Connect with us
You Only Live Twice James Bond Review
Image: United Artists

Film

You Only Live Twice – is Undeniably an influential Bond film

Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond

James Bond Spotlight: You Only Live Twice

Easily the most parodied of all the James Bond films, You Only Live Twice is the fourth film starring Sean Connery as 007.  After five years portraying the secret agent, it took producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman (as well as an increased fee) to persuade Connery to become Bond once more, before the five-year hiatus before his last official outing, Diamonds Are Forever.

You Only Live Twice is a completely different story in comparison to Ian Fleming’s original novel, as the film sees numerous manned spacecraft disappearing from orbit, with Russia and USA blaming each other during the Cold War.  After faking his death, Bond travels to Japan to join forces with Japanese Secret Service to investigate and meets the head of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

First off, there is one certain inconsistency that dents the film’s credibility: Bond manages to pretend to be a potential business associate and meets with Mr. Osato, a chemical company CEO who is involved in SPECTRE.  Bond’s reported death (and his picture) were reported in the press yet neither Osato nor his assistant Helga Brandt, recognize him.  Instead, the characters go through an almost laughable chase around a shipyard and an escapable plane explosion before SPECTRE realizes that Bond is still alive…and is pretending to be a Japanese fisherman.   Yeah, I don’t get it either.

Images: United Artists

Nonetheless, Connery shows that he can still pull off the charm of being 007 after four years in the role and supporting cast members, especially Mie Hama (Kissy Suzuki) and Akiko Wakabayashi (Aki), perform their short but sweet roles well in an English-speaking film. The most notable character though in the film has to be SPECTRE’s No. 1, Blofeld.

The introduction of this character, aided by Donald Pleasance’s calculating and quite chillingly calm demeanor, is particularly memorable as we see Bond come face-to-face with the antagonist for the first time, not to mention the fact that this character eventually directs the course of the future Bond films due to his involvement with Tracy Bond’s murder, shortly after their wedding.

Along with a screenplay by the classic British author Roald Dahl, who wrote Fantastic Mr FoxMatilda and The Witches, You Only Live Twice incorporates many cultural references of Japan (as shown in Fleming’s original book) as well as highlight the birth of a long-standing collaboration between Bond and Pinewood Studios, where SPECTRE’s epic volcano base was constructed.

It may not be up there with Dr No or Goldfinger in terms of classic Bond, but You Only Live Twice has certain elements that have shaped the series to what it is today.  The emphasis on gadgets and technology, the megalomaniac with aspirations of a world of chaos, PG-rated scenes of torture…it practically started here. Austin Powers wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for You Only Live Twice.

– Katie Wong

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published under our old brand, Sound On Sight. The article is part of our James Bond Spotlight.

Now Streaming

Written By

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook

Trending

Greatest Grammy Performances of all Time Greatest Grammy Performances of all Time

30 Greatest Grammy Performances of all Time

Culture

Apple 1984 Super Bowl Ad Apple 1984 Super Bowl Ad

A Look Back At The Most Famous Super Bowl Commercial 1984 Directed by Ridley Scott

TV

Greatest-Super-Bowl-Commercials-of-All-Time Greatest-Super-Bowl-Commercials-of-All-Time

A History of The Greatest Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

TV

Greatest Royal Rumble Matches of All time Greatest Royal Rumble Matches of All time

Greatest Royal Rumble Matches

Wrestling

The Best Romantic Comedies The Best Romantic Comedies

Happy Valentine’s Day: Here are the 50 Best Romantic Comedies

Film

best Super Bowl halftime shows in history best Super Bowl halftime shows in history

The 15 Best Super Bowl Halftime Shows in History 

TV

Greatest Romantic Comedies Greatest Romantic Comedies

Happy Valentine’s Day: Here are the 50 Best Romantic Comedies

Film

Videodrome Videodrome

Videodrome is a Different Kind of Modern Classic

Film

The Best TV Shows That Premiered After A Super Bowl The Best TV Shows That Premiered After A Super Bowl

The Best TV Shows That Premiered After A Super Bowl

TV

Quentin Tarantino’s New Book Cinema Speculation, is a Groovy Read Quentin Tarantino’s New Book Cinema Speculation, is a Groovy Read

Quentin Tarantino’s New Book Cinema Speculation is a Groovy Read

Culture

The Last of Us Infected The Last of Us Infected

The Last of Us Looks for Love in a Hopeless Place with “Infected”

TV

Hear Me Out Hear Me Out

Hear Me Out Never Finds Its Own Voice

Film

Kaleidoscope Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope (2023): How the Newest Hypnotic Netflix Toy Stumbles with its Unique Format

TV

Bill Nighy is a Living Marvel in This Kurosawa Remake

Culture

The Last of Us When You're Lost in the Darkness The Last of Us When You're Lost in the Darkness

The Last of Us Begins with the Bleak, Familiar “When You’re Lost in the Darkness”

TV

Sundance 2023: The Eight Must-See Films at the Festival

Culture

Connect