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7. 'You Only Live Twice'
Film No.: 5
Bond: Sean Connery
Why: Two words: Roald Dahl. With his famously macabre sensibility, the bestselling children's author was an inspired pick to adapt a novel that he cheerfully described as Ian Fleming's worst -- not feeling at all bound to the narrative of this Japanese-set "travelogue," he proceeded to chuck most of it. Not, admittedly, that he found a whole lot of plot to put in its place: of all Bond films, this might be the only that most openly cops to being an outlandish series of quips and set pieces. With Dahl's help, however, the quips were never more elegantly smutty, the set pieces never more creatively absurd: the piranha pool, the helicopter with the gigantic electro-magnet, the ninjas, the submarine rescue, and more piranhas for good measure. Plus, if you allow for a certain degree of ropey ethnic stereotyping, the Oriental setting allows for at least two incidental pleasures: those goofy chest-waxing jokes ("bird never make nest in bare tree") and the lovely Eastern flavoring of Nancy Sinatra's undervalued title track.