HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  You Only Live Twice Space Race
Year: 1967
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi, Mie Hama, Tetsuro Tamba, Teru Shimada, Karin Dor, Donald Pleasence, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, Desmond Llewelyn, Charles Gray, Tsai Chin, Peter Fanene Maivia, Burt Kwouk, Michael Chow, Ronald Rich, Robin Bailey, Ed Bishop
Genre: Action, Thriller, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 4 votes)
Review: The American space mission is going well, with a space walk being carried out, but what's this? Something on the screens indicating that there is another craft approaching? A much larger craft that the astronauts see is opening up like a mouth and swallowing their pod, cutting the line that the unfortunate spacewalker needs to survive, killing him? Back on Earth, there is consternation as the Americans accuse the Soviets of deliberately sabotaging their mission, but the British are not so sure. They have a man headed to Japan to investigate where they think the enemy craft has landed - but James Bond (Sean Connery) has just been shot dead...

No, of course he hasn't, it simply appears as if he has, but this neatly sums up the theme of deception that is carried through You Only Live Twice, the fifth Bond movie. It was scripted by famed short story writer and children's author Roald Dahl, and many fans couldn't help but notice the liberties he took with Ian Fleming's source novel, changing it so much that it could almost be considered a Dahl original. So if there are some coarser double entendres, or some routine fates for the characters, then he was the one to blame, but funnily enough the result was one of the most quintessential Bond movies of Connery's run.

Despite growing tired of the character, you wouldn't know it from Connery's confident performance, although the less charitable might say this was because he could essay the role in his sleep by now. Here he springs into action after his prematurely announced demise, a ruse to allow him to go deep undercover, and it's not long before M (Bernard Lee) has dispatched 007 to Japan posing as a businessman. First he has a too-brief meeting with Charles Gray who tells him to see secret service agent Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba) before getting murdered, but first Tiger has to want to see Bond before they can meet.

Luckily, there is a contact, and she is Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi, nearing the end of her acting career while still in her twenties) who speeds around in an open-topped sports car (Bond doesn't really get to drive in this one, not even in the requisite car chase) and picks him up when he is about to be assassinated. Poor old Aki gets something of a raw deal seeing as what happens to her halfway through the film, and she is replaced with an identikit agent who has exactly the same characteristics, Kissy Suzuki (regular Toho star Mie Hama). But if the personalities are rather drawn from stock, this is not a fatal flaw, as the entire production seems to be thumbing its nose at the countless pretenders to the Bond franchise that had arisen during this era, showing them how to do it right.

Then there's that whole "I am not who I appear to be" angle that runs through the story, going from Bond posing as a civilian and eventually being made up to pass for Japanese, even though he looks exactly the same, to the secret location of the bad guys' lair which is cleverly hidden, in fact concealing one of designer Ken Adam's most impressive sets, both vast and expensive-looking. Say what you like, the money - and this was very high-priced for its day - is all there on the screen. So You Only Live Twice is not so much about second chances as you might expect from the title, but when you get down to it it's really about besting the bad guys and preventing that old worry, all-out nuclear war. And the head bad guy, though too-sparingly used, is a superb Donald Pleasence as Blofeld, one of many pleasures in a film that might not have broken down any barriers but did highlight how nobody did it better when it came to international spy movies. This was a true archetype, and one of the most purely enjoyable Bond movies. John Barry's score was one of his finest, with a great theme song sung by Nancy Sinatra.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5826 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (4)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: