About two months after the release of the spoof Casino Royale -- and about a year and a half after the titanic success of the previous film in the series, Thunderball -- the fifth 007 adventure starring Sean Connery hit movie screens around the world.
In some ways, the Bond phenomenon had peaked with Thunderball; that film's sheer size and scope were so large, and its reception so massive, that to do anything other than try to top it must have seemed like lunacy.
As a result, the Bond producers did virtually everything they could think of to make sure that topping Thunderball was exactly what happened.
Did it work?
In my opinion, it definitely did NOT work. A lot of Bond fans hold this film near and dear, but I am not one of them; for me, this is the point at which the series began its slide into mediocrity.
That's not to say there isn't plenty here to enjoy, though, so let's take a trip to the Far East and see how the Double-0 Rating System stands the journey.