Posts Tagged ‘George Lazenby’

Double o’ nothing reviews “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”…

March 8, 2010

Last week, double o’ nothing reviewed “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.

Below is the link to the review. You should definitely give it a read…

“From Big Fry to the small time, George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Well done, Dublo.

Watchmakers International sponsors Ian Fleming’s Rolex in Bond Exhibit‏

February 15, 2010

COLUMBIA, PA:  For over 50 years, James Bond fans have had the need to know what watch Agent 007 wears. Fans fantasize:  They are James Bond when wearing his watch.

Vintage Rolex watches — similar to the Sean Connery Submariner in Dr. No, the George Lazenby pre-Daytona chronograph in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the Rolex Explorer worn by the literary Bond and author Ian Fleming — can be restored today to their original performance standards.

Bob Ridley of Watchmakers International gives a new lease on life to even the oldest (and most desirable) James Bond Rolex models, including those originally worn in the earliest Eon Productions films. Watchmakers International has also signed on as exclusive sponsor for display of Ian Fleming’s personal Rolex 1016 Explorer throughout the upcoming National Watch & Clock Museum exhibit, “Bond Watches, James Bond Watches,” June 18, 2010, through April 30, 2011.

“These watches were meant to be worn,” says Ridley.  “My team makes that possible.”

This is particularly important to Bond watch owners.  “When I approached Bob with my own 1016 Explorer, my hope was that he could take it to a point where I could wear it on special occasions without a lot of worry,” recalls Dell Deaton, guest curator of the James Bond Watches exhibit.  “Bob said he could bring it back to a standard where I could wear it every day, the way it was designed to be worn.”

Vintage Rolex Explorer 1016 wristwatch with original Radium dial — just like James Bond wore in the 1963 novel, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Background items include a copy of that first edition book, a pre-publication Uncorrected Proof, and the very first publication of this story (part 1 of 3) in the April 1963 issue of Playboy magazine. Photo copyright http://www.jamesbondwatches.com, 2010.

“If you think about the 6538 Submariner that fans associate with the movie Goldfinger,” Ridley adds, “these Rolex watches are increasingly hard to find in any condition.  Proper functional restoration often begins by addressing neglect, water damage, and quite frequently the need to back-out previous misdirected repair issues.  With that, we almost always have to source Rolex parts or fabricate corrections based on a watch that even the most experienced Rolex researchers haven’t seen more than a handful of times in an entire career.

“By focusing only on the Rolex brand, we’ve developed that necessary familiarity.  We’ve also earned a respectable interface with Rolex technical support departments, with which we exchange information.”

At the same time, Watchmakers International brings a true collector’s eye to restorations — balancing desired performance against a commitment to retain investment value.  “The dial on my 1016 Explorer is cracking,” Dell Deaton notes.  “But replacement and even refinishing are out of the question:  My Rolex is just like what Ian Fleming saw on his wrist when he wrote that ‘Bond glanced at his watch’ in the final pages of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  That’s what I will still want to see after any work on it is done.”

“I gave Dell a number of proprietary options we’ve come up with for arresting the deterioration without any visual change to aesthetics,” Bob Ridley explains.  “These are things we have done for Watchmakers International clients that we’ve served for many, many years; the proof of longevity is reconfirmed upon intake inspection each time one of these watches comes back now for routine maintenance.”

“The addition of Bob Ridley, personally, and Watchmakers International, as a sponsor, raises an already high bar on what we expect this exhibit to deliver,” says Noel Poirier, director of the National Watch & Clock Museum.  “As an international association and repository for horology, our Museum and this exhibit can both show a great range of Bond-affiliated wristwatches, and then go beyond that to provide a great depth of understanding about how many of them functioned then and now, their design evolution paths, and, in particular to the Ian Fleming Rolex 1016 Explorer and related pieces, what their present condition tells them about their service to wearers as timekeepers.

“Watchmakers International is the ideal sponsor for the Ian Fleming Rolex as part of our ‘Bond Watches, James Bond Watches’ exhibit.  We’re truly honored to have them be a part of this.”

Watchmakers International is the exclusive sponsor for bringing the original Ian Fleming Rolex Explorerer 1016 to the entire run of this year-long exhibit.  With over 30 years experience in fine wristwatch work, certified horologist Bob Ridley offers a unique balance of technical skill, resources, and an understanding of value-aesthetics to the sole of his business:  Vintage Rolex restoration.  See www.watchmakers.com for more information.

Dell Deaton is guest curator of this “Bond Watches, James Bond Watches” exhibition and author-creator of www.jamesbondwatches.com.  He is a member of both the National Watch & Clock Association and American Marketing Association, and an internationally recognized expert on Ian Fleming and James Bond horology.

“Bond Watches, James Bond Watches” will be unveiled at the NAWCC Annual Convention on June 17, 2010, and runs June 18, 2010, through April 30, 2011, in Columbia, PA.

The National Watch and Clock Museum is operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) association close to 20,000 members, representing 52 countries. April through November the Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.  December through March hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discounts are available to seniors, students, AAA members, and groups of 10 or more. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to call ahead.  For more program information, directions, or general Museum information, call 717-684-8261 or visit our website at www.nawcc.org.

40th Anniversary ::: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

December 22, 2009

40 years ago this month, an Australian actor/model by the name of  George Lazenby had stepped into the role of the world’s greatest secret agent – James Bond, after Sean Connery had retired from the part [for the first time] in 1967.

Directed by Peter Hunt (the editor of the earlier Bond films) and written by Richard Maibaum, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service put 007 face-to-face with his arch-nemesis, Ernest Stavro Blofeld, and his plan to use biological warfare to threaten the world. During the mission, Bond meets Tracy di Vicenzo, a countess whose courage and charismatic spirit earns her the title of  Mrs. James Bond.

At its premiere on December 18th, 1969, at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square in London, UK, the film proved to be  faithful to Ian Fleming’s original novel. With a budget of $7 million, and a run time of 140 minutes, George Lazenby’s first and last James Bond outing ended up grossing around $87 million worldwide.

You can read my review of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service here.

Life Magazine: Unpublished James Bond Auditions

December 20, 2009

Who Would Be James Bond?

In the early ’60s, movie producers adapting Ian Fleming’s novels about a suave British spy named James Bond plucked a relative unknown, Sean Connery, out of obscurity and offered him the role of a lifetime. And when Connery left the franchise after five movies, the hunt for Bond was on again. LIFE sent photographer Loomis Dean to the final casting sessions for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (released 40 years ago this week), and the magazine published a handful of those photos. But some of the choicest frames — Bond wannabes suiting up, holding guns, drinking martinis, wooing women — have never been seen…until now.


UNPUBLISHED: James Bond Auditions


This is a very interesting piece by Life Magazine. It’s fun to see who could’ve been Bond #2. Of all the candidates, though, I’d only choose one above George Lazenby, and that’s Robert Campbell. He really looked the part, but I’ve no idea if he was a good actor. It would be great if they’d release the photos in a book.

Premiere Dates & Box Office Earnings

June 20, 2009

I’ve compiled a list of Bond film premiere dates and Bond film box office earnings. Then, I summarized the relationships between them. It’s pretty interesting … check out the results:

*** Stats include domestic box office figures. All of the numbers used are adjusted for ticket price. No worldwide figures are included due to issues that would arise because of exchange rates.

[UK] PREMIERE DATES (By Month)

May:
A View To A Kill (22nd)

June:
Octopussy (6th)
You Only Live Twice (12th)
Licence To Kill (13th)
For Your Eyes Only (24th)
Moonraker (26th)
Live And Let Die (27th)
The Living Daylights (29th)

July:
The Spy Who Loved Me (7th)

September:
Goldfinger (17th)

October:
Dr. No (5th)
From Russia With Love (10th)
Quantum Of Solace (29th)

November:
The World Is Not Enough (8th)
GoldenEye (13th)
Casino Royale (14th)
Die Another Day (18th)

December:
Thunderball (9th)
Tomorrow Never Dies (12th)
Diamonds Are Forever (17th)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (18th)
The Man With The Golden Gun (19th)

BOX OFFICE EARNINGS (Highest to Lowest)

1. Thunderball: $453,095,866
2. Goldfinger: $394,367,777
3. You Only Live Twice: $262,186,956
4. Moonraker: $201,120,379
5. Die Another Day: $198,892,351
6. Tomorrow Never Dies: $196,009,738
7. From Russia With Love: $191,441,691
8. Diamonds Are Forever: $190,681,422
9. Casino Royale: $183,551,449
10. The World Is Not Enough: $179,420,403
11. GoldenEye: $175,670,569
12. Quantum Of Solace: $168,368,427
13. Octopussy: $154,754,344
14. The Spy Who Loved Me: $150,807,925
15. Live And Let Die: $143,519,092
16. For Your Eyes Only: $141,566,877
17. Dr. No: $135,719,190
18. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: $115,155,535
19. A View To A Kill: $101,790,071
20. The Living Daylights: $93,993,540
21. The Man With The Golden Gun: $80,523,508
22. Licence To Kill: $62,697,523

PREMIERE DATES v. BOX OFFICE EARNINGS (By Month)

May:
A View To A Kill (22nd) $101,790,071

June:

Octopussy (6th) $154,754,344
You Only Live Twice (12th) $262,186,956
Licence To Kill (13th) $62,697,523
For Your Eyes Only (24th) $141,566,877
Moonraker (26th) $201,120,379
Live And Let Die (27th) $143,519,092
The Living Daylights (29th) $93,993,540

July:
The Spy Who Loved Me (7th) $150,807,925

September:
Goldfinger (17th) $394,367,777

October:

Dr. No (5th) $135,719,190
From Russia With Love (10th) $191,441,691
Quantum Of Solace (29th) $168,368,427

November:

The World Is Not Enough (8th) $179,420,403
GoldenEye (13th) $175,670,569
Casino Royale (14th) $183,551,449
Die Another Day (18th) $198,892,351

December:

Thunderball (9th) $453,095,866
Tomorrow Never Dies (12th) $196,009,738
Diamonds Are Forever (17th) $190,681,422
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (18th) $115,155,535
The Man With The Golden Gun (19th) $80,523,508

OVERALL MONTHLY SUMS

January – April: N/A

May: $101,790,071

June: $1,059,838,711

July: $150,807,925

August: N/A

September: $394,367,777

October: $495,529,308

November: $737,534,772

December: $1,035,466,069


OVERALL MONTHLY SUMS: RANKED HIGHEST TO LOWEST

  1. June: $1,059,838,711
  2. December: $1,035,466,069
  3. November: $737,534,772
  4. October: $495,529,308
  5. September: $394,367,777
  6. July: $150,807,925
  7. May: $101,790,071
  8. January – April, August: N/A

Seems like the films launched in June and December have generated the most bank for EON Productions. November comes in at third. With these lists, I haven’t taken into consideration James Bond stars, seasons, or decades; therefore, you can expect more stats to come!

Special thanks to Karl Bennett and Box Office Mojo for their assistance with the numbers/statistics.

Top 5 – Quintessential Fleming Thrillers

June 19, 2009

Below I’ve listed the top 5 Bond films that qualify as quintessential Fleming thrillers. In my opinion, these five films capture the essence of Fleming’s novels and legendary characters.

I’ve provided a small blurb for each, regarding why I consider it to be “quintessential”.

1. From Russia With Love – Perhaps one of the finest Cold War thrillers ever made. The second film of the Bond series, and also my second-favorite. This features another cast of brilliant characters, with an even more interesting plot than “Dr. No”. This is not only a must-see Bond film, but also a must-see espionage film.

2. Dr. No – The first Bond film, and what I consider to be the best. This Bond flick is made in true Fleming fashion. It contains some great espionage and detective work, a wonderful cast of characters, and a solid plot.

3. The Living Daylights – Though Fleming was long-gone in 1987, “The Living Daylights” pays a wonderful tribute to the Bond author. Timothy Dalton’s portrays Fleming’s character brilliantly, in a great Cold War thriller. If you take your Bond seriously, this is surely the one for you.

4. For Your Eyes Only – Moore’s finest Bond flick. Most of the film is taken seriously. The only downfall is its score. Otherwise, the film proves to follow Fleming’s short story, “Risico”, quite well. Great characters, and a very down-to-Earth and interesting plot. This is certainly a fresh, new start, following Moore’s out-of-this-world adventure, “Moonraker”.

5. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – George Lazenby’s first and final Bond flick surely makes for a great Fleming thriller. Though I’m not keen on Lazenby’s acting, the other actors in the film make up for what he lacks — especially Diana Rigg. The film preserves many aspects of the novel and also features one of the best John Barry scores of all time. It’s surely a refresher from the over-the-top “You Only Live Twice” and takes a more realistic approach.

Film Review ::: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"

November 23, 2008

Many seem to hold this film in their number 1 Bond spot. I, on the other hand, cannot do this. While there’s a steady amount of good in this film, I think it has its fair share of bad, too. 

The Good: 
The story; I thought it was outstanding. One of the greatest Bond stories, for sure. Very Bondian, and I think the whole film stuck pretty close to Fleming’s novel, though I haven’t read it for years now. 

Diana Rigg; One of the most beautiful Bond girls, for sure. At first, she came off so genuinely harsh. It was great. But later on, as she fell in love with Bond, she was a very sweet Bond girl. My favorite meeting with her in the film is after Bond’s 1st escape from Piz Gloria. As Bond’s sitting near the ice rink, a girl with blades on comes up to him. We move from the feet, to her face, revealing it’s Tracy- with a beautiful smile on her face. 

The main titles; loved them. They rank up there with “Goldfinger”. 

The soundtrack; My 2nd favorite Barry score. My only complaint about this score is the use of synthesizers. Had they been left out, I’m sure this would tie with my #1 soundtrack spot (alongside “You Only Live Twice”). My favorite cue of this soundtrack is Bond’s escape from Piz Gloria and his chase after Blofeld. The music begins as Blofeld shoots at the world map that Bond is taking pictures of- the music complemented this chase sequence so well. 

This film also had plentys of Bondian traits. It certainly has Bond written all over it, as far as style goes. The visuals are also gorgeous in this film- not as great as locations from “Dr. No” or “You Only Live Twice”, however, I think this ranks up there with them. This film also had some top-notch Bond action. 

The Alright: 
Telly Savalas played an OK Blofeld. I kept thinking of Kojack, but it’s alright. Savalas played the part pretty well. I still like Pleasence’s character more, however. As a side note: everyone says “Can you imagine Pleasence on skis in OHMSS?” To that, I’ll say that Savalas on skis was hardly a pleasure for my eyes. Irma Bunt was quite the henchwoman, too. Very tough, and fit right in with the head of SPECTRE. I’ve got no complaints about her. Reminded me a bit of Rosa Klebb.

The girls at Piz Gloria- they were all beautiful. They weren’t exceptional actresses, however. Overall, they made for quite a sight. I’d say even that Ruby Bartlett, to my own surprise. I took quite a liking to her during this viewing. When you set that mat on her head aside, she’s a gorgeous girl. 

The Bad:
My major dislike- this film’s editing was absolutely atrocious. I thought it seemed like a mess, and was quite disappointed by it. 

The James Bond theme used during the attack of Piz Gloria. It worked when Draco’s men and Bond were moving in, however, it played mostly during Tracy’s fight scene? That didn’t make sense to me. They should’ve used more of Barry’s source music. There was plenty to go ’round. 

The Hilary Bray dubbing. Actually, this whole aspect of the film didn’t make much sense to me either. It seems as if Bond automatically learns to mimic Bray’s voice. 

George Lazenby as James Bond: 
I’ll be frank- I didn’t care for Lazenby’s Bond performance all that much, which is one reason why I can’t rank this film too high in my Bond rankings. I think Lazenby had potential and the looks. However, to me, it seemed like he forced himself to be Bond. It didn’t come on naturally, as it seemed with Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or Daniel Craig. Something about the way that he delivered lines bothered me too. There were quite a few witty quips in this film, but when delivered by Lazenby, they didn’t have any flare about them. 

All in all, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” certainly proves to be a decent Bond film, but in my opinion, has some major flaws. It’s certainly better than Brosnan’s films, and most of Moore’s… but it’s just not my cup of tea, I suppose. On the other hand, it makes for a great holiday Bond film. 

 

6.5 / 10

6.5 / 10