This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
SteadmanSlick’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
"You've got sharp eyes and beautiful... earlobes."
Theme: N/A, Instrumental
Girls: Contessa Tracy Bond (nee d'Vincenzo (nee Draco)), Sherry Olympe, Ruby Bartlett and the other patients at Piz Gloria Clinic.
Bond beguiles BSS by bungling bum lead on Blofeld re: Op. Bedlam. I spent like about 2 hours thinking that up, so it's going in either way.
But to the point, Operation Bedlam is the search for Blofeld, and the lead's gone cold until James happens to cross paths with the daughter of a rival criminal boss, one Count Draco. Draco offers 1 million pounds as dowry, but Bond knows intelligence is more valuable than that and asks for the whereabouts of Blofeld instead. The daughter, Teresa called Tracy, knows this marriage business is an attempt to stop her misbehaving, and convinces her father to tell Bond the info, a lawyer in Germany. Bond pursues both this lead and still after Tracy's heart, until his search through the lawyer's safe sends him packing for the Swiss Alps. Disguised as an expert from The College Of Arms, whom Blofeld had been trying to get to confirm his claim as the head of the Bleuchamp line, Bond is surprised to find that Blofeld also has been working on developing cures to various allergies, specifically in a bevy of babes who have seeked him at various free clinics he has established globally. His process, a combination of psychological suggestion and chemical supplement, does actually work, but of course that's not all he's doing. As a Christmas present to the girls, he induces them once more and instructs them to keep daily radio contact with him that they may introduce to their various workplaces custom designed strains of an Omega Virus: a virus that induces sterility in any specific species of plant or animal it comes into contact with. For example, Ruby works on a chicken farm and came because her allergy to the birds made her life hell, so I can only assume her strain must be tailor made for chickens. After a series of chase sequences on skis, in cars, and on foot, the next day Blofeld buries Bond and Tracy, who showed up in the middle of the Christmas Village just downhill from Piz Gloria on her father's advice. Both survive, but Tracy is captured while Bond returns to MI6. M tells him to give up his fiancee and that Bedlam is over, but Bond isn't willing. He contacts Draco to use his own connections and perform a direct assault on Blofeld's base, preventing him from ever getting in contact with the girls he's brainwashed and activate them. Draco forces his daughter onto his chopper, leaving Blofeld and Bond to escape the mountain by Bobsled. Blofeld nearly escapes, before getting caught round the neck by a low hanging branch. Bond marries Tracy and they drive off together, planning to have 3 kids of each gender. But when they pull off the road to clear away some of the flowers, Blofeld in a neck brace and his assistant Frau Bunt perform a driveby, killing the newlywed and making Bond a widower. James laments his lost love, and the credits roll.
Astounding chase sequences in this one, much much better than the parade from Goldfinger. Not even just how they can use skis and bobsleds, but the part where Blofeld loses his grip on a grenade? What incredible suspense, you think he's really gonna blow himself up. And I'm glad Lazenby got cold feet and cancelled his 7 film contract; He felt more natural as Hilly, his genealogist disguise, than The James Bond. Voice is just a bit too high, bit too casual. Also, Bond taking a wife was apparently what actually happened in the particular novel this entry was based on, but it still doesn't fit with the character, him being a womanizer and all. I mean, it's literally what both themes to Thunderball talk about.
Frau Bunt reminded me so much of Frau Farbissina from AP, and made me think that maybe Col Klebb may have also influenced the character, or maybe Blofeld just has a fetish for dowdy old redheads, since neither one gets killed by him for failure. But that actually does remind me, the recast for Blofeld here to someone younger and slightly more charismatic runs so at odds with his previous demeanor off-screen prior and most of all his reveal. I can handwave the youth as getting a touch-up at the same time as the earlobe removal, but he needs to be sick and twisted. Not at all a people person, and certainly not one who chases after Bond himself.