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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

CmdrAtticus wrote:

I don't have a favorite novel, because some are so close in my rankings I don't like putting one over the other, though OHMSS, is one of my favorites.  The film is my number two favorite after CR, because of the solid story that follows the novel very closely; the quality of the photography and locations, etc.  What disappointed me and still disappoints me is the screenplay.  I realize they did a lot of fudging because they had a new actor to introduce after Connery, and I think Lazenby did a good job considering his lack of preparation, but because they filmed the stories out of sequence it ruined the whole character of Blofeld.  After the disappointing casting of him in YOLT, they turn around and give it to Savalas.  Now, I like Savalas, but he could not pull off Blofeld.  He tried to sound aristocratic, but in only made the words coming out of his mouth seem even more alien to the actor.  He was good at playing street wise types like Kojak or low life gangsters - pretty far from Blofeld.  An actor more suited would have been Peter Van Eyck.  He played a lot of German officers in WWII films during that era and his appearance would have fit Fleming's description quite well:

Bond's heart sank. This man was tallish, yes, and, all right, his hands and
naked feet were long and thin. But there the resemblance ended. The Count had
longish, carefully-tended, almost dandified hair that was a fine silvery
white. His ears, that should have been close to his head, stuck out slightly
and, where they should have had heavy lobes, had none. The body that should
have weighed twenty stone, now naked save for a black woollen slip, was not
more than twelve stone, and there were no signs of the sagging flesh that
comes from middle-aged weight-reduction. The mouth was full and friendly, with
a pleasant, up-turned, but perhaps rather unwavering smile.


http://s1.postimage.org/306asl9z8/1238047269_peter_van_eyck.jpg

Tracy aka Diana Rigg - I had a crush on this actress just like every other boy at that time and I really enjoyed her in OHMSS.  However....if they had been staying closer to the character in the novel, (blonde hair, Corisican/English), I would have liked to have seen someone like Virna Lisi in the role.  She certainly would have fit Fleming's description.


http://s2.postimage.org/1dkw6wisk/Lisi.jpg

http://s2.postimage.org/1dlcq9zqc/Virna1.jpg

I agree about Lazenby's voice dubbing.  It was totally unneccesary (making Bond an expert in voice mimickery was as silly as making him an expert on butterflies!).

I also don't know why the producers have been reluctant to use French locations (or similated French locations) in the films.  Having Bond slumming around his gambling grounds across the channel made more sense than hunting around Portugal, and there was no reason they could not have had Craig in CR going after Le Chiffre in France either.  They must really hate the French!

One last little grit in my shoe...Lazenby's wardrobe.  The producers were trying to keep the character hip and modern at the time (1969) - and did so in the seventies with Moore - I understand it, but hated it.  Bond would have never worn a white suit (let alone white shoes! - hotel entrance, beginning of OHMSS), let alone the golf outfit (kidnapping sequence), ruffled tux shirt, cravat (horse riding gear), light blue ski outfit (I know he was supposed to have stolen it in the film...but what was wrong with keeping with the novel - showing him in his inadequate clothes being chased on the skis, making it more tense knowing he was freezing as well as being shot at!).

Well, they did use France in AVTAK and they were going to use the locale in MR. Still, those times that decided to shift from the France proved to be poor choices. That is a great choice for Ernst BTW. And though he ended up playing Blofeld as a comical, english, snob, Charles Gray looked like Blofeld in Fleming's OHMSS as well.

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

I agree that Savalas belongs more to a film like LALD, the thinking was that with Lazenby being unknown, you'd need a big star along with Diana Rigg to reel people in. Maybe the odd wardrobe he wore (orange cardies) was to make him different to Connery, and actually it looks less dated now than it did 15 years ago.

One difference with the book is that of course it's more plausible that Blofeld should ask for amnesty, as he's only one done (failed) big job - the Thunderball mission. In the films however Spectre is Bond's main nemesis, has been since Dr No and it's less likely that a career criminal like Blofeld would just trade all that in for respectibility or to be a Count.

That said, it's still pretty implausible in the novel. Fleming did such a good job of making Blofed to be a smooth, inscrutable thuggish sociapath you just can't see him being taken in by snobbery. You can see him pretending to be. In the book, Piz Gloria is set up as a posh ski resort for the well to do and titled, as well as a laboratory for allergies. It's a money making wheeze for our villain - legitimate too - that does put you in mind of that guy with the eyepatch in Austin Powers complaining that Dr Evil's legit money making exercises are more profitable than his nefarious activities.

I agree with Atticas's casting suggestions, though I do think Savalas looks like a good Blofeld. Maybe an Italian or German dubbed one would be more effective, ironically.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Napoleon Plural wrote:

I agree that Savalas belongs more to a film like LALD, the thinking was that with Lazenby being unknown, you'd need a big star along with Diana Rigg to reel people in. Maybe the odd wardrobe he wore (orange cardies) was to make him different to Connery, and actually it looks less dated now than it did 15 years ago.

One difference with the book is that of course it's more plausible that Blofeld should ask for amnesty, as he's only one done (failed) big job - the Thunderball mission. In the films however Spectre is Bond's main nemesis, has been since Dr No and it's less likely that a career criminal like Blofeld would just trade all that in for respectibility or to be a Count.

That said, it's still pretty implausible in the novel. Fleming did such a good job of making Blofed to be a smooth, inscrutable thuggish sociapath you just can't see him being taken in by snobbery. You can see him pretending to be. In the book, Piz Gloria is set up as a posh ski resort for the well to do and titled, as well as a laboratory for allergies. It's a money making wheeze for our villain - legitimate too - that does put you in mind of that guy with the eyepatch in Austin Powers complaining that Dr Evil's legit money making exercises are more profitable than his nefarious activities.

I agree with Atticas's casting suggestions, though I do think Savalas looks like a good Blofeld. Maybe an Italian or German dubbed one would be more effective, ironically.

I like how in the book, Blofeld didn't ask for anything. He simply wanted to punish the world.

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Really? I'll have to read on, it's been a while.

There's more suspense in the book, not least that if I understand, Bond doesn't have his showdown with Blofeld at Piz Gloria before making a break for it. It makes the whole thing creepier, as he kind of knows they're onto him and has to sneak out before they come for him in the night.

That said, two big screw-ups in a few days; Bond's character Hilary Bray being recognised up at Piz Gloria, and another agent coincidentally showing up and blowing Bond's cover by babbling away are a bit silly, like something out of a WW2 novel. And as the public are allowed access to the resort, why not post some agent undercover to venture up there as a guest, so Bond can get a message to him?

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Napoleon Plural wrote:

Really? I'll have to read on, it's been a while.

There's more suspense in the book, not least that if I understand, Bond doesn't have his showdown with Blofeld at Piz Gloria before making a break for it. It makes the whole thing creepier, as he kind of knows they're onto him and has to sneak out before they come for him in the night.

Yeah there was no public demand from Blofeld. His scheme was revealed and that was it, no "ticking clock" or anything.  I agree about the suspense beause it builds up and as already been mentioned, he escapes the place with inadequate with bullets right behind him. In the book, it's a  good chase sequence but it only felt really chilling when Bond was dodging the SPECTRE goons on foot before he bumped into Tracy.
 

That said, two big screw-ups in a few days; Bond's character Hilary Bray being recognised up at Piz Gloria, and another agent coincidentally showing up and blowing Bond's cover by babbling away are a bit silly, like something out of a WW2 novel. And as the public are allowed access to the resort, why not post some agent undercover to venture up there as a guest, so Bond can get a message to him?

It was silly but y'know, I think it worked quite well. You can just feel being in the same position. You have the perfect cover and it's just blown to hell in minutes. Worst of all, Bond had the leave the poor soul to die which is a very bitter note.

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Hello Everybody!

It's been a while.

To me the number one difference between the movie and novel OHMSS is that in the novel Bond is contemplating resignation because he is kept on the search for Blofeld, he feels  that this could be taken care of with standard police methods and would like to return back to his regular duties. In the movie he decides to resign because he is taken of the Operation Bedlam.

Anyways; it has been 2011 on Kiribati for 2 whole hours, so back to drinking champagne with hot women!

p.s. I'm not on Kiribati, I'm in Helsinki.... before anybody asks. Merry New Year!!!

"I mean, she almost kills bond...with her ass."
-Mr Arlington Beech

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Ricardo C. wrote:

That said, two big screw-ups in a few days; Bond's character Hilary Bray being recognised up at Piz Gloria, and another agent coincidentally showing up and blowing Bond's cover by babbling away are a bit silly, like something out of a WW2 novel. And as the public are allowed access to the resort, why not post some agent undercover to venture up there as a guest, so Bond can get a message to him?

It was silly but y'know, I think it worked quite well. You can just feel being in the same position. You have the perfect cover and it's just blown to hell in minutes. Worst of all, Bond had the leave the poor soul to die which is a very bitter note.

ajb007/biggrin  Indeed... Choose your next cover more wisely... it is Rick Roberts isn't it?

And it seems you were undone by a woman. How very Bondian.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

0073 wrote:

To me the number one difference between the movie and novel OHMSS is that in the novel Bond is contemplating resignation because he is kept on the search for Blofeld, he feels  that this could be taken care of with standard police methods and would like to return back to his regular duties. In the movie he decides to resign because he is taken of the Operation Bedlam.

Yeah to be fair it's more consistent and personal in the film, but I prefer the book, I don't like it when it gets personal.

It's odd as the book is a very easy read, more than just about any of them, yet the film - which if pretty faithful - becomes very longwinded imo, quite heavygoing. In the main this is because Tracy is sketched briefly but effectively in the book; they don't get much time together, whereas a relationship has to develop in the film, and imo Hunt lacks the light touch to pull it off succinctly, I never feel there is really anything there. Sure, We Have All The Time in the World is a great song, but I don't like it in the film with the romantic montage, it's corny. A Vie En Rose type song tinkling in the background slightly would be better imo.

In the film Tracy shows up and there's another ski chase to consolidate her and Bond's relationship. He couldn't just propose the way he does in the book, it seems too hasty.

To be fair, the film's ascent to Piz Gloria, which I watched on Xmas Eve, is just stunning and better than the book deserves. Even so, Lazenby puffing his cheeks and looking nervous as Sir Hilary is misdirected; you think it's actually Bond being a bit wet at first.

Have you seen this excellent clip on youtube?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92R6ey-yRkM

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Napoleon Plural wrote:

ajb007/biggrin  Indeed... Choose your next cover more wisely... it is Rick Roberts isn't it?

ajb007/lol      THAT made me chuckle! NP, you are a genius!

And just to say: "I knew it", in September 2009 already!

http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/33891/omg … the-scope/

Last edited by Higgins (31st Dec 2010 18:57)

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

How many personas does he have?

That said, how can I be sure that I'm not Rick Roberts?

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Isn't this whole Rick/Ricardo thingie a smashing way to end the year??  ajb007/lol

Waitaminnit---NP, you're not Rick Roberts...

...

...are you?

ajb007/amazed

"Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

pretty certain, he's not Rick Roberts.

Sometimes, NP is very funny - RR never was!

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.

-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

My weighing between OHMSS the book vs. movie boils down to elements that I thought were cool.  I liked the somewhat world-weary, retrospective Bond in the novel, the Fleming interpretation of underworld thuggery (similar to his American gangsters in GF and DAF), Bond’s visit to M’s home (with the report from Ag and Fish), the car chase between Bond and Tracy, the Piz Gloria escape and the car chase between the enemy Mercedes and Tracy’s Lancia equipped with snow-studded rally tires.  However, the two elements that to me were critical when comparing the book and movie, that were weaker in the book, was Tracy’s characterization and a Piz Gloria that wasn’t as fascinating as the one in the film. 

Like those two elements (Tracy and Piz Gloria), what I really like about the film is how it managed to make itself a celebration of both the Bond film series without really making it a “greatest hits” event, while paying reverent respect to the Fleming elements of the book series.  More importantly, the movie managed to flesh out, albeit with some minor and medium changes, the basic elements and essence of the books so that the two still resemble each other, IMO, unlike CR the movie, which really was left with no choice in taking the seeds of the novel to then take on a (larger than) life of its own to barely leave a semblance of the source.

Bond’s clothing was brought up, which I suppose can be a matter of personal taste, or approximations of how movie/book Bond would have/have not dressed.  I think that Lazenby’s wardrobe paid close heed to movie Bond’s Saville Row heritage (his suits with waistcoats, and his military inspired blazer in Bond and Tracy’s “love montage.”  Nonetheless, I actually like the “departures” like Bond’s white suit (shades of Marcello Mastroianni from the end of La Dolce Vita), his golf/leisure suit, and ruffled tuxedo shirt, which remind me of the Playboy image of the 60s that eventually merged into movie Bond’s invented style, which IMO actually began with Connery after FRWL. 

Diana Rigg’s Tracy was such a great improvement over the sappy, neurotic Tracy in the book.  The element is so important that it “made,” but could have broken the movie if done wrong.  Same with Piz Gloria and the other Swiss locales, beginning with the discovery of that building on the Schilthorn, which made the last half of the movie an almost magical experience to watch.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the book and it is and will always be my favorite of the Fleming books, but when comparing the two, I just like the movie a bit more.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Supes, that's a pretty awesome going-over, can't help but agree on all points.  To the two big ones you mentioned - Tracy and Piz Gloria - I think I'd add just one more: action.  I very much like Fleming's near first-person POV on the Piz Gloria escape ski chase and bob sled finale, but overall the film notches up the action/fights/chases/stuntwork bigtime yet still leaves it all feeling pretty organic to the plot.  Probably the best example, Hunt really had the touch (also with the love story, not just keeping it but like you say really making it sing).  Oh, and Barry's score is outstanding!

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

The book does not feature one man: Louis Armstrong ajb007/biggrin

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

What was that line about preferring Peking duck or Russian caviar?  Why do we have to "prefer" either?  The novel is easily one of Fleming's best, and the film is simply one of the finest in the series of movies.  Any way you slice it, I'm a happy man!

Vox clamantis in deserto

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

blueman wrote:

Supes, that's a pretty awesome going-over, can't help but agree on all points.  To the two big ones you mentioned - Tracy and Piz Gloria - I think I'd add just one more: action.  I very much like Fleming's near first-person POV on the Piz Gloria escape ski chase and bob sled finale, but overall the film notches up the action/fights/chases/stuntwork bigtime yet still leaves it all feeling pretty organic to the plot.  Probably the best example, Hunt really had the touch (also with the love story, not just keeping it but like you say really making it sing).  Oh, and Barry's score is outstanding!

Yes, the action sequences!  I forget what keeps me coming back for more, esp. the last 3rd of the movie w/back to back action sequences that are not of the "insert here" variety but which  actually make sense!   The music too, IMO, stand out easily from the rest; it all just seem to work together with the main theme being instrumental and coinciding well with the thematic plot and title of the story, yet living up to its worth among the early Bond movies to carry the evocative feel of the movie experience. 

Great point on the love story, Blue, and going back to Tracy, Dianna Rigg really did a superb job times ten in improving on the character in making us believe that this is The Woman indeed, similar to Holmes' Irene Adler, but much more intense for 007 for him to pursue, win, whom he cannot live without, and for whom he'll invade the farthest corners of hell to avenge, vs. that of the Fleming "bird w/her wing down," charity case that in real life I personally would avoid like the plague since there really was no compelling character and plot development in the novel to persuade me to think otherwise.

But lastly, to HB's post, yes, OHMSS is both my favorite novel and movie and I can easily ignore the others if I had to limit what I could bring to a desert island.  In fact, as a holiday tradition of taking in one form or another of OHMSS, I began to listen again to the audio version of the book, but was derailed after downloading the unabridged audiobook of Andrew Lycett's Ian Fleming bio, a book that I've had for a long time but never managed to read completely; there is suprisingly much about Fleming's time in Switzerland during his formative years as a young man, and therefore much of OHMSS is there too in feel and content.  BTW, this is the kind of stuff in Higson's "By Royal Command," that's practically Fleming nectar, which I like the most in that novel, which IMO no other pastiche Bond novelist managed to do when featuring a snowy or alpine setting in a story.

Last edited by superado (2nd Jan 2011 21:04)

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

I have a tough time separating out OHMSS and YOLT, those two novels seem like two parts to one story (hehe, guess they are).  I think that's why I respond so much to QOS, in a way it's the character-based sequel to OHMSS the film that we never got.  It's surprisingly easy for me to substitute Tracy for Vesper as Bond's motivating angel in QOS, and going from Laz in OHMSS to Craig in QOS also works for me vis a vis the novels as we get to see a rather dramatically different side of Bond in YOLT as in QOS.  Not a perfect fit but the best we'll ever get and can't help but be very grateful to EON they made QOS, OHMSS never got its cinematic resolution, for me cinematic Bond's been spinning around like Marlow's ghost for nearly 40 years but QOS puts that baby to sleep nicely.  Sorry to go tangental but OHMSS without YOLT always feels half empty, and (for me) QOS is tied to the film version the way YOLT is tied to the novel.  It's the one short-coming of Hunt's film that's always detracted, not his fault but a hole in the series which QOS - finally! - fills.

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Fair point, but QoS would have worked even better in that regard had it mainly been set in the Alps rather than the desert, which the director opted for instead.

Overall I prefer the book for reasons previously stated. The film does follow it very closely (I'd forgotten about the bobsleigh ride popping up in the book finale) but any differences made by the film I don't enjoy too much. It's odd to me that the book is a light, fast read but the film is a bit indigestible imo. The ABC reedit is notorious, but actually Fleming did a bit of messing with the time frame himself, as the opener with Tracy is a flash forward of sorts.  ajb007/smile  Shame about the Leslie Phillips voice over! ("I say! I happen to find myself bombing down Piz Gloria, escaping from my arch enemy Blofeld!")

It is a brilliant Christmas read!

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

CmdrAtticus wrote:

Tracy aka Diana Rigg - I had a crush on this actress just like every other boy at that time and I really enjoyed her in OHMSS.  However....if they had been staying closer to the character in the novel, (blonde hair, Corisican/English), I would have liked to have seen someone like Virna Lisi in the role.  She certainly would have fit Fleming's description.


http://s2.postimage.org/1dkw6wisk/Lisi.jpg

http://s2.postimage.org/1dlcq9zqc/Virna1.jpg

Wow!  Yes, Virna Lisi is a goddess!  I really appreciate the physical appearances of the Bond girls and I feel that blondes were either poorly or under represented in the movies.  However, as I posted earlier, I felt that Tracy was such a weakly written character, that trying to cast or interpret Tracy "faithfully" would merely be an exercise of honoring an aspect of the novel that IMO is not at all that worthy, e.g., blindly following the novel for its own sake.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Hot edgy blonde circa '69 who could play like she's burning her candle out too soon = Faye Dunaway.  Of course she woulda blown poor George right off the screen, lol.  But Rigg was great, no complaints. ajb007/smile

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

If the rumours are true, La Rigg blew Lazenby off screen...

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: OHMSS: Do you prefer the book or the film?

Napoleon Plural wrote:

If the rumours are true, La Rigg blew Lazenby off screen...

IF thats true she put a little more than garlic in her mouth. ajb007/wink