Bond in Review: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service part IV

Bond wakes up to a somewhat surreal scene-Blofeld saying “Merry Christmas”, decorating his Christmas tree, and monologging his master plan-while also explaining how 007 slipped up….he flubbed one of his genealogy facts, and a respectable baronet would not be such a philanderer. It’s not that the guy; in-universe, of course-was identical to the guy you faced in Japan two years ago.

 

Blofeld’s game this time is not starting World War III, but a biological weapon-“Virus Omega”-which will produce infertility in livestock and grain, therefore destroying the main sources of foods for millions-unless he’s recognized as a count and pardoned for his past work as SPECTRE chief. His instruments of Armageddon: The girls he’s hypnotized into spreading the virus.

 

Like I’ve written before, Savalas is a pretty unique Blofeld, far more physically imposing than Pleasence (although somewhat less creepy-he for instance lacks Pleasence’s eye scar, which is almost as much a trademark of the character as the cat-a cat which actually seldom appears in this film as well!). Also whereas the other Blofelds smoked, there’s just something in Savalas’s body language here, with the unique way he holds and smokes the cigarette.

Blofeld locks Bond in the cable car wheelroom, but not before showing him Campbell’s hung-and frozen-corpse outside, posed to look like a climbing accident. The Cable car wheelroom of course has a way out for Bond-although not an easy one, as he uses the cable to get out, with severe risk of being crushed, falling or getting severe rope burn.

 

 

However, Bond is not entirely bent on escape-he’s got to gather some more intel first-and find perhaps an easier way out. He goes back up to the Alpine room-staying out of sight this time-and sees how Blofeld intends to deploy his virus-using hypnotism including a control signal sent from Piz Gloria via radio, and having the virus in cosmetics.

Bond then steals a pair of skis and makes his way out-and we get the first ever James Bond ski chase. Along with car chases, or fights on or in trains, this seems to be one of the most repeated or homaged Bond action scenes, with ski chases appearing in three of Moore’s films.

 

 

With Dalton sort of giving it a bit of a funny twist….

And Brosnan of course getting his own sequence (Although not as well done IMO) in TWINE…

Craig’s ice sequence, like Dalton’s unfortunately wasn’t exactly a ski chase either.

But at least it wasn’t this….

 

The sequence-which includes Blofeld chasing Bond-something you definitely wouldn’t see Donald Pleasence do-isn’t perfect, as it suffers from some of the obvious special effects problems of the time in regards to actor close ups (But then again they hadn’t exactly fixed that by “Die Another Day” either as the above image demonstrates).

After he crashes, and after silencing two of Blofeld’s men by throwing one off the mountain and chocking the other one with a ski, Bond makes his way down to the local ski village, but Bunt and other men are in hot pursuit, although Bond manages to subdue one in very, very noisy fight in a room full of bells.

Bond tries to blend in with the crowd, but he’s unarmed, there’s too many people to make a scene, and Bunt is closing in. He also freaks out for a brief second when a guy in a crude polar bear costume takes his picture, in one of the film’s more bizarre moments.

Image result for On her majesty's secret service bear

Bond seems to resign himself to his fate, sitting down and using a last ditch effort to hide himself, while actress and singer Nina Van Pallent’s original song for the movie “Do You Know How Christmas trees are grown”-an unusually cheerful song for a Bond movie, but hey, they’re trying to sell the Christmas setting here) plays in the background. And pretty much on cue, to the lyrics “….they need love.” (We wouldn’t see Bond music editing this timely until Spy Who Loved Me I think) Tracey skates up-in the nick of time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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