Tag: George Lazenby

OHMSS 50: 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 DO NOT PUBLISH, EDIT OR REDISTRIBUTE ANY PICTURE CONTENT WITHOUT SOURCE REFERENCE.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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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.

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Maryam d’Abo: Exclusive interview (2016)

On September 2, 2016, James Bond•O•Rama.dk had the pleasure of talking to Maryam d'Abo during the "James Bond in Oslo" event.

The British-French actress starred as Kara Milovy opposite Timothy Dalton's James Bond 007 in "The Living Daylights" (EON Productions 1987).

In 2002, Maryam d'Abo co-wrote, produced and hosted the TV documentary "Bond Girls are Forever" in which she interviewed a string of actresses from EON Productions' James Bond film series. The interviews were edited into a tie-in book also titled "Bond Girls are Forever". The book was co-written by John Cork and published by Boxtree in 2003. Maryam d'Abo has since revisited and re-edited the documentary twice, in 2006 and again in 2012.

The following is a transcript of our chat in Oslo. Our time was sadly limited to 15 minutes, as Maryam d'Abo had to rush to the airport.

Maryam D'Abo (with David Fellowes) as Queen Rosalind of Denmark in "The Prince and Me 2" (2006) - framegrab

James Bond•O•Rama.dk: Didn't you play the Queen of Denmark in a film – or rather, a queen of Denmark?
Maryam d'Abo: Yes, I did.

I believe she was called Queen Rosalind?
Maryam d'Abo: Can't remember the name, but I did play a Danish queen in "The Prince and Me 2: The Royal Wedding" (2006) with this American actress [Kam Heskin, ed.]. We shot outside of Prague. I went back to Prague after "Doctor Zhivago" (2002), the TV series, yeah.

So you didn't go anywhere near Denmark.
Maryam d'Abo: No. But I've been to Copenhagen. I did something there ... Gosh. I went there a couple of years ago to do something. It might have been a commercial. I was flown in to Copenhagen and stayed in a really nice boutique hotel. Actually, this [Oslo] was reminding me a little of Copenhagen with the docks and all. But it's not as nice as Copenhagen. It was not a movie, more like a commercial or something like that, because I was only there very briefly for three days. But it was definitely a job.

Did you do a junket for "The Living Daylights" in Copenhagen?
Maryam d'Abo: No. Never. I did Vienna, a big junket, and we premiered in Amsterdam.


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Exclusive interview: Caroline Munro & Martine Beswick – part 1 (2016)

On September 1, 2016, Bond•O•Rama.dk had the pleasure of sharing a table with legendary Bond girls Caroline Munro and Martine Beswick. This is the first half of our three-way conversation.

Caroline Munro (b. 1949) adorned the set of “James Bond 007 - Casino Royale” (1967) at the age of 16 as an uncredited "Guard Girl”. Ten years later, she made quite a sensation as Stromberg's scantily clad helicopter pilot Naomi in "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977).

tswlm-framegrab-4
Caroline Munro as Naomi with Roger Moore in "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) • framegrab

Martine Beswick (b. 1941) made her striking film debut as Zora, one of the fighting gypsy women in "From Russia with Love" (1963). The film's director, Terence Young, asked Beswick to return for "Thunderball" (1965), now in the role of Nassau agent and Bond ally Paula Caplan.

Martine Beswick as Paula Caplan with Sean Connery in "Thunderball" (1965) • framegrab

Beswick, now 75 years old, has since retired from acting, whereas 67-year-old Munro still does the occasional tiny cameo. The two lovely and charming women are however much in demand as guests of honour at horror, sci-fi and James Bond conventions all around the world. Beswick and Munro prefer to travel and appear together, and as the bosom friends merrily chattered away, completing each other's sentences almost telepathically, their chemistry was immediately apparent to Bond•O•Rama's special correspondent.

Ditto their contrasting personalities. As soon as Caroline Munro learned that yours truly was yet to have lunch at 3pm, she warmly offered to share her pot of tea with me. She came across as sweet, motherly and somewhat innocent compared to the more devil-may-care, outspoken "big sis" Martine Beswick. Both were exceedingly fun and endearing.

Bond•O•Rama met Caroline Munro and Martine Beswick at the design hotel The Thief in Oslo, where George Lazenby had held court at a press conference earlier that day. This first part of the interview (edited for clarity) primarily touches upon subjects related to James Bond 007. Part two, focusing on Beswick and Munro's film work outside of the Bond series, will follow shortly. [EDIT: Read part two here.]

A very special thank you to Morten Steingrimsen and “James Bond in Oslo” for facilitating this interview.

Bond•O•Rama meets George Lazenby: "James Bond in Oslo"
Exclusive career interview: George Lazenby, part 1
Exclusive career interview: George Lazenby, part 2

Caroline Munro, Brian Iskov and Martine Beswick in Oslo 01.09.2016 - © Brian Iskov
Caroline Munro, Brian Iskov and Martine Beswick in Oslo 01.09.2016 - © Brian Iskov

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Exclusive interview: George Lazenby discusses his film career, part 2 (2016)

James Bond•O•Rama.dk got an exclusive one-on-one interview with George Lazenby, when the 76-year old former 007 star visited Oslo in Norway on Thursday 1 September 2016.

Read part one of the George Lazenby career interview (the 1970's)

George Lazenby i David Mason-smoking på The Thief, Oslo 01.09.2016 - foto © Brian Iskov
George Lazenby in a Mason & Sons tuxedo at The Thief, Oslo 01.09.2016 - photo © Brian Iskov

While in Oslo, George Lazenby was the guest of honor at a 4K gala screening of his only performance as James Bond 007, ”On Her Majesty's Secret Service”. This marked the first time since the film's world premiere in 1969 that George Lazenby sat through the film from beginning to end. When he was asked afterwards what it felt like watching his 29-year old self playing James Bond on the cinema screen, Lazenby promptly responded:

”I wish I had done it better!”


INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE LAZENBY

PART TWO: THE 1980'S AND BEYOND

By Brian Iskov, Oslo 01.09.2016

Bond•O•Rama (Brian Iskov): ”On Her Majesty's Secret Service” is my favorite James Bond film.
George Lazenby: Well, you have good taste.
Bond•O•Rama: But you have 60 other credits in your filmography that people rarely talk about.
George Lazenby: Oh yeah. They never talk about 'em.
Bond•O•Rama: So I thought that's what we're gonna do.
George Lazenby: Oh, if I remember them.

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Exclusive interview: George Lazenby discusses his film career, part 1 (2016)

James Bond•O•Rama.dk got an exclusive one-on-one interview with George Lazenby, when the 76-year old former 007 star visited Oslo in Norway on Thursday 1 September 2016.

George Lazenby in a David Mason tux at The Thief, Oslo 01.09.2016 - photo © Brian Iskov
George Lazenby in a David Mason tux at The Thief, Oslo 01.09.2016 - photo © Brian Iskov

In most of his interviews and public appearances, George Lazenby happily reels off the same 10-15 anecdotes about his brief tenure as James Bond 007. The idea behind this conversation was to take a Random Roles-style approach and dig deeper into his filmography, which after all counts 60 credited film and TV roles and spans almost half a century from 1969 to today.

Bond•O•Rama (Brian Iskov): ”On Her Majesty's Secret Service” is my favorite James Bond film.
George Lazenby: Well, you have good taste.
Bond•O•Rama: But you have 60 other credits in your filmography that people rarely talk about.
George Lazenby: Oh yeah. They never talk about 'em.
Bond•O•Rama: So I thought that's what we're gonna do.
George Lazenby: Oh, if I remember them.

The short time frame – 13 minutes – allotted to our one-on-one with George Lazenby obviously curbed the level of detail in both questions and answers. As it is, Lazenby tends to go off on tangents (more often than not about his manliness and/or sexual prowess), which is why some of his comments only bear a tenuous relation to the question or the film referred to.

A few extra insights have been added from the Q&A that George Lazenby did prior to the screening of ”On Her Majesty's Secret Service” in the Vika cinema later that same evening.

Maryam d'Abo and George Lazenby at Vika Kino 01.09.16 - photo © Brian Iskov
Maryam d'Abo and George Lazenby at Vika Kino 01.09.16 - photo © Brian Iskov

P.S.: George Lazenby's memoirs have been in the offing for quite some time now, but there is still no publishing date as such. At his press conference in Oslo, Lazenby explained that he had hired an American ghost writer for the job, but that the writer had difficulty capturing Lazenby's particular brand of Australian humor.

On the other hand, a documentary on George Lazenby's life and career, ”This Never Happened to the Other Fella”, is currently in post-production. Directed by Andrew Lumley, the show will air as part of the Limelight Documentary Series on the US streaming platform Hulu.

Morten Steingrimsen, the head organizer of the ”James Bond in Oslo” event, has seen a rough cut of ”This Never Happened to the Other Fella”. He confirms that quite a few of George Lazenby's non-Bond films will be covered in the documentary.

Go here for part two of our exclusive George Lazenby interview!

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Bond•O•Rama meets George Lazenby, pt. 2: “James Bond in Oslo” (2016)

PHOTO REPORT

Last night, 1 September 2016, George Lazenby – the 76-year-old former ex-James Bond from Australia – visited Oslo, the capital of Norway. James Bond•O•Rama.dk reports from the event.

James Bond in Oslo banner

The event "James Bond in Oslo" featured a gala showing of George Lazenby's only James Bond film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969), digitally restored in 4K.

Before the gala screening at Vika Kino, George Lazenby participated in an onstage Q&A moderated by former Bond girl Maryam d'Abo (Kara Milovy in "The Living Daylights", 1987).

Maryam d'Abo og George Lazenby i Vika Kino, Oslo 01.09.2016 - © Brian Iskov
Maryam d'Abo and George Lazenby at Vika Kino, Oslo 01.09.2016 - © Brian Iskov

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