7:00 PM, 5th August, 2017
His name is Lazenby, George Lazenby. The Australian model who landed his first-ever acting gig taking over the role of James Bond from Sean Connery was for years known more for walking away from the role than landing it. Fortunately, the decades since have been kinder, with Lazenby’s only outing as 007 – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – now widely regarded as one of the best Bond films.
But becoming Bond is just one part of this surprisingly entertaining docu-drama-comedy about the mechanic-turned-car-salesman-turned-model-turned-actor’s improbable life. It turns out Lazenby is a bloody good storyteller, as we discover firsthand when director Josh Greenbaum sits him down in front of a camera and asks him to tell us his larger-than-life story.
And while Lazenby’s story alone is worth the price of admission, Becoming Bond doesn’t stop there. The film intersperses interview footage with colourful re-enactments of his crazy anecdotes, enlisting actors like Josh Lawson and Jane Seymour to bring it all to life. But despite the film’s irreverence, Becoming Bond has much more going for it – as a celebration of life, a mediation on the choices we make, and a touching love story at heart. Not to be missed.
8:45 PM, 5th August, 2017
George Lazenby did Bond only once, and it was this one: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. An action epic with intrigue and actual espionage, the film is one of the most loyal screen adaptations of an Ian Fleming novel, untainted by any of those bonkers Q gadgets.
At the story’s opening, MI6 doesn’t know where Bond is. The hunt for international criminal Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Savalas) has taken too long with no results. Just when James is to be pulled from the case, he crosses paths with the beautiful (of course) and enigmatic Tracy di Vincenzo (Rigg), whose shady aristocrat father may be able to provide a vital clue to Blofeld’s whereabouts.
Performing all of his hand-to-hand combat stunts himself, Lazenby’s physical prowess remained unmatched by any of the Bonds, until Daniel Craig came along. The Swiss Alps locations are jaw-dropping, and the ski stunts that occur upon it remain an exhilarating highpoint in Bond action to this day. And then there’s that final scene: arguably a turning point for the entire series. This is one of the best Bond films, and all without that “other fella.”