Category: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

“OHMSS50”: Exclusive chat with Vic Armstrong (2019)

INTERVIEW

 
On Monday October 5, 2020, Vic Armstrong turns 74. The legendary English stunt performer began his Bond career at the age of 20 when he was the first ninja to slide down a rope into Blofeld's volcano lair in "You Only Live Twice" (EON 1967).

Vic Armstrong since doubled for George Lazenby in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (EON 1969), Roger Moore in "Live and Let Die" (EON 1973) and Sean Connery in "Never Say Never Again" (Taliafilm 1983) before graduating to second unit director and stunt co-ordinator on three of Pierce Brosnan's Bond films: "Tomorrow Never Dies" (EON 1997), "The World is Not Enough" (EON 1999) and "Die Another Day" (EON 2002).

> Read our previous interview with Vic Armstrong from "Bond in Motion" (2014)

Bond•O•Rama.dk met up with Vic Armstrong again in Switzerland in June 2019 during the "OHMSS50" anniversary celebration at Piz Gloria/Schilthorn. We had a chat about Vic's second unit work on "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" back in 1969 and some of the other exotic Bond locations he has had the privilege of working on.

Vic Armstrong at Piz Gloria, June 2019. Photo credit: Brian Iskov/Bond•O•Rama.dk

Of all the filming locations you've worked on for the Bond films, which one is your favourite?
They're all fantastic, but this [Piz Gloria and Schilthorn] is iconic. I was here for three-four months [for "OHMSS" in 1969]. It just went on and on with the second unit. We stayed through. The snow came, and it melted while we were still shooting. Fabulous.

I'd only been in the business about five years when I got the call to come here, and I was one of the second group of stuntmen to arrive. We came here basically to do the attack at the Schilthorn where the helicopters come in and we jump out with the flamethrowers, jump into the snow, then run up and attack Blofeld. So we did that. Then we did the car chase down in Lauterbrunnen, and then I stayed up with the second unit and we did all the rest of it. I remember the first night I arrived it was dark when I got here, and they sent us down to Stäger [the local sporting goods store] to get fitted for ski equipment. They said, "Would you mind learning to ski?". Fine, well, I am paid to do that, you know! So they kitted us out with all the ski gear and I walked back to the hotel. It was a moonlit night in the winter, and it was absolutely stunning. I was looking across at the Eiger ... Ah. It was bright as daylight. Just amazing. I've never forgotten that.

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“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”: First Danish VHS retail cover (1989)

In 1989 Warner Home Video issued all of the James Bond 007 films (except the Columbia-produced "Casino Royale" from 1967) on retail VHS through local distributor Metronome Video. The Bond films had not previously been available for sale in Denmark.

This initial retail series had specially designed cover art with raster graphics on a metallic grey background which was obviously meant to resemble Maurice Binder's famous gunbarrel design.

The sixth cassette in the series was "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (EON 1969):

“OHMSS50”: Pictures from Mürren, Lauterbrunnen and Bern (2019)

2019 marks the 50-year anniversary of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (EON 1969).

The following photo report concludes our coverage of the unofficial fan event "OHMSS50". Bond•O•Rama was invited to participate in the second half of the celebration that took place at and around Piz Gloria in Switzerland from May 31 to June 2, 2019.

OHMSS50, part 1: Exclusive pictures from Piz Gloria

All photos on this page © Brian Iskov/Bond•O•Rama.dk. DO NOT PUBLISH, EDIT OR REDISTRIBUTE ANY PICTURE CONTENT WITHOUT SOURCE REFERENCE.

Mürren

Much of the location shooting of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was centered around the Schilthorn Peak in the Bernese Alps. From October 1968 to June 1969, EON Productions set up base in the nearby Alpine village of Mürren, 1638 metres above sea level.

Mürren was then, and still is, a car-free zone. The OHMSS50 arrangers did however manage to transport a 1970 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow up into the village via cable car. A private chauffeur drove the VIP guests back and forth between Hotel Eiger and the Schilthorn cable car station (which amounts to a ten minute-walk). In this photo, George Lazenby is being guarded by SPECTRE henchmen in orange jackets.

A nice touch: Blofeld's white cat lies in the back of the Rolls Royce.

Michael Häckl from the website 007collector.com is pointing out the location where EON Productions built their own church tower in 1968 because they found the actual church in Mürren to be rather unspectacular. The establishing shots featuring the tower were never used in the final film but for a while the structure remained a popular playground for the village kids who enjoyed jumping from the tower and into the snow. Today the square lies next to Café Liv.

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“James Bond in Oslo” (2016): A day with George Lazenby – VIDEO

James Bond●O●Rama.dk is back after a two month hiatus!

This weekend (May 30-June 3, 2019) Bond●O●Rama.dk is taking part in the unofficial 50-year anniversary celebrations of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (EON 1969). The ambitious 9-day fan event covered 007 filming locations in Portugal and culminates today with a huge party in Piz Gloria at the Schilthorn mountain in Switzerland. Among the attending VIPs are George Lazenby, John Glen, several of Blofeld's Angels of Death and a few stunt people. Pictures to follow soon!

Until then I am proud to present the online premiere of the video I shot at a previous event, "James Bond in Oslo" in 2016. The edited footage was first shown on April 7, 2019 before a special 4K screening of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" at the CinemaxX theatre in Copenhagen.

Music credits:
Eddy "Spy" (CC BY-NC 4.0)
John Bartmann "Secret Agent Rock" (CC0 1.0)

"James Bond in Oslo": Photos from the event (2016)
"James Bond in Oslo": Interview with George Lazenby, part 1 (2016)
"James Bond in Oslo": Interview with George Lazenby, part 2 (2016)

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”: Danish souvenir programme (1969)

COLLECTABLE

 
In December 1969, the Danish branch of United Artists released this 16-page souvenir programme in A6 format to mark the Danish cinema release of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (EON Productions 1969). The programme was distributed for free in selected cinemas during the film's theatrical run in Denmark.

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