Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes
Date of release: 18 December 1969 (UK/US)|
Running time: 140 mins, making it the longest of the Bond movies
Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1
Classification: PG (UK)
Alternative titles: The Queen's 007 (Japan).
Directed by: Peter Hunt|
Produced by: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli
Screenplay by: Richard Maibaum
Additional dialogue by: Simon Raven
Associate producer: Stanley Sopel
Production designed by: Syd Cain GFAD
Director of photography: Michael Reed BSC
Editor and second unit director: John Glen
Special effects: John Stears
Main title designed by: Maurice Binder
Music composed, conducted and arranged by: John Barry|
Main theme: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (instrumental)
Additional: "We Have All The Time in the World"
Additional: "Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?"
Musical notes: The soundtrack is the last to make use of the original arrangement of the Bond theme from Dr No.
James Bond: George Lazenby|
Tracy (Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo): Diana Rigg
Ernst Stavro Blofeld: Telly Savalas
Marc Ange Draco: Gabrielle Ferzetti (dubbed by David de Keyser)
Irma Bunt: Ilse Steppat
Miss Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell
Sir Hilary Bray: George Baker
M: Bernard Lee
Campbell: Bernard Horsfall
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
Grunther: Yuri Borienko
Olympe: Virginia North
Tousaint: Geoffrey Cheshire
Che Che: Irvin Allen
Raphael: Terry Mountain
Gebruder Gumbold: James Bree
Hammond: John Gay
The gunbarrel sequence uses the same idea as Dr No with the dot
stopping in the middle of the screen to reveal the Saltzman-Broccoli presents
credit. George Lazenby wears a hat to match the Simmons and Connery
sequences used for the earlier films, but he kneels all the way down to
the ground as he fires. Oddly, the "blood" totally obscures
Bond whereas in the Simmons and Connery versions it was transparent.
The arrangement of the music does not use a guitar.
Using the title: The title of the film is not explicitly mentioned although there is an occasional mention of Her Majesty's Secret Service.
The novel approach: On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a faithful adaptation of one of Fleming's best novels, even retaining its tragic ending. Indeed, it even improves slightly on the plotting by having Blofeld hold Tracy hostage during the final sequences, bringing neatly together the two subplots (the hunt for Blofeld and the Bond-Tracy romance). There is one minor change concerning the title that Blofeld claims: in the book it is Count de Bleauville whereas in the film it is Count de Bleauchamp. The last chapter of the novel is called "All the Time in the World", which inspired the title of the Louis Armstrong song used in the film.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service:
The cover for the Secret Service is given the full title of Universal Exports (Ltd) London,
as seen on a brass name plate in an establishing shot at the start of the film.
This implies that MI6 now has its own building, rather than simply sharing accomodation
with other organisations as it did in Dr No.
Locations: London, the south of France, Portugal and various locations in Switzerland including Berne.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld returns as the main villain, with Telly Savalas providing a tougher
interpretation of the role than Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice. It is
unclear whether SPECTRE still exists as an organisation. Bond mentions it and Draco
says that some of his men have defected to Blofeld, but the familiar numerical structure
of the organisation from the earlier films is not referred to. However, there is some
continuity in the character, who is again seen to be petting a white cat.
The girl: Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, known as Tracy, is the daughter of Marc Ange Draco, the head of the Union Corse, one of Europe's largest crime syndicates (although he also has substantial legitimate interests including Draco Construction). Her mother was an Englishwoman who travelled to Corsica, where she met and married Draco. Tracy's mother died when she was 12 and she was sent to school in Switzerland where she rebelled against her father and got into a certain amount of trouble. Continuing this rebellion she married an Italian count, although he soon killed himself in a crash involving his Masarati and his mistress. When Bond first meets Tracy she is attempting to commit suicide, but Bond soon gives her a purpose to live. Draco recognises this and offers Bond one million pounds in gold for Bond to marry his daughter. Bond refuses, but he soon falls in love with Tracy anyway and they do marry. However, shortly after the wedding Bond and Tracey are attacked by Blofeld and Irma Bunt (Blofeld is driving; Bunt fires the shots) and Tracey is killed.
Bond's conquests: At least three - Tracy (twice), Ruby Bartlett and Nancy. He also has an interest in one of the other girls at Piz Gloria, but it is unclear whether he actually made it with her before being discovered by Blofeld.
Gadgets: The film is very light on gadgetry. Q talks about a method of tracking people using radioactive lint. Bond later uses a large device that opens safes and contains a photocopier. Not to be out-done, Blofeld provides his angels of death with an atomizer containing Virus Omega and a compact containing a radio that allows them to communicate with him.
Recurring characters: Blofeld, as discussed under the villain section above.
Continuity: As well as the mention of SPECTRE, there are numerous other
continuity references deliberately included in the film in order to reassure the
audience that this is still a Bond movie despite the absence of Sean Connery. The
title sequence features clips from the previous five movies (although none featuring
Bond, of course) and when Bond clears his desk he is seen packing Honey's knife (from
Dr No), Grant's watch (from From Russia With Love) and
the underwater rebreather (from Thunderball) while the soundtrack
switches to extracts from the scores to these films. This is a nice idea, although
it is unclear how Bond was able to get hold of these objects!
Cameos: The pedestrian reflected in the Universal Exports name plate in the opening shot of the film is the director, Peter Hunt.
Cuts: Some European video and theatrical versions of the film omit the lengthy sequence of Bond breaking into Gumbolt's office in Berne (which is somewhat crucial to the plot) and a scene with Campbell arguing with Gunther when he tries to gain access to the Piz Gloria cable car. Another sequence was filmed that never made it into any version; Bond discovers one of Blofeld's men eavesdropping on him when he visits the College of Arms and chases him through London.
I didn't catch the name?: Bond's famous introduction is George Lazenby's first line as 007 when he meets Tracy on the beach at the start of the film - "Good morning. My names Bond - James Bond". He later identifies himself as "Bond, James Bond" when he telephones Draco with his proposition about a "demolition deal" after M has refused to authorise an attack on Piz Gloria.
Vodka Martinis: Bond starts off drinking Dom Perignon 57 at the Plaza hotel, but Draco provides Bond with a Martini, shaken not stirred, when they first meet.
Gambling: Bond plays Chemin de Fir at the Plaza hotel in France. Tracy joins in, but she loses 20,000 Francs when she doesn't stand on five. She can't cover the bet, so Bond gallantly covers for her.
The film mirrors Sean Connery's introduction in Dr No when establishing George
Lazenby as the new Bond. The audience is only shown brief glimpses of him until
he gives his trademark introduction (see above).
Bond and Tracy's wedding seems to have a very grand guest list - a toast starts
with reference to "Their Royal Highnesses, My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen"!
At the end of the pre-credits sequence, Tracy runs off from Bond leaving
only her shoes causing him to comment that
"This never happened to the other feller". This is either a sly reference to Sean Connery or
simply to Prince Charming, depending on your point of view.
The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew Newton. © Copyright MJ Newton. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission unless otherwise stated.