Sunday, 4 November 2012

Mise en Scene Film Review: You Only Live Twice

James Bond: You Only Live Twice (1967), is the fifth film in the James Bond collection. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert with screenplay done by Roald Dahl.One of the most famous sets from You Only Live Twice is the volcano lair featured in the film. The design of the volcano lair was created by Ken Adam, who was well known for his set designs and managed to create a space both large in size and with the hints of classicism running through the interior.

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'it also gave Bond's nemesis a new home: a hollowed-out volcano. And that volcano became one of the most iconic images associated with 007' (Radford, 2011) As Radford states, the volcano lair from You Only Live Twice became one of the most iconic images associated with the James Bond collection, and for its time, was the most expensive set built with working Monorail, and fixtures inside the set that the actors could interact with. 

Another noticeable feature about the volcano lair is its similarities to the Dome that Hitler wanted to create; the structure of the lair and also Hitlers Dome were designed to work against the theories behind Classicism and instead of the architecture working with the human form, the building works against it and is made to look as though the structure is almost crushing the people inside it. 'The building that best illustrates Hitler's megalomania is the so-called Volkshalle (People's Hall). Around 320 meters (350 yards) in height and covered with a giant dome, it would have been the largest domed building in the world — able to accommodate 180,000 people at once' (Kirchner, 2008) 

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Gilbert had the opportunity to direct You Only Live Twice and 2 other Bond films; each of these films were labelled as 'epics' due to the far-fetched story lines, set designs and ideas behind each of them. This grabbed the audiences attention, but it also made the films susceptible to mockery in from films such as Austin Powers, which used areas such as the Piranha pools/Shark pools or the volcano lair in their spoof films. 

'You Only Live Twice References

  • Dr. Evil is based on the Donald Pleseance version of Blofeld
  • Alotta Fagina says, "In Japan, men come first. Women come second." Tiger Tanaka says the same thing to Bond in the spa. ' (Multiple references, N/A)
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Ian Radford. In: [online] At: (Accessed on: 04/11/2012)
Stephanie Kirchner. In: [online] At:,8599,1725102,00.html (Accessed on: 04/11/12)
Multiple References. In: [online] At: (Accessed on: 04/11/12)

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  1. Evening Katy - take a look at your 'explosion' of fonts and formats - you've got capital letters, different text alignments... I suggest a bit of rationalisation before you publish!

  2. Oh, So I do.. All changed, thanks Phil! :)