Previously On The 007 Project: I realized how closely Austin Powers really only parodies two specific Bond movies, Sean Connery passed away right when I was wrapping up his tenure on this project.
Who Is Our Bond?
This is George Lazenby’s only outing as 007. He was an Australian model, this was his first acting job, and I can only think he was hired because he vaguely resembles a young Sean Connery. While charming in a “can’t quite put your finger on it” way, he seems to just be going with James Bond rather than digging into the character at all. I will, however, later, get into why this works in this particular movie.
What’s The Plot?
SPECTRE continues to wreak havoc in the NATO countries and Bond is no closer to finding Blofeld than he was at the end of You Only Live Twice and as such, M takes him off the case officially, but tells him he’s welcome to do whatever on his own time. The other thing that’s going on here is that Bond has met the enigmatic and lovely Teresa “Tracy” De Vicenzo, a young widowed countess and they fall almost instantly in love. (Her dad also really loves James, so that’s nice)
Eventually, Bond heads to Switzerland where he encounters a disguised Blofeld, who has gathered a group of lost upperclass young women, who he is going to brainwash and send home with a virus to kill large portions of their population. Bond stops the plot, there’s some cool chase scenes on skis, and he goes home a marries Tracy, but, on their way to their honeymoon, Blofeld shoots her in the head. Roll credits.
I’m Adressing The Problematic
With the exception of the ethnic stereotypes of the Blofeld kidnapped girls, and that Bond gets in there by pretending to be gay, this is a refreshingly un-problematic Bond flick. Hooray!
Tell Me About The Girl
Let’s talk about Tracy! First and foremost she’s played by the legendary and incredible Diana Rigg, (RIP) so there’s just a level of skill and charm to her that’s lacking in some of the previous Bond girls, many of whom didn’t speak English or were early in their acting careers. Tracy and Bond meet while she’s trying to kill herself by walking into the ocean after her Italian Count husband has died and left her alone and bereft. They fall in love and her super posh father suggests they get married.
I mentioned above why having Lazenby was key to this working. I don’t think Connery, even younger, Dr. No aged Connery could have pulled off the Romantic comedy subplot with Tracy. It’s just not really in his wheelhouse, and it would have been way worse, if the older Connery of You Only Live Twice has been romancing the lovely young Rigg. Wouldn’t have worked at all.
Tracy is beautiful, and glamorous and eventually tragic.
Joe’s Bond Car Corner
The Song Is The Thing
I genuinely enjoyed this outing almost entirely because it’s pretty silly but also on a smaller scale than Thunderball and You Only Live Twice which was a great deal of fun.
Next week! Connery is back one last time for Diamonds Are Forever.