James Bond is an iconic movie character. There have been dozens of Bond movies at this point, but there have also been several different Bond actors. When No Time to Die finally happens, we will have likely seen the final Daniel Craig film as Bond. Craig ended up making five Bond films, third most of the six actors to put on the suit and take on the name 007. That’s a bit of a surprise given how often Craig complained about the role. Many are already speculating about who will be next. Whoever it is, they will likely do more films than George Lazenby did as Bond.
Lazenby famously only played Bond once in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. After that film, Sean Connery actually returned for one more Bond movie, the polarizing Diamonds Are Forever. After that, Roger Moore took over the role and revved up the camp and the winking take on the superspy. This makes Lazenby kind of historically relevant. He’s the one-off Bond. This has also, we speculate, led some to overrate Lazenby as a Bond, or at least to speak more vocally about him in the role. Lazenby, to use the somewhat-current slang, is the hipster’s choice as Bond.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a fine movie. It’s good, but it’s not a remarkable Bond film. Part of that is Lazenby. He’s solid as Bond, but he’s not remarkable. If we try and think of a defining trait of Lazenby as Bond, all we can think of is “He only played him once.” Only Timothy Dalton, who only had two films as Bond, is as indistinct.
Granted, that may be because they both got so few chances to make an impact in a series that has over 20 films. However, that only supports our point. Lazenby’s performance as Bond is not remarkable. He’s not great in the role. He’s not a standout. He also barely is a blip in the series. How can somebody say Lazenby is their favorite Bond? It’s not like saying George Harrison is your favorite Beatle. It’s like saying Pete Best is your favorite Beatle.
If Lazenby had been in even one more Bond film, you would hear less people singing his praises and championing him as one of the best, if not the best, Bond. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a more serious Bond film, once that set the table for the Craig era. Lazenby is no Craig, though. He’s just the guy who played Bond once.