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Thunderball (1965)

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James Bond heads to the Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme.

Director:

Terence Young

Writers:

Richard Maibaum (screenplay), John Hopkins (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Popularity
1,891 ( 403)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... James Bond
Claudine Auger ... Domino
Adolfo Celi ... Largo
Luciana Paluzzi ... Fiona
Rik Van Nutter Rik Van Nutter ... Felix Leiter
Guy Doleman ... Count Lippe
Molly Peters ... Patricia
Martine Beswick ... Paula
Bernard Lee ... 'M'
Desmond Llewelyn ... 'Q'
Lois Maxwell ... Moneypenny
Roland Culver ... Foreign Secretary
Earl Cameron ... Pinder
Paul Stassino ... Palazzi
Rose Alba Rose Alba ... Madame Boitier
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Storyline

James Bond continues on his fourth mission, with his aim to recover two stolen warheads. They have been taken by the evil SPECTRE organization. The world is held hostage and Bond heads to Nassau. Here, he meets the beautiful Domino and is forced into a thrilling confrontation with SPECTRE agent Emilio Largo, on board his boat, the Disco Volante. Will 007 prevent the killing of millions of innocent victims? Written by simon_hrdng

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If You've Only Seen It Once You Haven't Seen It All! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

22 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operación Trueno See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlantis Hotel, Bahamas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$63,600,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eon Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A special 25th anniversary screening of the film was held at the National Film Theatre in London in 1990, and was attended by Terence Young and Molly Peters, amongst other people associated with the production and EON's James Bond movies. It was organized by the James Bond Fan Club. A Special 40th anniversary screening of the movie was held on November 20, 2005. See more »

Goofs

When Bond emerges from the sea after his night dive to picture the bottom of the Disco Volante, he flings his flippers away onto the beach and is now barefoot. When he emerges from the beach through the trees and hitches a ride with Fiona in the Mustang, he is seen crossing to the other side wearing loafer shoes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Madame LaPorte: The coffin - it has your initials: J.B.
Bond: At the moment, rather him than me.
Madame LaPorte: At least you've been saved the effort of removing him. Colonel Bouvar passed away in his sleep, so they tell me.
Bond: Mm...
Madame LaPorte: You sound disappointed you did not kill him yourself.
Bond: I am. Jacques Bouvar murdered two of my colleagues.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK Widescreen VHS version from the 90s has John Barry's original music at the end of the film, not the The James Bond Theme that is usually heard. See more »

Connections

Followed by Bond 25 (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Thunderball
Music by John Barry
Lyrics by Don Black
Performed by Tom Jones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"I hope we didn't scare the fishes."
6 September 2004 | by fdpedroSee all my reviews

Out of the 20 official entries of the James Bond series (to date) "Thunderball" is often mentioned as 'the underwater one' and for a very good reason. It had big shoes to fill since the previous year's "Goldfinger" became a box-office phenomenon across the world. Although Thunderball was even more successful, there are debates on weather or not it was a better film. In this fan's opinion, it was.

Picking up after the most unusual pre-titles scene featuring MI6 secret agent James Bond meeting his match with… a man in drag and escaping in a jet-pack, "Thunderball" features the most generic (and parodied) Bond plot: The international terrorist organization SPECTRE, led by a mysterious unseen cat stroking leader, hijacks two nuclear bombs for a huge extortion plan. James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to Nassau where Domino Derval (Claudine Auger), the sister of the pilot who appears to be responsible for the theft, resides with her wealthy and older husband Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi). Bond eventually finds out Largo himself is the eye patch wearing SPECTRE #2 and he is in charge of the nuclear warheads. Will he survive Largo's squad, including lethal assassin Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi), and a tank of sharks?

"Thunderball" is directed by Terence Young picking up after Guy Hamilton from the previous film. Young, who directed the first two films of the series, is certainly one of the most important filmmakers of the Bond saga. In the hands of some hack, "Thunderball" could have easily been an overlong boring disastrous attempt, but Young fills the screen with the same thrilling charm and glamour that made the first two Bonds so unique. The most cinematic of all Fleming novels, the movie is quite faithful to its source material while adding some welcomed changes (the character of Fiona Volpe for example) an therefore making it a more entertaining movie-going experience.

The action is mostly underwater and that is what usually divides fans of the series since some find them sleep-inducing. The special effects crew was awarded with a Best Special Effects Oscar in 1966 and for a very good reason. The film's extensive use of underwater photography was quite breath-taking for it's time. And the visual effects themselves are quite impressive, especially the explosion featured in the climax which shattered many windows in Nassau. Thunderball is based mostly on thrills than stunts, which is something recent Bond films should start to concentrate on. It is all well orchestrated to one of John Berry's most memorable contributions to the Bond saga. The '007 theme' is used at its best during the action sequences, especially during the climatic fight at Largo's yacht. The theme song, sung by Tom Jones, is one of the most memorable tunes of the series, although I prefer the original unused song "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang".

Two usual standards of the series, villains and girls, are both filled quite successfully. Adolfo Celi is one of the most parodied villains (eye patch anyone?) but his portrayal of #2 is incredibly fun to watch. He is indeed a one-dimensional character, but a very memorable one. Claudine Auger is one stunning-looking woman and her acting skills are above average for the time. She is one of the most likable Bond girls around and her lack of clothing makes her quite heir apparent to Dr. No's Honey Rider in terms of sexiness. But Luciana Paluzzi steals the show with Fiona Volpe. She is the first Bond girl to stand up to the agent's charms (Pussy eventually gave up) and the psychotic look of rage in her eyes responding to Bond's macho insult is particularly memorable: 'But of course, I forgot your ego, Mr. Bond. James Bond, the one where he has to make love to a woman, and she starts to hear heavenly choirs singing. She repents, and turns to the side of right and virtue... (she steps on Bond's foot)... but not this one!' Volpe stands second only to Xenia Onatopp among the sexy girl villains.

This is the last time we see Connery at his best portraying 007 before he was eventually bored with the in later entries, particularly in "Diamonds are Forever". He indeed shows why he is considered by most fans to be the best among the Bonds. He has amazing screen presence and a suave charm of a sophisticated playboy that just makes every guy want to be him and every girl want to be with him.

One of my personal favourites and certainly on my top five, "Thunderball" is one of the most well rounded Bond adventures to date. Exotic locations, beautiful women, battle sequences, gadgets, suspense, terrific music, and a memorable villain add up to the best of the "popcorn" Bond movies. Terrific entertainment!


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