During the filming at Piz Gloria, the cast and crew received their per diems in cash. Upon seeing George Lazenby with a suitcase stuffed full of cash, Telly Savalas invited him to a late-night poker game that he regularly held with crew members, and promptly relieved Lazenby of having to carry so much extra weight. Upon hearing of this, Producer Harry Saltzman visited the location, joined the game over Savalas' protests, and won back Lazenby's money. He then informed Savalas in no uncertain terms that he was not to victimize his "boy" (Lazenby) again.
Features the only signature gun barrel sequence of all Bond movies in which Bond drops down on one knee while shooting at the audience. It's also the only version of the sequence where the descending blood completely erases Bond's image, leaving only the red circle.
There are many reasons why George Lazenby only made one appearance as James Bond. According to the DVD Documentary, here are some of the main reasons: 1. Lazenby's youthful cockiness rankled Producer Albert R. Broccoli's nerves. One incident mentioned is Lazenby skiing down the slopes on his own (resulting in the broken arm) and a moment of arrogance on Lazenby's part that spoiled a cast and crew party. 2. The notoriously harsh British tabloids writing up unfavorable stories about Lazenby and how he fails to measure up to Sir Sean Connery, thereby swaying public opinion against the movie before it was released. One incident cited by Lazenby was during an interview with a reporter in the commissary in which Dame Diana Rigg jokingly yelled from across the room "I'm having garlic for lunch, darling! I hope you are too!" This lead to an article in which Rigg supposedly hated Lazenby so much that "She eats garlic before love scenes". 3. Lazenby, believed that the Bond film franchise was over in the wake of more sophisticated movies like The Graduate (1967) and Easy Rider (1969), and the tuxedo-clad secret agent was out of touch with the newly liberated 1970s. He mentioned to his agent that he wasn't sure if he wanted to play Bond again, even before this movie was released. The producers heard this and were none too pleased. Lazenby had been offered a seven-movie deal and had signed a letter of intent to star in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). He had even been paid an initial fee installment which he later refunded. Although some claim this movie was a box-office failure, it was in fact a huge hit, recouping more than ten times its cost and becoming the second highest grossing movie of the year at the worldwide box-office.
The theme "We Have All the Time in the World" was the last thing that Louis Armstrong ever recorded. He died two years later. It is also the first theme song in the film franchise not to include the movie's title as part of the lyrics.
George Lazenby suggested a scene where Bond skis off a cliff and opens a parachute. This was scrapped, as the filmmakers lacked the resources to pull it off. It was used as the opening for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
The producers originally intended to explain the change of lead actors in this movie by saying that Bond had undergone plastic surgery because his "old" face was now too well-known by foreign spies and terrorists for him to go undercover. But they then decided not to refer to the change at all, and thus hopefully minimize the public attention being paid to George Lazenby's replacing Sir Sean Connery. However, after the opening action sequence, right before the titles, Bond says directly to the camera, "This never happened to the other fellow", an intentionally comedic reference to the change in actors.
Blofeld's headquarters was a partially completed restaurant on top of Mount Schilthorn. The owners allowed filming on condition EON Productions paid one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars to refit the interior and construct a helicopter pad. When the restaurant opened, it was given the name Piz Gloria used in the movie. The only public access to the restaurant is by cable car (from Mürren or Stechelberg). The Piz Gloria was the first established revolving mountain restaurant in the world.
This is one of the most faithful adaptations of an Ian Fleming novel. Virtually everything in the book occurs in the movie. Staying so close to the source actually caused some continuity problems due to the different order of the movies. For example, in this movie, Bond and Blofeld seem to be meeting for the first time, despite having met face-to-face in the movie version of You Only Live Twice (1967). Some details are different: Count Bleauville is changed to Count Bleauchamp, and Ruby Windsor became Ruby Barrett. The situations of Bond's taking a leave of absence, and his discovery by Blofeld, are different. Tracy is not kidnapped. Blofeld is completely different in appearance from Telly Savalas, being described as having long silvery-white hair, an aquiline nose, a wrinkled forehead, a slender body, a nostril that has been eaten away by tertiary syphilis, and no earlobes. Savalas' Blofeld has none of these features. He doesn't even have a European accent. However, his earlobes were clipped back to serve a plot element.
George Lazenby wanted to do most of his own stunts but the studio wouldn't allow him. During the shooting of one of the stunt scenes, Lazenby actually broke his arm, thereby delaying the filming of many of his later scenes. When Bond is taken to Blofeld's lab at Piz Gloria, Lazenby's broken arm in its cast is hidden by his coat which was draped over his arm. Blofeld's guard removes it from him as Lazenby was unable to do so. The guard removing the jacket was played by Yuri Borienko, who ironically had had his nose broken by Lazenby in the screentest fight scene that the actor had done to land the part.
This is the last time that John Barry's original Dr. No (1962) arrangement of the James Bond Theme would be used on-screen. It would however, continue to be used in trailers, et cetera as late as Licence to Kill (1989).
Having secured a suit ordered but uncollected by Sir Sean Connery and getting a Rolex and haircut like him, George Lazenby talked his way into meeting Producer Albert R. Broccoli, Producer Harry Saltzman, and Director Peter R. Hunt. After bluffing his way through the meeting and falsely claiming he had wide acting credits, he secured a screentest. Lazenby then confessed to Hunt that he had made it all up and that he wasn't an actor. Hunt laughed and told him, "You just strolled in here and managed to fool two of the most ruthless bastards in the business. You're an actor."
According to George Lazenby, he and a crew member played a prank on Angela Scoular (Ruby), the Bond Girl who writes her room number on the inside of James Bond's bare thigh. The crew member warmed a sausage, and they put it under Bond's kilt. When Scoular puts her hand under the kilt, she is ever the professional and hardly reacts.
This is Christopher Nolan's favorite Bond movie, and many references can be found in Inception (2010). He said, "What I liked about it, that we've tried to emulate in this film, is there's a tremendous balance in that movie of action and scale and romanticism and tragedy and emotion."
Certain film techniques appear in the James Bond filming franchise for the first time in this movie: slow motion (when Bond is knocked out in his bedroom), flashback (Bond remembering Tracy being captured), and "breaking the fourth wall" (Lazenby looking into the camera briefly, immediately after his line "This never happened to the other fella"). Though it seems to be a self referential remark (Lazenby replaced Sir Sean Connery as Bond) it also has a meaning in the context of the story.
While cracking open a safe in a Swiss lawyer's office, Bond reads a copy of Playboy Magazine. This is a nod to the fact that "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" first appeared in Playboy. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was the first of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels to be serialized in the magazine, appearing in the May 1963 issue of Playboy. It was followed by a serialized, shortened version of the novel "You Only Live Twice" (not the movie version) in the April 1964 issue. The issue in this movie, is February 1969, featuring centerfold Lorrie Menconi (the cover of the magazine and the top part of her centerfold can be seen).
The title was a corruption of a very familiar phrase known to most British people. For many decades, all correspondence sent from Government departments e.g. the Tax Office, Social Services etc, arrived in envelopes which did not have a stamp, but had the words, "On Her ("His" when there was a male monarch) Majesty's Service" printed on the envelope. Such correspondence was usually referred to as, "OHMS".
This movie performed admirably, out-grossing its nearest competitor almost two to one at the U.S. box-office where, according to Variety, it was the most popular movie in the country for four solid weeks. It generated enough rentals at the box-office to claim ninth position on the box-office chart for 1970. The persistent belief that it was a flop arises from its earnings in comparison to the previous three Sir Sean Connery Bond movies, all of which made more than one hundred million dollars worldwide, whereas this movie grossed eighty-seven million dollars worldwide.
The motto, "Orbis non sufficit", given to Bond when he researches his own coat of arms before impersonating Sir Hilary Bray, is Latin for "The World Is Not Enough", which was used as a Bond movie title in 1999.
George Lazenby attended the premiere after growing a full beard and shoulder length hair. This was seen by some as a protest against the producers, while trying to intentionally sabotage his future in the film franchise. Despite his contract for future Bond movies, Lazanby was having second thoughts, as he had difficulty keeping up with the rigors and demands of making and promoting the movie. At the same time, Lazenby's agents had him convinced that the Bond film franchise would soon lose its audience. Lazenby's relationship with Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had already started to become strained over the course of production.
Ilse Steppat's only English language role was as Irma Bunt in this movie. She was not able to enjoy her new success. She died of a heart attack less than a week after the release of this movie. The character of Irma Bunt was intended to return in the next James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever (1971). But because of her death, the character did not return.
Adam West, a personal friend of Producer Albert R. Broccoli, was offered the part of James Bond. West said that while he was very tempted, he ultimately turned it down feeling the role should be played by an English actor.
First Bond movie since From Russia with Love (1963) to use an instrumental theme over the opening titles. The decision to forgo the usual song was prompted by the conclusion that any lyric composition that attempted to include the full title of this movie would be awkward, and at best, sound like a humorous Gilbert and Sullivan song, which would be inappropriate for the film franchise. As of 2015, no other movie in the franchise since has done so.
Whereas ads for You Only Live Twice (1967) loudly touted "Sean Connery IS James Bond", the marketing for this movie downplayed the name of the replacement actor completely. This is the last time that the name of the actor playing Bond appears below the title, and in several of the ads for the movie, there is an image of a faceless Bond. Since George Lazenby was a virtual unknown when he was cast as Bond, initial teaser advertising for the movie emphasized the Bond character rather than the actor playing him. United Artists would later say that this marketing strategy was a mistake, which hurt the movie's performance at the box-office.
George Lazenby said he experienced difficulties during shooting, not receiving any coaching despite his lack of acting experience, and with Director Peter R. Hunt never addressing him directly, only through his assistant. Lazenby also declared that Hunt also asked the rest of the crew to keep a distance from him, as "Peter thought the more I was alone, the better I would be as James Bond."
This was the longest Bond movie, at two hours and twenty-two minutes, until the release of Casino Royale (2006), which runs two minutes longer. Spectre (2015) became the longest running Bond movie, at four minutes longer than Casino Royale (2006).
Willy Bogner performed some spectacular skiing feats for the filming of chase sequences for this movie. These included skiing backwards downhill with a hand-held camera, sometimes placing it between his legs and being towed behind a bobsleigh along the bobsled course.
In order to help get himself the part of James Bond, George Lazenby went to the same tailor and barber that worked with Sir Sean Connery, so when he showed up at Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman's production offices, he'd look more like Connery. Coincidentally, Broccoli was present in the barber shop when Lazenby showed up for his haircut. This, in part, did help him establish an image, and led to getting the role of James Bond.
Though George Lazenby made only one Bond movie (despite being offered a seven-movie contract) He made two appearances as James Bond. This was the first. The second was in The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair (1983), where he helps Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in a street fight from his car. Admittedly, he is uncredited as James Bond (in favor of an abbreviation J.B.), but his performance is so obviously Bond-ish that it's impossible for him not to be James Bond. All the elements are there, a tuxedo, Walther PPK, cool clipped persona, and Aston Martin (only the girl is missing).
Every year, the Swiss Army dynamites certain dangerous mountainsides, to remove the threat of avalanches. As the storyline called for such an avalanche, the production crew worked alongside the Army in scouting appropriate sites for filming. Having chosen one, they were dismayed to discover that the avalanche occurred naturally before the crew could get there to film it, so the resulting one seen in the movie is a combination of stock footage, special effects, and clever use of close-ups and sound.
Joanna Lumley makes one of her first on-screen appearances in this movie. Unlike other "Avengers" actors and actresses (Patrick Macnee, Dame Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman), she is the only one to have appeared in a Bond movie before starring in The Avengers (1961). Despite having a very small part as one of Blofeld's girls, she spent two months on the production, dubbing the voices of a whole line-up of international beauties in German, Chinese, and Norwegian, in addition to teaching many of the actresses who played Blofeld's patients, how to crochet, which some of them can be seen doing on film. With time, some of the women preferred crocheting garments over attending parties for the cast. Joanna Lumley has also read an abridged version of the novel on BBC Radio 4.
This was originally going to be the fourth Bond movie. However, Thunderball (1965) was filmed instead after the on-going rights dispute over the novel were settled between Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory. It was due to follow that, but problems with a warm Swiss winter and inadequate snow cover led to the producers postponing the movie again, favoring production of You Only Live Twice (1967).
Peter R. Hunt originally wanted to direct You Only Live Twice (1967), but when that assignment was given to Lewis Gilbert, he walked off the franchise, and went on an around-the-world trip. Ironically, he was in Tokyo when he bumped into Albert R. Broccoli and Gilbert who were prepping You Only Live Twice (1967). Broccoli asked Hunt to direct the second unit on that movie, with the promise of directing this movie.
During filming, George Lazenby (James Bond) was fooling around on horseback and caused Bernard Lee (M) to fall into a fence and tear his leg open. As no doctor was available, the local vet stitched the gash up.
George Lazenby also bears the distinction of being the only 007 actor who was born and raised outside the United Kingdom. He's from Australia. (Pierce Brosnan was born in Ireland, but moved to the U.K. when fairly young.)
Peter R. Hunt wanted to direct Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and would have, if George Lazenby had remained with the franchise. His original plan for the ending was to show Bond and Tracy driving away from their wedding, then have Diamonds Are Forever open with the shooting. When Lazenby declined to appear again, the idea was scrapped.
The Royal World Premiere was held on Thursday, December 18, 1969, at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square, London in the presence of the Duke of Kent (Edward Windsor) and the Duchess of Kent. George Lazenby attended the event sporting a beard and long hair.
First time M's house (called Quarterdeck in this movie) is seen in a James Bond movie in the franchise. Casino Royale (2006) was the second. M's house is also seen in the unofficial Casino Royale (1967).
It has been alleged that George Lazenby and Dame Diana Rigg didn't get along. However, according to Director Peter R. Hunt, these rumors are untrue and there were no such difficulties, or else they were minor, and may have started with Rigg joking to Lazenby before filming a love scene "Hey George, I'm having garlic for lunch. I hope you are!"
Many Olympic ski competitors, as well as other ski experts, contributed as body doubles, extras, and supporting roles for performing the necessary skiing sequences in the movie. The principal actors were not allowed to ski in the movie, due to insurance regulations.
Between the resignation of Sir Sean Connery at the beginning of filming You Only Live Twice (1967) and its release, Producer Harry Saltzman had planned to adapt The Man with the Golden Gun in Cambodia and use Sir Roger Moore as the next Bond, but political instability meant the location was ruled out and Moore signed up for another season of The Saint (1962).
Largely a result of Bond's being re-cast, the first movie in the franchise to make extensive use of in-jokes and tongue-in-cheek humor. This movie also depicted scenes where Bond encountered and worked with a "harem" of women. All of these would become trademarks of most of Sir Roger Moore's Bond movies.
DIRECTOR CAMEO (Peter R. Hunt): He is seen, although obscurely, directly following the opening credits. In the bottom left hand corner of the Universal Exports brass plaque, he is seen reflected while walking past the building.
Cameraman John Jordan developed a special helicopter harness for filming aerial shots of the mountain slopes and the action sequences. He would hang eighteen feet below the chopper from a large round metal support apparatus.
Former ITN newsreader Carol Barnes filmed scenes with the Angels of Death after showing up to the set with her friend Jenny Hanley. She can be briefly seen serving drinks at the first meal Bond attends.
Lyrics were originally intended for John Barry's main theme, but were later rejected in favor of Louis Armstrong's memorable rendition of "We Have All The Time In The World". This love theme, composed by John Barry with lyrics by Hal David, was the last song recorded by Louis Armstrong. A re-mix of the song "We Have All The Time In The World" was a number three hit in the U.K. twenty-five years after the movie was originally released. The song has also been covered by Iggy Pop, and it can be heard on the David Arnold Bond song compilation album, "Shaken and Stirred: the David Arnold James Bond Project". This album also featured a cover of this movie's main title theme performed by Propellerheads.
Product placements, brand integrations, and promotional tie-ins for this movie include the Aston Martin 1969 DBS; Gucci suitcase; Hennessy Brandy; Playboy Magazine; Campari; the Ford Motor Company, particularly the 1969 Mercury Cougar Convertible; Jack Daniel's Whiskey; Schilthorn Piz Gloria Revolving Restaurant; Krug Champagne; Dom Perignon Champagne, particularly a Dom Perignon '57; and Rolex Watches including the Rolex Submariner 5513 and Rolex Chronograph 6238 watches.
A scene showing Bond murdering an enemy agent who is following him was shot, but left incomplete, as George Lazenby was injured, and Director Peter R. Hunt deemed the scene extraneous to the thrust of the plot.
Bessie Love, who has a cameo role as an American tourist, had been a major star in the silent and early sound era, and had been nominated for an Oscar for her performance in The Broadway Melody (1929).
George Lazenby was previously a car salesman with a part time job as a male model. He was also well-known in Britain as "The Big Fry man", after the chocolate bar commercials in which he starred, carrying an outsize bar on his shoulder.
For the scene where Bond and Tracy crash into a car race while being pursued, an ice rink was constructed over an unused airplane track, with water and snow sprayed on it constantly. George Lazenby and Dame Diana Rigg did most of the driving due to the high number of close-ups.
The title of the later James Bond movie Spectre (2015) also lent its name to a trio of original Ian Fleming James Bond novels, which have also been anthologized, and published as "The Spectre Trilogy". The books, all featuring archvillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, include Thunderball (1961), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963), and You Only Live Twice (1964), which were filmed in the 1960s, in a slightly different order than which they were originally published, this being: Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), and this movie.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld was allegedly named after Thomas Blofeld, with whom Ian Fleming went to school at Eton College. Also known as Tom Blofeld, he was a Norfolk farmer, a fellow member of Boodle's, and the Chairman of the Country Gentleman's Asssociation. His son is cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. Ernst Blofeld's date of birth in the literary James Bond stories is the same date as Fleming's birthday, which is May 28, 1908. Also, Ernest Cuneo was a friend of Fleming. According to the book "Martinis, Girls and Guns: 50 Years of 007" (2003) by Martin Sterling and Gary Morecambe: "Cuneo may also have inspired Blofeld's forenames. It is but a short leap from Ernest Cuneo to Ernst Stavro." According to the book "For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming + James Bond" (2009) by Ben Macintyre: "Alternatively, Blofeld may owe his name to China scholar John Blofeld, who was a member of Fleming's club Boodles, and whose father was named Ernst." In addition, the book "The Bond Code: The Dark World of Ian Fleming and James Bond" (2008) by Philip Gardner states: "The name is also revealing in a psychological way. Ernst is Teutonic for 'earnest', and Stavros is Greek for 'victor', and so he is the 'earnest victor'", and "the name Blofeld means 'blue field', a swipe at his own blue blood rampant in the field, like heraldry", and also, "As the creator of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., Blofeld is, in reality, the spectre of Ian Fleming that looms ever present within his divided mind."
The poetry that Tracy quotes to Blofeld ("Thy dawn, O Master of the World, thy dawn...") was derived from a speech in James Elroy Flecker's play, "The Story of Hassan of Bagdad and How He Came to Make the Golden Journey to Samarkand".
The first line of the novel: "It was one of those Septembers when it seemed that the summer would never end." The last line: "The young patrolman took a last scared look at the motionless couple, hurried over to his motorcycle, picked up the hand-microphone, and began talking urgently to the rescue headquarters."
Joanna Lumley recalled that she and George Lazenby relaxed in different ways during their lengthy stay in Switzerland. She collected wild flowers and knitted a blanket for her young son. He learned to play "Hey Jude" by The Beatles on his guitar.
Vehicles included James Bond's dark green 1969 Aston Martin DBS (not to be confused with a DB5); Tracy's red 1969 Ford Mercury Cougar convertible; Draco's Rolls-Royce Corniche Mulliner Park Ward Drophead Coupé; 007 ascends to Piz Gloria in a Bell 206 JetRanger helicopter; a Mercedes sedan and Irma Bunt's pursuing black Mercedes-Benz 600; three Bell 204 HUEY helicopters with dummy Red Cross markings for the attack on Piz Gloria; a cable car to Piz Gloria; two bobsleds; and various stock cars in the stock car rally.
Takis Emmanuel (Draco's henchman Klett) refused to rehearse for the beach fight in the opening sequence, and so he was fired and replaced by stuntman Bill Morgan, a high fall and trampoline expert. Because the wedding scenes were filmed before the beach scenes, Emmanuel can be seen a few times in the movie, meaning both men technically played the same character in the same movie, an unintentional first considering no plot points revolve around it.
The bobsledding chase was also filmed with the help of Swiss Olympic athletes, and was re-written to incorporate the accidents the stuntmen suffered during shooting, such as the scene where Bond falls from the sled.
According to a DVD documentary, during filming, the producers wanted to know how George Lazenby looked in action. Director Peter R. Hunt asked Stunt Arranger George Leech to test his action. During the fight sequence, Lazenby fought with the stuntman for real. He had not learned how to withhold the punch and injured a Russian wrestler by busting his nose open. The crew were impressed with the action sequence and decided to hire Lazenby. Said wrestler, Yuri Borienko, was given the role of Grunther as compensation.
George Baker said that Ian Fleming had put him forward as his choice to play James Bond when he was trying to drum up interest for a film franchise, before Producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli got involved. In that light, Baker noted it gave him an odd feeling to be in the studio dubbing George Lazenby's dialogue for when Bond was impersonating Bray.
Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" while Dr. No (1962) was being filmed. Fleming included a mention by name of Ursula Andress in the book. The title was shared by a rare British nautical novel of the nineteenth century which was discovered by Fleming's friend Sir John Nicholas Henderson (a.k.a. Nicko Henderson) at a Portbello Road book stall in London. In the book's sequel You Only Live Twice (1967), Fleming named the character Dikko Henderson after Nicko Henderson.
The first Bond movie in which 007 used skis. It is interesting to note that Sir Sean Connery never did a skiing or snow sequence Bond movie. His James Bond only ever drove through snow-capped mountains in Goldfinger (1964).
According to Robbie Collin in the U.K. newspaper "The Telegraph", "Bond author Ian Fleming invented S.P.E.C.T.R.E. in 1959 to replace James Bond's usual, Soviet, enemies. Fleming believed the Cold War might be about to end and wanted to keep his spy thrillers relevant." Fleming's S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Executive Cabinet included "twenty-one people including former Gestapo members, Soviet spy group S.M.E.R.S.H., Josep Tito's (Josip Broz Tito's) secret police, Italian, Corsican and Turkish organized crime gangs", its goals were "profiteering from conflict between the superpowers, eventual world domination", and its methods included "counter-intelligence, brainwashing, murder, extortion using weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological and orbital)."
There was originally a foot-chase in this movie. Bond was to see one of Blofeld's henchmen spying on his meeting with Sir Hilary Bray and purse him across the rooftops of London, eventually catching up to him and beating him to death. Due to time constraints and delays, it was never filmed.
The title lent itself to a role-playing board game "James Bond 007: Role-Playing In Her Majesty's Secret Service" in 1983 and was produced up until 1987. It was released by Avalon Books' Victory Games and was designed by Gerard Christopher Klug. The cover art picture of James Bond was not based on George Lazenby, but was an amalgam of the likeness of Sir Sean Connery and Sir Roger Moore and most closely resembled the poster for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). The last three digits of its game book rules' ISBN were 007.
Production was hampered by weak snowfall, which was unfavorable to the skiing action scenes. The producers even considered moving to another location in Switzerland, but it was taken by the production of Downhill Racer (1969).
Peter R. Hunt directed this movie because the producers were impressed with his editing style, and because of a long-standing promise from Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman that Hunt would eventually direct. Hunt also asked for the position during the production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and he brought along with him many crew members, including Cinematographer Michael Reed. Hunt was focused on making his mark. "I wanted it to be different than any other Bond film would be. It was my film, not anyone else's."
Although a continental European in the books and movies, "Blofeld" is actually an English family name, being an Anglicization of the Dutch name Blauvelt, or "blue field", which is also the meaning of Bleuchamps, the original family name in the movie. The original family name in the book, "Bleuville", means "blue town".
The car pursuit at the begining takes place at Estrada do Cabo, Portugal, a coastal road. The beach fight is at Praia (beach) do Guincho, the hotel is in Cascais and, later, Bond is seeing crossing the Salazar Bridge (similar to the San Francisco Golden Gate), which has the name of Portuguese dictator António Salazar, who ruled Portugal for forty years.
James Bond is said to be a descendant of Sir Otto Le Bon. Simon Le Bon and his band Duran Duran sang the music video for A View to a Kill (1985), wherein Simon Le Bon makes a pun about himself and James Bond.
Producer Harry Saltzman wanted the Portugal scenes to be in France, but after searching there, Director Peter R. Hunt considered that not only were the locations not photogenic, but were already "overexposed".
The literal translations of some of this movie's foreign language titles include On Her Majesty's Service (Israel); The Queen's 007 (Japan); On The Secret Service of Her Majesty (Belgium, Canada, France, and West Germany); To Serve Her Majesty (Italy); 007 On Her Majesty's Service (Portugal); 007 On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Spain and Brazil); To Her Majesty's Secret Service (Denmark), and 007 Seized The Snow Mountain Castle (China and Norway).
Producer Albert R. Broccoli wanted to cast Jeremy Brett as James Bond after seeing him in My Fair Lady (1964). Brett ultimately declined the role, saying, "It's the sort of role you cannot afford to turn down, but I think it would have spoiled my life if I had got it."
John Barry opted to use more electrical instruments and a more aggressive sound in the music. "I have to stick my oar in the musical area double strong to make the audience try and forget they don't have Sean, to be Bondian beyond Bondian."
First English Language role for German actress Ilse Steppat. Ironically, would be the only role of such kind, and final screen performance for Steppat, who died suddenly from a heart attack just a few days after the movie's release.
Stuntman George Leech doubled for George Lazenby in the scenes in which Bond clings to the thick metal cable suspending the mountainside railway cars. The grease on the cable caused him to lose his grip and, as his body twisted around his remaining gripping hand, he dislocated his arm and fell on the boxes prepared for such an eventuality. Stuntmen Chris Webb and Richard Graydon' completed the shots.
In Germany, the original unedited cut of the movie was not available until 2006, with the release of the digitally remastered "Ultimate Edition" DVDs. Thus, previously missing scenes had to be provided with new German dubbing for the DVD, resulting in voice actors changing from scene to scene or in some cases within the same scene. This also lead to an error in dialogue. In the scene where Tracy and Draco talk about Bond in the car, Draco's line "Tomorrow I will speak to him alone" was mistakenly translated to "Tomorrow I will speak to Malone". There is no character called Malone in the movie.
In the process of becoming Mrs James Bond Diana Rigg was half throttled by a 250 lb Russian wrestler who's the villains chief bodyguard, buried alive in freezing snow half way up the Swiss Alps for scenes in which she's trapped by an avalanche, knocked unconscious by a punch on the jaw during a battle, and half drowned walking into the cold Atlanticfor scenes in which Bond rescues her from suicide.
Peter R. Hunt asked Simon Raven to write some of the dialogue between Tracy and Blofeld in Piz Gloria, which was to be "sharper, better, and more intellectual". One of Raven's additions was having Tracy quoting James Elroy Flecker.
Oliver Reed was a candidate to star as James Bond. Director Albert R. Broccoli later commented that, "with Reed we would have had a far greater problem to destroy his image and remould him as James Bond. We just didn't have the time or money to do that."
George Lazenby shared one anecdote - "One time, we were on-location at an ice rink, and Diana and Peter were drinking champagne inside. Of course, I wasn't invited as Peter was there. I could see them through the window, but the crew were all outside stomping around on the ice, trying to keep warm. So, when she got in the car, I went for her. She couldn't drive the car properly and I got into her about her drinking and things like that. Then she jumped out and started shouting 'he's attacking me in the car!' I called her a so-and-so for not considering the crew, who were freezing their butts off outside. And it wasn't that at all in the end, as she was sick that night, and I was at fault for getting into her about it. I think everyone gets upset at one time."
Producer Harry Saltzman suggested shooting Blofeld's lair inside the fortified Maginot Line, and accompanied Director Peter R. Hunt on a guided tour of the underground complex in France. Hunt was unenthusiastic, and Piz Gloria was chosen.
The downhill skiing involved professional skiers, and various camera tricks. Some cameras were handheld, with the operators holding them as they were going downhill with the stuntmen, and others were aerial, with Cameraman Johnny Jordan, who had previously worked on the helicopter battle in You Only Live Twice (1967), developing a system where he was dangled by an eighteen foot long parachute harness rig below a helicopter, allowing scenes to be shot on the move, from any angle.
According to the book "James Bond: A Celebration" (1987) by Peter Haining, who passed away in 2007, "Jules Verne's Captain Nemo was the inspiration for (Ian) Fleming's Ernst Stavro Blofeld." The book states that the character "has his origins in Captain Nemo, the hate-fuelled rebel of Jules Verne's classic novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (1870)." Blofeld was originally intended to be the villain in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
According to Director Peter R. Hunt, John Richardson was briefly considered to take the part of James Bond in this movie. Other actors considered include: Adam West, Robert Campbell, Anthony Rogers, Hans De Vries, and Roy Thinnes.
For some sequences cameraman John Jordan was suspended 18 feet under a jet helicopter while the pilot flew around mountain peaks and glaciers. For the ski chase world class champion Willi Bogner skied backwards down the mountain side filming, with a hand held camera, skiers travelling after him at high speed.
During production, Telly Savalas met and moved in with Sally Adams, a small-time actress twenty-five years younger than him, with whom he became romantically involved until 1978. (Who cares about the age difference? They were both consenting adults.)
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the original take of the final scene featuring Tracy's death, George Lazenby came to tears. Peter R. Hunt then made them shoot the scene again because he said that, "Bond does not cry." There were only two takes. However, George Lazenby convinced Hunt to use the first take, saying that considering the circumstances (his wife being killed), they should let this be the one exception. Accordingly, this became the first (and until the release of Skyfall (2012) the only) time in which Bond is seen openly crying.
This movie was originally going to end with Bond and Tracy driving off in their car after the wedding, and Tracy's death being the opening scene of Diamonds Are Forever (1971). This was abandoned after George Lazenby's departure.
There are key moments in the film that foreshadow Tracy's tragic fate. The first occurs when Bond gets his first view of Tracy via the telescopic sight of his riffle; she is shot and killed by Irma Bunt at the end of the film. Second, Draco makes his offer to give Bond a million pounds in exchange for Tracy's hand in marriage on the night of the 13th. Lastly, Tracy pets a black cat during the montage sequence.
The novel is the middle book in the trilogy of Bond novels featuring Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. The final novel in the trilogy, You Only Live Twice, features Bond tracking down Blofeld to avenge Tracy's death. However, You Only Live Twice was filmed first, albeit with a drastically different plot. Bond's vengeance on Blofeld was incorporated into the next movie, Diamonds Are Forever (1971), which also strayed radically from the novel.