Switzerland celebrates 50 years of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
George Lazenby, along with an illustrious roll-call of cast and other protagonists in the iconic James Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, descended on the Schilthorn in Switzerland over the weekend to celebrate the movie’s 50th anniversary.
Thanks to the movie, which was filmed from 21 October 1968 to 17 May 1969 in the village of Mürren and on the Schilthorn summit, this peak is now often referred to as the James Bond mountain and has a firm place on the world map.
“Without the film, the Schilthorn as an excursion peak with its famous revolving restaurant,Piz Gloria, wouldn’t exist in its current form”, explains Schilthorn Cableway CEO Christoph Egger.
The Bond films have no doubt amassed a global fan community whose members enjoy visiting the movies’ seminal filming locations. To celebrate the anniversary of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in style, “On the Tracks of 007″, an anniversary tour initiated and led by Martijn Mulder, took in film settings and locales in Portugal before culminating in the event on the Schilthorn – Piz Gloria on Saturday, 1 June 2019.
Some 280 Bond devotees congregated in and around Mürren on Saturday, where among scenic carriage and helicopter rides, Erich Glavitza, the coordinator of the famous stock car race, shared his memories with the fans at the site where the scene was filmed.
The legendary Q The Music – James Bond Tribute Band rounded off the evening’sentertainment, with the guests hitting the dance floor to the ever-popular classic Bond tunes.
The cast who attended the anniversary celebration included George Lazenby (James Bond), Catherine Schell (Nancy), Terence Mountain (Raphael), Helena Ronee (Israeli Girl), Jenny Hanley (Irish Girl), Sylvana Henriques (Jamaican Girl), John Glen (2nd unit director, editor, director of five Bond films), Steven Saltzman (son of producer Harry Saltzman), Terry AcklandSnow (draftsman/art department), Erich Glavitza (stock car race coordinator and driver), Stefan Zürcher (stuntman/ski double), Eddie Stacey (stuntman), Vic Armstrong (stuntman, 2nd unit director), Wendy Leech (stunt woman, daughter of George Leech, Lazenby’s stunt double.
How did Bond end up on the Schilthorn?
The producer of the sixth Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service tasked the location scout Hubert Fröhlich with finding a mountain setting that was suitable for filming dramatic, action-packed scenes. A hotel concierge in Grindelwald showed him a picture of the nearby Schilthorn. Fröhlich approached the then Schilthorn Cableway director Paul Eggenberg and chairman of the board Ernst Feuz, and their talks quickly paved the way for the implementation of the project.
Once the location had received the go-ahead of the producers Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, Eon Productions and director Peter Hunt, the Schilthorn’s destiny was sealed, with the film project playing a vital contribution towards the completion of the cableway and revolving summit restaurant. The summit restaurant served as the headquarters of the villain Blofeld and his global criminal organization Spectre and was called Piz Gloria in the film. The movie propelled the excursion peak – which retains the Piz Gloria moniker to this day – to instant fame.
Schilthorn Cableway has kept in step with the times during the last five decades with continuous updates, renovations and the addition of new attractions.
“BOND WORLD and the WALK OF FAME were designed to let visitors immerse themselves in the world of the film,” Christoph Egger explains.
Original fixtures and fittings from the movie, such as the golden grille by the staircase in the revolving restaurant, still provide popular photo opportunities for visitors to the Schilthorn.