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You Only Live Twice [1967]

Director:Lewis Gilbert
Writer:Roald Dahl
Composer:John Barry
Length:117 minutes
(1 hour 57 minutes)
Sorting Category:Action
IMDB Rating:6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:71%
Amazon Rating:4.0/5 stars
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Synopsis: Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war is provoked.

Reaction: Not my favorite, but an interesting story.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Lewis Gilbert => Director
Roald Dahl => Writer
John Barry => Composer
Ian Fleming => Novel
Akiko Wakabayashi => Aki
Alexander Knox => American President (uncredited)
Bernard Lee => 'M'
Charles Gray => Henderson
Desmond Llewelyn => 'Q'
Donald Pleasence => Blofeld
Karin Dor => Helga Brandt
Lois Maxwell => Miss Moneypenny
Mie Hama => Kissy
Nikki Van der Zyl => Kissy Suzuki (voice) (uncredited)
Peter Fanene Maivia => Car Driver
Ric Young => Chinese Agent (uncredited)
Robert Rietty => Tiger Tanaka (voice) (uncredited)
Sean Connery => James Bond
Teru Shimada => Mr. Osato
Tetsurô Tanba => Tiger Tanaka (as Tetsuro Tamba)
Tsai Chin => Ling, Chinese Girl in Hong Kong
Vic Armstrong => Ninja #1 (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • The novel of "You Only Live Twice" was the last Ian Fleming [James Bond] novel published during his lifetime. Released on 16 March 1964, it was the twelfth novel in the series. For the first time in the [James Bond] film series, the screen story bore little resemblance to the source novel. Some characters and the Japanese setting remain intact, as do several minor details (the oubliette, and the man wearing a face mask, etc.), but the two stories are radically different.
  • As this was anticipated to be Sean Connery's last appearance as Bond, publicity material released in advance of the movie announced Bond would be killed, married and become Japanese. While these events were portrayed in the film, they were actually ruses as part of Bond's undercover activities.
  • The face of Ernst Stavro Blofeld is shown for the first time in a movie. Of all the many actors who have played Blofeld, it is the interpretation by Donald Pleasence in this film which is the source for the Mike Myers parody of the character as Dr. Evil in the [Austin Powers] movie spoofs. Blofeld appeared in later [Bond] movies, played by a different actor each time.
  • Blofeld never blinks when talking.
  • James Bond does not drive a car in this film. This is the only EON Productions [James Bond] film to date in which James Bond does not drive a vehicle.
  • The fifth film in the official [James Bond] series and also was the fifth for Sean Connery as James Bond, Bernard Lee as M and Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny. And it was the fourth for Desmond Llewelyn as Q.
  • This was the only Sean Connery [Bond] movie never to receive any BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) cuts.
  • In the novel, Ian Fleming describes Blofeld's hide-out as being a castle on the coast. [?] Ken Adam discovered that this could never be. The Japanese never built their castles directly on the coast for fear of typhoons. Hence the creation of the elaborate volcano set.
  • The title of "You Only Live Twice" comes from a haiku (or poem) included in the Ian Fleming novel on which the film is based. It goes: "You only live twice. Once when you are born. And once when you look death in the face." In the novel, the poem is written by James Bond for his friend Tiger Tanaka. Due to a badly-worded attribution at the front of the novel, the poem is sometimes incorrectly believed to have been written by a Japanese poet called Matsuo Basho (See: Bashô Matsuo.) It is clarified in the novel that it should not be considered a haiku at all i.e. it is a poor attempt at writing poetry by Bond after being taught how to do so. The novel and its epigraph explain that the haiku is "after Basho" i.e. written in the style of the famous 17th Century Japanese poet.
  • The rocket pistol, and cigarette rocket, were real-life weapons that were featured after the manufacturer paid for the product placement. It was hoped they would become standard military and intelligence equipment; however, they proved to be too expensive (ammunition cost three times as much as normal ammo), clumsy (useless at any distance under 15 yards), and unreliable (horribly inaccurate and tended to start fires), and ceased production in 1969.
  • Tsai Chin, who played Bond's playmate in the opening pre-credit sequence, returned to the Bond series nearly 40 years later when she played one of the players in Le Chiffre's big poker match in Casino Royale.
  • Out of simple courtesy on Bond's part, this is the only film in which he accepts a Martini (from Henderson) that is stirred, not shaken. This is an intentional joke by the producers, not a mistake by either of the actors.