George LazenbyThis is a featured page

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Lazenby is the second official actor to portray the British secret agent, following Sean Connery, who had become a cultural icon in the role. Lazenby had a difficult task in filling these shoes, and nearly everything about his portrayal of Bond has been controversial. Lazenby quit the role of Bond right before the premiere, citing he would get other acting roles, and that his Bond contract, which was one and a half pages thick, was too demanding on him. Lazenby is however, arguably the fittest bond yet.

Appears in:
Biography:
George Lazenby's first serious acting role was as James Bond in the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). He was a model before. He aproached the producer at a hairdresser.The film's producers, perhaps mistrusting Lazenby's ability to carry the picture, took the unusual step of overdubbing Lazenby's voice with that of George Baker in major scenes in which Bond impersonated Baker's character. The technique had never been used in a Bond film for a leading actor whose first language was English. It was rumoured that Lazenby had been "difficult to work with". Lazenby subsequently admitted that he had neither the maturity nor the experience to completely understand the studio system. According to an interview with Lazenby, the difficulties were due to director Peter R. Hunt refusing to talk directly to Lazenby after Lazenby was too brusque in passing on a request that Hunt's friends clear a set before filming.

Certainly, Lazenby's James Bond is a man less amused by life than was Connery's, less accessible, more a man who lives from ruse to ruse, more stoic and resigned. Until he falls in love, he is a hedonist without pleasure. This treatment was the deliberate approach of the film's director Peter Hunt, who has stated in an interview that "I was very insistent that we stay with the story of the book". Hunt reshot scenes where he was unhappy with Lazenby's portrayal of emotion. Critical response to On Her Majesty's Secret Service remains sharply divided as well, affecting estimates of George Lazenby's potential as James Bond. It follows the plot of the novel more closely than did the other film adaptations of the eponymous source novels, including serious dramatic subject matter pivotal to the development of Bond's character: Bond's contemplated resignation from MI6; his comically botched impersonation of a sexually ascetic genealogist at a mountaintop allergies clinic for beautiful young women; and his brief, tragic marriage to the daughter of a Corsican crime syndicate leader. American movie reviewer Leonard Maltin has suggested that had Sean Connery held the leading role, On Her Majesty's Secret Service would have epitomised the series.

Classic Line:
  • "This never happened to the other fellow!"

Trivia:
  • In 1968, Lazenby was the highest-paid male model in the world.

Critical Acclaim:

Although the film was not as successful as previous Bond films at the box office, some aficionados consider it as one of the best films of the James Bond series, with many critics feeling George Lazenby "nailed" the character of James Bond as described in the novels. Commercially, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is widely believed to have paled in comparison to the previous Bond film You Only Live Twice and to the following, Diamonds Are Forever (both featured Sean Connery as James Bond); this has been partly attributed to a poor publicity campaign. In fact, the film was not much less successful than You Only Live Twice, taking about 80% the box office gross with 74% of the budget, and was the second highest grossing film of 1969. (It has also been suggested that it was partly arresting a slide in what was at the time a declining franchise; receipts for You Only Live Twice already reflected a substantial decline from the previous hit Thunderball, yet, in comparison, the receipts for On Her Majesty's Secret Service declined at a lesser rate than did those of You Only Live Twice). When adjusted for inflation, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the median performer of the entire James Bond franchise

Life After Bond:

  • On December 17th, 1969, Lazenby was a guest star on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson". This was just one day before the premiere of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Lazenby showed up as the new James Bond and Carson's main guest sporting long hair and a full beard. Lazenby's appearance was a surprise to the studio audience and millions of TV viewers who were getting their first glimpse of the new 007, and instead of getting the clean-cut look of Sean Connery that they were so accustomed to, they saw someone that didn't look like Bond, with his long hair and beard. Lazenby then furthered the studio and TV audiences surprise when he told Carson that On Her Majesty's Secret Service was going to be his only Bond film, as he had decided he was quitting the role and opting out of his contract. Carson had asked Lazenby how many Bond films he was planning on doing, and Lazenby's response that he was quitting the biggest movie franchise of all time after just one film got a laugh from Carson and the audience. When Lazenby told Carson that he was in fact being serious, the audience and Carson were clearly surprised. This turned out to be one of the most remembered episodes in the history of The Tonight Show, when George Lazenby surprised everyone with his announcement on the night that the entire show was dedicated to Bond and Lazenby's new film. Bond producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were watching the show and were furious with Lazenby's appearance and announcement, as they felt both would severely hurt On Her Majesty's Secret Service's box-office gross.




Bond Stats:
  • Martinis: 1
  • Kills: 8
  • "Bond, James Bond": 2
  • Women in Bed: 3




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2mason1brian bond idea 0 Jun 22 2014, 9:40 PM EDT by 2mason1brian
Thread started: Jun 22 2014, 9:40 PM EDT  Watch
Next bond film have current James Bond walk pass a scene with all past bonds playing poker as cameos
1  out of 1 found this valuable. Do you?    
Anonymous Complex and Rewarding 0 Mar 8 2012, 8:57 PM EST by Anonymous
 
Thread started: Mar 8 2012, 8:57 PM EST  Watch
OHMSS/Lazenby is one of my top favorites in the series. Lazenby was three dimensional and complex in his portrayal of Bond. It would have been great to see how he would have presented Bond had he continued in the role. His one turn was very rewarding but has always left me wanting more than the one movie.
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Anonymous My 3rd Favourite Bond 0 Dec 23 2011, 6:48 AM EST by Anonymous
 
Thread started: Dec 23 2011, 6:48 AM EST  Watch
I think that George Lazenby was a downright AWESOME Bond! I mean, he was ( though technically Australian) very good at British accents, he was VERY fit, and he was a good gunner/fighter! I would have liked it if George had made more Bond films. Although Sean Connery is still top for me (Daniel Craig being second) George Lazenby is a rock solid 3rd in my books! Roger Moore was extremely good at being British and he was a good fighter, but there was something a little bit gay about him. At times he was anything but gay, but in other times he did seem to be more of a pretty boy than a tough guy double O agent. Great job George!!! :D
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