6) 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was supposed to be the fifth Bond movie, but thanks to an unusually warm winter in Switzerland, You Only Live Twice had to be shot first. Following production, Sean Connery decided to leave the series, and producers stupidly chose not to fix the continuity problems created by swapping the two films. These two reasons are commonly bitched about by fans who see OHMSS as a missed opportunity, but even with George Lazenby and the Blofeld-not-recognizing-Bond error, it’s pretty damn awesome.

In fact, a case could actually be made that this movie benefits from having Lazenby. I’m not sure I believe it, but let me play devil’s advocate for a minute. First, Lazenby is better at the action sequences than Connery. Second, the material requires Bond to be genuinely terrified of Blofeld and Blofeld’s assassins, and Connery’s 007 was way too smug for that ever to have worked. Third, Diamonds Are Forever is not very good; so, maybe Connery was all Bond-ed out.

Besides, what’s the point in complaining when this movie should make anyone’s top ten? The conclusion is easily the most surprising and ballsiest of any in the entire series. The Angels of Death are completely in Bond’s wheelhouse, and some of the chase sequences actually make you feel bad for the lead. It’s 007 at his most frail, from an angle we’ve never seen before, and it’s a goddamn awesome change-up.

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