Category: Film

Motion pictures from high art to schlock…

James Bond: The Other Fella – Lazenby #Bondathon

Lazenby Bondathon - James Bond

The second in the Storified set of ‘Tweet notes’ for each film in a complete (canon) Twitter #Bondathon leading up to the release of Skyfall and the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Typos not as rare as George Lazenby.

NEXT UP, THE SEARCH FOR A NEW BOND GIFTED THE CHANCE FOR A FRANCHISE REBOOT AFTER THE EXCESS OF 1967’S YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.  Following a collborative five films, the partnership of producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman shifted slightly, with Saltzman taking a lead on the new direction.  The result was the most literary take in the series – a sumptuous adaptation of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), far more faithful to the Fleming original other films had been.  The director Peter Hunt, previously the series editor grappled the snow sequences full on – they are a suspense master class, beautifully shot, with a real sense of danger.  John Barry’s on top form but best of all is the casting of Telly Savalas as Blofeld.  Confident and physical, this is the only time a visible Blofeld looks like he could run SPECTRE.  However, a quirk of the new literary fidelity is that OHMSS is the second time that Bond meets Blofeld for the first time, and the with the most tragic consequences…

There’s little to Tweet about this brilliance, so I don’t. because it really is honestly brilliant.  it is even unfair to point an octopus tentacle at the main man: a little stilted sometimes, but he can act!  However, contemporary reaction wasn’t kind.  It would take over a decade for OHMSS’ critical stock to rise…

‘Der Englander ist verschwunden!’

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)


James Bond: Man Talk – Connery #Bondathon

Connery Bondathon - James Bond

The first Storified set of ‘Tweet notes’ for each film in a complete (canon) Twitter #Bondathon leading up to the release of Skyfall and the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Typos as guaranteed as white cats.

FIRST UP THE SIX CONNERY FILMS: sublime colonial detective (Dr No) to Volcano-crashing ridiculous (You Only Live Twice). They also happens to be the Blofeld arc from unseen to grotesque to camp. Connery bestrides the franchise with ample and ruthlessly brutal shoulders. The mould was firmly set three films in with Goldfinger, oddly a film where Bond contributes nothing beyond seducing a henchwoman. It’s by Thunderball that Connery’s established the Superman Bond: No secret spy work or deduction, just introduce yourself to the villain and be as rude as possible. Seemingly unfazed by any danger the threat level and involvement in this Bond’s affairs is rapidly diminished. Terrence Young was coaxed back to the director’s chair by the luxurious budget of Thunderball, but later regretted making a film that doesn’t stand up to the brilliance of the first two films. But for good or bad, the formula would remain for many years. Bond fever swept the 1960s with Connery’s tenure taking in six films in nine years and irresistible excess – and crucially ignoring the very small elephant in the lair, topped by George Lazenby. Still while Diamonds are Forever may suffer in comparison to the films that precede and follow it, it’s hard to beat the cold war caper of From Russia With Love.

The Connery Bondathon: Dr No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds are Forever (1971).


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