough.
- Nikki van der Zyl is back, dubbing the voice of Olympe, Tracy's sister.
- They almost say the title of the film a few times, but never exactly; they broke their streak.
- However they say the most phrases that will become other Bond movies: "the world is not enough", "license to kill", and "SPECTRE".
- The hosts forgot to rank the last movie.
- After handing in his resignation, Bond packs up his desk, taking mementos from each of his previous adventures and musical themes from those films play.
- Exception is nothing from Goldfinger.
- "Sands through the hourglass" in the credit sequence.
- "This never happened to the other fellow". Meta-commentary/fourth wall thing? Either way it's fuel for the Codename theory.
- Alex's wife always assumed the codename theory was true/on-screen Canon.
- But Moneypenny treats him like he's Sean Connery. There's even the line "same old James Bond".
Sean Connery Bond retires to Japan after You Only Live Twice. Bond met Blofeld two years ago (the timeline lines up) and maybe they put George Lazenby Bond on the SPECTRE case at that time, giving Moneypenny time to form a relationship with him as well. Is it a succession thing like it is in Spectre? Maybe 007 has an understudy. Recall that in the chronology of the books, James Bond is so devastated by the events of this movie that's why he is busted down to 7777 at the start of You Only Live Twice. George Lazenby Bond retires because his fiancée/wife is killed. They don't have an understudy ready yet because he's only been on the job for 2 years. That's why they bring Connery Bond back, and Rodger Moore gets bumped up to 077, but he's not ready to be 007 yet.
- More evidence: James Bond goes undercover as a genealogy/heraldry expert.
- Bond doesn't often go undercover as a character.
- Blofeld doesn't recognize Bond right away despite the fact they've met in other movies because in this one they're both different guys. Remember this is out of order from the books so they shouldn't have met in the last movie because the last movie should be the next book.
- Codename Theory makes the film chronology more palatable.
Other actors considered
- Once Roger Moore was out, they looked at John Richardson, Hans de Vries, Robert Campbell, Anthony Rogers, then finally George Lazenby.
- He is Australian, not British.
- Lazenby went all out: he picked up a suit that Connery had ordered but not picked up to wear to the audition.
- They wanted him to do the next 7 Bond movies but his agent convinced him to only do one. But then the production (assuming he thought he was too good for them) turned on him, and eventually the feeling was mutual.
- They wanted him to come to the premier looking like James Bond, but by that time he had let his hair and beard grow out so he looked like a hippie.
- Peter Hunt directed, this being his only gig as the lead director for James Bond (although he did second unit stuff on previous movies).
- After this, Hunt directed Gold starring Roger Moore and Susanne York (Superman).
- If Lazenby had stayed, they would have done Diamonds are Forever next and kept Hunt on as well.
- Apparently, this one stays pretty close to the book, it's less cartoony and there are very few gadgets.
- The movie ends on a total downer. Bond is visibly shaken (and stirred) by the events of the film.
- Mentioned: Pete's MGM UA collection of James Bond tapes on VHS.
- The twist ending where you expect the heroes to come save the day and they don't (See also: The Empire Strikes Back).
- The movie doesn't try to explain how Blofeld survived the events of the previous films.
- We're getting into the era where Alex is recognizing actors from other things. Mentioned: Kojak.
- There's been no effort to convince you this the same character, and it makes one think that "Blofeld" is also a codename.
- Telly Savalas was born in Garden City, NY (area code 516, the same as Bond's room number).
- Gourley's look out for this: Blofeld's hand deformity. Mentioned: Scotty from "Star Trek" and Radar O'Reilly from "M*A*S*H".
The opening song
- They didn't even try to work in the title of the movie into the song.
- In the tradition of the first two Bond movies, they did an instrumental theme to introduce a new guy.
- They used the music from this score as inspiration for the soundtrack to The Incredibles. They actually asked John Barry to compose for them, but he wasn't into it and they had to adapt the music from this score.
- Two songs with lyrics in the course of the movie.
- At multiple points "Do you know how Christmas Trees are Grown?".
- Some of the movie does take place at Christmas time in the Alps.
- The main song "All the Time in the World" AKA "We Have all the Time in the World".
- Written by John Barry with lyrics by Hal David.
- Recorded by Louis Armstrong, his last recorded song.
- They wanted it to be ironic and sound like "What a Wonderful World" and they wanted someone who sounded like Louis Armstrong and thought 'wait, can we just get Louis Armstrong?'
- The song wasn't culturally relevant until 25 years later in 1994 when it was covered by My Bloody Valentine, and later the Armstrong version was used in a Guinness commercial so it became popular with the kids.
- At multiple points "Do you know how Christmas Trees are Grown?".
- Diana Rigg (Tracy).
- Mentioned: "The Avengers (TV program)" and 1998 film.
- Stereotype of Bond girls having double entendre names does not seem to be holding true so far in the films.
- Rigg went on to have a pretty prolific career after this.
- Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper. Also host on PBS' "Mystery". Also recurring role on "Game of Thrones".
- The chemistry or lack thereof between Bond/Lazenby and Tracy/Diana.
- This movie has a fairly sparse cast, not a lot of overlap with Star Wars.
- Stunt performers, but no on-screen actors.
- "James Bond trap": James Bond has just fallen in love, then goes where he is forced into close proximity with a dozen lonely girls who want to sleep with him.
- Evidence against the Codename Theory: Sir Hilary Bray (the actual heraldry expert) traces James Bond's lineage. Is it a history of his bloodline or of the holders of his title? Maybe the lineage is part of the backstory for the codename. Maybe the first guy to play James Bond in-universe actually was named James Bond. Mentioned: "Mad Men".
- The Angels of Death.
- They heavily imply that the guy that Bond is impersonating, Hillary Bray, is gay, but Bond still seduces the girls.
- Joanna Lumley (not the main English girl but the other one with the Tiara).
- In Absolutely Fabulous, and "The New Avengers".
- Was also Mrs. Peacock on the game show version of Cluedo.
- The girl from Jamaica was an uncredited dancer in the opening sequence for You Only Live Twice.
- The American girl (Sally Sheridan) has a Princess Leia haircut with the classic double buns. She also had uncredited roles in A Hard Day's Night and Casino Royale (1967).
- Casino guest (Lenny Rabin).
- Steve Plytas (Greek Tycoon, at the casino) was also in Revenge of the Pink Panther, Superman IV, Batman (1989), but amazingly not in Star Wars.
- Unlike most Bond films, we have hard dates of when these events take place diegetically.
- Mentioned: "shaken, not stirred" (accurately this time, unlike in You Only Live Twice).
- It's weird that Bond has an actual office to himself; it's so pedestrian.
- James Bond's safecracking gadget. He should be able to crack safes himself, but this is just more convenient.
- Bond reading Playboy.
- His "Austin Powers costume".
- "What's a genealogist?" jokes.
- This movie as a darker more serious response to the goofy Casino Royale.
- Again, why don't they just kill him?
- Moneypenny has to attend the wedding.
- The opening theme music is disqualified from Pete's ranking.
- Alex ranks this movie in the lower third, but Pete ranks it as top-tier.
- Sean Connery will return to the role of James Bond in Diamonds are Forever.
- This film was directed by Peter R. Hunt. The Broadway show "1776" was directed by Peter H. Hunt (no relation).
- With their analysis of this movie, a precedent is set whereby the guys don't assign a specific number ranking to the films, but rather they categorize them as top, middle, or bottom third.
- Pete: There's a lot of things get broken in this film.
- Pete: Kissy Suzuki owns R2-D2 and C-3PO. I'm glad we solved that.
- Alex: You're thinking of "brakefast". Pete: Oh yeah. I'm always thinking of "brakefast".
Star Wars names
|Star Wars pun names for On Her Majesty's Secret Service|