You Only Live Twice
(United Artists, 1967)
The fifth official Bond outing. Almost didn't happen when a separate production company got the movie rights to make Casino Royale, which premiered a couple of months ahead of this movie, was atrocious, and by the standards of the time risqué enough to shock people such that UA considered pulling the plug on the series. (Trivia Question: Which actor who played James Bond does almost no one ever correctly name? David Niven.) While the set pieces went to new lengths, and the volcano set was lavish and impressive by any standards, Connery was getting tired of the role, fearing he'd be typecast, and the movie basically threw out Ian Fleming's absent plotline for one made up mostly from scratch, and it wanders a bit in the middle. But Donald Pleasance as the finally-revealed Blofeld provides the proper menace to the role, and the climactic battle lived up to the franchise standards, receiving the usual audience response.