Thunderball

The evil terrorist organisation SPECTRE has hijacked a NATO Avro Vulcan jet bomber loaded with two atomic bombs and is demanding a ransom from the western world powers. James Bond (Sean Connery) investigates the hijacking follows a lead to the Bahamas, where he meets up with his CIA counterpart and friend Felix Leiter (Rik Van Nutter). The pair suspect a rich playboy, Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), to be in league with SPECTRE and so to gain further information Bond seduces Largos Mistress Domino (Claudine Auger).  However watchful femme fatale Fiona (Luciana Paluzzi), whose sophisticated, black widow-like personality makes her more dangerous than any male SPECTRE agent is on had to keep Bonds sleuthing at bay.  Nevertheless, a confrontation builds to an epic battle on the ocean floor, as Bond and his allies fight SPECTRE to avert a nuclear catastrophe of disastrous proportions.

Based on the 1961 novel “Thunderball” by Ian Fleming the ninth book in the series and Terrance Young returns to the director’s chair for his third bond movie along with the rest of the Bond family Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewelyn and Lois Maxwell.  Thunderball is an amazing movie with an amazing history.  Not only was it was the most successful James bond movie of the 60s’ but it also expanded the universe of James Bond and introduced many reoccurring factors.  It was the first time we see all the Double-O agents in the same room at once, which impressed upon me the fact that it’s not only James Bond who holds a Double Zero number! We see Q (Desmond Llewelyn) equip Bond in the field for the first time, which I found so much fun as Q really is not impressed at being taken away from his office. Q also provides the first gadget laden watch in Thunderball a motif that will be built upon in many later movies.  The gadgets always seem to come in handy for the mission, and though not spoilers themselves you do know that at some point Bond will need use of what is shown.  The theme song for Thunderball is “Thunderball” composed by John Barry and Don Black and performed by Tom Jones. Incidentally Tom Jones fanted after performing the song due to lack of oxygen from belting out and holding the high notes for so long. Talk about commitment!

Why did I choose this movie, it was the next in line and I was looking forward to it again.  It is a long run time at two and a quarter hours, and gets a bit of a bad rap because it’s maybe not quite as good as From Russia With Love or Goldfinger, but it packs a lot into it that will Stimulate the imagination.  It has all the right elements, a great villain, two elegantly beautiful leading ladies and larger than life adventure with real consequences.  In all it is a bigger adventure than the movies that preceded it bond racking his kill count up to a whopping 20 bad guys more than doubling that of “Goldfinger”.  It has been some time since I last watched Thunderball  and I have to give it the credit it deserves, it returns to the traditional Cold War espionage with SPECTRE at the centre stage which is something I have always enjoyed about the early films.… James Bond will return in You Only Live Twice.

My Rating: C
Format: DVD
I Own This Movie
Artwork by: The Essence of Bond
Bond: #4

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