Review: ‘You Only Live Twice’

Film begins with a prolog in which a US astronaut's spacewalk is interrupted by another spacecraft that, crocodile-style, opens its jaws and swallows the capsule. US government is peeved at what it assumes to be a Russian attempt to foil space exploration, and 007 is assigned by helpful British intelligence to locate the missing rocket before full-scale war breaks out between the two nuclear powers.

Film begins with a prolog in which a US astronaut’s spacewalk is interrupted by another spacecraft that, crocodile-style, opens its jaws and swallows the capsule. US government is peeved at what it assumes to be a Russian attempt to foil space exploration, and 007 is assigned by helpful British intelligence to locate the missing rocket before full-scale war breaks out between the two nuclear powers.

Film’s title refers to Bond’s ‘murder’, which precedes the credits. Ensconced with the first in a long line of Japanese beauties he is abruptly gunned down and pronounced dead in her bed by officials.

Sean Connery plays 007 with his usual finesse. Rest of cast in the $9.5 million film is strictly secondary, although Akiko Wakabayashi and Tetsuro Tamba register well as Bond’s Japanese cohorts. Donald Pleasence makes a suitably menacing German heavy who appears in film’s final scenes. [Additional story material by Harold Jack Bloom.]

You Only Live Twice

UK

Production

United Artists/Eon. Director Lewis Gilbert; Producer Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman; Screenplay Roald Dahl; Camera Freddie Young; Editor Peter Hunt; Music John Barry; Art Director Ken Adam

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 117 MIN.

With

Sean Connery Akiko Wakabayashi Tetsuro Tamba Mie Hama Karin Dor Donald Pleasence
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