Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5  
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

No Bond film divides opinion so sharply as "O.H.M.S.S.", largely due to one man: Lazenby, George Lazenby, in his sole outing as cinema's celebrated spy.

A vacationing 007 rescues the stunning but wayward Tracy Draco (Rigg), oh-so-coincidentally the daughter of a criminal patriarch who offers Bond information on arch-villain Blofeld in exchange for his protecting her. Infiltrating the Alpine lab where his nemesis harbours a killer virus, Bond is rumbled by dalliances with glamorous enemy henchwomen. He escapes in a whirl of spine-tingling snowchases during which he runs into Tracy again, and a heartwarming romance blossoms.

Catapulted from 'unknown Australian model' to 'unknown Australian model despised by countless Bond purists', Lazenby is to some as stiffly uncharismatic as a ski pole. As the film progresses, Lazenby's woodenness relaxes, and while suitably square-jawed, he lacks the suave charm of Connery, sly wit of Moore, or grittiness of Dalton. But technically, "O.H.M.S.S." is near perfect. A smart script, breathtaking stunts, and that trademark humour (disembowelment of an enemy prompts Bond's sardonic remark: "he had a lot of guts").

To label the film a turkey ignores an excellent supporting cast. Rigg's Tracy is more complex than the average Bond bimbo, and Savalas' Blofeld is a tormented, rather than simply demented, megalomaniac. A controversial Bond where 007 relies more on his emotions than Q's inventions. there's also a tender realism to the superspy and a genuinely sorrowful ending. By no means the premium Bond, but an intriguing one.

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End Credits

Director: Peter Hunt

Writer: Richard Maibaum

Stars: George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Gabriele Ferzetti, Iilse Steppart, Bernard Horsfall, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, Desmond Llewelyn

Genre: Action

Length: 140 minutes

Cinema: 1969

DVD: 25 September 2000

VHS: 1 February 2000

Country: UK

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