On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
On Her Majesty's Secret Service Movie Poster Image
007 in ski country -- and marriage territory?
  • PG
  • 1969
  • 144 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Bond is -- as always -- the suave, arch British hero who indulges in recreational sex and gambling. Here he forms an alliance with a gangster. Heroine Tracy shows some fighting skills and strength of her own, though she needs rescuing by James more often than not. As throughout the series, physical attractiveness is equated with goodness, especially in females; the only unpretty woman is the villain's nasty, German-accented second-in-command.

Violence

Lots of fistfights, gunfire, and car crashes. One character is shot at close range. A man on skis falls into a bladed snowplowing machine, which then spews blood-tinged snow. Other characters are engulfed in an avalanche. One man is skewered on a bed of spikes; another is blasted with a flamethrower.

Sex

As with many 007 movies of this vintage, the opening-credit sequence is an artsy montage featuring multicolored silhouettes of nude women. Though we don't see anything explicit, Bond beds a number of girls. At least this time he proposes marriage to one and insists they wait for their wedding night to consumate -- but then he changes his mind instantly. Bond also allows some characters to think he's homosexual.

Language
Consumerism

No problem, unless the parade of luxury '60s automobiles seems heavy-handed.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Recreational drinking and smoking (mostly by the villain).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while James Bond is his usual ladies' man type here, he also masquerades as homosexual -- or, as the euphemistic dialogue puts it, he "doesn't like girls." Despite the comedic moments inherent in this premise, Bond still beds several women (and actually marries one!). Then the movie whipsaws around, ending on a particularly shocking note with the assassination of a sympathetic character. The violence includes a particularly don't-try-this-at-home-or-anywhere-else fight on back of a speeding bobsled. The heroine tries to commit suicide in photogenic fashion by drowning.

User Reviews

Parent of a 2 year old Written bygerbowski October 30, 2012

Don't believe all the negative press, this bond film has still got it

I don't know why everyone is down on this bond movie. I thought it was pretty good, despite the acting of George Lazenby. This installment in the series... Continue reading
Adult Written bytrojan51 April 9, 2008
Kid, 9 years old May 10, 2014

5 on violence really

theres only 2 shots of blood and guts but in one scene it shows a naked lady on a playboy graphic only for like 1 second tough
Teen, 14 years old Written byThe age organizer January 25, 2015

What's the story?

After saving beautiful, troubled young contessa Tracy (Diana Rigg) from killing herself, James Bond (George Lazenby) is attacked by thugs. Tracy is the troubled daughter of a Corsican mobster, who ends up deciding that Bond would be the perfect husband for his daughter, and he offers Bond a fortune to marry her. Bond refuses the offer (at first) but agrees to steady dating -- especially when Daddy's underworld connections can lead Bond to the leader of the SPECTRE criminal group, Ernst Blofeld (Telly Savalas). From his mountaintop lair in the Swiss Alps, Blofeld runs a secret lab brewing nasty chemicals and diseases to unleash on the world via pretty, hypnotized girls. Bond infiltrates Blofeld's stronghold twice, first posing as an effeminate genealogist hired to prove Blofeld's claim that he has royal blood. When Blofeld figures out 007's true identity, the stuntwork really starts. The villain holds Tracy hostage, and Bond assaults the mountaintop again, this time bringing with him a whole legion of his would-be father in-law's soldiers, along with bombs and guns.

Is it any good?

It's a bit on the long and talky side for kids -- until the action begins, and then it's fast and furious. ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE marks the sole starring appearance of Australian-born George Lazenby in the role of 007. It also confronts Bond, somewhat belatedly, with a peril he'd never faced before: getting married. Alas, neither had a happy outcome.

The movie is a pretty bumpy but enjoyable roller-coaster of comedy, thrills, and ultimate tragedy, with the unaccustomed sight of a weeping Bond. Supposedly this film explored the "character" of James Bond as none had before, even down to his family crest and motto ("The World Is Not Enough"), though it's hardly Oscar-grade material -- the suave secret agent who cracks silly jokes and seduces lovely ladies is still a pretty cartoony figure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the peculiar notion of James Bond getting married and settling down. This movie's cruel conclusion at least provides a clue to why 007 (or Indiana Jones, or Batman, or Lara Croft, or any action hero or heroine) never stays permanently with a love interest in the end. Parents might talk about the way moviemakers, novelists, and other pop storytellers ensure that their action idols stay single. Is there an unfair little message in there, that life's worthwhile adventures come to an end with monogamy, marriage, and child responsibilities? You might try to cite movies (most done only in recent years) that dare to suggest otherwise.

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love action

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate