Directed by Lewis Gilbert — Screenplay by Roald Dahl.
After having released a Bond-film for every year from 1962 to 1965, Eon Productions and United Artists took a year-off before the next film in the franchise was released. Filmed mostly in Japan, You Only Live Twice was the second-to-last official Sean Connery Bond-film (and his last Bond-film before George Lazenby took over for one film). This fifth official Bond-film was the first Bond-picture to be directed by Lewis Gilbert who was hot off the heels after having won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival the year before for his film Alfie. Interestingly, 1967 also marked the first time that an unofficial/Non-Eon Bond-film, the David Niven-led Casino Royale, was released. Niven’s film was released a few months prior to the release of You Only Live Twice, and it may have had a negative impact on the box office potential of Connery’s fifth Bond-film.
Directed by Terence Young — Screenplay by Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood, Berkely Mather.
Though it makes references to other Bond stories, Terence Young’s Dr. No was the very first James Bond film. With a small budget of just $1 million, Terence Young created many of the cinematic trademarks we know the franchise for. Like, the gun-barrel introduction, the iconic theme, the MI6 cast of characters, or SPECTRE. And, of course, it also features Sean Connery, one of the most iconic James Bond-actors. Looking at it today in 2021, Dr. No does seem a tad dated, and it definitely looks like a small-budget Bond film. However, it is a solid introduction to a now-iconic cinematic character.
The following is an updated* review of Eon Productions’ SPECTRE, a Sam Mendes film.
James Bond – Agent 007 – is a legendary film character from a legendary film franchise. A franchise that, through the good and the bad, has been obligatory viewing for all film enthusiasts. Daniel Craig’s run of films has been rather memorable up to this point. The fantastic Casino Royale was a fresh modern update of the franchise, for various reasons Quantum of Solace was a disappointing follow-up, whereas the thrilling Skyfall brought the Craig-era back on track. Unfortunately, though decent, SPECTRE — the 4th Craig-era Bond-film — doesn’t stand out as one of the best in the franchise.