You Only Live Twice

Released in 1967

Synopsis

In 1966 Roald Dahl was approached by James Bond producers Harry Saltzman and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli to write the screenplay for You Only Live Twice.

Background

Background

You only live twice... and "twice" is the only way to live!

In 1966 Roald Dahl was approached by James Bond producers Harry Saltzman and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, who asked him if he would be interested in writing the screenplay for You Only Live Twice, the fifth film in the Bond series. Roald agreed and began working on the film with input from LA television writer Harold Jack Bloom. 

You Only Live Twice was loosely based on Ian Fleming's 1964 novel of the same name, but it was the first of the Bond films to discard much of Fleming's original plot. Roald knew Bond's creator Ian Fleming from his war days, though Fleming had died two years before Roald began work on his screenplay. They had been friends, but Roald was not keen on You Only Live Twice. The producers agreed with his opinion that it was not Fleming's best work and allowed Roald and Bloom to amend the story, resulting in a movie plot that differed quite significantly from the original book.

In the film, Bond - played by Sean Connery - travels to Japan at the height of the Cold War, after American and Soviet spacecrafts disappear in orbit. There he faces Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of global terrorist organisation SPECTRE. Some of the plot details in the film were to crop up later in Roald's book Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

Upon its release in 1967, You Only Live Twice enjoyed great success. The experience encouraged producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli to ask Roald whether he would be interested in adapting another of Fleming's books - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

More about the period of his life in which Roald Dahl wrote You Only Live Twice