You Only Live Twice

(GB, 1967, 117 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
CAST Sean Connery, Akiki Wakabayashi, Donald Pleasence, Mie Hama, Tetsuro Tanba, Teru Shimada, Karin Dor, Charles Gray


Donald Pleasence is the quintessential Bond villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, bent on kickstarting WWIII. (Just ask Mike Myers, who parodied the performance in the Austin Powers films.)

Blofeld is hijacking American and Russian space shuttles, in an attempt to start a war between the two nations. Bond is sent to Japan to investigate, with the help of Tiger Tanaka, the head of station in Tokyo. Armed with over 100 trained ninjas, Bond infiltrates Blofeld’s volcano lair (a masterpiece of design by the great Ken Adam).

The screenplay, very freely adapted from Fleming, is by the noted children’s author Roald Dahl. The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author had himself been something of a James Bond like figure, working for British Intelligence in the USA during WWII, and reportedly keeping a stable of wealthy, attractive women while he was about it.