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Man was predestined to have free will.

—Hal Lee Luyah

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


Reaction: It seems to take a while before the story finally focuses on a direction, and he climactic underwater battle scene goes on much too long for my taste, but overall, not bad.


Personal Rating: 6/10

Select Cast and Crew
Terence Young => Director
John Hopkins => Writer
Richard Maibaum => Writer
John Barry => Composer
Ian Fleming => Original Story
Adolfo Celi => Largo
Anthony Dawson => Ernst Stavro Blofeld (uncredited)
Bernard Lee => 'M'
Bob Simmons => Colonel Jacques Bouvar - SPECTRE #6 (uncredited)
Claudine Auger => Domino
Desmond Llewelyn => 'Q'
Earl Cameron => Pinder
Eric Pohlmann => Ernst Stavro Blofeld (voice) (uncredited)
Guy Doleman => Count Lippe
Lois Maxwell => Moneypenny
Luciana Paluzzi => Fiona
Martine Beswick => Paula
Mitsouko => Madame LaPorte (uncredited)
Molly Peters => Patricia
Nikki Van der Zyl => Dominique 'Domino' Derval (voice) (uncredited)
Paul Stassino => Palazzi
Philip Locke => Vargas
Rik Van Nutter => Felix Leiter
Robert Rietty => Emilio Largo (voice) (uncredited)
Roland Culver => Foreign Secretary
Rose Alba => Madame Boitier
Sean Connery => James Bond
Suzy Kendall => Prue (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • This film and From Russia with Love are the only [Bond] movies to use the wipe editing technique in scene transitions.
  • The rocket-propulsion Jet Pack seen in the film was originally designed and invented for military use. It is also known as the Small Rocket Lift Device (SRLD). The original intention as conceived during the 1950s was for soldiers to be able to improve their agility, depth of field and ability to commandeer terrain by being able to jump over impeding landmarks and waterways. The Bell Aerosystems Rocketbelt model was used for this movie. Its flight goes for twenty one seconds, and provides 1000 brake horsepower. It was actually flown by engineer [?] Bill Suiter. He was one of only two people in the world qualified to fly it.
  • During the recording of the title song "Thunderball", Tom Jones asked the song's writer what the "strikes like thunderball" line meant. The song's composer allegedly replied that he didn't know. Jones reportedly fainted after recording the high note at the end of recording the song.
  • When Bond and Domino meet underwater and disappear behind a rock, the scene was originally supposed to show Domino's bikini float out from behind the rock. Producer Albert R. Broccoli vetoed this because he felt it was too suggestive.
  • Sean Connery performed the gun-barrel sequence for the first time because of the new Panavision process used in the movie.
  • Final [James Bond] film directed by Terence Young.
  • The Fiona Volpe character was originally Irish and called Fiona Kelly in earlier drafts of the script. But the surname was changed to suit the Italian nationality of Luciana Paluzzi who was cast in the role of Fiona after being rejected for the role of Domino. The character does not appear at all in the novel.
  • This is the first [James Bond] film to be shot in a widescreen process, Panavision.
  • Claudine Auger's heavily accented English was deemed too "French-thick" by the filmmakers after shooting initial scenes of her. Hence, Nikki Van der Zyl, who dubbed Ursula Andress' voice in Dr. No, was brought back to dub Auger's lines. For similar reasons, Adolfo Celi (Largo) had his lines dubbed over by Robert Rietty to hide his thick and distinctive Sicilian accent.
  • As overseen by John Stears, the special effects explosion of the Disco Volante was so powerful it shattered and blew out windows about twenty to thirty miles away in Nassau's Bay Street where the film's Junkanoo Mardi-Gras sequence was filmed. Reportedly, he had not known how potent and strong a mix the experimental rocket fuel was in order to create the explosion.
  • This film was Sean Connery's own favorite performance as 007.
  • In Italian, Disco Volante translates as "Flying Saucer."
  • When Bond and Domino are rescued by winch at the end of the movie, it was actually by a then-real sea rescue method known as sky-hooking. It is an out of date practice today, as more advanced helicopter rescue methods are used. But it's resurrected for The Dark Knight.
  • In the underwater scenes where Bond encounters sharks, Sean Connery was supposed to be protected by clear plastic panels shielding him from sharks in close-ups. However, the panels only extended about three feet in height and sharks could swim over them; as a result in some scenes (notably during the pool fight at Largo's mansion) Connery got much closer to real sharks than he wanted - director Terence Young said in an interview that scenes used in the film where Bond reacts in fright at the approach of a shark were miscues in which Connery was reacting with genuine terror as a shark approached unobstructed by plastic shielding.