|You Only Live Twice theatrical poster|
|Cast & Crew|
|James Bond:||Sean Connery|
|Producer(s):||Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli|
|Editor:||Peter R. Hunt|
|Theme song:|| "You Only Live Twice" |
John Barry (Composer),
Leslie Bricusse (Composer)
Nancy Sinatra (Performer)
|Facts & Figures|
|Distributed By:||United Artists|
|Released:||12 June 1967 (UK)|
|Running Time:||117 minutes|
|Followed By:||On Her Majesty's Secret Service|
You Only Live Twice is the 5th film in the James Bond series and the fifth to star Sean Connery as MI6 agent James Bond. The film's screenplay was written by Roald Dahl, and lightly based on Ian Fleming's 1964 novel of the same name.
You Only Live Twice is the first Bond film to be directed by Lewis Gilbert, who later directed 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me and 1979's Moonraker, both starring Roger Moore. After its release in 1967, Connery stepped down from the role, leading to the hiring of George Lazenby for 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Connery later returned officially, one last time, in Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
In the film, Bond is dispatched to Japan after American and Russian spacecraft disappear mysteriously in orbit. With one side blaming the other, and an American moonshot just a few days away, Bond goes undercover on a remote Japanese island with local agent Kissy Suzuki, to find the perpetrators, bringing him face to face with Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. This film reveals the features of Blofeld, who was previously a partially-unseen character.
You Only Live Twice became the quintessential example of the spy film particularly with the supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his aspirations of world domination and extravagant lair in a volcano. As a result the film has been parodied greatly perhaps most prominently by the Austin Powers series and the scar-faced Nehru suit wearing Dr. Evil but also in music. The backing soundtrack to the film was used by British singer Robbie Williams in his hit Millennium.
In outer space, a mysterious spacecraft captures and steals manned space capsules, of both the United States and the Soviet Union, in mid-orbit. Thinking that the other government is the cause of their loss, the Cold War world is thrown to the brink of another world war. The United Kingdom's government, however, believes the mystery spacecraft landed in the Sea of Japan indicating, instead, that a Japanese element may be involved.
James Bond, after participating in a charade faking his murder in Hong Kong (to give himself "more elbow room" as M puts it). He is then sent to Japan, to investigate the British suspicion, in conjunction with the Japanese secret service leader "Tiger" Tanaka, to stave off a possible nuclear war. After Bond infiltrates Osato Chemical, and discovers that the company has been delivering quantities of liquid oxygen, a component of rocket fuel. Together, they learn that the true villain behind all this is Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his organization SPECTRE, with China financing him in their effort to have the super powers destroy each other so they may rule supreme over what survives. SPECTRE was discovered to be Osato's client as well.
Bond infiltrates SPECTRE's secret rocket base, hidden in a hollow volcano, while his female partner, Kissy, returns to alert Tanaka. Bond, however, is caught before stopping the final phase of the plan, and is taken before Blofeld. Meanwhile, Tanaka and his élite ninja force attempt to enter the volcano's crater hatch. Unfortunately, they are spotted, and Blofeld shoots at them with the crater's sentry guns. All is hopeless until Bond manages to open the crater hatch, allowing Tanaka's troops' entry in force to the rocket base. In the ensuing battle, Bond enters the rocket launch control room and destroys the SPECTRE spacecraft before it could capture a second U.S. space capsule and spark a war with the U.S.S.R.
Although this film is not the series' first wholly original James Bond film adventure (Bond's infiltration of the Japanese fishing village, and the characters of Blofeld, Tanaka, and Kissy are from the novel), the screenplay by Roald Dahl is the first James Bond screen story to substantially diverge from the original novel's story and plot, due, in part, to having been produced before On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Cast & characters
The cast also included Alexander Knox in a small role as the unnamed President of the United States. Knox had been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1944 for his performance as another President, Woodrow Wilson, in Wilson.
- Directed by: Lewis Gilbert
- Produced by: Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman
- Written by: Ian Fleming
- Screenplay by: Roald Dahl
- Cinematography by: Freddie Young
- Music composed by: John Barry
- Production design by Ken Adam
- Second unit director: Peter R. Hunt
- Main article: You Only Live Twice (soundtrack)
Vehicles & gadgets
- Toyota 2000GT convertible — Owned by Aki. Two prototypes were built especially for the film; no others were made.
- Little Nellie — A heavily armed autogyro that could be transported in several suitcases for quick field assembly.
- Shooting Cigarette — Tiger gives Bond a rocket-shooting cigarette with an accurate range of 30 yards; he uses it against a guard in Blofeld's volcano to reach the control to open the crater hatch, allowing Tanaka's forces to storm the base.
- Safecracker — A small, pocket-sized device that attaches to a safe lock the secret agent wants opened. When properly positioned, the user needs only to turn the combination lock's dial, and the device lights as each correct combination digit is found until the safe is opened. However, Bond learns the hard way that the gadget does not defeat a safe's other security measures, such as alarms.
- This is considered to be one of the most cultured Bond films to date. Unlike most Bond epics featuring England, Russia, or America as prime locations, almost the entire film is set in Japan, and several minutes are devoted towards an elaborate Japanese wedding in the middle of the movie. This is in keeping with Fleming's original novel, which also focused a number of pages (more than the usual for a Bond book) to the discussion of Japanese culture.
- The film is unusual in the degree that it illustrates a camaraderie between James Bond and Tanaka, a.k.a. Tiger. The two are seen cavorting about in several scenes during the movie, and seem to form a genuine friendship, and not simply a business association through the course of the movie. This is also in keeping with Fleming's novel. Tiger even seems to have come up with a nickname for Bond in this film, at one point calling him "Zero Zero".
- James Bond is married in this film, although controversy exists over whether it is a legitimate marriage because he chose a fake name to go undercover when the marriage occurred. Since his wife, Kissy, survives it leaves open whether he was still married under Japanese law when he wed Tracy in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
- During the movie, James Bond tells expatriate Henderson he has never been in Japan. It contradicts the scene in the earlier From Russia with Love in which 007 tells Tatiana (Tania) Romanova that "once when I was with M in Tokyo, we had an interesting experience."
- Dr. Evil (from Austin Powers), a spoof of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, was inspired by, more than any other actor, Donald Pleasence's portrayal in You Only Live Twice. Both share the same grey suit, bald head, pet kitty, facial scar, and bulging eyes.
- Blofeld's volcano lair, complete with internal monorail system, was heavily borrowed for the 2004 film The Incredibles.
- Jan Werich was originally cast to play Blofeld. After five days, both Gilbert and Broccoli determined that Werich wasn't menacing enough, and recast Donald Pleasence in the role – the official excuse being that Werich was ill.
- The death of Helga occurs when Blofeld presses the footpedal and lets her fall into a piranha-infested tank. This death resembles the death of the archvillain's secretary in The Spy Who Loved Me who fell down a trap elevator into a shark tank. Both films were directed by the same man.
- Kissy Suzuki's last name is never mentioned on screen, and is known only from the closing credits where the character is identified fully (and, of course, from reading Fleming's novel). The only other Bond girl likewise unidentified is Octopussy, whose real name is never revealed (although in the movie, Octopussy gives her father's last name as Smyth).
- It has been reported that Blofeld's cat was so surprised by the loud noises in the finale that it was only found several days later cowering in the rafters of the volcano set.
- This was the first film in which M's office is shown to be "portable", relocating to a submarine. This gimmick would be revived in The Man with the Golden Gun (in which M's office is hidden aboard the wreck of the RMS Queen Elizabeth in Hong Kong Harbor), The Spy Who Loved Me (hidden inside an Egyptian tomb), Moonraker (located in a monastery in Brazil), and The Living Daylights (on board a C-130).
- While filming, Connery's then-wife, Diane Cilento, had to replace Mie Hama (as Kissy Suzuki) for a swimming scene, because the Japanese actress was struck with stomach cramps. Other sources suggest Cilento stepped in because it was discovered that Hama could not swim.
- Connery was involved in a minor scandal while filming when he stated that he didn't find Japanese women sexy.
- The manned U.S. spacecraft named Jupiter in the film are clearly Gemini vessels, flown between 1965 and 1966 with two astronauts to test various systems and procedures vital to the successor manned space project, Apollo, that would land the first men on the Moon in 1969. These procedures included EVA and spacecraft docking.
- The Soviet manned spacecraft shown — ironically named Gemini — are based on early (incorrect) U.S. speculations about Soviet Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft — the designs of which were not revealed officially by the Soviet Union until 1967.
- The launch scene of the Soviet mission was actually a Gemini launch on a Titan II rocket from Cape Kennedy, Florida (note the palm trees).
- Cubby Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, Ken Adam, Lewis Gilbert and Freddie Young were due to return to the UK on a BOAC Boeing 707 flight on March 5, 1966 after scouting locations across Japan. The group cancelled their tickets when they were told they had a chance to watch a ninja demonstration. That flight crashed 25 minutes after take off, killing all on board.
|007 5 You Only Live Twice - Official Trailer 1967(03:15)|
Opening Title Sequence
|You Only Live Twice Opening Credits(02:36)|
|Bond 41 Little Nellie (You Only Live Twice)(02:51)||Bond 16 Bond Meets His Nemesis (You Only Live Twice)(01:40)|
|Little Nellie Flight||Bond finally meets Blofeld face to face|
|You Only Live Twice Bond 50 (1967) - Clip You Made A Mistake(01:12)||You Only Live Twice Bond 50 (1967) - Clip I've Got You Now(01:18)|
|"You made a mistake"||"I've got you now"|
|Bond 49 Piranha Feeding Time (You Only Live Twice)(01:26)|
|Blofeld feeds Helga Brandt to the piranhas|
- You Only Live Twice (1967) at IMDb
- MGM's site on the movie
- Ian Fleming bibliography of first editions - illustrated
|James Bond films|
Dr. No (1962) - From Russia with Love (1963) - Goldfinger (1964) - Thunderball (1965) - You Only Live Twice (1967) - Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
| George Lazenby |
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Live and Let Die (1973) - The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) - Moonraker (1979) - For Your Eyes Only (1981) - Octopussy (1983) - A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987) - Licence to Kill (1989)
GoldenEye (1995) - Tomorrow Never Dies (1998) - The World Is Not Enough (1999) - Die Another Day (2002)
Casino Royale (2006) - Quantum of Solace (2008) - Skyfall (2012) - Bond 24 (2015) - Bond 25
Casino Royale (1954) - Casino Royale (1967) - Never Say Never Again (1983)