The film boasts the best of the Bond title songs (this one sung on a dreamy track by Nancy Sinatra), but the movie itself is one of the weaker ones of the Sean Connery phase of the 007 franchise. The story concerns an effo... more »rt by the evil organization SPECTRE to start a world war, but the not-so-super villain behind the plot is the awfully civilized Donald Pleasence. The thin script is by Roald Dahl (shouldn't we have expected a better Bond nemesis from the creator of mad genius Willy Wonka?), and direction is by British veteran Lewis Gilbert (Alfie). But the movie can't hold a candle to Dr. No, From Russia with Love, or Goldfinger. --Tom Keogh« less
"After four excellent Bond films comes Connery's 5th effort You Only Live Twice. Twice is possibly Connery's worst Bond film, yet it contains things previous OO7 films or Diamonds Are Forever lacked or had less of. YOLT has spectacular Oriental sets by Ken Adam, the most action of any Connery film (dock gunfight, space capsule hijack, car chase, helicopter battle, building fight, gunfight in Blofeld's crater), an ingenious idea for SPECTRE's headquarters (an inactive volcano crater), great costumes, the first appearance of SPECTRE No.1, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (played fairly well by Donald Pleasence), stunning cinematography, and an excellent pre-title (our hero faking his own death) However, this is not the best Connery pre-title it is edged out by two other pre-titles in Diamonds Are Forever and the best, Thunderball. Though Twice has some good things, it has some nagging faults, one of which is Connery's slightly wooden performance. The others are lack of good crisis situations, the script by Roald Dahl, and the killing of Aki. However, the worst thing is that Twice has so much potential with things like the Oriental setting, Sean Connery, Ernst Stavro Blofeld and SPECTRE, great girls, beautiful cinmatography and costumes, lots of good action, a good pre-title, and a bit weak yet original plot. But for some odd reason, Twice is considered by some to be the worst official Connery film, including myself."
Fun ride...and a hollowed out volcano too
Darren Harrison | Washington D.C. | 05/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, it's the one with the hollowed out volcano and what a fun ride it is too. It should come as no surprise to anyone that for me (who ranks the earily similar plot-wise TSWLM at #2 of Bond movies and is a fan of Roger Moore's portrayal) that "You Only Live Twice" is high on my list of favorite Connery movies. It's fun and zany and like a Godzilla movie on steroids Bond is plunged into a kinetic, energized Japan. A country that is reeling from an identity crisis following a humiliating defeat in WWII for the traditional nation and the onslaught of 1960s pop culture of which the Bond phenomenon was a major part. Connery for his part looks bored and tired with the role and so the film makers understandably have loaded this movie with special effects, martial arts fighting, gimmicks and yes, a hollowed out volcano. All in the hopes that Connery will get lost in the mix and his lack of enthusiasm for the part less evident as the viewers senses are assaulted by a vibrant concoction composed of all the spectacle and wonder that screenwriter Dahl and director Lewis Gilbert could conceive. The mission seems ripped from the headlines to use an old cliché. The time is the late 1960s and with the US and USSR locked in a race for the dominance of space, the two nations are both having capsules hijacked by some unknown power. Of course in the hyperactive paranoia of the Cold War - each blames the other. But Britain, in its infinite wisdom, stands by their claim that their tracking placed the object (that seized an American rocket) land somewhere in the sea of Japan. The movie begins with one of my all-time favorite pre-credits sequences. Bond is in bed with an attractive Chinese girl. In what appears to be a double-cross however she pushes a button that sends the bed into the wall before letting a couple of assassins in who pepper the bed with bullet holes. Having the hero "killed off" at the beginning of the movie is a gimmick that has been copied often (and in fact first echos the opening of "From Russia With Love." But Gilbert crafts it expertly. A solid entry in the Bond series - too light for some, but certainly a lot of fun throughout."
Don't understand why others have problems with it.
Cheated | California USA | 12/12/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love this picture. The previous reviewers had problems with it. It has everything a Bond picture should have. The scenery is magnificent, the gadgets are up to standard, the production quality is as good as the previous Bond efforts, the villain is a typical jerk, and the title song sung by Nancy Sinatra is the best I've ever heard in a Bond picture."
THIS IS IT THE MASTERPIECE BOND MOVIE
Jonathan S. Friedman | Orlando, Fl USA | 04/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I believe after watching almost all the Bond films, this is the one masterpiece from beginning to end in this genre. There were no mistakes, no farcical annoyances like you find in Roger Moore's or modern Bond films. No mistakes, this film does not play in anyway, perfect from beginning to end--- as a 007 movie should be. This in fact should be what every Bond movie strives for, alas they all fall short. Perfect like well-cut diamond this is the real McCoy."
You Only Quit Twice Mr. Connery
Octavius | United States | 08/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sean Connery's second to last performance as the legendary spy in which there was an intermission starring George Lazenby in 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' before he returned for the final 'Diamonds are Forever.' With a script by Roald Dahl (Willy Wonka; James and the Giant Peach) and under the direction of Lewis Gilbert, Bond is once again face to face with the sinister forces of SPECTER. A fun Bond with the most expensive set design for 1967. A lot of thrills and laughs to make this a pleasant viewing experience.
In this film Bond is out to stop the forces of SPECTER from starting World War III. Space capsules mysteriously disappear and both the US and the Soviets blame each other. Bond goes to Asia to find out the fate of the capsules and their astro/cosmonauts. Bond soon uncovers a sinister plot involving SPECTER and goes undercover to sneak into their mountain base. Will Bond make it in time against the evil Blofeld (Donald Pleasance) and his minions?
True, this Bond doesn't have the best script but the action sequences are fun: especially the grand finale. Donald Pleasance is excellent as the mannered but sociopathic Blofeld. The assassins in this film aren't terribly memorable nor are the Bond girls. Still, Connery's performance as Bond is consistent with the other Connery Bond films."