Archive for November 5, 2012

Ranking the Bond Movies: #4 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

This was a linchpin film for me. Because I had a lot of ideas about the film in my head, yet remembered very little of the actual film. Which is nothing new. I remembered next to nothing of most of the films before I went back and watched them for these articles, but this one was much more important than the rest of the films.

The reason is because, when I saw it the first time, I put it in my top five. Which is fine. As you can see, it remained there. Problem is, I remembered nothing about the film past – Blofeld, Swiss Alps, brainwashing, Bond gets married, boom, all the time in the world. Great but forgotten. That is your basic framework for the film, but I knew I a solid reason to rank it so high. It had to earn its spot by more than what was in my head.

My big worry was that the film, over time, has earned a reputation as a “trendy” top five choice. (This is according to TokyoRemix, I know nothing about this.) Apparently the pretentious Bond fans like to call this one the best because most people wouldn’t. It’s like the elitist film person who brings up some decent independent film that has no plot or character development but got lots of praise from the art house crowd as being the best film of the year and shits all over the mainstream ones that get all the attention. Apparently those people like to claim this one as the best because it’s so overlooked. And as we all know — I’m about giving everything a chance. I hate doing things because that’s how it “should” be. I go by my opinions and little more. And I didn’t want it to seem like I was automatically putting this one so high because it “should” be here. I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was ranking it where I was because I 100% felt it belonged there.

And I can say, without a second’s hesitation: this film absolutely belongs here. To the point where I almost want to put it higher. I can’t, because there’s absolutely no room in the top three whatsoever, but goddamn, this is a great movie. There are so few negatives here. It’s terrific all the way through. Even Lazenby doesn’t detract from the movie at all. And honestly, if they kept him out of a kilt and frilly shirts, he’d have made a fine Bond for a couple more (or, Moore) films. I love everything about this movie, and to me, the top four Bond films of the franchise are pretty much a set four, and this film is most certainly included in those four.

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Pic of the Day: “James Bond. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Ernst Stavro Blofeld. They told me you were assassinated in Hong Kong.” “Yes, this is my second life.” “You only live twice, Mr. Bond.”