|Remembering past adventures.|
|And remembering them again.|
In retrospect the filmmakers needn’t have bothered with such an orgy of self-justification. It’s unnecessary because the movie stands up brilliantly on its own, and also, perhaps, as the most important chapter in the entire James Bond story.
|The slippers of the princess...|
|and the Prince Charming who finds them.|
|The Fairy Tale Wedding.|
|A Fairy Tale shattered: Unhappily Ever After.|
Finally, Tracy even proves herself eminently capable in physical combat. Importantly, her final battle with one of Blofeld’s hulking guards is scored to the James Bond, 007 theme. Intriguingly, Bond is virtually a non-presence in this particular scene. He’s still on the helicopter, outside, at some distance. Yet Tracy fights to that well-established, even iconic theme, and the suggestion is, of course, that she is worthy of it. That she is a Bond-ian reflection, and therefore 007’s soul mate.
|Once you've known love, the world is not enough. Especially for a Bond.|
That is why, of course, the James Bond story qualifies as tragedy. A man who has hidden from love finally lets it into his life, only to lose it.
We have seen, today, how Dalton and Craig excel by playing a human, not superman James Bond, and one gets the feeling that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was designed to provide a vehicle for just that kind of portrayal. It’s a shame that Lazenby isn’t quite good enough to carry the picture. And yet, I don’t feel -- as I did some years back -- that he is a huge impediment to the film’s success, either.
|Bond, certain in deed.|
|Bond, uncertain in life.|
|Bond, shattered by death.|
Whenever I watch the film, I find myself dreading the ending, dreading that final, unforgettable shot of a shattered windshield and by extension, a shattered Bond. It’s a haunting finale to a great and generally underrated entry in the Bond catalog. There isn’t one other Bond film that ends on such a tragic, emotional note, or leaves the audience with a lump in its collective throat.