Edit
You Only Live Twice (1967) Poster

Trivia

In the German-dubbed version Spectre is called Spectre for the first time; it had the name G.O.F.T.E.R (Geheimorganisation Für Terrorismus, Erpressung und Rache) in Dr. No (1962) and Phantom in From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965).
7 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Jump to: Cameo (2) | Spoilers (5)
While scouting locations in Japan, the chief production team narrowly escaped death. On 5 March 1966, Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, Director Lewis Gilbert, Cinematographer Freddie Young and Production Designer Ken Adam were booked to leave Japan on BOAC flight 911 departing Tokyo for Hong Kong and London. Two hours before their Boeing 707 flight departed, the team were invited to an unexpected ninja demonstration and so missed their plane. Their flight took off as scheduled and twenty five minutes after take-off the plane disintegrated over Mt Fuji, killing all aboard. The incident lent an unsettling reality to the meaning of "You Only Live Twice".
Tsai Chin, who played Bond's playmate in the opening pre-credit sequence, returned to the Bond series nearly 40 years later when she played one of the players in Le Chiffre's big poker match in Casino Royale (2006).
While in Japan, Sean Connery and his wife Diane Cilento were hounded by the international press. During news conferences the press insisted on referring to Connery as James Bond. Local newsmen attempted to photograph him in a rest room. Thirty extra private security guards were hired to combat the excess noise and hindrance but even the guards started to take photos. Connery was allegedly photographed on a toilet and the picture published in a Tokyo newspaper. Halfway through filming, Connery announced he would not be returning as James Bond. To ease the tension the producers removed his contractual obligation to do one more 007 movie, despite being offered $1 million. After the film wrapped, Connery was reportedly asked whether he found Japanese women attractive to which he allegedly replied, "No," causing many Japanese to call him bad names. This faux pas turned out to be based on a mistranslation on a day when Connery was exhausted after an intensive day's filming. Connery didn't go out of his way to be too personable with the interviewer who was aghast that the actor showed up in a casual T-shirt with baggy trousers and sandals, and not wearing a toupee. "Is this how James Bond dresses?" he asked, to which Connery replied tersely "I'm not James Bond, I'm Sean Connery, a man who likes to dress comfortably."
First film to show James Bond in his Royal Navy uniform and to clearly indicate that he holds the rank of Commander.
The volcano set cost almost as much as Dr. No (1962)'s entire budget. It was in fact so large it could be seen from three miles away.
Out of simple courtesy on Bond's part, this is the only film in which he accepts a Martini (from Henderson) that is stirred, not shaken. This is an intentional joke by the producers, not a mistake by either of the actors.
James Bond does not drive a car in this film. This is the only EON Productions James Bond film to date in which James Bond does not drive a vehicle.
In order to gain some measure of authenticity for the team of stuntmen who would double as Ninja in the climactic battle in the volcano, the producers enlisted the help of Japan's only practicing Ninja master, 34-year-old Masaaki Hatsumi who had inherited the tradition from his then retired teacher Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Both Takamatsu and Hatsumi had advised during the production of the first two of the Japanese "Shinobi No Mono" Ninja Assassins series of films produced in Japan between 1962 and 1966, and not only did the film provide an opportunity for Hatsumi to give more credibility to the Ninja characters, but also allowed him a few brief moments of screen time aboard Tiger Tanaka's private train, as he interrupts Bond and Tanakas Sake discussion to announce that the photographs are ready for viewing.
Blofeld never blinks when speaking.
The atmosphere during the production was reportedly chilly. Sean Connery had grown bored with the Bond role and frustrated with the public fascination with the franchise. The You Only Live Twice (1967) film posters declaring that "Sean Connery IS James Bond" didn't help. Furthermore, Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell were appearing in the James Bond knock-off Operation Kid Brother (1967) with Neil Connery, Sean's younger brother, and the eldest Connery let them know he was not happy about it.
In the novel, Ian Fleming describes Blofeld's hide-out as being a castle on the coast. Ken Adam discovered that this could never be. The Japanese never built their castles directly on the coast for fear of typhoons. Hence the creation of the elaborate volcano set.
The face of Ernst Stavro Blofeld is shown for the first time in a movie. Of all the many actors who have played Blofeld, it is the interpretation by Donald Pleasence in this film which is the source for the Mike Myers parody of the character as Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movie spoofs. Blofeld appeared in later Bond movies, played by a different actor each time.
Reportedly, the noise made during the shooting of the film's grand finale on the volcano set scared Blofeld's white cat that it ran away. It wasn't found for days and it was eventually discovered hiding in some of the set's rafters. Apparently, footage of the scaredy cat wound up in the finished movie when Blofeld's security shutters are enforced.
Nancy Sinatra was the first non-British singer to perform a theme song for a James Bond movie.
The female leads Mie Hama and Akiko Wakabayashi both appeared in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) (English title: King Kong vs. Godzilla), and Key of Keys (1965) (English title: What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)). The latter was a James Bond movie imitation which attracted them to the producers of genuine James Bond movies. A flaw was soon discovered: neither actress knew any English. Wakabayashi was cast as Kissy and Hama as Aki and both were tutored in English. Hama was having too much difficulty with English, so the two actresses swapped roles to give her the role of Kissy, which had fewer lines.
This was the only Sean Connery Bond movie never to receive any BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) cuts.
The rocket pistol, and cigarette rocket, were real-life weapons that were featured after the manufacturer paid for the product placement. It was hoped they would become standard military and intelligence equipment; however, they proved to be too expensive (ammunition cost three times as much as normal ammo), clumsy (useless at any distance under 15 yards), and unreliable (horribly inaccurate and tended to start fires), and ceased production in 1969.
Screenplay writer Roald Dahl later said that of all the filmed adaptations of his written works, this one was the only one where he liked the filmed results.
After it was discovered that Mie Hama playing Kissy Suzuki couldn't swim, Sean Connery's then wife, actress Diane Cilento, doubled for her in her swimming scenes wearing a black wig. Some reports claims that Hama could not do them because of stomach cramps.
John Jordan ("Aerial Unit Camera") lost his leg while working on the film.
Last Bond film to make extensive use of voice dubbing. In this film and most of those made previously, many of Bond's leading ladies and villains were overdubbed by other actors. This practice rarely occurred in future Bond films.
Akiko Wakabayashi could not drive so all of her driving scenes were shot with stunt men wearing wigs.
The title of "You Only Live Twice" comes from a haiku (or poem) included in the Ian Fleming novel on which the film is based. It goes: "You only live twice. Once when you are born. And once when you look death in the face." In the novel, the poem is written by James Bond for his friend Tiger Tanaka. Due to a badly-worded attribution at the front of the novel, the poem is sometimes incorrectly believed to have been written by a Japanese poet called Matsuo Basho (See: Bashô Matsuo.) It is clarified in the novel that it should not be considered a haiku at all i.e. it is a poor attempt at writing poetry by Bond after being taught how to do so. The novel and its epigraph explain that the haiku is "after Basho" i.e. written in the style of the famous 17th Century Japanese poet.
Local Japanese girls cast as extras refused to wear bikinis in publicity photo shoots. On the intervention of producer Albert R. Broccoli, consent was able to be achieved.
Little Nellie is based on the real-life Wallis Autogyro. Its inventor, Wing Commander K.H. Wallis, actually flew Little Nellie in the film. The machine was incorporated into the plot after production designer Ken Adam heard Wallis in a radio interview discussing his invention. Wallis had to log 85 flights in total to film the sequence. It was filmed in the Japanese moutains exept for one scene. The scene where the rockets were fired was filmed outside of Japan because Japanese Law forbade the firing of rockets in the air.
This is the first film in the series where James Bond does not wear his trademark dinner jacket.
The Toyota 2000GTs used in this film were not convertibles. They had no roofs at all. As stated previously, Sean Connery would not have fitted into any putative 2000GT with the roof up, so the roofs were removed entirely and not replaced with soft tops.
The "Little Nellie" gyrocopter shown being assembled is not the one that is shown flying. The "kit" machine was a mockup made strictly for the assembly sequence. The WA-118 gyrocopter was flown by its owner Wing Commander K.H. Wallis during all the action sequences.
Tiger Tanaka's voice was dubbed by series regular Robert Rietty, but one line remains in his own voice - he speaks Japanese to the girls bathing him and Bond.
Ken Adam's volcano set was constructed at Pinewood Studios outside London and consisted of a movable helicopter platform, a working monorail system, a launch pad and a full scale rocket mock-up that could simulate lift-off. 700 tonnes of structural steel and 200 miles of tubular steel were used. Adam once said that the set used more steel than that used for the London Hilton Hotel. The set also used 200 tonnes of plaster, 500,000 tubular couplings, 8,000 railway ties for the monorail and over 250,000 square yards of canvas to protect the set from the weather were all employed in the construction of the set which cost just over $1 million.
First Bond film not to show the MI6 headquarters.
Actor and Stuntman Joe Robinson instructed Sean Connery in the art of Judo for the scene where Bond has to fight with Blofeld's giant bodyguard Hans near the end of the film. Robinson also doubled the actor Ronald Rich who portrayed Hans. He would later appear as diamond smuggler Peter Franks in 1971's Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
The surname of the Ernst Stavro Blofeld character was allegedly named after Thomas Blofeld with whom James Bond creator Ian Fleming went to school with at Eton College. Also known as Tom Blofeld, he was a Norfolk farmer, a fellow member of Boodle's, and the Chairman of the Country Gentleman's Asssociation. His son is cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. Ernst Blofeld's date of birth in the literary James Bond stories is the same date as Fleming's birthday which is 28th May 1908. Moreover, Ernest Cuneo was a friend of Fleming's. According to the book "Martinis, Girls and Guns: 50 Years of 007" (2003) by Martin Sterling and Gary Morecambe: "Cuneo may have also have inspired Blofeld's forenames - it is but a short leap from Ernest Cuneo to Ernst Stavro". According to the book "For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming + James Bond" (2009) by Ben Macintyre: "Alternatively, Blofeld may owe his name to China scholar John Blofeld, who was a member of Fleming's club Boodles, and whose father was named Ernst". In addition, the book "The Bond Code: The Dark World of Ian Fleming and James Bond" (2008) by Philip Gardner states: "The name is also revealing in a psychological way. Ernst is Teutonic for 'earnest', and Stavros is Greek for 'victor', and so he is the 'earnest victor'", and "the name Blofeld means 'blue field', a swipe at his own blue blood rampant in the field, like heraldry", and moreover, "As the creator of SPECTRE, Blofeld is in reality the spectre of Ian Fleming that looms ever present within his divided mind".
The primary reason for converting the Toyota 2000GT coupes into convertibles was Sean Connery's height; he was simply too tall to fit into the GT which was notoriously too small for anyone over 5'8". Connery's height was 6'2".
Burt Kwouk as SPECTRE Agent No. #3 is dubbed. Kwouk had previously played Mr. Ling in the earlier James Bond movie Goldfinger (1964).
The film was released two months after Casino Royale (1967). This was the first of two times that two "James Bond" films were released in the same year. It occurred again sixteen years later with Octopussy (1983) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
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.
Before the title sequence there is an outdoor shot of a Russian radar station, where US and Soviet leaders are having a crisis meeting. This was in fact filmed at Mågerø in the Oslo fjord in Norway (uncredited), to get a Nordic winter light feel to the footage. The dome-shaped radar station is still in operation today, run - as it was then - by the Norwegian military.
Charles Gray (Henderson) would later play Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). In 1967, he played in The Night of the Generals (1967) opposite Donald Pleasence, who plays Blofeld in this film.
The ship from which 007 was buried at sea was the Royal Navy ship H.M.S. Tenby (F65). The scene was filmed in the winter, which didn't go over too well with the crew, who had to wear tropical gear for the scene. It was shot several times as the "body" didn't sink the first time.
Was promoted in America with an NBC-TV special entitled Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond (1967) the title being taken from Tanaka's first line in the film. The line was also a tagline for the movie. The special featured clips from the film, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with the cast.
Product placements, brand integrations and promotional tie-ins for this movie include Toyota, particularly the Toyota 2000GT; Stolichnaya Vodka; Sony Electronics, a Sony TV monitor is seen in the Toyota 2000GT; Jack Daniel's Whiskey; Suntory Old Whisky; Rolex Watches, James Bond wears a Rolex Submariner; Dom Perignon Champagne, particularly a Dom Perignon '59; and Martini & Rossi Vermouth.
First Bond film in which 007 does not visit Britain at all. Because of this plot point, M and Miss Moneypenny are given portable offices - a gimmick reused in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and Moonraker (1979).
Only Bond film in which 007 refers to Miss Moneypenny by the nickname "Penny". This nickname was also used on occasion in the original Ian Fleming novel series.
The novel of "You Only Live Twice" was the last Ian Fleming James Bond novel published during his lifetime. Released on 16 March 1964, it was the twelfth novel in the series. For the first time in the James Bond film series, the screen story bore little resemblance to the source novel. Some characters and the Japanese setting remain intact, as do several minor details (the oubliette, and the man wearing a face mask, etc.), but the two stories are radically different.
Despite being a major character in this film, Kissy Suzuki's name is never mentioned once on screen. Nor do we learn Aki's last name. Both situations are unique among major Bond film characters.
The Gyrojet Rocket Guns had one major flaw: the projectile had to build velocity to be lethal. In tests, the projectile could not penetrate a sheet or ordinary cardboard, when pressed against the muzzle. The weapon was rejected by the military and soon discontinued.
A number of actors were asked to play Blofeld before Donald Pleasence, but all had stage or TV commitments which made them unable on accept the role. Producer Harry Saltzman, who had an eccentric choice for actors to play villains, had originally hired the fabled Czech actor Jan Werich to play Blofeld. Werich was the personification of sophisticated intellectual humor in Czech theater and film, and was known as the "Wise Clown". Casting a clown as a demonic villain backfired during production: It was felt that Werich looked too much like Father Christmas to be menacing and he was released after a week's shooting.
The attempted killing of Bond by a ninja assassin is patterned after a real-life incident in which an Iga ninja attempted to assassinate the warlord Oda Nobunaga in 16th century Japan. The attempt failed when Nobunaga awakened.
Bond producer Barbara Broccoli grew up in the behind-the-scenes world of James Bond and as a child during location shooting in Japan for this movie she caught a fever from the Japanese custom of sleeping on the floor. Sean Connery's star status provided him with a comfortable bed and he generously relinquished it so she could properly fight her illness.
The Toyota 2000GT was a sports car produced between 1967 and 1970 in very limited numbers, (approximately 351) by Toyota in Japan. The only convertibles ever built were for You Only Live Twice (1967). Toyota entered the 2000GT in competition at home, coming third in the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix and winning the Fuji 24-Hour Race in 1967. In addition, the car set several world records for speed and endurance in a 72-hour test. The few surviving examples are very expensive collectibles.
The relationship between Sean Connery and the producers deteriorated to the point where he refused to act if they were on set.
Much of the story structure of this film would be re-used extensively in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) as well as Moonraker (1979) and then again for Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A scene where a helicopter grabs a car of Spectre with a magnet was an idea conceived by Dana Broccoli, wife of producer Albert R. Broccoli.
James Bond participates in a Japanese wedding ceremony in the film. Mercifully, he uses a false name, otherwise this would mean he would have been still married under Japanese law when he wed Tracy di Vincenzo in the next film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Actor Tetsurô Tanba (Tanaka) later became a religious leader in Japan.
Peter R. Hunt was the original editor. The producers were not happy with the film, and pleaded with Hunt to return as editor. He did this on the condition that he could direct the next Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
The film's Royal World Premiere was held on 12th June 1967 at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square, London and was attended by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The Gala Charity Premiere Benefit was sponsored by the Variety Club of Great Britain and was held in aid of two charities, the YMCA and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
David Niven, whom Kissy Suzuki's bird is named after, was an early choice by Ian Fleming to play the role of James Bond, and appeared in the 1966 James Bond spoof, Casino Royale (1967).
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The reason why the film is so different from the book is that Roald Dahl hated the book. He called it Ian Fleming's worst book, comparing it to a travelogue. On creating the plot, Dahl said he "didn't know what the hell Bond was going to do" despite having to deliver the first draft in six weeks, and decided to do a basic plot similar to Dr. No (1962).
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Akiko Wakabayashi playing Aki could not drive a motor-vehicle so six stuntmen created the illusion of her driving the white Toyota 2000GT convertible by attaching a cable and pulling it from outside frame.
9 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A cover version of the film's title song "You Only Live Twice" was recorded by Björk for David Arnold's Bond song compilation album, "Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project". However, the song was not included on the compilation album.
9 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director Lewis Gilbert originally turned down the directing job on this movie. He accepted after Albert R. Broccoli called him saying: "You can't give up this job. It's the largest audience in the world."
Despite Bond's legacy of traveling around the world to complete his missions, he only visits two locations in this film, the fewest he does in the series. They are the then-British territory of Hong Kong and the nation of Japan where Bond spends most of the film. Thirty years after the release of this film, Hong Kong was handed over to China. This is also the first time that Bond does not visit MI6 headquarters in London; M's offices are set up on a British Navy submarine off the coast of Hong Kong.
7 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The name of the book that Miss Moneypenny throws to James Bond in her office was "Instant Japanese: A Pocketful of Useful Phrases" by Masahiro Watanbe and Kei Nagashima, first published in 1964.
The name of the island appearing in the photograph obtained by James Bond from Osato's safe was one the isles of Matsu (or Mazu), located off the People's Republic of China's south-eastern coast.
8 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Two 2000GTs were remodeled to convertibles and featured in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice (1967). One is displayed at Toyota's headquarters while the other is in a private collection of a Toyota executive. (When the Encore movie channel aired James Bond films in early 2005, a 2000GT which was located in South Africa was in the process of a restoration as a replica convertible at Cars of the Stars Motor Museum, featuring actual control panel used in the film.)
8 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Alexander Knox who played the American Secretary of Defense (uncredited) was re-voiced by an unknown actor. Although Canadian by birth, Knox's natural speaking voice carried a strong British accent.
8 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Miss Moneypenny wears the uniform of a Second Officer in the Women's Royal Naval Service, similar to a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy but with blue insignia instead of gold. The WRNS (known as the Wrens) was disbanded in 1993 and all its female members went into the regular Royal Navy.
8 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Teru Shimada, who plays Mr Osato, was working as a caretaker when he was cast in the role.
9 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Eon productions considered hiring Century 21 Productions - the company that made Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson's Supermarionation shows including Stingray (1964), Thunderbirds (1965), and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967) - to help out with the film's SFX work; it would not be until The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) that Derek Meddings, chief FX technician for the Andersons, would go to work on a Bond film.
6 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Vehicles featured included the Wallis WA-116 auto-gyro, affectionately known as the "Little Nellie" gyro-copter; Aki's white Toyota 2000 GT convertible with gadget control panel and Sony TV monitor; Tiger Tanaka's Japanese edition of the Boeing-Vertol Sea Knight; a twin-blade Boeing Kawasaki-Vertol KV-107 11 tandem-rotor helicopter fitted with a super electro-magnet; Tiger Tanaka's private underground train; a black Toyota Crown 2300, a Bond pursuing vehicle; the ship Ning-Po; a Toyota Crown S40; the US Jupiter 16 two-man spacecraft; a 1964 Dodge Polara; four black Kawasaki/Bell 47G-3 helicopters that attack Little Nellie; a Japanese taxi car; a single-engine Meyers 200A plane that Helga Brandt traps Bond in; a Brantley B2; the two-man spacecraft Bird 1 SPECTRE two-stage space rocket; an Aerospatiale Alouette 316B helicopter that takes 007 to the Ninja School; a monorail in Blofeld's Volcano lair; an inflatable round yellow lifeboat; and an M1 British diesel-electric submarine for both Bond's burial and rescue at sea.
6 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
SPECTRE's space capsule was modeled after Gemini 9's Augmented Target Docking Adapter. When its shroud failed to open it had a look that gave it the nickname "Angry Alligator".
6 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Tokyo Tower is briefly visible in the background of the helicopter + magnet + car scene. Built in 1958, it was the tallest structure in Japan until the Tokyo Skytree surpassed it in 2010.
6 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Tanaka's ninja training grounds are near the famous Himeji Castle in western Japan. The original fortification dates back to 1333, and successive warlords built ever-larger castle complexes on the site.
6 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Mie Hama was dubbed by the series' regular voice-over artist Nikki Van der Zyl.
7 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of three James Bond movies where Bond does not wear a Tuxedo (the other two being From Russia with Love (1963) and Live and Let Die (1973)).
7 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the article "The Oriental Beauties of You Only Live Twice", published with a pictorial in the June 1967 issue of "Playboy" Magazine, screenwriter Roald Dahl claimed that he assembled his script to a formula already established in the previous films in the series, and that he never took the script seriously. In fact, he said that the formula was strictly enforced by the producers, who would broach no deviation. This was not the first connection of the film with the magazine: An excerpt of Ian Fleming's original novel had appeared in the April 1964 issue of "Playboy".
8 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A song composed by Robbie Williams extensively sampled the title theme from You Only Live Twice (1967). The song called "Millenium" was composed sampling the main string sample from the John Barry original theme. It was the first solo UK number one hit for Williams on 19 September 1998. Also, its music video included a number of James Bond 007 iconography and imagery.
9 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Donald Pleasence's ideas for Blofeld's appearance included a hump, a limp, a beard, and a lame hand, before he settled on the scar. He found it uncomfortable, though, because of the glue that attached it to his eye.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lewis Gilbert's regular editor, Thelma Connell, was originally hired to edit the film. However, after her initial, almost three-hour cut received a terrible response from test audiences, Peter R. Hunt was asked to re-edit the film. Hunt's cut proved a much greater success, and he was awarded the director's chair on the next film as a result.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The producers had Harold Jack Bloom come to Japan with them to write a screenplay. Bloom's work was ultimately rejected, but since several of his ideas were used in the final script, Bloom was given the credit of "Additional Story Material". Among the elements were the opening with Bond's fake death and burial at sea, and the ninja attack.
5 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In Sept. 1972, United Artists was widely exhibiting this film on a double bill with Thunderball (1965) with the tag line "The 2 Biggest Bonds of All".
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to numerous call sheets, a total of 98 stunt men were used in the volcano scenes.
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The epaulettes (shoulder boards) on M's Royal Navy uniform denote the rank of Rear Admiral. This is the old style, in 2001 the design changed from one large pip to two small pips. In Ian Fleming's novels, M is a Vice Admiral and the character was based on Admiral John Godfrey, Fleming's boss in the Naval Intelligence Division during WWII.
7 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The outside scenes at Osato Chemicals were taken at Hotel New Otani, Tokyo.
5 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Ian Fleming named the character of Dikko Henderson for his friend Sir John Nicholas Henderson who was commonly known as Nicko Henderson.
5 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Henderson was Australian in the book. He also didn't die.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lewis Gilbert was mostly collaborative with Roald Dahl's work, as the writer declared: "He 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."
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
This would be the final "Bond" film until The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) in which James Bond is played by the same actor as in the previous film.
Eva Renzi turned down the role of Bond-Girl Helga Brandt which finally went to Karin Dor.
4 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The fifth film in the official James Bond series and also was the fifth for Sean Connery as James Bond, Bernard Lee as M and Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny. And it was the fourth for Desmond Llewelyn as Q.
7 of 16 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Roald Dahl was given a free rein on his script, except for the character of Bond and "the girl formula", involving three women for Bond to seduce: an ally and a henchwoman who both get killed, and the main Bond girl. While the third involved a character from the book, Kissy Suzuki, Dahl had to create Aki and Helga Brandt to fulfil the rest
3 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The literal translations of some of this film's foreign language titles include One Doesn't Live More Than Twice (France); It Only Lives Twice (Latin America); 007 Dies Twice (Japan); One Only Lives Twice (Germany); James Bond In Japan (Norway & Greece); You Live Only Twice (Finland); With 007 You Only Live Twice (Brazil & Portugal) and 007 Seized The Rocket Base (China).
4 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The 2002 James Bond novel "The Man With The Red Tattoo" written by Raymond Benson is also set in Japan. Benson also wrote a direct sequel to the Ian Fleming "You Only Live Twice" novel entitled "Blast From The Past". It's a short-story which was first published in January 1997 in "Playboy" magazine. This story was cut by about a third and the uncut version was released for the first time in October 2008 in Pegasus Books' Benson omnibus "The Union Trilogy".
4 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Retired US Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Russhon acted as a technical advisor, military liaison, helped set up a product-placement deal with Sony, attended the location scout, assisted with obtaining important transportation means and advised on the logistics for working in Japan.
4 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Shane Rimmer plays an uncredited Hawaii Radio Control Technician, seen at the end of the film announcing SPECTRE'S rocket has exploded, would return as a controller in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and a naval commander in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
4 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to the book 'James Bond: A Celebration' (1987) by Peter Haining, who passed away in 2007, "Jules Verne's Captain Nemo was the inspiration for [Ian] Fleming's Ernst Stavro Blofeld". The book states that the character " . . . has his origins in Caprtain Nemo, the hate-fuelled rebel of Jules Verne's classic novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea [1870]". Blofeld was originally intended to be the villain in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to Robbie Collin in UK newspaper 'The Telegraph', "Bond author Ian Fleming invented SPECTRE in 1959 to replace James Bond's usual, Soviet, enemies. Fleming believed the Cold War might be about to end and wanted to keep his spy thrillers relevant". Fleming's SPECTRE Executive Cabinet included "21 people including former Gestapo members, Soviet spy group SMERSH, Josep Tito [Josip Broz Tito]'s secret police, Italian, Corsican and Turkish organised crime gangs", its goals were "profiteering from conflict between the superpowers, eventual world domination", and its methods included "counter-intelligence, brainwashing, murder, extortion using weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological and orbital)".
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In a rather curious train of events, Robbie Williams famously sampled the intro to this title song (as sung by Nancy Sinatra) for his no. 1 hit song "Millennium" (1998). After You Only Live Twice (1967) wrapped, Sinatra and father Frank Sinatra duetted on the song "Somethin' Stupid" topping the US and UK charts in April 1967. Thirty four years later Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman duetted on the same song topping the UK charts (2001).
8 of 21 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film's CD Soundtrack sleeve notes state that the "You Only Live Twice" song sung by Nancy Sinatra charted in the USA on 24 June 1967 and went to the No. #44 spot. In the UK, it entered the charts on 5 July 1967 and peaked at No. #11. The soundtrack album debuted in the US charts on 15 July 1967 where it peaked at the No. #27 spot.
3 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The original theme song, also composed by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse was recorded by Julie Rogers, lyricist Don Black's sister-in-law. It was released on a limited-edition CD in 1992.
3 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Alf Ramsey took his 1966 England World Cup squad to Pinewood Studios to meet Sean Connery on a set visit.
3 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Roald Dahl had no prior experience writing a screenplay except for the uncompleted The Bells of Hell Go Ting-a-ling-a-ling.
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Strangely, for the German version Karin Dor was dubbed by somebody else.
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Aki was originally named Suki. It was changed at Akiko Wakabayashi's request.
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Little Nellie was named after music hall star Nellie Wallace, who has a similar surname to its inventor.
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Mie Hama was originally intended for the larger role of Aki but doubts over her mastering of English meant that she was ineligible for the part. Hama's reported depression over losing the role, and the disgrace it would bring to her family, was instrumental in her taking the equally important though less vocal part of Kissy Suzuki.
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Richard Maibaum, who wrote the previous Bond films, was unavailable to write this one. This was the first of three Bond films that he didn't write or co-write in his life. The other two are Live and Let Die (1973) and Moonraker (1979).
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Peter R. Hunt wanted to direct, but was turned down. He would direct the next film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Little Nellie's battle with helicopters proved to be difficult to film. The scenes were initially shot in Miyazaki, first with takes of the gyrocopter, with more than 85 take-offs, 5 hours of flight and Ken Wallis nearly crashing into the camera several times. A scene filming the helicopters from above created a major downdraft and cameraman John Jordan's foot was severed by the craft's rotor. The concluding shots involved explosions, which the Japanese government did not allow in a national park. So, the crew moved to Torremolinos, Spain, which was found to resemble the Japanese landscape.
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Burt Kwouk (Spectre 3) was dubbed.
2 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film marked the first time in the series the world wide gross was less than that of the previous film; this film grossed around $30,000,000 less than Thunderball (1965).
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Toho Studios provided soundstages, personnel, and the female Japanese stars to the producers.
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Karin Dor performed the stunt of diving into a pool to depict Helga's demise herself, without the use of a double.
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lewis Gilbert cast Tetsurô Tanba after working with him in The 7th Dawn (1964).
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A number of actual martial arts experts were hired as the ninjas.
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Tanaka's private transportation hub was filmed at the Tokyo Metro's Nakano-shimbashi Station. As of 2011, many of the fixtures in the station are unchanged from the time of filming.
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Large crowds were present in Japan to see the shooting. A Japanese fan began following Sean Connery with a camera, and the police were called several times to prevent invasions during shooting.
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The two Japanese kanji characters of Osato's name literally mean "big village."
1 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the Alex Rider series, where the character is like a teenage James Bond, there is an organization, Scorpia which is akin to SPECTRE, and it's leader Zeljan Kurst is bald like Blofeld. Their plans are always thwarted by Alex Rider/James Bond. Scorpia is almost an acronym for what it does like SPECTRE, but SPECTRE is made up of disillusioned former secret agents who went into business for themselves.
1 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The final mention of Ernst Stavro Blofeld in a James Bond creator Ian Fleming story, was at the start of Fleming's "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1965) book, his final full Bond novel.
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A handful of villains and henchmen in the James Bond universe have had a "Mr." title moniker. The Mr. Hinx henchman (Dave Bautista) and Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) characters both appear in Spectre (2015) but share no scenes together. Spectre (2015) also features a henchman called Mr. Guerra (Benito Sagredo) resulting in the movie having three characters that have a "Mr." title moniker. Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) has appeared in three Daniel Craig James Bond films: Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), and Spectre (2015) - the most Bond films for any henchman type character after Jaws who appeared in two Bond movies. In Dr. No (1962), there was a henchman called Mr. Jones (Reggie Carter); in Goldfinger (1964), there was a henchman called Mr. Ling (Burt Kwouk); in You Only Live Twice (1967), there was a villain called Mr. Osato (Teru Shimada); in The World Is Not Enough (1999), there were two: Mr. Bullion (Goldie) and Mr Lachaise (Patrick Malahide); in Die Another Day (2002), there was a henchman called Mr. Kil (Lawrence Makoare); in Live and Let Die (1973), as with its source 'Ian Fleming novel of the same name, the arch-villain was called Mr. Big, but in the film version he was also known as Dr. Kananga, with the character's real full name in the source book being Buonaparte Ignace Gallia; in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), there were two henchmen with a Mr. title moniker, Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) and Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith), who functioned as a buddy-team henchmen double-act; in Ian Fleming's novel of "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1962), the villain's employer was Mr. Sanguinetti, but this character does not appear in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) movie. Moreover, a 1987 James Bond novel by John Gardner was entitled "No Deals, Mr. Bond" which reflects how the iconic spy character himself can also be known using a "Mr" name moniker as well.
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The title of the later James Bond film Spectre (2015) also lends its name to a trio of original Ian Fleming James Bond novels which have also been anthologized and published as "The Spectre Trilogy". The books, all featuring arch-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, include "Thunderball" (1961), "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1963), and "You Only Live Twice" (1964), which were filmed in the 1960s in a slightly different order than which they were originally published, this being: Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), and On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Cameo 

Vic Armstrong: The stuntman as First Ninja abseiling down the volcano lair.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Richard Graydon: The stuntman as a Russian Cosmonaut.
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

As this was anticipated to be Sean Connery's last appearance as Bond, publicity material released in advance of the movie announced Bond would be killed, married and become Japanese. While these events were portrayed in the film, they were actually ruses as part of Bond's undercover activities.
When James Bond self destructed Bird 1, the countdown stopped on five seconds. A little Easter egg to show that You Only Live Twice is the fifth film in the series.
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Ernst Stavro Blofeld villain character returns to the official film franchise in Spectre (2015) but since Blofeld last appeared in the official series films Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and informally in For Your Eyes Only (1981) and the unofficial entry Never Say Never Again (1983), Blofeld has actually appeared in three James Bond video-games. The Wikipedia website states: "Blofeld appears in the 2004 video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent [GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (2004)], this time with the likeness of Donald Pleasence [from You Only Live Twice (1967)], voiced by Gideon Emery. Blofeld is a playable multiplayer character in the 2010 video game GoldenEye 007 [GoldenEye 007 (2010)] for the Wii, with the likeness of Charles Gray [from Diamonds Are Forever (1971)]. Blofeld is one of the main characters in the 2012 video game 007 Legends [007 Legends (2012)], featured in the mission based on On Her Majesty's Secret Service [See On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)], in which the character was an amalgamation of the three actors [who had] appeared in the official film series [they being Telly Savalas, Charles Gray, & Donald Pleasence]. Throughout the game, he is voiced by Glenn Wrage."
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Spectre (2015) is the second of two major appearances of the Ernst Stavro Blofeld character in the official James Bond film franchise where Blofeld is seen with hair, as he had been in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) where he was played by Charles Gray. In both You Only Live Twice (1967) and On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Blofeld was bald, being portrayed by Donald Pleasence and Telly Savalas respectively. In minor roles and appearances, Blofeld was bald in the unofficial appearance in For Your Eyes Only (1981), but had hair in Thunderball (1965) , From Russia with Love (1963), and the unofficial film, Never Say Never Again (1983).
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The character of Ernst Stavro Blofeld has appeared in the following major and/or official James Bond movies and video-games (in order): From Russia with Love (1963), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), informally in the official film For Your Eyes Only (1981), in the unofficial film Never Say Never Again (1983), GoldenEye 007 (2010), GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (2004), 007 Legends (2012), and Spectre (2015) .
0 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page