Matt Conti’s review:
Countdown to Skyfall continues with On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the 6th Bond film!
This has always been the most unfairly treated Bonds, due to a lot of factors. In reality, it is one of the best Bond stories, and like the best Bond stories, it features 007 as a real character, not a one liner machine. The ending is also the most heartbreaking moment in the entire franchise.
Bond Essentials Review:
Bond: You will often hear the comment that Lazenby is the worst Bond. This may be true, being that he only had this one Bond film. But if he is indeed the worst, then every James Bond has been spectacular. Lazenby is great here, and he's very unfairly compared a lot. What people should understand is that each actor gives their own take on the Bond character, and this was Lazenby's.
Even more so, Lazenby's Bond is in a situation where he's faced with having Bond in an emotional story. He gets involved with a girl he legitimately starts to love, so he's not going to be the cold killer. Even then, Lazenby still handles the character well. What's more amazing is that this is his first Bond film. If anything, it's sad we never got to see more from Lazenby to see how he could have grown into the role even more. People forget that even Connery was stiff in his first outing.
Bond Girls: Teresa is obviously one of the most important Bond Girls, along with Vesper. Here we have a Bond girl that 007 actually manages to fall in love with, and it's easy to see why. She's beautiful, smart, elegant, and even can be tough herself. Diana Rigg embodies what a Bond girl should be.
Villain: We get Blofeld here again, but this time he's played by Telly Savalas, and is better than Donald Pleasance in terms of menacing presence and is also a physical match for Bond. He doesn't get the typical Bond villain dispatch because, well, he's Blofeld.
The Action: The shakiest of the early Bonds (despite the Second Unit Director being John Glenn), but what it lacks in visual cohesiveness, it makes up for in suspense and pure spectacle. There are some really great set pieces here. Also, the finale is great.
The Theme: We have two. One being the one played over the main titles, which is for the more exciting moments, and works perfectly well. The other is for the romantic moments, which is "We Have All The Time in The World" by Louis Armstrong, and is a great Bond theme.
Main Titles: It's mainly just figures of girls referencing past Bond films, but it works.
Gadgets: Aside from the safe opener, here we have a much more grounded sense of gadgetry here, just how I like it.