You Only Live Twice 1967 Directed by Lewis Gilbert

Fig.1: Movie Poster

You Only Live Twice is the fifth installment in the James Bond franchise, starring Sean Connery. It is based on the fictional MI6 spy novels created by Ian Fleming. Continuing as a spy film, You only live twice is thoroughly a 60’s action flick with a similar feel to Barbarella (1968). The film opens up with one of many iconic opening sequences that are featured in all James Bond movies, this time with Nancy Sinatra singing the theme song. Bubbling lava with similar movements to a lava lamp, and sensual silhouettes of women reflect the 1960’s culture. The imagery also incorporates asian designs and somewhat stereotypical portrayals of Japanese women.

Fig. 2: Opening sequence

In keeping with the usual fantasy action style, The supervillian ‘Blofeld’ has his own gigantic lair. The Villains Lair is iconic in this film. It is an oversized, cartoon like volcano lair which seems to engulf the characters within it. “Blofeld’s volcanic headquarters is the definitive supervillain lair: a secret underground nest buzzing with boilersuited paramilitary activity and the thrum of monorails.” (Sketchfield, 2012) It can even fit a rocket within it. The climax takes place here, and throughout the film Bond tries to find a way inside the secret hideout. The Lair itself was a challenge for the filmmakers. “The set of the lair was built on Pinewood Studios and cost just over $1million.” (Abbot, 2012) It seems it was worth the risk, as the location is one of the most iconic and largest sets shown in a Bond film. “It gives and incredible scale to the film and it isn’t done enough these days.” (Abbot, 2012)

Fig.3: Blofeld’s Lair

The gadgets in Bond Movies are always impressive and creative in their design. “It was as if the director had gone over every line of the script with a design Fig.4: Concept art for the lair engineer at his elbow and lovingly worked all the functions of the gadgetry into all folds of the plot so that everything held together in a subtle way.”


All in all You Only Live Twice is a highly exaggerated film with a grand scale in terms of locations and visuals, with many memorable scenes within.

Fig.1: http:// You_Only_Live_Twice_Opening_Credits/600pxYou_Only_Live_Twice_Opening_Credits.jpg Fig.3: Fig.4: Sketchfield, N 2012 (accessed 1/12/12) 706190301 Ebert, R (1967) accessed 1/12/12 (accessed 1/12/12) abbot, b (2012)

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