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One of the best yet most little-known films in the Bond series finds 007 (short-lived Connery replacement George Lazenby) pursuing SPECTRE mastermind Blofeld to a mountain fortress in the Swiss Alps while simultaneously embarking on another dangerous adventure: falling in love with fast-living, suicidal countess Tracy (Diana Rigg).
Australian model George Lazenby was an unlikely replacement for Sean Connery as Bond, and departed the series after this single outing — but the film itself is one of the best and most distinctive of the series, a relatively straightforward yet sensationally exciting spy thriller. On the hunt for elusive SPECTRE chief Blofeld, Bond takes a time-out for romance with fast-living, suicidal Countess Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo (ex-Avenger Diana Rigg) — whose father, the affable crime lord Draco (Gabriele Ferzetti), promises to help Bond find his quarry if he will marry Tracy and "cure" her of her self-destructive ways. Putting off matrimony for the moment, Bond follows Blofeld's trail to a clinic on a remote Swiss mountaintop, where the criminal genius (played by Telly Savalas this time out) has hatched a plan to hold the United Nations to ransom through the threat of bacteriological warfare. In his first and only directing job on the series, long-time Bond editor Peter Hunt stages a succession of dynamic action sequences — lightning-quick punch-ups, ski, car, and bobsled chases, and a thrilling final aerial assault on Blofeld's alpine lair — and, more surprisingly, brings a rare emotional weight to the series in Bond and Tracy's tender courtship, leading to a doubly surprising (even shocking) finale.