was the sixth film in the series and unique from previous Bond films in
a number of ways. The book was the tenth novel in Fleming's Bond series,
written in Jamaica while the first film, Dr.No, was being filmed in the
area. It was the second book considered to be part of his 'Blofeld' trilogy,
with 'Thunderball' and 'You Only Live Twice', and tells of Bond's continuing
hunt for the criminal mastermind after the Thunderball affair. Broccoli
and Saltzman had intended to use the story after 'Goldfinger' but 'Thunderball'
became available to them after the legal battle over the rights was resolved.
OHMSS was rescheduled to be made after that, but had to be further postponed
when a warm Swiss winter failed to produce enough snow for the required
scenes, being replaced by 'You Only Live Twice'.
After promises made by Broccoli and Saltzman, the film became Peter Hunt's directorial debut, being a film editor and second unit director on the five previous films, and chose to create a more realistic story by following the original plot very closely. This was the only Bond film he directed and was the last one in which he had an involvement. Despite the cutting of several scenes, the movie's runtime of 142 minutes made it the longest Bond film to date, a record held until 'Casino Royale' was released in 2006. It was the first film since 'Goldfinger' to show scenes from previous movies in its opening title sequence and also features the only 'gun barrel' sequence where Bond drops to a kneeling position to fire at the camera.James Bond has been involved in 'Operation Bedlam' for over a year, trying to track down Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his global terrorist SPECTRE organisation. With no leads to follow or further evidence of activity, Bond becomes disillusioned with MI6's continuing insistence on the search and hands in his resignation from the service.
Whilst considering his position, Bond comes into contact with Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo ('Tracy'), first when saving her from drowning on a beach and later, in a casino in Lisbon, Portugal, where he saves her reputation by paying a gambling debt on her behalf, She invites him back to her hotel to thank him but, on leaving the hotel the following day, he is attacked and kidnapped by unknown henchmen and taken to offices belonging to Marc-Ange Draco who is the leader of Unione Corse, a huge European crime syndicate. It turns out that Tracy is Draco's daughter and only child and he believes that the only way to save his daughter from further suicide attempts is for her to get married and settled down. He makes Bond a £1million pound offer to marry her, which Bond refuses but agrees to continue romancing her if Draco's 'business contacts' can help him to locate Blofeld.
Bond returns to London but argues with 'M' at MI6 headquarters and storms out, subsequently travelling back to Portugal to attend Draco's birthday party where his romance with Tracy starts to blossom. Draco receives information that leads Bond to a law firm in Switzerland where he finds evidence that Blofeld has contacted the London College of Arms in an effort to try and acquire confirmation of his right to the name and title Comte Balthazar de Bleuville. Bond visits the college in order to get enough background knowledge to allow him to impersonate one of their representatives and, during his education, discovers that he might be a descendant of Sir Thomas Bond whose family motto is 'The world is not enough'.
Assuming the identity of 'Sir Hilary Bray', Bond arranges to meet personally with Blofeld on the pretext that confirmation is required of a genetically-inherited physical condition, a lack of ear lobes, but Blofeld gets ahead (he thinks) of the game by having plastic surgery to both provide him with the necessary attribute and to disguise his face from the authorities still trying to track him down. Bond eventually gets to visit Blofeld in Piz-Gloria, his stronghold in the Swiss Alps where he and his assistant Irma Bunt have been carrying out a plan to brainwash British girls, in order to use them to carry biological warfare agents back to the UK to destroy the agricultural economy, under the pretext of running a clinic to cure them of allergies. 007 discovers what they are up to and is imprisoned, but manages to free himself and escapes from the retreat via the ski slopes, killing a number of his SPECTRE pursuers in the process.
Making it back to Lauterbrunnen, the town at the base of the mountains, an exhausted Bond is rescued by Tracy, who has come to the area after finding out from her father that Bond may be there. After a car chase, they manage to escape but a heavy blizzard forces them to take refuge in a barn where Bond proposes to her. The following day an attempt is made by Blofeld to kill them with an avalanche. Bond manages to escape but Tracy is captured and taken back to Piz-Gloria.
Bond returns to London but is told that they have received a ransom demand from Blofeld and forbid any action by Bond. Ignoring this, bond enlists Draco's help and, using the resources of Draco's criminal organisation, the mountain-top retreat is assaulted. The installation is destroyed and Tracy is rescued but Blofeld gets away via a bob-sled run and manages to escape despite being pursued by Bond, injuring his neck in the process. After this partial mission failure Bond travels to Germany where he gets married to Tracy and the two of them drive off on their honeymoon. A while later, while stopping on the road above a mountain pass to remove the floral decorations on their car, another vehicle containing Blofeld, in a neck brace, and Irma Bunt drives past firing a machine gun from which a stray bullet hits and kills Tracy. The final scene shows Bond sitting in the car, with Tracy in his arms, explaining to a passing motorcycle policeman "It's quite alright really, She's having a rest. We'll be going on soon. There's no hurry, you see - we have all the time in the world…"
As Sean Connery had resigned from the role of Bond during the filming 'You Only Live Twice and had refused an offer of $1million to make the next film, the producers considered using Roger Moore as the next Bond in 'The Man with the Golden Gun' which was set in Cambodia. By the time the offer was made Moore had already signed up for another series of 'The Saint' and political instability in the region rendered it unusable. Moore refused the role in the alternative OHMSS for the same reason and Timothy Dalton turned it down because, at the time, he felt he was too young to play the part.
Other actors considered for the role included English actors John Richardson and Anthony Rogers, Americans Roy Thinnes, Adam West and Robert Campbell, Dutchman Hans De Vries and Australian George Lazenby. Eon eventually selected Lazenby, apparently after seeing him in a Fry's Chocolate Cream advert. This was not just his first starring role, but his first actual movie. The part was confirmed when he impressed producer Broccoli of his aggressive abilities by accidentally punching a stunt man in the face. Although he was offered a seven-film deal he was persuaded by his manager Ronan O'Rahilly (of pirate radio fame) that the Bond saga was becoming a bit dated and did not have much future so he only signed up for the one film.
Brigitte Bardot was offered the part of Tracy but had already signed up to star in the film 'Shalako' with Connery. Catherine Deneuve was also considered but the producers finally settled on Diana Rigg, mainly due to her portrayal of Emma Peel in 'The Avengers'. It was Broccoli who suggested Telly Savalas for the part of Blofeld and George Baker was signed up for the part of Sir Hilary Bray although, in fact, he ended up doing the voice-over for much of Lazenby's 'impersonation' of him. Another actor who was overdubbed was Gabriele Ferzetti as Draco, due to his heavy Italian accent.
The German actress Ilse Steppat played Irma Bunt in her only English-speaking role and it was also her last acting role as she died less than a week after the release of the film. The 'Angels of Death' were the twelve girls being brainwashed by Blofeld at Piz-Gloria and they were played by Ingrit Black, Mona Chong, Julie Ege, Jenny Hanley, Anouska Hempel, Sylvana Henriques, Helena Ronee, Catherina von Schell, Angela Scoular, Dani Sheridan, Zara and Joanna Lumley.
Blofeld's stronghold, Piz-Gloria, is a revolving restaurant atop the Schilthorn mountain near the Swiss village of Mürren and its only access is via cable car. At the time, it was still being constructed and was only able to be used after EON agreed to finance the electrical supply, provision of a helipad and the refit of the interior. It was named Piz-Gloria after the name used in the film. The soundtrack was composed, arranged and conducted by John Barry and it was his fifth successive Bond film. An instrumental title theme was used due to the difficulty of composing a song with the title words in the lyrics. Barry also composed the haunting love song, "We Have All the Time in the World", with lyrics supplied by Hal David and the vocals recorded by Louis Armstrong, for whom it was his last recording as he died two years later. The film premiere was at London's Odeon, Leicester Square, on 18th December. It was the first Bond film to be recorded in stereo sound and the Odeon had to have a new sound system installed in order to do it justice.
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also see Bill Harry's Sixties pages on Sean Connery as 007 and Diana Rigg
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