On Her Majesty’s Secret Service


Source: Dave’s World

You may remember me mentioning, a while back, that women in sarees often appeared in western films during the late 1960’s. This was a kind of visual shorthand to suggest a cosmopolitan or international location or situation. Here’s a good example.

This is a publicity still from the 1969 James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. I won’t go into the details of the plot other than to say that the women in the picture are supposed to come from all over the World. Indeed, in the cast listing, on IMDB, most of them are just referred to by their supposed country of origin, The Irish Girl, The Australian Girl etc.

To be honest, most of these women could be from just about anywhere but including The Indian Girl and The Chinese Girl makes the multinational nature of the group more obvious along with the fact that The Indian Girl is, of course, wearing a saree.

For the record, The Indian Girl, also referred to as Zara on the cast listing, was played by Zaheera. This was her first film role but after ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ she appeared in a number of Bollywood films in the 70s and 80s including ‘Saal Solvan Chadya’ (1977) and ‘Naukri’ (1978).

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