James Bond

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Tanaka, Aki and Bond plot their attack on Blofeld by examining Tanaka's gadgets and weapons.

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Bond and Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

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The sets of Blofeld's hideout at Pinewood Studios. From left, Lois Maxwell, Akiko Wakabayashi, Sean Connery, Karin Dor and Mie Hama witness the set during a break in filming.

You Only Live Twice (1967)

An American spacecraft is hijacked from orbit by a rogue craft; a similar fate befalls a Soviet spacecraft later on. With each country thinking that the other is the cause of their loss, the world is thrown to the brink of World War III. The United Kingdom's government, however, believes the spacecraft landed in the Sea of Japan. The British government suspects Japanese involvement.

The pre-title sequence depicted James Bond faking his murder in Hong Kong, allowing Bond more freedom to operate. He is sent to Japan to investigate the British suspicion, in conjunction with the Japanese secret service leader "Tiger" Tanaka.

At a Tokyo sumo wrestling match Bond contacts Tanaka's assistant Aki, who takes him to meet with the local MI6 operative, Dikko Henderson. Henderson claims to have critical evidence for the rogue craft originating in Japan, but is murdered before he can reveal it. Bond kills the assailant and steals his identity. He is brought to their headquarters, which turns out to be Osato Chemicals. Once there, Bond breaks into an office safe of the Japanese corporate head, Mr. Osato, and steals some documents after triggering the alarm.

As Bond flees, Aki picks him up in her car. However, Bond becomes suspicious when she won't answer his questions and flees to a secluded area. When Bond chases her, he falls through a trapdoor and slides into Tanaka's office. After identifying each other, they examine Bond's documents. The main item of interest is a tourist photograph of a cargo ship called the Ning-Po and a microdot on it containing a message that operatives "liquidated" the tourist who took the photo as a security measure.

Interested in what was worth killing for in that photo, Bond investigates the company's dock facilities and discovers that the ship was delivering liquid oxygen, an oxidizer for rocket fuel; the document used the term LOX, which Bond states is an American name for smoked salmon, providing a convenient cover. Together, Bond and Tanaka learn that the true mastermind behind this is Osato's client Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his organization SPECTRE.

Preparing to investigate the island in the photo, Bond trains with Tanaka and his elite ninja force. Tanaka suggests that the best disguise for Bond is as a Japanese fisherman. Bond receives training in Japanese culture and stages marriage to Tanaka's student, Kissy Suzuki. After the spies learn from surveillance photos that the Ning-Po unloaded its cargo overnight at the island, Bond investigates the area in the air with Little Nellie, a heavily armed autogyro. While in mid-flight and having no luck finding the SPECTRE base, Bond is suddenly attacked by four mysterious armed helicopters, but he fights them off. While the base is nearby, Bond and Tanaka are stumped as to the exact location.

To make matters worse, they learn that the United States has moved up their next space mission, which means it will likely be hijacked by SPECTRE and a world war will likely be triggered before they can stop the plot. However, they gain a major clue when Kissy mentions that a local woman had just died after rowing her boat into a cave.

Bond and Kissy set out on a reconnaissance mission and discover that SPECTRE has a secret rocket base hidden in a hollow volcano. Bond slips in through the crater door, while Kissy returns to alert Tanaka. Bond locates and frees the captured Soviet and American astronauts. With their help, he steals a spacesuit in attempt to infiltrate the SPECTRE craft (code named "Bird One"). Before he can enter the craft however, he mis-handles the air conditioning unit of his suit, and is caught. Bond is taken to Blofeld for interrogation, while Bird One is launched with the backup astronaut aboard.

Tanaka's troops are attacked by the crater's sentry guns. Meanwhile, the Bird One closes in on the American space capsule and US forces prepare to launch a nuclear attack on the USSR. In response Bond asks for a cigarette, which conceals a small rocket. Killing the guard by the crater hatch controls, Bond manages to open the door allowing the troops to enter the base. They soon overpower the henchman and the control room is evacuated. Bond notices the movement and advances to the control room, where there is a destruct switch for the spacecraft. After fighting Blofeld's bodyguard Hans, Bond manages to get the destruct key from him and detonates Bird One, seconds before it reaches the American craft.

The US stands down after learning that their spacecraft is safe. Blofeld escapes along a secret passage. His last act before leaving is to activate the base's self-destruct system. Bond, Kissy, Tanaka, and the surviving ninjas swim out. Safe from the now erupting volcano, the survivors board air-dropped lifeboats.


  • Sean Connery as James Bond: An MI6 agent.
  • Donald Pleasence as Ernst Stavro Blofeld: A megalomaniac and the head of SPECTRE. He plans to ignite a global nuclear war.
  • Tetsuro Tamba as Tiger Tanaka: Head of Japanese secret service.
  • Akiko Wakabayashi as Aki: An agent with the Japanese SIS who assists Bond.
  • Mie Hama as Kissy: An Ama diving girl who replaces Aki after her death.
  • Teru Shimada as Mr. Osato: A Japanese industrialist secretly affiliated to SPECTRE.
  • Karin Dor as Helga Brandt: Osato's secretary and a SPECTRE assassin.
  • Bernard Lee as M: The strict head of MI6.
  • Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny: M's secretary.
  • Desmond Llewelyn as Q: Head of MI6 technical department.
  • Charles Gray as Henderson: British contact living in Japan.
  • Tsai Chin as Ling: Undercover MI6 agent in Hong Kong.
  • Ronald Rich as Hans: Blofeld's personal bodyguard. He follows the archetype of a tall, muscular blonde henchmen, started with From Russia with Love's Red Grant, and continued with other such as Stamper of Tomorrow Never Dies and Eric of For Your Eyes Only.[1] .

Directed by Lewis Gilbert Produced by Albert R. Broccoli Harry Saltzman Novel/Story by Ian Fleming Screenplay Roald Dahl Cinematography by Freddie Young, BSC Music by John Barry Main theme You Only Live Twice Composer John Barry Leslie Bricusse Performer Nancy Sinatra Editing by Peter R. Hunt Distributed by United Artists Released 12 June 1967 (UK) 13 June 1967 (U.S.) Running time 117 min.

Filmed in Japan.



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