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Thread: Laughing at James Bond

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Laughing at James Bond

    Last night Mrs. Maister and I watched 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'.... it's that one . You know, the one made after Sean Connery quit and before Roger Moore started. Bond was played by George Lazenby (for both the first and last time). I bet I hadn't seen 'Majesty's' in over 20 years, but after watching last night I am convinced that this movie more than any other is the true inspiration behind the Austin Power's movies. Yep, we have an evil baldy mad scientist played by Telly Savales; a uni-browed German Frau henchperson; Bond gets laid 3 times in one evening at one-hour intervals; there is even a momentary scene where we see a midget on screen; the story is implausible as hell ('Majesty' cannot claim much credit for being unique or even first in this regard, though).

    The funny thing about the flick is that here's a movie that impacts/defines the Bond character more than any other - Bond gets married and his wife gets killed on their wedding day. Yet Mr. Lazenby seems to be universally reviled as the worst Bond ever. The thing is, I don't think the guy really did that bad of a job. Personally, I believe the weakest Bond was Roger Moore. I think Lazenby caught a lot of flack because he was the first to play Bond after Connery. I don't think audiences were ready to accept a new Bond no matter who played him at the time.
    On the whole I place 'Majesty' in the bottom quartile, but for reasons other than acting.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    There is one good song/performance:

    "WE HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD"
    Sung by Louis Armstrong
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Moving at my own pace....... Planderella's avatar
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    I grew up during the Roger Moore years and could never get into the pre-Moore Bond movies. I think Timothy Dalton was the weakest Bond so far, but I guess it's all a matter of opinion.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    The funny thing about the flick is that here's a movie that impacts/defines the Bond character more than any other - Bond gets married and his wife gets killed on their wedding day. Yet Mr. Lazenby seems to be universally reviled as the worst Bond ever. The thing is, I don't think the guy really did that bad of a job. Personally, I believe the weakest Bond was Roger Moore. I think Lazenby caught a lot of flack because he was the first to play Bond after Connery. I don't think audiences were ready to accept a new Bond no matter who played him at the time.
    On the whole I place 'Majesty' in the bottom quartile, but for reasons other than acting.
    There is a core group of Bond fans that actually think this is the best film in the series. I am in agreement with that opinion. When I viewed it for the first time as a teen, I thought it was OK but not nearly as good as some of the high-action contemporary entries such as The Spy Who Loved Me or Octopussy . But upon repeated viewings, I enjoyed it a lot more to the point that I would say it's in at least my Top 3.

    Lazenby is not, by any means, a bad Bond at all. Like you said, he's a victim of bad timing. And Diana Rigg was one of the best Bond women of all time, even for an era when Bond babes were all classy instead of the brainless bimbos we get today (Denise Richards, anyone?).

    Also adding points is the non-Hollywood ending. A welcome change in a series whose endings get more embarrasing and cheezier with each subsequent episode.

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Super Amputee Cat
    Lazenby is not, by any means, a bad Bond at all. Like you said, he's a victim of bad timing.
    Having read Ian Fleming's original 007 books, I feel qualified to say Lazenby captures Bond's spirit better than most. In the books, Bond is not so much a suave debonair 'El Guapo', but rather more like an extremely resourceful killer. He is ruthless. Roger Moore has this certain effeminant air about him that I think makes him the worst Bond
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    To me, Bond movies come in three classes: First Rate, Second Rate, and Third Rate. I am a fan of the Bond novels, so many of my favorites, like FRWL, FYEO, and TLD reflect the Bond found in the novels more than the typical movie Bond.

    First Rate:
    FRWL
    Gold
    FYEO
    TLD
    TND
    DAD

    Second Rate:
    DrNo
    Tball
    OHMSS
    TSWLM
    Octo
    LTK
    TWINE

    Third Rate
    YOLT
    DAF
    LALD
    TMWTGG
    Moon
    AVTAK
    Geye

    Overall, Connery is my favorite Bond actor, but Pierce Brosnan has succesfully brought Bond into the modern (even futuristic) world. I did like the mixture of The Living Daylights's writing for Roger Moore and acting by Tim Dalton. The deadpan delivery of some of Bond's funny lines seemed to recapture some of the novel Bond's dark sense of humor. Of course, that was a unique combination and the movies have taken a different, though not bad, direction since then.
    JOE ILIFF
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  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    It's hard to know what criteria to judge bond movies on. Everybody's got their favorites, but how we get there differs greatly. Some judge on the basis of the girls, some on the gadgets, others the realism, and yet others base their likings on the writing and plot.
    Heck, I even enjoy watching the ridiculous 'Moonraker' when I feel in the mood for camp.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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