"In this 5th and challenging Bond film, Agent 007, in a race to prevent
a nuclear war between the super-powers, finds himself in Japan where he confronts the evil
SPECTRE organisation and its diabolical leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Similarly structured to the other superb DVD Bond titles with outstanding features and
jammed with information licenced to thrill, You Only Live Twice devotes one special
segment to its famous, memorable titles. Called 'Silhouettes – The James Bond
Titles', this feature pays tribute to Maurice Binder, one of the greatest of all title
artists, who was responsible for most of the early Bond titles. We look at the man, his
work and how the naked, silhouetted girls influenced modern cinema. Binder's greatest
regret? His decision to be paid instead of a piece of the action. We hear from friends,
colleagues and relations, who describe how this brilliant innovator and graphic designer
achieved incredible results from simple effects. His interest was in technology, colour
and sex. We hear that if Binder was auditioning a girl and examining her fingernails,
before long, somehow, she had taken all her clothes off. Roger Moore and songstress Sheena
Easton recall their experiences, and how they were incorporated into the striking title
credits. The titles were an event in themselves, and to get an insight into the
philosophy, the background and how they were achieved, is extraordinary.
We get a good feel for the time and place in the documentary, which canvasses the mood
of the day, the problems, background to hiring the director and script writer. It was
during this production that Sean Connery announced his retirement from the Bond films, and
the media interest was huge. On the set in Japan, we hear about the immense problems of
the shoot – from the Japanese girls who couldn't speak English, to the aerial
accident that caused cinematographer Johnny Jordan to lose a foot. We meet cast and crew
who worked on the film as well as Connery's ex wife Diane Cilento, who doubled for some of
the Japanese actresses in some of the diving scenes. More steel was used to build the set
representing the extinct crater than was used for the London Hilton.
The audio commentary featuring Lewis Gilbert and cast & crew members continues to
fascinate, and there is almost too much information to absorb. Nancy Sinatra, who sang the
title song recalls her intimidation by the 70 piece orchestra and the experience with
conductor John Barry. The animated story board sequence of the plane crash is interesting,
as are the original radio spots and four trailers shown in US & UK. Bond mania is
alive and well – and this latest DVD in the superb Bond series is a great addition to
We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.