Preparing to see a film like No Time To Die can be a bit of a marathon, depending on how many of the James Bond movies you feel are essential viewings before any new entry. With Daniel Craig’s fifth and final film in his arc of continuity, you would think that at the very least, you’d only need to watch Casino Royale through Spectre and call it a day. I totally agree with that assessment, but there’s one classic 007 movie I’d throw into that pile for good measure. Without spoilers, I can absolutely tell you that if you want a better appreciation for No Time To Die, you need to watch the 1969 classic On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
I don’t make this recommendation due to some sort of secret trap door that helps connect classic and modern James Bond canon. If you’re looking for evidence that the “James Bond is a codename” theory is correct, this isn’t the place to be. However, actor George Lazenby’s solo foray into the world of 007 is an absolutely essential watch for those about to embark on No Time To Die’s landmark journey. The main reason being that director Cary Joji Fukunaga’s film references this movie quite a bit in its telling.
Most notably, and in the most public piece of knowledge we have so far, Hans Zimmer’s No Time To Die score has been proven to use music from the film as crucial mood setting pieces. In the recently released track “Matera,” James Bond and Madeleine Swann’s on-screen romance has found itself using the song “We Have All The Time In The World” as a crucial building block. Acting as the love theme to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the Louis Armstrong version of the song also makes an appearance on the film’s soundtrack, with John Barry's main theme also being quoted in the mix.
Everything from the opening title sequence to the musical cameos brings the legacy of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service into the picture when it comes to No Time To Die. But another big reason to add this still underrated section of James Bond canon to your preparations for Daniel Craig’s big sendoff is because of the risks it took. Which was already a risky prospect, as On Her Majesty’s Secret Service landed back when the world first saw its first new James Bond debut.