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You Only Live Twice (Special Edition) [DVD]

Sean Connery , Akiko Wakabayashi , Lewis Gilbert (II)    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
Price: 5.18 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

You Only Live Twice (Special Edition) [DVD] + Thunderball [DVD] [1965] + From Russia With Love [DVD]
Price For All Three: 12.41

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Product details

  • Actors: Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi, Mie Hama, Tetsuro Tamba, Teru Shimada
  • Directors: Lewis Gilbert (II)
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Japanese, Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Nov 2003
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004SH4N
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,215 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The film boasts the best of the Bond title songs (this one sung on a dreamy track by Nancy Sinatra), but the movie itself is one of the weaker ones of the Sean Connery phase of the 007 franchise. The story concerns an effort by the evil organisation SPECTRE to start a world war, but the not-so-super villain behind the plot is the awfully civilised Donald Pleasence. The thin script is by Roald Dahl (shouldn't we have expected a better Bond nemesis from the creator of mad genius Willy Wonka?), and direction is by British veteran Lewis Gilbert (Alfie). But the movie can't hold a candle to Dr. No, From Russia with Love, or Goldfinger. --Tom Keogh,

On the DVD: This was another troubled production according to the insightful "making of" documentary: director and producers luckily avoided boarding a plane out of Tokyo that crashed and killed everyone on board; the Japanese actresses couldn't speak English and one threatened suicide if she was dropped from the part; and the aerial cameraman filming the helicopter fight had his leg sliced off by a rotor blade. Maurice Binder's evocative main title designs are the subject of the second documentary, "Silhouettes", in which his colleagues voiceboth their admiration of his art and frustration at his chaotic working practices. The commentary is another edited selection of interviews with principal cast and crew. An animated storyboard sequence, trailers, radio spots and a handsome booklet add up to another winning entry in this series. --Mark Walker

Product Description

DVD Special Features :

Audio Commentary featuring Director Lewis Gilbert and members of the Cast and Crew
"Inside You Only Live Twice" Documentary
"Silhouettes: The James Bond Titles" Documentary
Plane Crash: Animated Storyboard Sequence
Collectable "Making Of" Booklet
Radio Spots
Original Theatrical Trailers
English Subtitles
2.35:1 widescreen 16:9 version
Dolby Digital

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bond runs riot in Japan 7 Aug 2008
You Only Live Twice has all the classic Bond ingredients that you would come to expect from a 007 movie: exotic locations, a deranged madman with a monorail (and a big cat here), gadgets, great music and a plot that involves averting World War 3.

The action is fast-paced and the bodycount is high. Interesting aspects include Bond turning Japanese, getting married (or at least pretending to), Little Nellie (the famous, lethal flying machine that Q packed into two suitcases) and help from the SIS (the Japanese equivalent of the CIA).

On the downside, the spaceship scenes now look so primitive that they're almost akin to Thunderbirds material, but hey, this was 1967 and I'm sure the producers did their best with the technology that was available at the time.

You Only Live Twice is classic Bond and the extra features make this a great package for the price. The feature on Maurice Binder, who created the famous gun barrel sequence and the credit sequences to a large number of Bond pics was particularly interesting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
For his fifth cinema outing superspy James Bond is sent off to Japan in another fight against SPECTRE. This time the criminal organisation is trying to start world war three using captured Russian and American space vehicles.

There are big thrills aplenty as Sean Connery's Bond stumbles around in Japan, trying to uncover the threads of the scheme. Bond gets into scrape after scrape leading to ever more impressive escapes and stunts, all of which builds up to the thrilling final showdown which is suitably action packed and full of big bangs.

Introducing Bond's nemesis Blofeld for the first time, here played by a very creepy and evil looking Donald Pleasance, and the idea of a supervillain hiding out in a disused volcano lair, this is a thrilling ride from start to finish. Characterisation takes a bit of a back seat to the stunts, but it is an exciting ride none the less.

This ultimate edition really is the best version of the film I have owned. The picture has been lovingly restored and cleaned up, and looks amazing. Really, I am not just saying that. It looks superb. The sound has been similarly treated and there is an option to listen to it in 5.1 DTS surround, which is truly exceptional.

As well as the superb presentation of the film, there is also a host of extras, original trailers, informative audio commentaries and the such. These are exhaustive and some of them quite interesting. But these really a garnish for the main course, which is the film itself.

This is an excellent release, and does this classic film justice. This series of `Ultimate editions' really sets the standard for film releases. It really does not get any better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
You Only Live Twice is directed by Lewis Gilbert and written by Roald Dahl. It stars Sean Connery, Tetsuro Tamba, Teru Shimada, Akiko Wakabayashi, Mie Hama, Karin Dor and Donald Pleasence. Music is scored by John Barry and cinematography by Freddie Young.

Bond 5 and Connery once again tackles the role of 007. With American and Soviet space craft mysteriously vanishing from space, both nations are laying the blame at the other's door. Sensing a nuclear war could break out, M assigns Bond to Japan to investigate if there might be a third party stirring the hornets nest. Teaming up with the Japanese secret service, Bond uncovers evidence that SPECTRE is behind the plot to pitch the East and the West against each other.

This organisation does not tolerate failure.

Thunderball had broke box office records for Bond, gadgetry, outlandish stunts and a quip on the tongue had proved most profitable. It was planned originally that On Her Majesty's Secret Service would be number 5 in the series, but a change of tack to go for You Only Live Twice as the story gave producers Broccoli & Saltzman the scope for a giganticus enormous production. However, it may be set in Japan and feature a Bond/Blofeld conflict, but Roald Dahl's script bares little resemblance to Ian Fleming's source novel. Although a massive financial success with a Worldwide gross of over $111 million, Bond 5 took $30 million less than Thunderball. Strange since this is a better film. Can we attribute the drop to it being a space age saga? Maybe, the rebirth of sci-fi was a few years away, and of course Bond had lost some fans who had grown tired, like Connery, of 007 relying on gadgets instead of brains and brawn to complete his missions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Faced with box-office rivalry from the spoof Casino Royale the same year, EON put aside their plans to follow Thunderball with OHMSS and pulled out all the stops to promise the biggest and best-paced Bond to date. While they failed to match the phenomenal success of Thunderball - still the biggest ticket seller in the series' history by a huge margin - this certainly is the best of the special effects show Bonds, and for many it's scarred, bald, Persian-cat stroking super-villain ensconced in his hollowed-out volcano lair plotting to start a world war is the quintessential Bond movie villain. Departing from Ian Fleming's novel in all but name and boasting a plot the producers were so taken with that they've used it at least twice since The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, both also directed by Lewis Gilbert), but by 1967 the series was already beginning to feed off itself - the pre-title sequence where Bond is killed is more or less borrowed from From Russia With Love.

After years as an offscreen presence voiced by Eric Pohlman and Joseph Wiseman, S.P.E.C.T.R.E.'s Ernst Stavro Blofeld finally makes his first on-screen appearance in the form of Donald Pleasance (causing that awkward continuity problem in the subsequent OHMSS where he fails to recognise Bond), with Charles Gray preceding his turn in the role on the side of the angels as our man in Japan, getting his vodka from the doorman at the Russian embassy ("among OTHER things"). This time the villains work for a large Japanese industrial company to cash-in on the Connery films' popularity in the Japanese market while offering some colorful locations, but action, not scenery, is the order of the day here.
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