You Only Live Twice



Sluggish Bond entry has cartoonish violence, stereotyping.
  • Review Date: February 24, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1967
  • Running Time: 117 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Bond is a force for good, working to save the world, but his methods -- fighting, killing -- and behavior -- drinking, womanizing, etc. -- are questionable. The movie is set in Japan and contains some minor stereotyping (mostly a product of the times). Women characters are mostly for show.


Positive role models

James Bond is a good guy, and highly trained and skilled, but he has his major drawbacks. He can kill without consequence; he actually has a license for it. And he's a fairly selfish pleasure-seeker, romancing and womanizing, drinking, and coveting the finest clothes, cars, and watches.



The movie contains much fighting, explosions, shooting, stabbing, and killing, with a minimum of blood. It's all very cartoonish. A little blood is shown when Bond fakes his own death in the opening sequence. Characters die by falling into piranha-filled water. Ninjas are involved, complete with various martial arts weapons and fighting.



No nudity or graphic sex scenes are shown, but Bond is very clearly amorously involved with several women during the course of the movie. Mostly we just see kissing and hugging as characters fall into bed (or on the ground). Bond is shown in bed with a Chinese woman in Hong Kong (he asks her why Chinese women "taste different"). Later he kisses a redheaded assassin, gets a massage from a group of Japanese girls (one of them uses the phrase "sexiful"), sleeps with one of them, and then marries (!) another and sleeps with her.



"Damn" is used once.


Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Bond drinks quite often during the movie, mostly vodka, but also sake in one scene.


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.


Parents say

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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?


YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE 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, the series was beginning to grow 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.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 13, 1967
DVD release date:February 25, 2007
Cast:Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence, Mie Hama
Director:Lewis Gilbert
Studio:United Artists
Run time:117 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous July 20, 2014

Even James Bond plays stupid.

My rating:PG-13 for violence and sexual material.
Teen, 14 years old Written byJimmy Brew July 17, 2015

Less drugs but more violence in 5th installment in the 007 series

My rating:12+ Violence,adult content
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 10 years old May 23, 2015

'Bond. James Bond.'

Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war was provoked. PG : 117mins : Action, Adventure, Thriller : 14 December 1967 (Australia)
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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