On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

UK, 1969
140m
35mm film, “filmed in Panavision” [anamorphic], Technicolor, 2.35:1
mono, English

A British borderline science fiction film directed by Peter Hunt. It is the sixth in the official series of James Bond films and the first not to feature Sean Connery in the leading role. Although this would be the only time that George Lazenby played Bond in the film series, he cameos in the television film The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1983) as the tuxedo-wearing, Aston Martin DB5-driving “JB” and as “James” in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985-1989) episode Diamonds Aren’t Forever (1989).

Plot Summary

James Bond is given leave when he tries to resign after being taken off Operation Bedlam, the ongoing search for Ernst Stavro Blofeld. During his break he meets and falls in love with a young aristocrat, Tracy, then becomes involved in the investigation into a claim for the title of Comte de Bleauchamp. The claim is being made by Blofeld who, from his base high in the Swiss alps, is conditioning a team of young women who will unwittingly spread his lethal plague around the world.

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Peter Hunt
© 1969 Danjaq S.A.
Made by Eon Productions Ltd. Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli present. Released thru United Artists
Produced by: Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman
Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum
Additional Dialogue: Simon Raven; representatives from the College of Arms [uncredited]
Novel: Ian Fleming [credited with a possessory above the title]
Director of Photography: Michael Reed
Editor: John Glen
Music Composed, Conducted and Arranged by: John Barry
Sound Recordists: John Mitchell & Gordon McCallum
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius
Make-Up: Paul Rabiger & Basil Newall
Hairdresser: Eileen Warwick
Special Effects: John Stears
Main Title Designed by: Maurice Binder
Production Designed by: Syd Cain

Cast
George Lazenby (James Bond)
Diana Rigg (Tracy)
Telly Savalas (Blofeld)
Gabriele Ferzetti (Draco)
Ilse Steppat (Irma Bunt)
Angela Scoular (Ruby)
Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny)
Catherina von Schell (Nancy)
George Baker (Sir Hilary Bray)
Bernard Lee as ‘M’
Bernard Horsfall (Campbell)
Desmond Llewellyn (Q)
Yuri Borienko (Grunther)
Virginia North (Olympe)
Geoffrey Cheshire (Toussaint)
Irvin Allen (Che Che)
Terry Mountain (Raphael)
James Bree (Gumbold)
John Gay (Hammond)
Julie Ege (Scandinavian)
Mona Chong (Chinese)
Sylvana Henriques (Jamaican)
Dani Sheridan (American)
Joanna Lumley (English)
Zara (Indian)
Anoushka Hempel (Australian)
Ingrit Back (German)
Helena Ronee (Israeli)
Jenny Hanley (Irish)

Alternative Titles

007 al servicio secreto de su majestao – Spanish title
Agente 007, al servizio segreto di sua maesta – Italian title
Au service secret de sa majesté – French/Belgian French title
Im Geheimdienst Ihrer Majestät – German title
In Geheime dienst van hare majestiet – Belgian Flemish title
O.H.M.S.S. – promotional title

Dr. No (1962)
From Russia with Love (1963)
Goldfinger (1964)
Thunderball (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967)

Sequels
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Live and Let Die (1973)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Moonraker (1979)
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Octopussy (1983)
A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987)
Licence to Kill (1989)
GoldenEye (1995)
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Die Another Day (2002)
Casino Royale (2006)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Skyfall (2012)
Spectre (2015)
No Time to Die (2021)

Extracts included in
Best Ever Bond (2002)
Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond (1987)
The James Bond Story (1999)
Premiere Bond: Die Another Day (2002)
the 2 December 1970 and 13 January 1971 editions of Screen Test (1970-1984)
The World of James Bond (1995)

See also
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Diamonds Aren’t Forever (1989)
The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1983)

Production Notes

Release
In the UK the film broke box office house records at the Odeon Leicester Square, taking £16,460 in its first 6 days.

General observations
This is the first time in the film series that we see Bond skiing. It is the only Bond film to be set around the Christmas period though the actual day itself is never mentioned.

References

Periodicals
American Cinematographer vol.51 no.3 (March 1970) pp.whole issue – illustrated articles
American Cinematographer vol.79 no.6 (June 1998) p.168 – illustrated article (Wrap Shot by David. E. Williams)
Board of Trade Journal vol.198 no.3800 (14 January 1970) p.100 – note (Registrations of British and foreign films)
Castle of Frankenstein no.21 p.38
Cinefantastique vol.31 no.9 (December 1999) pp.54-55 – illustrated interview with George Lazenby (007: George Lazenby by Rich Handley)
Empire no.210 (December 2006) pp.86-90, 93-94, 96-98, 100, 102 – illustrated article (The 21 scenes that made Bond great by Ian Freer and Chris Hewitt)
Empire no.232 (October 2008) pp.96-105 – illustrated article (The Bond identity)
Entertainment Weekly no.515 (3 December 1999) pp.40-42, 44, 46 – illustrated article (And the Bond played on by Andrew Essex)
Film Bulletin vol.39 no.1 (12 January 1970) pp.16 – review
Film Review August 1999 pp.78-83 – illustrated article (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Howard Maxford)
Film Review no.599 (November 2000) p.47 – illustrated DVD review (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Gareth Wigmore)
Film Score Monthly vol.8 no.4 (April/May 2003) p.33 – soundtrack review (Score: reviews of CDs by Darren MacDonald)
Film Score Monthly vol.8 no.5 (June 2003) pp.12-17 – illustrated article (From Lukas with love, part 2 by Margaret A. Compton)
Films and Filming vol.16 no.4 (January 1970) p.38 – review
Films in Review vol.43 no.11/12 (November/December 1992) pp.382-388 – illustrated article (James Bond Part 2 by Nicholas Anez)
The Hollywood Reporter vol.204 no.6 (27 December 1968) p.9 – credits
The Hollywood Reporter vol.no.4 (17 December 1969) p.3 – credits, review
Kine Weekly no.3245 (20 December 1969) p.8 – credits, review
Kine Weekly vol.631 no.3247 (3 January 1970) p.9 – note (Box office business: ‘OHMSS’ setting a new record; they rave about ‘Hello Dolly!’ by Bill Altria
Kine Weekly vol.631 no.3249 (17 January 1970) p.10 – note (Box office business: ‘OHMSS’, ‘Battle of Britain’ and ‘Hello Dolly!’ are still ahead by Bill Altria)
Kine Weekly vol.631 no.3250 (24 January 1970) p.8 – (Box office business: ‘Wagon’ fast, but ‘OHMSS’, ‘Battle’, ‘Dolly’ are the pace-setters by Bill Altria)
Kine Weekly vol.631 no.3251 (31 January 1970) pp.11; 18 – note (Box office business: ‘OHMSS’ now geared for suburban lolly; ‘Battle’ and ‘Dolly’ great by Bill Altria); note (Promotion: Try travel angle on ‘OHMSS by David Jerome)
Kine Weekly vol.631 no.3252 (7 February 1970) p.8 – note (Box office business: ‘Battle’ and ‘Dolly’ tops, ‘Wagon’ climbing, ‘OHMSS’ spreads its net by Bill Altria)
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.37 no.433 (February 1970) p.34 – credits, review
Motion Picture Herald vol.240 no.1 (7 January 1970) p.352 – review
Music from the Movies no.37 (2003) pp.7; 28-29 – article (Bond 40th anniversary: the expanded soundtracks by Stephen Woolston); soundtrack review (Film music review: archival by Steve Woolston)
Screen International no.1573 (24 November 2006) p.32 – illustrated article (Nobody does it better by Robert Mitchell and Jeremy Kay)
Starburst no.266 (October 2000) pp.89-90 – DVD review (Reviews: DVD file by Ian Atkins)
Today’s Cinema no.9764 (19 December 1969) pp.5, 20 – review
Today’s Cinema no.9622 (13 January 1969) p.12 – note (Presentation by Sidney Newman)
Today’s Cinema no.9772 (20 January 1970) pp.9; 12 – article (The Bond row: Now the director talks); note (Presentation: Big Bond contest bonuses by Sidney Newman)
Today’s Cinema no.9634 (10 February 1969) p.8 – note
Today’s Cinema no.9769 (9 January 1970) p.6 – illustrated article (Our great showmanship contest)
Today’s Cinema no.9817 (26 June 1970) p.3 – note (Our ‘OHMSS’ contest)
TV Guide vol.50 no.45 9 Nov 2002 pp.34,55 – illustrated interview with George Lazenby (Double oh once by Ted Johnson)
TV Times 23 December 1989 – 5 January 1990 p.47 – credits, review, synopsis
Variety 6 November 1968 p.22 – credits
Variety 17 December 1969 p.16 – credits, review

Books
Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.285 – illustrated credits, review
The Espionage Filmography: United States Releases, 1898 through 1999 by Paul Mavis pp.229-230 – illustrated credits, review
Feature films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.329 – credits
The Incredible World of 007 by Lee Pfeiffer pp.54-61, 146, 176, 177 – illustrated articles
The International Spy Guide 002 by Richard Rhys Davies p.667 – illustrated credits, note
Kine & TV Year Book 1971 p.113 – credits
Kiss Kiss, Bang! Bang! by Alan Barnes and Marcus Hearn pp.82-95 – illustrated article, credits, review, synopsis
Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.347 – credits