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|BlogalongaBond: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Saturday, 25 June 2011 08:10|
BlogalongaBond. One Bond film a month until Bond 23 in November 2012.
Sticking closely to Fleming's original book, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a notable departure from the formula that erupted into silliness with You Only Live Twice. Dawdling around for its epic 140-minute runtime, OHMSS covered everything from dodgy hypnotism and brilliant, character-building romance to kilts and Telly Savalas' earlobes.
But Peter Hunt's Bond film brings something far more exciting to the franchise than a sneaky glimpse of George Lazenby's inner thighs: skiing. After hanging around in the Swiss Alps for 90 minutes, Hunt suddenly hits us with six minutes of glorious snow-bound action, which are so brilliant that the series spent years scrambling to repeat such superb set pieces. Which explains why I found this letter inside my DVD box:
Dear Mr. Lazenby,
I've always been a big fan of your work, ever since I first saw you in those Fry's Chocolate adverts - you're easily my fifth favourite James Bond.
In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, I loved your hunky physique, sexy kilt and the way you said "That never happened to the other fellow!" but your skiing skills really raised my eyebrows. Could you teach me how to ski? It might come in handy one day...
Yours with eyebrows raised,
Roger Moore (aged 47 - I really am this old)
Inevitably, this instructional pamphlet was underneath...
George Lazenby's Guide to Skiing
Hi there! I'm everyone's fifth favourite James Bond, George Lazenby! I've written this guide to teach you how to ski like James Bond - because you never know when you'll need to take to the slopes in defence of Her Majesty. Don't be caught off your guard, just because it never happened to the other fellow!
Wear Bright Clothes
You should always be easy to spot, even in the dark. Anything brightly coloured is a must (try some oversized goggles to be super-distinctive). Hell, wear a bright yellow jumpsuit if you have to. Actually, don't wear a bright yellow jumpsuit. You'll look like an idiot. And that never happened to the other fellow.
Get Shot At
Skiing is boring. But like work, sex and other activities, there's an easy way to make it exciting: get someone to bring a gun.
Even better, get them to shoot at you (or your stunt double). If you manage to stay alive, you'll look even more manly because of it. After all, this skiing stuff never happened to the other fellow.
Ski into the Trees
I love a brief skiing jaunt through the forest. It's a nice way to relax, enjoy the scenery and lose a few of those pesky bad guys who are so keen on shooting at you. They're not very good with trees. I don't know why. It's not as if hitting the tree didn't happen to the other fellow in front of them.
Find Your Nearest Cliff
If you don't go near a cliff, it's not skiing. So head towards the nearest rock face immediately. Drop over the edge and audiences will be fainting in the aisles with suspense.
Of course, you don't want to be the one doing the dropping, so shove the other guy off first.
Take a Woman
If you're planning on a woodland jaunt, then take a girl with you. You won't have time for hanky panky, not with those blokes on your tail, but skiing is excellent foreplay. Plus you can impress her by dodging bullets. Of course, make sure she wears colourful clothing too. And some of those sexy goggles.
"Oh James! This never happened with the other fellow!"
Make Things Difficult for Yourself
Now if you really want to impress a girl, you need to make things that little bit more tricky. Try skiing with one foot. That always looks impressive. Even if you do have to get Vic Armstrong to do it for you.
One foot? That never happened to the other fellow.
Pull Some Phat Tricks
One-footed skiing is incredible. But while you're at it, you might as well try some other tricks. Jumps, flips, all that phat, groovy stuff. You could even try skiing backwards if you wanted - I never managed that. Or, if you want to be properly spectacular, do something really crazy, like go down a slope on a cello. That would be well and truly gnarly. (I bet that word was never used by the other fellow.)
Cause an Avalanche
All that jumping, flipping and diving near cliffs is just asking for trouble. But trouble is good. You want trouble. And nothing spells trouble like avalanche. A-v-a-l-a-n-c-h-e. Trouble. See? (Spelling lessons: there's something that never happened with the other fellow.)
Don't Play Nice
Now most people who go skiing spend their time hopping on and off ski lifts and drinking at the lodge. But if you're going to be as awesome as I was - and I'm everyone's fifth favourite James Bond - then don't be afraid to play dirty. Take off your skis and hit a man in the face with them.
Or use them to strangle a bloke to death.
Whatever you do, make it brutal and nasty. Audiences will love you for it - this kind of violence never happened with the other fellow.
Do Everything at Twice the Speed
Only boring men do things slowly. So make sure you ski hard and fast. Even better, get your cameraman (I recommend Willy Bogner or Alex Barbey) to shoot everything on skis at a low level, so it feels more dynamic.
Of course, once everyone got a look at my lightning fast skiing skills, I had to instruct editor John Glen (lovely chap - I'm sure he'd make a great future Bond director) to speed the rest of the film up Benny Hill-style so I didn't look like a slow coach away from the slopes.
Fight scenes at double the speed? It totally worked:
Now that DEFINITELY never happened to the other fellow.
Follow these simple steps and you'll seen be skiing like a true 007. Who knows? One day you might even be everyone's sixth favourite James Bond.