Becoming Bond (2017)

More docudrama than biopic, Becoming Bond is a hilarious look back at the life of George Lazenby, the Australian model who was chosen to replace Sean Connery as 007, and then gave it all up for… well, not even George knows why.

 

Showing more self-awareness than he apparently did while on Her Majesty’s secret service, Lazenby recounts his early life in Australia, his time as a male model in England and his assumption of the role as James Bond. Interspersing the interview are dramatizations starring Josh Lawson as George, Kassandra Clementi as his first true love and former Bond girl Jane Seymour as his agent.  Complementing Lazenby’s self-deprecating humour, these vignettes comically depict how one of the most sought-after roles in film went to a former used-car salesman with no acting experience. After all, this was the first time Bond would be required to cry on-screen.

 

Arrogance certainly seems to have been a determining factor. First identified as a possible asset by his agent, it also contributed to Lazenby’s subsequent rejection of the role. Yet the film strongly hints that stupidity and naivety also played their part, and it this ‘innocent abroad’ quality that not only makes Lazenby an endearing subject, but underpins the film’s unexpected love story.

 

Forget about any regrets Lazenby may have about 007. It is the girl who loved him that brings the former Bond to tears.

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Producer Harry Saltzman did not push a suitcase full of money across a table towards Lazenby to persuade him to sign on for six more Bond films.

"The real story is Saltzman said, 'Sign the f---ing contract and I'll give you a million dollars, in any bank account you want to name, anywhere in the world".

George Lazenby

Most of the footage from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is archival, but biopic does recreate the opening gun barrel sequence, which remains unique in the Bond series.

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