I recently watched On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) for… get this… the first time. How in the world an overly-caffeinated and overly-zealous film fanatic, film buff, and self-declared film historian like me managed to miss this movie for so long is beyond me. I want to kick myself – especially since I ended up loving it (and George Lazenby and Diana Rigg) so much.
I missed a lot of years I could have been raving about them AND the movie!
What a perfect crock of bologna that George Lazenby (as fine an actor as any, with a killer screen presence) had to follow such an iconic, beloved, and legendary actor in such an iconic, beloved, and legendary role. Truth be told, it’d be my luck – score a GREAT role in a GREAT film with a GREAT co-star… but it involves following a star who is (face and name) synonymous with the role.
I’d have probably had the same response and Mr. Lazenby… “Absolutely, I’ll do it!” But then… “Don’t ever ask me to do it again!”
I do not get any negativity toward Lazenby in the role of Bond whatsoever. He was a perfect fit. Here is where I may differ from a lot of Bond fans – I think each actor who portrayed Bond was perfect for the time and perfect for the film. I have to confess that I used to be on the “What was Roger Moore thinking” bandwagon and didn’t “get” him in the role – in spite of always, always, always being greatly entertained by him. I’ve come to realize, however, that he was perfect for the time he carried the role and even perfect for the movies he represented.
Sometimes people seem to associate loving an actor or actress in a role with undying loyalty to them and them, alone. Hogwash. You can love as many people in a role as you possibly can. Truth be told – the more, the better. After all, since when is liking more things a bad deal?
Lazenby brought more vulnerability to the role than the other actors and I thought it was wonderful. His take on Bond meshed perfectly with the film, the storyline, and Diana Rigg. Outstanding movie in every way.
If you, too, have somehow never seen On Her Majesty’s Secret Service or haven’t seen it in a while, I hope you’ll watch it as soon as possible. Diana Rigg is now absolutely one of my favorite Bond girls and as for George Lazenby… I can’t think of an actor I like any better in the role. I like a few as well.. but better? Absolutely not.