December 19, 1969: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service released in UK & US cinemas

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a British spy film and the sixth in the James Bond series produced byby Eon Productions. It is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. Following Sean Connery‘s decision to retire from the role after You Only Live Twice, Eon Productions selected an unknown actor and model, George Lazenby, to play the part of James Bond. During the making of the film, Lazenby announced that he would play the role of Bond only once.

In the film, Bond faces Blofeld (Telly Savalas), who is planning to hold the world ransom by the threat of sterilising the world’s food supply through a group of brainwashed “angels of death”. Along the way Bond meets, falls in love with, and eventually marries Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg).

It is the only Bond film to be directed by Peter R. Hunt, who had served as a film editor and second unit director on previous films in the series. Hunt, along with producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, decided to produce a more realistic film that would follow the novel closely. It was shot in Switzerland, England, and Portugal from October 1968 to May 1969. Although its cinema release was not as lucrative as its predecessor You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was still one of the top performing films of the year. Critical reviews upon release were mixed, but the film’s reputation has improved greatly over time.

FAR UP! FAR OUT! FAR MORE!

James Bond 007 is back!

Whilst on leave, British agent James Bond prevents a young woman, Tracy Draco, from committing suicide. Her father is the head of a powerful crime syndicate who is impressed by Bond and wants him to protect his daughter by marrying her. In exchange he offers Bond information which will lead 007 to his arch enemy Ernst Blofeld. At first Bond agrees to the deal purely to fulfil his objective to kill Blofeld but later he grows to love Tracy but when the British learn that Blofeld plans to destroy mankind with a deadly virus, 007 is torn between his loyalty to his county and his intent to marry Tracy. [IMDb.com]

Find out more*

Notable cast & crew

  • George Lazenby, “James Bond”
  • Diana Rigg, “Countess Tracy di Vicenzo”
  • Telly Savalas, “Ernst Stavro Blofeld”
  • Bernard Lee, “M”
  • Lois Maxwell, “Miss Moneypenny”
  • George Baker, “Sir Hilary Bray”
  • Bernard Horsfall, “Shaun Campbell”
  • Desmond Llewelyn, “Q”

Blofeld’s Angels of Death

  • Catherine Schell, “Nancy”
  • Joanna Lumley, “English girl”
  • Julie Ege, “Scandinavian Girl”
  • Jenny Hanley, “Irish girl”

Crew

  • Peter R Hunt, director
  • Harry Saltzman, co-producer
  • Albert R Broccoli, co-producer
  • John Barry, music
  • Eon Productions, production company
  • United Artists, distributor

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September 24, 1969: The Blood of Fu Manchu flowed into US cinemas

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The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)

The Blood of Fu Manchu, also known as Fu Manchu and the Kiss of Death, Kiss of Death, Kiss and Kill (US title) and Against All Odds (original US video title), is a British adventure crime film based on the fictional Asian villain Fu Manchu created by Sax Rohmer. It was the fourth film in a series.

LUSCIOUS LIPS – Lethal in their biting sting of death!

Strange Report (ITV, 1969)

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Strange Report (1969) titlecard

Strange Report is a British television drama starring Anthony Quayle as Adam Strange. It was produced by ITC Entertainment and first broadcast on September 21, 1969.

Adam Strange, a retired Home Office criminologist, solves bizarre cases – which had been marked “Open File” by various government departments – with the help of Hamlyn Gynt (Kaz Garas), Evelyn (Anneke Wills) and Professor Marks (Charles Lloyd-Pack). He employed the latest techniques in forensic investigation, which he undertook in his own laboratory in his flat in Warwick Crescent in the Maida Vale/Little Venice area of Paddington.

Unlike other ITC productions, which were created in order to be sold to the U.S. market, Strange Report was created in collaboration with NBC’s films unit Arena in the United States (the show’s executive producer was Norman Felton, better known for his involvement in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), with the suggestion that the first half of the series would take place in the United Kingdom and the second half would see Strange visiting the United States. This fell through, which explains why such a short season of episodes was created. The second series also fell through because Quayle and Wills decided not to continue due to personal concerns.

In the United States, NBC broadcast Strange Report from January 8, 1971.

The series opening theme was composed by Roger Webb.

Find out more at Wikipedia*, and IMDb*.

Sources: Wikipedia* (information, pictures etc), IMDb* (movie release dates), and YouTube* (videos) unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (1969) by the Hollies

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“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (1969) by The Hollies, original single sleeve

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” is a ballad originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, but became a worldwide hit for The Hollies later that year and again for Neil Diamond in 1970. It has been covered by many artists in subsequent years.

The Hollies’ recording, which featured Elton John on piano, was released in the UK on September 19, 1969 [45cat*] where it reached No. 3.

The song was re-released in 1988 in the UK following its use in a television advertisement when it reached the No. 1 spot.

Find out more at Wikipedia*, and Official Charts*.

1969 Performance

Sources: Wikipedia* (information, pictures etc), IMDb* (movie release and original TV broadcast dates), and YouTube* (videos) unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

September, 1968: Dr Who Annual 1969 in all good bookshops

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The Dr Who Annual 1969

The Dr Who Annual 1969 was the fourth Doctor Who annual published by World Distributors, released in September 1968. The hardback cost 12s 6d and featured the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, Victoria Waterfield and Polly.

It contained several text stories, a couple of comic strips, and was packed with features and puzzles.

The cover depicts the Cybermen, Cyber-Controller and Yeti, but they do not appear inside the annual.

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is the TARDIS Data Core* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links