You Only Live Twice

 Posted by on November 1, 2006  Movies  Add comments
Nov 012006
 

… And twice is the only way to live!

 

An orchestrated attempt to jump-start a war between the two superpowers is made by attacking their space rockets; British intelligence sources believe the answer to the crisis can be found in Japan. The fifth James Bond flick opens with the murder of our hero. Well, his condition improves quickly and he finds the man behind the main plot, Blofeld. This is the first time we actually see his face, and Donald Pleasence portrays him as deeply demented; it’s pretty effective. The “space-jacking” part of the story is silly, but the Japanese ingredients give the film its flavor (there’s even a Eastern bride for Bond), and the production design is spectacular.

1967-Britain. 116 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli. Directed by Lewis Gilbert. Screenplay: Roald Dahl. Novel: Ian Fleming. Music: John Barry. Song: “You Only Live Twice” (performed by Nancy Sinatra). Production Design: Ken Adam. Cast: Sean Connery (James Bond), Akiko Wakabayashi (Aki), Tetsuro Tamba (Tiger Tanaka), Mie Hama, Karin Dor, Bernard Lee… Desmond Llewelyn, Donald Pleasence.

Trivia: Charles Gray makes a minor appearance; he was to play Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Followed by On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).

Quote: “Oh, the things I do for England.” (Connery about to have sex with Dor)

Last word: “[Gilbert] not only helped in script conferences, but had some good ideas and then left you alone, and when you produced the finished thing, he shot it. Other directors have such an ego that they want to rewrite it and put their own dialogue in, and it’s usually disastrous. What I admired so much about Lewis Gilbert was that he just took the screenplay and shot it. That’s the way to direct: You either trust your writer or you don’t.” (Dahl, Starlog)

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