Richard Maibaum

Richard Maibaum

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On Her Majesty's Secret Service Review


Very Good
George Lazenby took Bond's reins from Sean Connery in this sixth 007 outing, an unfairly oft-maligned film that, while distinctively different than the rest of the series, is still quite fun to watch. Where to begin? The love story? Lazenby has an honest to god love montage with Diana Rigg, playing a mobster's daughter, who he later teams up (and actually marries) with to track down Blofeld (now played by Telly Savalas), who got away in You Only Live Twice. He finds Blofeld living on a mountaintop, running a clinic for women with allergies(!)... which is naturally just a front for nefarious ends to destroy the world's economy though mind control. Oddly, Blofeld no longer recognizes Bond, who's dressed in a kilt as a geneology researcher... which may all account for the film's lackluster reputation.

It's a big movie, with good stunts, virtually no gadgets, plenty of fisticuffs, and maybe more sex than any of the series' other installments. Even Lazenby is not half bad, though he pales in comparison to Connery, who would return for one more run as Bond in Diamonds Are Forever.

Continue reading: On Her Majesty's Secret Service Review

Diamonds Are Forever Review


OK
While it's fun to wax nostalgic over Sean Connery's final appearance as James Bond (drawn out of retirement from the series for a presumably fat paycheck), it's still unfortunate that the film he appeared in is more than a little bit embarassing. Jill St. John is one of the least effective Bond girls: She's beautiful, but shrill and helpless (her scream of "Eeeeee!" during a fistfight in the film's final scene is one of Bond's noteworthy lowlights). The story is borderline moronic: Blofeld (now played by Charles Gray in his third incarnation) steals a load of diamonds in order to arm a laser-shooting satellite, to achieve, of course, world domination. How's that all work? No idea, and when we actually see his creation in orbit, it's laughable.

On the other hand, Connery is fine, as are some of the film's villains (hippie bodyguards named Bambi and Thumper), and the inimitable Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint, who, while entertaining, certainly didn't do much for Hollywood's respectful treatment of homosexuals. The Las Vegas setting (for much of the film) is unfortunately and unintentionally cheesy, as well. It's fun at times but overall one of the most hopelessly dated 007 flicks ever.

Continue reading: Diamonds Are Forever Review

Richard Maibaum

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