When an American space capsule is swallowed up by what they believe to be a Russian spaceship, World War 3 nearly breaks out. The British Government, however, suspect that other powers are at work as the space craft went down near Japan. S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is the force behind the theft, as James Bond discovers, but its motives are far from clear, and he must first find out where the captured space capsule is held before America and Russia initiate another world war. Written by
Graeme Roy <email@example.com>
Footage of the US Jupiter spacecraft in the film is actually film of the real Gemini spacecraft which flew between 1965 and 1966. The Gemini spacecraft were used for testing of such activities as EVA and docking for the Apollo space project which was to follow. Ironically, the Soviet spacecraft in the film were called Gemini (the name of the real life US spacecraft) and their designs were based on inaccurate UK perceptions of what the Russian Voskhod and Vostok spacecraft looked like, something which was not known until 1967 after the film had wrapped shooting. See more »
When Osato and Brandt land on the helicopter landing pad to meet Bond (as Mr. Fischer), the helicopter lands across the top of the "H" on the pad, near the edge of the circle, and it is facing slightly to the left of the camera. After a close-up of the tail rotor, the helicopter is now resting along the side of the "H", is further inside the circle, and is now facing to the right. See more »
This particular 007 entry (which was intended to be Sean Connery's last before he would agreed to return one more time for his sixth shot as 006 in 'Diamonds are Forever (1971)' and lets not the forget the unofficial 'Never Say Never Again' in 1983) was the first Bond film I encountered and from that it has always remained a total favourite. "You Live Only Twice" we see Bond travel to the land of the rising sun (Japan) in what is quite an expansive concept (dazzling set-designs with spectacular non-stop action) and very well-budgeted effort that lingers on a extremely comic-book-like tone (thanks largely to Roald Dahl's industriously well-guided screenplay that plays its cards close to the chest) with its characters, atmospherics and set-pieces that for me would make it one of the most creative and exciting inclusions to the series.
Bond heads to Japan racing to uncover the true mastermind behind the space-jacking that could see another world war, as British sources believe that the mysterious rocket ship which has seized American and Russian space shuttles originates from there, but those countries believe otherwise than each other for the acts.
Couple of things which made it more the memorable would be that it's the first chance we get to see arch villain SPECTRE Agent #1 Ernst Blofeld's face, than just the hand stroking the cat although the first hour we get enough of that. It's a devilishly meaty Donald Pleasence who just seemed the part of Blofeld. Now who didn't love the hidden lair that was in an inactive volcano, and of course Blofeld's pool of pet piranhas. The inventive gadget novelty was really making a mark, just look the deadly mini-copter named 'Nelly' and the dangerous effects of smoking around others. Strangely enough the (witty) script seemed to spit out a few self-knowing quips involving cigarettes, which became rather odd. Director Lewis Gilbert (who would go on to control the very similar in story-structure "The Spy Who Loved Me" and then following that the plain goofy "Moonraker") does a tersely capable job with a fast moving pace that shifted from one well organized set-piece to another (like the chase on-top of a rooftop in a fishing docks that's masterfully captured by cinematographer Freddie Young) to finally finish on a barnstorming climax (with none other than ninjas) and then a familiarly fitting final frame. Sean Connery might look a little tired (a bit funny trying to make himself look like Japanese under make-up), but remains just as charismatic and fittingly lean when it came to getting down and dirty (Bond and his tussle with Blofeld's massive henchman Hans comes to mind). The bond girls shape up nicely in the form of Akiko Wakabayashi, Mie Hama and the stunning German redhead Karin Dor. Tetsurô Tanba was good as Bond's Japanese counterpart. Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewelyn treat us to their iconic roles. John Barry's classy music score has a smoothly oriental touch, which can get actively copious when called for and theme song "You Only Live Twice" is enticingly sung by Nancy Sinatra.
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