My wife walked out on You Only Live Twice. She got up and left about forty minutes in. I finished it because I figured forty minutes was halfway and I could make it. It was tough.
The film’s memorable because of the beginning, where James Bond dies. It’s an interesting scene, even though it’s never explained. The ninjas are sort of memorable, but not specifically, because it’s a lame scene.
What stunned me about the film was how sexist it is. For a James Bond movie to be stunningly sexist, it has to be really sexist. The lack of distinguishable personalities for the two female leads–who, incidentally, were both in King Kong vs. Godzilla. Then there’s the scene where Bond’s Japanese counterpart makes a nasty remark about Moneypenny and Bond doesn’t defend her as a colleague. Also, there’s a lengthy sequence about Bond refusing his mission because he doesn’t think he’s going to get a pretty fake wife.
There are some cool sets at the end. It’s amazing how big Pinewood is–I can’t think of any other film, except maybe Eyes Wide Shut, making the studio seem so big.
Sean Connery’s bored.
Lewis Gilbert’s direction is lousy. I got excited when I saw Gilbert’s name too; he must have learned subtlety later in his career.
The music’s okay.
The action sequence with the helicopter is good.
The plot lacks any movement, with Bond hanging out in Japan the entire runtime.
It’s boring me even to talk about it.
Directed by Lewis Gilbert; screenplay by Roald Dahl and Harold Jack Bloom, based on the novel by Ian Fleming; director of photography, Freddie Young; music by John Barry; production designer, Ken Adam; produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman; released by United Artists.
Starring Sean Connery (James Bond), Wakabayashi Akiko (Aki), Hama Mie (Kissy Suzuki), Tamba Tetsuro (Tiger Tanaka), Shimada Teru (Mr. Osato), Karin Dor (Helga Brandt), Donald Pleasence (Ernst Stavro Blofeld), Bernard Lee (M), Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny), Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Charles Gray (Dikko Henderson) and Chin Tsai (Ling).
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962, Honda Ishirô)
- Halloween (1978, John Carpenter)
- The Specialist (1994, Luis Llosa)
- High Road to China (1983, Brian G. Hutton)
- Halloween 5 (1989, Dominique Othenin-Girard)