Time to post that 60’s spy film where the female lead wears a red fox fur coat for a big part of the movie. No, not that one, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Yes, it’s the odd-man-out-Bond that is still 100% cannon. I have no opinion on Lazenby’s Bond, but I have many on the ethereal beauty that is Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg, DBE.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – The Film
In a plotline that will be very familiar to modern Bond fans, Bond tries to quit MI6 to go after Blofeld (Telly Savalas). Along the way, he meets up with Contessa Teresa “Tracy” di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg). The Contessa is the daughter of a different notorious crime boss who runs a criminal organization that wants Bond to marry his daughter. Bond plans to play along to continue the Blofeld hunt and ends up legitimately falling in love. Also, Blofeld has a stock ridiculously over-complex plot to hold the world ransom by destroying the food supply.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – The Furs
Let’s talk about that plot. The “Angels of Death” wear some of the furs in the film. They are conditioned to go out into the world and distribute a bioweapon. Because if you’re going to destroy the world’s food supply, you’re going to do it by brainwashing supermodels in Switzerland. They wear furs in a couple of scenes but are usually shot wide in large groups.
The film takes over an hour to meander up to the Swiss Alps, where the fur-wearing begins, and then even longer to get to the good stuff. But what nice stuff it is. Namely, Tracy in a red fox fur stroller and matching hat helping Bond escape Blofeld’s goons in a long chase sequence.
Now, don’t ask me how I know this, but there is approximately 20 seconds worth of reaction shots of Tracy driving during the chase sequence.
Once Bond and Tracy escape, they hide out in a barn, where perhaps the most memorable sequence occurs.
The director was smart enough to lavish a few shots on Tracy, though in this case, I don’t think anyone needed a reminder that Diana Rigg is beautiful and even more so in fox fur.
Bond and Tracy continue to bond… I’ll see myself out.
All good things must come to an end, which I suspect Bond did.
Tracy is captured but manages to borrow a lovely chinchilla-trimmed hooded top to wear through the final action sequence.
Owing in the film to the fact that she’s a crime lord’s daughter, and in the meta, that she got famous playing a capable secret agent in The Avengers, Tracy is shown being about as close an equal for Bond as any love interest ever was. She gets to kick a little henchman butt in the third act. Though the film immediately wastes any goodwill it built up with how she exits the scene.
This remains the all-time champion Bond fur film by a long margin. There are a few others scattered about, but usually brief and quickly left behind. The furs are fabulous, and the person wearing them is beautiful, so definitely a winning combination. While the on-screen ratio is still pretty low, it’s primarily because it is a long-ass movie like most Bond flicks. I’ll take eight and a half minutes of Diana Rigg in red fox and chinchilla any day, even if I have to wade through 142 minutes to get it.
Fur Runtime: approx 11 minutes
Film Runtime: 142 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 7.5%
Find-a-Fur: On Her Majestys Secret Service, 1969
(all times are approximate)
- 01:15:00 – 01:18:10 – group hats
- 01:23:50 – 01:33:00 – group hats 2
- 1:42:30 – 1:53:50 – the red fox
- 2:01:00 – 2:11:20 – chinchilla trim