On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Clear English accents throughout, but some challenging European accents too. A great film for intermediate English speakers and above.


I have to include this one. It's the best Bond film ever made. But, more interestingly, it is the most maligned, too.


Two weeks ago I had yet another great discussion with some students about film in general which ended up on the subject of 007. It followed the usual, agreeable tone (Connery is king, Skyfall is great, Dalton is better than Moore, etc etc) but when I then included OHMSS in the mix, the response went something along the lines of "Oh, I haven't seen that one. It's the worst one, right? The actor was sacked or something?"


Now this is a common response to the films mention. And it's completely absurd.


First of all, the story. OHMSS is easily one of Fleming's best Bond novels. The film, naturally, stays true to most of the book as a result (very few Bond films actually follow the novel they're named after) which, despite a continuity error with Bond and Blofeld *meeting for the first time, again, means you get an absolutely first rate story. It's exciting, the action brutal, the characterization particularly high, and the climax perfect.


Secondly, and probably more interestingly, is Lazenby. He isn't bad as Bond at all. In fact, he's really good. He also wasn't fired - he, for fear of being typecast, turned down the opportunity to continue as Bond. Finally, he turned up at the film's premiere sporting a full beard and wearing extremely casual clothes. As a result, the producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman allowed the blame for the film's

 relative failure (although it was still successful, its box office paled in comparison to Thunderball and You Only LIve Twice, the films that preceded it) to fall squarely on Lazenby's shoulders. As a result, the myth of the 'worst Bond film' was born.


But its not the worst. It's the best.


Watch it and decide for yourself.