You Only Live Twice, the previous film, was big on spectacle, enormous sets, and plenty of gadgets and technology. Some say it was the first film to really get away from MI6 spy character that Fleming wrote about. I still really enjoy You Only Live Twice, but Hunt decided to stick to the story for OHMSS, which is strong, and put an emphasis on the character over the adventure. The way the story develops is quite interesting. Bond saves Diana Rigg's character, Tracy, from committing suicide, and after an altercation with some henchman, Bond is intrigued by this woman and worms is way into her life. One thing leads to another and Bond has accepted an offer, from Tracy's father, to court her in return for information regarding Blofeld, the man who Bond has been battling with since Dr. No. Lazenby is his own Bond, and does his best to stick to Fleming's character and not try to draw comparisons to Connery. This was Hunt's first time directing, and he set out to make a glamorous film, and drew inspiration from his favorite directors.
All aspects of the film seem to have been done with great care. The action scenes are very well done, and unique to Hunt, who had a career as an editor. The film has a terrific score from composer John Barry, who also got Louis Armstrong to sing the song We Have All The Time In The World, which makes a perfect love song for Bond and Tracy. Diana Rigg was the right choice for the lead, because you really believe Bond would fall in love with her. There love story is interrupted while Bond goes undercover at Blofeld's new hideout at Piz Gloria, on a mountain in Switzerland. Piz Gloria proved to be a gorgeous location that was an inspired choice to shoot the film. Hunt also shot a few Hitchcockian suspense scenes that really bring back the espionage feel of a spy thriller. These sequences go largely without any dialogue, which is refreshing for a James Bond film. Don't worry, there are plenty of well shot, dangerous, and exciting action sequences as well. The running time is 140 minutes, which is second longest for the series. I find it to be a well paced 140 minutes. It's a good story and Hunt made sure it was well told.
If you're not all familiar with this entry, I'd strongly suggest you check it out. It's in the least, an interesting entry. Whether Lazenby has become one of the more well liked actors, that's hard to say. The Bond devotees I know certainly put him near the top of the list, and they put this film near the top, too. For me it's easy to see why. It's got all the ingredients that make Bond, the character, great, even though it may look and feel quite different from any of the Connery films, or any of the films to follow. It's one of my Christmas films, I watch it every year around this time. Time seems to have treated it favorably, and I only hope it continues to find its audience.