For "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (EON 1969) production designer Syd Cain once again furnished the arch villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld's hideout with Danish Modern.
Disguised as the herald Sir Hilary Bray James Bond (George Lazenby) checks in at the Swiss mountain resort Piz Gloria. His room features two pendant lamps created in 1964 by the famous Danish designer Verner Panton (1926-1998). Each of the Fun 0DM lamps (DM is short for the German term "Decken-Montage" meaning ceiling-mounted) consists of a four-ring chrome-plated metal frame with natural sea shells discs. The lamps are clearly visible around the film's 56-minute mark (Blu-ray) as Bond is checking the lamp for hidden microphones. Early versions of the Fun 0DM lamp were manufactured in Switzerland which is also the film's primary location.
In the same sequence (time code 56:20) Syd Cain reused the iconic Bodil Kjær Office Desk from 1959 as part of the furniture in Bond's room. The free-standing table previously featured in "From Russia with Love" (EON 1963) and "You Only Live Twice" (EON 1967).
Around the two-hour mark Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) is seen fiddling with another Verner Panton-designed lamp, the Fun 5DM, in Blofeld's office. Fun 5DM is an extra-large ceiling mounted lamp with two clusters of shells hanging from stainless steel rings.
On April 3, 1967 the Danish branch of Reader's Digest published a volume of "Det Bedstes bøger" featuring an abridged version of Ian Fleming's James Bond novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". The text, running 127 pages, utilized Rita Damm's translation from the Danish first and third edition (issued by Skrifola, 1965 and Rosenkilde & Bahnhof, 2012). Also featured were four illustrations by Ulrik Schramm, pictured below, and a short biography of Ian Fleming.
Happy holidays from James Bond•O•Rama.dk to all our foreign readers.
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).
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.
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.
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):
During this summer's unofficial OHMSS 50 celebration for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" at Piz Gloria, James Bond•O•Rama.dk had the pleasure of meeting long-time EON associate John Glen.
The 87-year-old Englishman edited "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and directed the second unit on location in Switzerland back in 1968-69. John Glen later performed the same duties on "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) and "Moonraker" (1979) before graduating to director on every EON-produced Bond film during the 80's: "For Your Eyes Only" (1981), "Octopussy" (1983), "A View to a Kill" (1985), "The Living Daylights" (1987) and "Licence to Kill" (1989).
In this exclusive chat with Bond•O•Rama.dk John Glen discusses some of his favourite Bond locations as well as the editing techniques of "OHMSS" and other tricks of the trade.
John Glen, what would you name as your favourite Bond location?
I think Piz Gloria [would be at number one]. The Bernese Oberland is probably one of the best locations we've ever had. It's such a vast scene, it's very James Bond in its aspects. [The Bond connection] is the history of this place, isn't it. I believe Piz Gloria and Schilthornbahn is the only Bond film location ever to write in their contract that they had unlimited means of promoting it as an official Bond location. And apparently EON Productions are not very happy about that.
It's indirectly free publicity, it's still 007, isn't it. And that's the important thing. It's an amazing franchise. Everyone says, how long can it go on for. I remember Lewis Gilbert saying to me that he thought it would probably come to an end after "Moonraker", "maybe that's the end of the series". It cost a lot of money, "Moonraker". Subsequently, of course, all of these new markest have opened up.
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.
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.
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.
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.