OHMSS 50: Exclusive pictures from Piz Gloria (2019)

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

From May 25 to June 2, around 250 James Bond fans from 17 countries gathered for the fan event "OHMSS 50". The ambitious unofficial celebration, arranged by journalist and expert Bond travel guide Martijn Mulder from the web site On the tracks of 007, covered several of the film's locations in Portugal and Switzerland.

Eleven of the cast and crew members from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" returned to the scene as the caravan of fans reached Piz Gloria on the Schilthorn mountain in the Bernese Alps. Bond•O•Rama's Brian Iskov had the privilege of being an accredited member of the press for the concluding Swiss part of OHMSS50.

On the tracks of 007 (external link)
Schilthorn Piz Gloria (official site)

The rotating alpine restaurant Piz Gloria, only accessible by cable car, is of course famous as Bleuchamp's (Blofeld's) Institute for Allergy Research in EON's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". Nearly all of the film's scenes in The Alpine Room were shot on location after the film crew discovered the half-finished building on the Schilthorn peak during a recce in 1968. Construction had come to a standstill due to financial woes. EON Productions saw that the location perfectly matched the script's demands and agreed to pay for the completion.

When the restaurant opened its doors to the public in 1969, around the time of the film's worldwide release in cinemas, Piz Gloria wisely took its name from the film. The site has capitalized greatly on the 007 connection ever since. In recent times an interactive exhibition (Bond World), a Bond Cinema and an outdoor Bond Walk of Fame has been added to the attractions at the Schilthorn. The crafty Swiss even got away with a unique clause in the contract which allowed them to promote Piz Gloria as an official Bond location - a right that EON Productions has never before or since granted anyone. Thus the gift shop is packed with 007 merchandise not available elsewhere.

The anniversary celebration "OHMSS50" culminated on Saturday June 1 with a stupendous party at Piz Gloria. George Lazenby (007) led the starry VIP line-up, and the magnificent-sounding cover band Q the Music incorporated several of John Barry's musical cues from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" into their triumphant live concert in the low-ceilinged foyer.

Theser are Bond•O•Rama.dk's exclusive pictures from OHMSS50 at 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.

Journey to Blofeld's Hideaway. The cable car from the mountain village of Mürren is the only way to reach Piz Gloria on the Schilthorn peak. From the mid-station Birg (where Bond's colleague, Agent Campbell, is seen in the film) onwards you get a clear view of the fabled Bond location. A sight that will inevitably give any 007 fan an immense thrill.

On June 1, 2019 George Lazenby returned to Piz Gloria where he spent several months shooting "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" in late 1968. He has visited the alpine location several times and attended the opening of the Bond Walk of Fame in 2015.

George Lazenby perpetuates the ascent towards the peak of Schilthorn. Hungarian-born Catherine Schell who played Nancy in the film, stands to his right.

Steven Saltzman, son of the film's Canadian co-producer Harry Saltzman, and editor/second unit director John Glen admire the view from the cable car.

The view seen from the restaurant itself, known in the film as The Alpine Room. The 007 logos on the window panes were added later. The outer ring of the floor completes a full rotation every 45 minutes.

The Schilthorn peak lies 3000 metres above the sea with an unobstructed view of the three neighbouring mountains, Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. On a clear day like this you can see all the way to Mont Blanc in the French alps and The Black Forest in Germany.

The exterior of Piz Gloria has lately been covered with 007 logos. This terrace was previously a helipad, built by EON Productions for filming purposes. It was remodelled into a viewing platform in 1988-90.

A proud representative of Bond•O•Rama at the ultimate 007 Mecca. Though much has changed since the EON film crew shot here in 1968, Piz Gloria is still highly recognizable from the outside.

Among the gimmicks added to Piz Gloria by its current owners is the Skyline Shot: a metallic tube fashioned as the iconic gunbarrel from the EON films' pre-titles. A small support stand for cameras cleverly enables the use of self-timers.

Bond meets the Girls. After a media conference at Piz Gloria the VIP's gathered for group photos on the terrace. From left to right: Jenny Hanley (credited as Irish girl), Catherine Schell (Nancy), George Lazenby (James Bond 007), Helena Ronee (Israeli girl) og Sylvana Henriques (Jamaican girl).

The OHMSS50 VIP guests at Piz Gloria. From the left Stefan Zürcher (skiing stunts), Steven Saltzman (son of producer Harry Saltzman), Sylvana Henriques (actress), John Glen (editor/second unit director), Erich Glavitza (stunt driver), Catherine Schell (actress), George LazenbyHelena Ronee (actress), Vic Armstrong (stuntman), Wendy Leech (daughter of stunt coordinator George Leech), Eddie Stacey (stunt man). Not pictured here: Terry Ackland-Snow (draftsman/art department), Terry Mountain (actor).

British actor and stuntman Terry Mountain (Raphael) chats with Austrian race car driver Erich Glavitza who taught Diana Rigg stock-car racing for the film.

87-year-old John Glen being interviewed for TV. Bond•O•Rama.dk also had a chat with Glen who advanced to the director's chair for five Bond films in the 80s after having edited and directed second unit on several previous Bonds. Our interview with Glen will be published at a later date.

Even the restrooms at Piz Gloria take the James Bond theme and run with it. A tip for the gentlemen: Use the stall at the very left. When you close the door from the inside, a very special multi-media surprise is activated in the ceiling!

Detail from the Piz Gloria mens room.

The stairs leading from the foyer to the Alpine Room still has its iconic gilded cast-iron grill. This was where George Lazenby's James Bond met Blofeld's Angels of Death on October 23, 1968. EON's art department later built a copy of the stairs at Pinewood Studios in England where the scenes in the Piz Gloria foyer were shot.

As an added bonus, most of the VIP guests were seated among the fans at the gala dinner in the Alpine Room. Bond•O•Rama's dinner partner was Eddie Stacey (right) who was one of George Lazenby's stunt doubles for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and also doubled for Terence Cooper in Columbia's "Casino Royale" (1967). In the 80's Stacey even worked in Denmark for famed director Erik Balling who hired him to stunt coordinate the fistfights in the local smash hit "Midt om natten".

Sir Hillary's Night Out. OHMSS50 was blessed with brilliant sunshine from beginning to end. Here, George Lazenby has a quiet moment to himself while the sun sets behind the Bernese Alps.

The boys from James Bond Radio enjoy a bit of curling in the evening sun. The arena was mounted for the occasion and is not a part of Piz Gloria's regular entertainment.

The OHMSS50 arrangers were undescribably lucky with the weather. The Piz Gloria staffers claimed that they had only seen such magnificent sunsets twice in their lifetime.

The tablets in the snow mark the so-called 007 Walk of Fame.

Dusk at Piz Gloria.

Try. For one night only: Blackjack and roulette in the Alpine Room.

Late in the evening, Q the Music played live in the Piz Gloria foyer. After they performed a 20-minute medley of John Barry music score for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" for the very first time, Steven Saltzman, son of the film's co-producer Harry Saltzman, took the stage and declared to the band: "You have done my father proud". For once, band leader Warren Ringham was left speechless.

Over and Out. Relieved and excited, OHMSS50 arranger Martijn Mulder thanks everyone for an unforgettable night. We thank you, Martijn!

OHMSS50 ON BOND•O•RAMA.DK:
More location pictures from Mürren, Lauterbrunnen, Birg and Bern to follow shortly.

MORE GEORGE LAZENBY:
Video report: "James Bond in Oslo" (2016)
Interview with George Lazenby, part 1 (Oslo 2016)
Interview with George Lazenby, part 2 (Oslo 2016)
Bond•O•Rama meets George Lazenby - photos from Oslo 2016
Bond•O•Rama meets George Lazenby - photos from Malmø 2014
All posts: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969)

See the official OHMSS50 photos on the Schilthorn Piz Gloria web site (external link)

Bond•O•Rama.dk thanks Martijn Mulder, Samuel Bohren (Schilthorn Piz Gloria) and Maria Adrianzén (Ferretti Tourism Board).

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