Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated British MI6 agent
Miyazaki, Japan, Summer 1966
Film: You Only Live Twice
Release Date: June 13, 1967
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Master: Eileen Sullivan
For the 00-7th of July, I’m revisiting one of my least favorite films in the James Bond franchise: You Only Live Twice. This movie polarizes Bond fans; some enjoy it for the spectacular action and adventure elements and Donald Pleasance’s iconic turn as Blofeld while others feel as bored as Sean Connery himself seems to look by the formulaic and over-the-top plot.
Even YOLT fans can’t deny that this marked the first major departure from Ian Fleming’s original plots, keeping the Japan setting and several characters intact while replacing Bond’s fatalistic revenge-driven quest with a conventional action piece. You Only Live Twice evidently provided much of the fodder for spy parodies, most notably the Austin Powers franchise, which featured another scarred, Mao-suited villain in his volcano lair full of identically-dressed henchmen and poor marksmen. Continue reading