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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
During the opening movie sequence (tracking station) "Hawaii" can be heard calling "Jupiter 16" - this is contrary to proper protocol. Tracking stations only relay communications between Houston and the capsule. To reduce confusion during missions NASA capsule communications ("CapCom") was through one individual (always an astronaut) at NASA-Houston ("Houston, we've had a problem here"). One exception to this was during the launch phase when Cape Canaveral ("Launch") was the only communications point. This protocol is still in use today. See more »
This one is a triumph for Ken Adam's sets. The volcano base is the most memorable feature of the film. Oh, the story is fun and the gadgets are cool, but those sets really sell the film. They would inspire countless imitations and variations throughout the years.
Finally, we get to see Bloefeld, and it's a bit of a letdown. Donald Pleasance is a fine actor, but he's not quite supervillain material; more of the serial killer variety, in the mold of Peter Lorre. Still, he is by far the superior on-screen version.
The Japanese cast are all outstanding. Special mention should be made of Peter Maivia, grandfather of Dwayne Johson, aka The Rock. He and the stuntmen create a brutal fight scene, second only to the train fight in FRWL, although this is perhaps more inventive.
As for gadgets, outside of the jetpack from Thundrball and Goldfinger's Aston Martin, Little Nellie is the coolest ride. The aerial scenes are spectacular and are one of the highpoints of the whole series.
This film really marks the end of the ultra-cool Bond films. After this, they tend to go down in quality, taken as a whole. Some have better stories and villains, some have better stunts, but they are never the complete package that the earlier films were. Still, this one (along with Goldfinger and Thunderball) would inspire every spy work that would follow; from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to Our Man Flint, Marvel Comics' Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.e.L.D., to the X-Men. Everyone stole an idea from here.
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