James Bond comes face to face with Blofeld in "You Only Live Twice" when he infiltrates his base in the volcano. Bond was played by Sean Connery and Blofeld was played by Donald Pleasence.

In the next film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", Bond (played by George Lazenby) meets Blofeld while posing as Sir Hillary. However, Blofeld doesn't recognise him.

Why doesn't he recognise him?

5 Answers 5


The order of the movies is reversed:

The IMDb FAQ explains:

... screenwriter Richard Maibaum stuck very closely to the original story when writing the screenplay for On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Bond and Blofeld had not yet met at that point.

Roald Dahl, the screenwriter for You Only Live Twice ... made major changes in his screenplay and added a scene where Bond and Blofeld meet.

So the reason why Blofeld doesn't recognize Bond in the movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service is because the screenwriter was more faithful to the original story. And that story preceeds You Only Live Twice.

The screenwriter for You Only Live Twice however wasn't so faithful to story in the novel.

  • 2
    As a side note, I heard for their first change of actors in the bond movie franchise the writers at first wanted to come up with some plastic surgery explanation for this change (which could also have helped explain Blofeld's ignorance). But this idea was then just dropped and the difference of actors just ignored (it could have got difficult in the future to come up with such continuity things, anyway).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Oct 27, 2012 at 15:19
  • Wow! Roald Dahl was Screenwriter for "You Only Live Twice"?! As in famous children's writer Dahl? I had no idea, +1 for sharing that fact alone.
    – Cage
    Oct 29, 2012 at 11:06
  • 4
    Roald Dahl wrote delightful stories for children, but also wrote dark and twisted stories that are definitely not for children. If you are a Roald Dahl fan and not a child, seek out his stuff... you will enjoy it. A particularly memorable short story, quite famous, is "Man from the South". And, by the way, did you know that Ian Fleming wrote a novel for children? It's called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and it's the story of a marvelous car. (It was made into a movie that was not very faithful to the book.)
    – steveha
    Mar 27, 2015 at 5:33
  • I always thought "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" sounded more like a "first movie" title. Oct 29, 2018 at 15:44

In the Special Features for "You Only Live Twice" in the Bond 50 collection they showed the original end credits for "Thunderball" that said "James Bond will return in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and they explained that they would have had to delay shooting on the next Bond film because of all the snow scenes for OHMSS so they shot "You Only Live Twice" first.

I wonder what OHMSS would have been like with Connery instead of Lazenby?


There is also this: In You Only Live Twice, Bond' s face was surgically altered to look Japanese when he met Bloefeld. If, by the time "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is imagined to have taken place, the surgery had been reversed, Bond would not have looked the same when he met Bloefeld again.

  • This does not appear to answer the question.
    – John
    Apr 17, 2017 at 23:05

Given the little continuity between the films, it could be argued that the films do not take place in the order they are filmed. But in the order of the books. It would make more sense that way.


Bond was disguised as a Japanese man. Which definitely wore off by the time of of 1969s ohmss. It wouldn't make sense for YOLT to take place after OHMSS because why would Blofeld introduce himself again??

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .