A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that You Only Live Twice is the fifth James Bond movie, and the fifth starring Sean Connery. It contains much cartoonish violence, with fighting, shooting, stabbing, and minor characters killed, with very little blood and no consequences. The main character is also a womanizer, kissing and or/sleeping with at least four women over the course of the movie, though no nudity or graphic sex is shown. Bond is also a drinker, consuming both vodka and sake in this movie. The only language is the word "damn." Younger movie buffs may be interested in catching up with the early movies in this series that continues today, and especially the ones with Sean Connery, whom many consider the best of all Bonds.
What's the story?
In orbit above the earth, a mysterious ship gobbles up an American spacecraft, leading to speculation as to which nation was responsible. Agent 007, James Bond (Sean Connery), after faking his own death, begins to investigate. He escapes a redheaded assassin (Karin Dor), then heads to Tokyo, where it is believed that the attacks originated from. There, his contact, Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba) gives him a crash course in ninja training and fixes him up with a Japanese bride (Mie Hama) so that he can blend in. When Bond finally discovers the bad guys' secret hiding place, he meets the man who will become his most sinister nemesis: Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasence).
Is it any good?
This was the fifth official James Bond film, and despite a screenplay by the dark, playful author Roald Dahl and a hip theme song by Nancy Sinatra, it shows the series growing a bit sluggish. It's a bit culturally clueless -- Bond undergoes an operation to make him look Japanese -- and it has some odd choices, such as Blofeld not appearing until the final reel.
Though it's notable for casting the first Asian Bond girls, both Akiko Wakabayashi and Mie Hama are underused, mostly seen trailing after the hero. And the movie wastes time on diversions like a dogfight in a funny little one-man helicopter. However, as the most beloved of all actors to play Bond, Sean Connery himself brings a great deal of charisma and class to the movie, and it eventually balances out as a fine minor entry in the series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. How intense is it? How many characters have to die so that Bond can save the world? Are there any consequences?
Bond is definitely a good guy, but his methods and behavior are questionable. Is he a role model? Does he seem "cool"? Is he someone to emulate? Why or why not?
How are women portrayed in the movie? Are they realistic? Strong? What is Bond's attitude toward them?
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