1976: ABC’s OHMSS showing provides 007 YouTube preview

Over on the discussion boards of the MI6 James Bond fan Web site, there’s A THREAD about the 1976 ABC showing of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service where the U.S. television network did its own major re-working of the 007 film.

In this version, only shown once, right after the gunbarrel logo, the viewer is taken to the middle of the story. ABC hired an actor (who doesn’t particularly sound like George Lazenby, who played 007 in the original 1969 film) to perform a first-person narration by Bond. Well, see for yourself. Here’s a long YouTube video of that ABC broadcast:

We saw that original broadcast. ABC didn’t provide any warning it was reshaping the movie in such a dramatic way. The network’s first broadcast actually split Majesty’s into two 90-minute telecasts (including commercials, of course) over consecutive Monday nights. On the MI6 message board, there were a number of responses expressing shock that ABC had done this. And Bond fans certainly felt much the same way at the time.

But watching it again, got us to thinking: ABC, in a way, provided a preview of what YouTube users do routinely in the 21st Century.

Stop to think about it. How many 007 fans have checked out fan-edited new versions of old James Bond trailers using modern editing techniques. Like this one:

Nor do YouTube users stop at trailers. John Barry is the most famous Bond film composer. Ever wonder what one of the movies he didn’t score would look like with Barry music? Take a visit to YouTube and you’ll see videos like this one, where Barry scores from different 007 films is used for a Live And Let Die scene:

Most ambitiously, YouTube users like to do their own sequences, drawn upon a number of Bond films. For example, ever imagine what it’d be like if all the film Bonds got together to gamble together? Wonder no more:

What ABC did in 1976 went beyond all that. Bond fans tuned in, expecting to see the movie they remembered (minus cuts ABC made for language and other factors.).

They got more than they bargained for. Film directors complain that showing a movie on televison in the “pan and scan” format, rather than letterbox, is “re-directing” the movie. ABC, re-directed, rewrote and re-acted (via the Bond voiceover) Majesty’s. Still, in many ways, ABC was ahead of its time. Checking YouTube videos proves that.

For a more detailed article about the 1976 ABC broadcast of OHMSS, CLICK HERE to read an article on the Dr. Shatterhand’s Botanical Gardens Web site.

MI6 Confidential looks at The Living Daylights

MI6 Confidential has a new issue that includes a look at The Living Daylights, the 15th James Bond film produced by Eon Productions and Timothy Dalton debut as 007.

Articles include Dalton describing his take on the Bond role; a look back at The Living Daylight’s royal premier in 1987; an early look at Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film from Eon now in production; and directors of Bond films discussing their work.

For more information, CLICK HERE The price is 6 British pounds, $10 or 7 euros.