Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Bond

June 21, 2009

Many fans of Ian Fleming’s literary Bond series, and even fans of the films, will know that James Bond married Contessa Teresa di Vincenzo in the novel (and film) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Tragically, though, the bride was slain by Bond’s arch-nemisis — Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

What casual Bond fans may not know is that James Bond goes to settle the score with Blofeld in Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice.

I won’t spoil the entire story for you, but I will say that it is significantly different from the film. Don’t expect James Bond to be flying around in that bright-yellow gyro-copter, made in the quartermaster’s garage.

However, that’s not the point of this article.

I wanted to mention James Bond’s child.

Yes – you read correctly.

Recovering from amnesia in Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, Bond adopts the life of a Japanese merchant with Kissy Suzuki, while he is presumed dead by the rest of the world. During this time period, it’s said that Kissy becomes pregnant after sleeping with James…

However, we don’t hear (or read) anymore of this until Raymond Benson releases his short story, Blast From the Past. Though I haven’t read the short yet, it’s said that James Bond is contacted by his son, James Suzuki, and is asked to meet him New York City on a matter of urgency. When Bond arrives, he finds his son dead — supposedly killed by Irma Bunt

This is all very interesting; though, it seems as if James Bond cannot maintain solid aspects of his personal life. By this, I mean, first of all, his wife Tracy was murdered. He ended up abandoning Kissy Suzuki, obviously. And his one known son is killed. It’s a very tragic case, but surely brings a lot more depth to this character. I’ll have to get around to finding Benson’s story.

So, on this Father’s Day, my suggested reading material includes Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice.

Before you jump into it, though, I suggest reading Fleming’s Thunderball and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Combined with You Only Live Twice, these form “the Blofeld trilogy”.

To any fathers reading this, I kindly extend a “Happy Father’s Day” greeting to you.

All the best…

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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