Posts Tagged ‘You Only Live Twice’

Epitome of Cool…

March 8, 2010

Sean Connery for Louis Vuitton


Martin Grace (1942-2010)

January 29, 2010

Bond stuntman and stunt double Martin Grace has passed away at the age of 67. Grace was an accomplished stunt performer and coordinator, and was Roger Moore’s stunt double through most of his Bond films. Grace’s first 007 credit was in Sean Connery’s “You Only Live Twice” in 1967, before becoming Moore’s regular stunt double from “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) up until his departure from the series in “A View To A Kill” (1985).

Grace’s other major film credits as a stunt performer/coordinator include: “Superman” (1978), “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), “Robin Hood” (1991) and “The Truman Show” (1998). Grace also appeared on screen as an actor, which included working with former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan in “Robinson Crusoe”.

Over his career, Grace worked on 73 motion pictures as well as many popular television programs including “Monk” and “Heroes”. His last big-screen stunt work was on the 2007 Jim Carrey film “The Number 23”.

After suffering a cycling accident in late November 2009, Martin fractured his pelvis and was hospitalized for some weeks. In late January he was taken from his home in Spain to hospital again after developing breathing problems. He died aged 67 on 27th January 2010 after suffering an aneurysm.

Rest in peace.

Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with James Bond…

November 25, 2009

The SyFy Channel will be airing a total of sixteen James Bond films this Thanksgiving weekend. Below is the full schedule:

Thursday – November 26th 2009

8:00 AM –  Dr. No
10:30 AM – Licence To Kill
1:30 PM –  Live And Let Die
4:00 PM – The Spy Who Loved Me
6:30 PM – Tomorrow Never Dies
9:00 PM – Casino Royale

Friday – November 27th 2009:

12:00 AM – For Your Eyes Only
2:30 AM – The Man With The Golden Gun
08:00 AM – Thunderball
10:30 AM – From Russia With Love
1:00 PM – You Only Live Twice
3:30 PM – Diamonds Are Forever
6:00 PM – Casino Royale
9:00 PM – GoldenEye

Saturday November 28th 2009:

12:00 AM – Goldfinger
2:30 AM – Never Say Never Again


All times are EST.

Mi6 Magazine ::: Issue #6 Press Release

September 21, 2009

(London, UK, September 21st, 2009) MI6 Declassified, the full-colour magazine celebrating the world of James Bond 007, returns with its sixth Mi6 Declassified Issue 6issue. Amongst the special guests featured in MI6 Declassified #6 are: actor Robert Davi reflecting on his role as Sanchez as Licence To Kill celebrates its 20th anniversary, Wing Commander Ken Wallis discussing Little Nellie, and author Charlie Higson on completing his fifth Young Bond book. This issue includes the first of a series of in-depth features on the classic James Bond films with a 10-page ‘Making You Only Live Twice’ special. With rarely seen photography and anecdotes from cast and crew, MI6 Declassified #6 is not to be missed!

Featured in the sixth issue:

  • Exclusive interview with Robert Davi on his role as Sanchez in Licence To Kill
  • Making You Only Live Twice – an exhaustive account of the fifth EON production
  • Author Charlie Higson talks about completing his fifth Young Bond book
  • Shooting in Key West – following the production of Licence To Kill in Florida
  • David Hedison reflects on playing Felix Leiter twice
  • Flying With Commander Ken Wallis – Little Nellie’s inventor and pilot
  • Domark’s early Bond games are remembered as a blast from the past
  • Before Bond – a look back at Cubby Broccoli’s pre-007 productions

Issue #6 is now shipping around the world. To order online, visit

For more information, images, interviews, review copies or bulk orders, please contact:

Interview with Dwight Lockhart

September 18, 2009

I recently caught up with Dwight Lockhart of; an artist with over 35 years of airbrushing experience and creator of high-end signs, displays, props, and ads. More specifically, Dwight has done more than a few customized Bond-related pieces for his clients.

What is your favorite Bond film?
One of my favorite Bond films is Octopussy. I am a huge fan of
Faberge, so much that I have hand crafted two “House of Lockhart Eggs” for my wife.

Hand-crafted egg, by Dwight Lockhart, paying tribute to Faberge

Hand-crafted egg, by Dwight Lockhart, paying tribute to Faberge

Another hand-crafted egg, by Dwight Lockhart

Another hand-crafted egg, by Dwight Lockhart

Who is your favorite Bond actor?
I like the way Daniel Craig plays Bond; full-tilt really, like you
think it would be in real life.

What is your favorite prop from a James Bond film?
Since I hand-crafted two golden guns for a client, I am fond of them, but I think Little Nellie is the best Bond prop because it is real. Could you imagine having one and the skills to pilot it? Too cool!

What is your favorite Bond film location?
In Never Say Never Again, the Nassau location looked pretty exotic
and fantastic to me.

What’s the process you go through when making a James Bond-themed glass table top? How long does it usually take you?
The gun barrel coffee table was easy once I decided on what image to do; I created the art file from scratch in Photoshop, then contour-cut it on my digital printer out of glass-etch decal material in reverse and applied it to the underside of the glass. Elapsed time: 3 hours.

Crafted gun barrel-themed coffee table, by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted gun barrel-themed coffee table, by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted "Golden Gun"-themed coffee table, by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted "Golden Gun"-themed coffee table, by Dwight Lockhart

What went into making those Bond display cases? And how about the signs/posters?
[For the You Only Live Twice display case]: My wife Debbie cast an acrylic, plastic martini in a real martini glass for use with a Little Nellie model and a miniature You Only Live Twice poster.

"You Only Live Twice" custom display case, by Dwight Lockhart

"You Only Live Twice" custom display case, by Dwight Lockhart

[For the Octopussy display case:] I sent a 007 logo to China to have a large crystal laser-etched in the center, then stood it on a color-shifting LED base that rotated slowly. I also added broken crystal chips inside the cabinet and another Bond film poster.

Custom "Octopussy" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

"Octopussy" custom display case, by Dwight Lockhart

Each display case featured assorted items we created to carry the
theme through out the room.

Custom "Diamonds Are Forever" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

Custom "Diamonds Are Forever" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

"Golden Gun" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

"Golden Gun" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

Your artwork is extremely detailed and exceptional. Did you receive training in that field, or did it come naturally? What got you into this business?
I have been an airbrush artist and sculptor for 35 years. I was at an auto show when I was 12-years-old and watched an airbrush artist creating hand-painted t-Shirts. That did it for me; I started drawing and painting from that day to today. I totally love it, even though I have had no formal training… I just learned as I went along. I owe a debt of gratitude to the many clients I have had over the years, who have challenged me to create something unique for them.

Custom "James Bond Lounge", by Dwight Lockhart

Custom "James Bond Lounge", by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted Bond film poster, by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted Bond film poster, by Dwight Lockhart

Special thanks go out to Dwight Lockhart for providing pictures of his exceptional work, and taking the time to answer a few questions. For more information about Dwight Lockhart and his work, check out Keep up the great work, Dwight!

Top 5 — John Barry 007 Scores

June 28, 2009

1. You Only Live Twice – John Barry captures the beauty of Japan in this score. Alongside the sweeping strings, and Far Eastern sounds, this soundtrack is also infused with some great themes. This score delivers music of suspense, romance and action. The sliding bass guitar  also brings the “coolness” of the James Bond theme to a whole different level. To me, this is Barry’s finest score of all time.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “James Bond in Japan” – Track 13
  • “Fight At Kobe Docks / Helga” – Track 3
  • “Mountains and Sunsets” – Track 7

2. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – Another brilliant soundtrack by John Barry. This seems to be a score that features one of his earliest uses of synthesizers, and it works extremely well. The score is infused with romantic music that fits the film perfectly. It also features some of the series’ greatest action cues. There’s plenty of music to enjoy on this score.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “Main Theme: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – Track 6
  • “Battle at Piz Gloria” – Track 10
  • “Try” – Track 3

3. The Living Daylights – John Barry’s last James Bond score, and certainly one of his best. This score relies on synthesizers like “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, but the outcome is superb. This score is infused with many melodies, both romantic, suspenseful, and action-packed. This is definitely a perfect 80’s Bond score.

Recommended Tracks:

  • The Sniper Was a Woman – Track 3
  • Mujahadin and Opium – Track 10
  • Assassin and Drugged – Track 16

4. “Diamonds Are Forever” – Though the film was silly, John Barry seemed to have taken the score seriously, as always. Barry offers listeners a haunting theme for the film’s henchmen – the best henchmen theme of the series – and his style matches the sleaziness of the film perfectly. Some cues capture the silliness of the film, also, but I’d say that, overall, this is one of Barry’s more dark scores.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd / Bond to Holland” – Track 14
  • “Gunbarrel and Manhunt” – Track 13
  • “Airport Source / On the Road” – Track 16

5. “Goldfinger” – This is most likely one of Barry’s more popular scores, and for a good reason! Not only does it feature Dame Shirley Bassey’s iconic Bond theme, but it also features a collection of great action and adventure music. This score is very jazzy at times, too. Overall, there’s not much to dislike about this Bond score. It has certainly earned the status of “quintessential”.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “Main Theme: Goldfinger” – Track 1
  • “Alpine Drive / Auric’s Factory” – Track 3
  • “Oddjob’s Pressing Engagement” – Track 4

Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Bond

June 21, 2009

Many fans of Ian Fleming’s literary Bond series, and even fans of the films, will know that James Bond married Contessa Teresa di Vincenzo in the novel (and film) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Tragically, though, the bride was slain by Bond’s arch-nemisis — Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

What casual Bond fans may not know is that James Bond goes to settle the score with Blofeld in Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice.

I won’t spoil the entire story for you, but I will say that it is significantly different from the film. Don’t expect James Bond to be flying around in that bright-yellow gyro-copter, made in the quartermaster’s garage.

However, that’s not the point of this article.

I wanted to mention James Bond’s child.

Yes – you read correctly.

Recovering from amnesia in Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, Bond adopts the life of a Japanese merchant with Kissy Suzuki, while he is presumed dead by the rest of the world. During this time period, it’s said that Kissy becomes pregnant after sleeping with James…

However, we don’t hear (or read) anymore of this until Raymond Benson releases his short story, Blast From the Past. Though I haven’t read the short yet, it’s said that James Bond is contacted by his son, James Suzuki, and is asked to meet him New York City on a matter of urgency. When Bond arrives, he finds his son dead — supposedly killed by Irma Bunt

This is all very interesting; though, it seems as if James Bond cannot maintain solid aspects of his personal life. By this, I mean, first of all, his wife Tracy was murdered. He ended up abandoning Kissy Suzuki, obviously. And his one known son is killed. It’s a very tragic case, but surely brings a lot more depth to this character. I’ll have to get around to finding Benson’s story.

So, on this Father’s Day, my suggested reading material includes Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice.

Before you jump into it, though, I suggest reading Fleming’s Thunderball and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Combined with You Only Live Twice, these form “the Blofeld trilogy”.

To any fathers reading this, I kindly extend a “Happy Father’s Day” greeting to you.

All the best…

Film Review ::: You Only Live Twice

November 22, 2008

While some people throw this on the same page as “Moonraker” and “Die Another Day”, I’m not sure if I agree with that. Certainly, it’s probably the most “out there” of the Connery Bond films, but still carries a lot of the Bond elements we know and love.

First of all, the beautiful locations: Japan looks like such a wonderful place, and the people working on this film made sure to capture that beauty. It’s best scene, in my opinion, while we’re at Tanaka’s place. This is usually when we see Bond, Aki, and Tiger sitting outside discussing something or other. The beautiful architecture of Japan, along with the fantastic mountains and vegetation paint a vibrant background to many of the scenes in this film. The streets of Japan also make for interesting location, also.

The music, in my opinion, is the best Bond soundtrack of them all. It complements the film well, though I don’t think it was used as properly as it should have. However, Barry captures the essence of Japan, the treachery of SPECTRE, the suave and cool nature of James Bond himself, and the romance between Bond and his couple of lovers in this film. Barry also enhances the action in many scenes of this film.

Ernst Blofeld, portrayed by Donald Pleasence, was, in my opinion, the ideal villain of the Connery years; he certainly put a very definitive face on Blofeld- the arch enemy who had been so mysterious in the films before. Pleasence is a great actor, and had he been given another film to fully show off his true colors as Blofeld, I think many people would hold him high up in their villain rankings.

Now, perhaps this was one of Connery’s most laid back roles as Bond, but it not anything less of greatness. He’s still as cool as ever, still as humorous as ever, and still as handsome as ever. Though, his earlier performances were superior to his role in “You Only Live Twice”, I don’t have anything to complain about with Connery here. I thought he did a lot better than Lazenby in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, to be honest- but after all, he’s Sean Connery. Who isn’t he better than?

Now, the production design for this film was brilliant. I hold Blofeld’s volcano lair on top of my favorite villain’s lair list. To put it simply, no other villain lair in this series has been as well done or as unlimited as this. It had a tram system, it housed a rocket ship, it contained an army of guards, it has a control room, a prison, and even a personal room for Blofeld, equipped with a pool of piranha; on top of all that, it was hidden in a volcano. Atlantis didn’t have that – Piz Gloria wasn’t as unlimited as that – and any of those Brosnan villains couldn’t match it; absolutely brilliant on Ken Adam’s part.

My favorite scene in this movie was at the Kobe Docks. When Bond gets to the rooftop, and we have an aerial view of him fighting off a bunch of thugs, along with Barry’s action score playing to it- I think it was awesome. It pretty much spelled out Bond right before our eyes.

So… that’s all the good stuff.

The bad?

Well, I think there were a few weak performances by some of the Japanese agents. Tanaka was dubbed the whole time, wasn’t he? There’s that continuity error about Bond “never going to Japan before”. The film wasn’t as realistic as some of the ones before it.

Overall, “You Only Live Twice” makes for a very fun Bond adventure. I think that’s about as far as people should look when criticizing “You Only Live Twice”. Certainly, it doesn’t hold up to “From Russia With Love”, “Goldfinger”, or “Dr. No”, but it certainly is entertaining.

7.0 / 10

7.0 / 10

"A Quantum of Covers" for Children In Need

November 19, 2008

Article Link: BBC Oxford > Children In Need > A Quantum of Covers


A Quantum of Covers
The Name’s Bear, Pudsey Bear… 

The BBC Oxford team certainly like their music shaken and not stirred judging by their idea for this year’s BBC Children In Need.

It seems Nobody can do a Children In Need Event better than BBC Oxford Introducing who have brought together eleven of the best Oxfordshire bands you’ve never heard of to record their favourite Bond themes for the appeal.

The album, called a Quantum of Covers is available on iTunes and for every individual track downloaded 49p goes to Children In Need and for every album purchased £4.90 will go to the charity.

And with the likes of former Miss England Eleanor Glynn contributing to an industrial electro version of The Living Daylights with Banbury’s Sikorski to Borderville doing a glam-stomp through the Wings classic Live and Let Die, it is sure to be a hit.

Talking about the charity project and their choice of theme Nobody Does It Better, David Balch, from Witches said: “I think A Quantum of Covers is an excellent idea. Bond is an institution and the themes are such iconic songs, it’s great to be a part of it. Hopefully it’ll raise a load of cash for Children in Need’s work with disadvantaged children.”

Xmas Lights took on the challenge of the Bond theme. James Gray-King of the band commented: “It was an honour to be asked to take part in the project and a huge challenge. The main theme has been tackled by so many incredible people over the years that finding a route in and keeping it recognizable while retaining our sound was a really interesting endeavour. I am proud of what we have done and very proud that it is for a worthy cause…”

Sikorski joined forces with their own Bond girl and former Miss England Eleanor Glynn for the Living Daylights, with Jan and Darren saying: “We really enjoyed the process of reinterpreting and recording this song. It was a real challenge from the outset, but one we enjoyed and endeavoured to get right. We wanted to make it our own and not just a copy of the original, and we think we have achieved this.”

And Maria Ilett noticed how BBC Children in Need brings out the generosity in people:
“We were really excited to be asked to record a song for a Quantum of covers BBC Oxfords Children in Need album, people have been extra generous when they realised what charity the song was for- Barry and Markus from The Doghouse Studio donated their studio and engineer time! Just goes to show what a much loved charity Children In Need is.”

BBC Children in Need positively changes the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

This theme of this year’s Appeal is Do Something Different and we are asking you to take up the challenge and help thousands more young people, here in the UK, who need our help. Doing Something Different doesn’t mean anything difficult, expensive or scary; it just means something outside of your normal routine which will help raise money.  There are lots of fun, silly and unusual ideas in our BBC Children in Need Fundraising Pack. For more information go to or call 0345 607 3333.

Remember, for every penny raised, a penny will go towards projects helping those in need. We couldn’t do it without you, so a big Pudsey thanks in advance!

iTunes — “A Quantum of Covers”

Cover songs, especially of Bond tunes, are always interesting to listen to. Even if you buy this, and don’t like it, you’re still contributing to a good cause. If you buy this, and do like it, then I suppose it’s a win/win. I’ll definitely check it out, as it’ll make for a good piece to add to my Bond soundtrack collection. Plus, I like the idea of helping the Children In Need organization.

If you’re not interested in the music, but feel like being generous and helping out the organization, here’s their site link: 

Children In Need