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You Only Live Twice (1967): 5th Bond Movie

You Only Live Twice is the fifth Bond film and also the fifth portrayal of James Bond by Sean Connery. Unlike the previous Bond films, You Only Live Twice loosely follows Ian Fleming's novel of the same name. They share the commonality that the story is set in exotic Japan.


An American spacecraft and its crew mysteriously disappear from orbit after being approached and engulfed by an unknown spacecraft. The world is still in the midst of the Cold War, and the United States suspects the Soviet Union of the mysterious disappearance of its ship.

However, the British Secret Service MI6 has a different opinion. It suspects Japan's involvement in the abduction because the unknown spacecraft (the abductor) lands somewhere in the Sea of Japan. In secret, they send James Bond to Tokyo, but first stage his death. Hence the title of the film.

In Japan, he cannot do without a guide, and his companion is Aki, a member of the Japanese Secret Service led by Tiger Tanaka. Aki introduces Bond to a local MI6 agent, Dikko Henderson, who claims to have evidence of the unknown spacecraft. However, he is killed before he can finish his sentence. Bond pursues the killer to the Osato Chemicals company, where he steals incriminating materials from the safe.

Later, James Bond goes to meet a potential buyer and attends a meeting directly with the company's director, Mr. Osato. He exchanges banter with Bond, but then orders his secretary to have Bond killed. James Bond later discovers that Osato is associated with the criminal organization SPECTRE, whose head is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who is behind the entire plot. You Only Live Twice is the first Bond film in which Blofeld's likeness is fully revealed.

SPECTRE similarly abducts a Soviet spacecraft, and the world stands on the brink of a third world war, more precisely on the brink of its destruction by a nuclear attack and retaliatory measures. James Bond must prevent this. The film features one of Bond's most famous gadgets – the Little Nellie mini-helicopter, which can be packed into several suitcases.

You Only Live Twice also enjoyed great box office success. It was supposed to be the last Bond film featuring Sean Connery, as during filming he expressed his intention to relinquish the role of Agent 007 and focus on other roles. As we know, after a brief hiatus, he appeared again in the seventh Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever, before being definitively replaced by Roger Moore.

Title Song

The title song of You Only Live Twice, performed by Nancy Sinatra, serves as the perfect introduction to the film's captivating storyline and exotic setting. With its lush orchestration and haunting melody, the song immediately transports listeners into the world of James Bond, where danger and intrigue await at every turn.

Nancy Sinatra's evocative vocals infuse the song with a sense of mystery and allure, reflecting the enigmatic nature of the film's protagonist and the exotic locales he traverses. The lyrics, penned by acclaimed songwriter Leslie Bricusse, evoke themes of love, betrayal, and redemption, mirroring the complex emotions and high-stakes drama of the Bond universe.

As the opening credits unfold against a backdrop of swirling colors and psychedelic imagery, Nancy Sinatra's mesmerizing performance sets the tone for the thrilling adventure that is about to unfold. With its timeless appeal and unforgettable melody, the title song of You Only Live Twice remains a standout moment in the rich tapestry of Bond theme songs, capturing the imagination of audiences for generations to come.


Role Actor Role Description
James Bond Sean Connery The main character, a British MI6 secret agent.
Aki Akiko Wakabayashi A Japanese agent who collaborates with Bond.
Kissy Suzuki Mie Hama A Japanese agent who becomes Bond's partner.
M Bernard Lee The head of the British MI6 secret service.
Moneypenny Lois Maxwell M's assistant.
Q Desmond Llewelyn A technical expert who provides Bond with special equipment.
Tiger Tanaka Tetsuro Tamba The head of the Japanese secret service.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld Donald Pleasence The head of the terrorist organization SPECTRE.
Mr. Osato Teru Shimada A Japanese industrialist and member of SPECTRE.
Helga Brandt Karin Dor A member of SPECTRE who attempts to kill Bond.
Dikko Henderson Charles Gray A British journalist and Bond's friend in Japan.
Ling Tsai Chin The person who brings Bond to Tiger's base.

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Based on the original Czech article: Žiješ jenom dvakrát (1967) – 5. bondovka.