OHMSS enthusiast FRED BRYANT took a trip to
    Piz Gloria, and like James Bond before him,
    escaped to bring us this debriefing.
    This article was originally published for 007 MAGAZINE OnLine in 2007.



One of my favourite Bond books and films has always
been ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. At the beginning of the book we briefly find James Bond reflecting on his early childhood and we swap the
roast partridge for a Cadbury’s flake and the Tattinger champagne for lemonade!

This is also the book in which Bond meets and finally
gets married, to a Countess, but with very tragic consequences. When I first read this book at the age of 13 I actually cried at the sudden and tragic end, in fact nearly 40 years on it still holds an emotional impact for me despite obviously knowing the eventual outcome!

James Bond by John McLusky OHMSS Comic Strip

I still find it a hugely enjoyable read, with Bond on the trail of what was to become his arch nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the guise of the Comte de Bleuville. From the hallowed halls of The College of Arms in London to the snow peaked top of a Swiss Alp the pace moves a plenty; to say nothing of Biological Warfare and Christmas dinner with M at his home Quarterdeck! At the time I first read the book The Daily Express were running the excellent John McLusky strip serialisation of the story. By then his drawings of Bond had taken on the “craggy good looks” of Sean Connery and it was a combination of this image that stayed with me for a long time whenever I read the book.

Therefore, when I went to see Peter Hunt’s filmed version of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969 I found it was George Lazenby’s slightly more youthful appearance, rather than his portrayal, that I felt was all wrong. This was one of the very later books in the Fleming canon and Bond is a lot older and more world weary than he was say in CASINO ROYALE. Likewise with EON’s series of films, Connery had also matured in the part and, as has been said before, this could have been his greatest acting achievement in the role of James Bond

In the end though this can only be conjecture and supposition. What I have come to realise though over time, and to a degree with my own maturing years, is that Peter Hunt had made something very special when he directed this film, which I now feel very strongly is a great tribute to Ian Fleming’s writing and should be more admired by people than it actually is.

Like his predecessor and friend before him Terence Young, Peter Hunt introduced a great deal of style to his production and sought to remain faithful as much as possible to Fleming’s original story, this despite strong opposition from the money people at United Artists. It also has one of the best actresses in the role of a Bond Girl, Dame Diana Rigg.

Diana Rigg poses atop the
Schilthorn Mountain at
Piz Gloria in 1969


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