Once in control of the plane, the henchman lands it in the middle of the ocean near the Bahamas where Emilio Largo number two in SPECTRE and his men retrieve the warheads and conceal the plane from any sort of overhead reconnaissance looking for it. The bomb retrieval begins after Largo kills the man posing as the NATO observer because he demanded more money prior to the hijacking.
Prior to this event, Bond is ordered by M to attend the Shrublands health farm in order to improve his physical condition. While enjoying a massage from a employee Patricia Fearing , Bond meets Count Lippe , a shifty individual who becomes distrustful of Bond when notices a gangland tattoo on the Count's arm. Lippe subsequently attempts to murder Bond on a traction machine by extending his spine to incredible lengths, but Bond is rescued by the attendant whom he promptly beds ; Bond subsequently has his revenge by trapping Lippe in a steam bath, although the count survives.
Things become stranger when Bond finds a dead man wrapped in bandages, and survives yet another attempt on his life. Due to the SPECTRE crisis, MI6 calls an emergency conference where a number of agents are briefed and given assignments although no faces are clearly seen, this is the first time agents other than Bond have been seen on-screen. The sister, Domino , is Largo's mistress. Bond exploits this connection to get close to Largo after meeting Domino while scuba diving. Largo's men battling Bond and the U. Navy underwater.
An additional character in the film is Fiona Volpe , who is not in the novel. She is later shot in the back by a bullet intended for Bond while dancing at a nightclub with him during local Junkanoo celebrations. Bond leaves her body at a table, saying: "Mind if my friend sits this one out?
She's just dead. Amongst Bond fans it is controversial as to whether or not Bond intentionally moves her into the path of the bullet, Fleming's Bond being against killing anyone in cold blood.
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In Nassau, Bond teams up with Felix Leiter and the two set out to find the hijacked plane, which they eventually find along with the corpse of the phony NATO observer. Afterwards Bond informs Domino that her brother was killed by Largo and pleads for her to aid him in finding the nuclear warheads. She gives Bond information that allows for him to take the place of a SPECTRE agent on a mission with Largo, who is retrieving the nuclear warheads from their underwater hiding place, in order to plant one at its target just off the coast of Florida.
After an underwater battle that Bond barely escapes from, he is rescued by Leiter from the underwater cave where the bombs were concealed. Bond informs Felix of the location of the bomb, and then he as well as a platoon of U. Navy Frogmen parachute to the location of the bomb where a massive underwater battle takes place. As the battle ends, Largo escapes to the Disco Volante which still has one of the two warheads aboard, and Bond follows, sneaking onto the vessel. Bond encounters Largo, who is attempting to escape by using the Disco Volante's hydrofoil to speed away.
The two have a fierce hand-to-hand fight; however, Largo is shot in the back with a speargun by Domino.
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Bond and Domino jump overboard as the out of control hydrofoil runs aground and explodes. Bond and Domino are spotted by a B17 who throws down a raft and a bag. Domino and Bond get in the raft and Bond throws something out the back of the raft and hooks a tank to it. It turns out this is a helium balloon and a Fulton Skyhook the movie ends with the plane snagging the balloon and Bond and Domino flying off at the end of the skyhook. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman are not credited as producers of the film, and are instead credited as the movie being "presented by" them.
Main articles: Rights controversy of Thunderball. Originally meant as the first James Bond film, Thunderball was the centre of legal disputes that began in and did not conclude until Former Ian Fleming collaborators Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham sued Fleming shortly after the publication of the Thunderball novel, claiming he based it upon the screenplay the trio had earlier written in a failed cinematic translation of James Bond.
The lawsuit was settled out of court; McClory retained certain screen rights to the novel's story, plot, and characters. By then, James Bond was a box office success, and series producers Broccoli and Saltzman feared a rival McClory film beyond their control; they agreed to McClory's producer's credit of a cinematic Thunderball , with them as executive producers. It was promoted as "Ian Fleming's Thunderball ". Yet, along with the official credits to screenwriters Richard Maibaum and John Hopkins, the screenplay is also identified as based on an original screenplay by Jack Whittingham and as based on the original story by Kevin McClory , Jack Whittingham, and Ian Fleming.
Sean Connery, who already had a contract to do a certain number of Bond films, returned to the role of James Bond; however, he had started to have reservations about the role and the future of the James Bond film franchise. Although this is the fourth official James Bond film, it is the first time Sean Connery performed the gun barrel intro sequence, traditionally present at the beginning of all Bond films.
Previously, stuntman Bob Simmons performed the scene.
The sequence was re-shot primarily because this is the first James Bond film to be shot in the widescreen process Panavision. The sequence is also, for the first time, in color rather than in black and white although a black-and-white version of the sequence would be used in Diamonds Are Forever. Broccoli's original choice for the role of Domino Derval was Julie Christie following her performance in Billy Liar in Upon meeting her personally, however, he was disappointed and turned his attentions towards Raquel Welch after seeing her on the cover of the October issue of Life magazine.
Welch, however, was hired by Richard Zanuck of 20th Century Fox to appear in the film Fantastic Voyage the same year instead. Faye Dunaway was also considered for the role and came close to signing for the part.
Eventually former Miss France Claudine Auger was cast, and the script was rewritten to make her character French rather than Italian, although her voice was dubbed. One of the actresses that tried for Domino, Luciana Paluzzi , later accepted the role as the redheaded femme fatale assassin Fiona Kelly who originally was intended by Maibaum to be Irish. The surname was changed to Volpe in coordination with Paluzzi's nationality.
Prior to the agreement in which Thunderball would become the fourth official James Bond film, producers Albert R. For the film, Richard Maibaum revised his screen adaptation he initially wrote to be the first James Bond film. John Hopkins was later brought in to add the finishing touches. Instead McClory took on the role of executive producer. Consequently, with the exception of GoldenEye , Thunderball is the only official James Bond film for which Broccoli, during his lifetime, did not receive credit as producer. Initially, Broccoli turned to director Guy Hamilton , who directed Goldfinger.
Hamilton turned the job down considering himself worn out and "creatively drained", although he would later return in for Diamonds Are Forever as well as Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun Terence Young , who directed the first two Bond films, Dr. No and From Russia with Love , was subsequently chosen. Coincidentally, when Saltzman invited him to direct Dr. No , Young expressed interest in directing adaptations of Dr.
Years later, Young said Thunderball was filmed "at the right time", considering that if it had been the first film in the series the short budget — Dr. Thunderball was the final James Bond film directed by Young. Filming commenced on 16 February , with principal photography of the opening scene in Paris.
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Much of the film was shot in the Bahamas; Thunderball is widely known for its extensive underwater action scenes which are played out through much of the latter half of the film. Huntington Hartford gave permission to shoot footage on his Paradise Island and is thanked at the end of the movie. On arriving in Nassau McClory searched for possible locations to shoot many of the key sequences of the film and used the home of a local millionaire couple, the Sullivans, for Largo's estate.
The most difficult sequences to film were the underwater action scenes and the first to be shot underwater was at a depth of 50 feet to shoot the scene where SPECTRE divers remove the atomic bombs from the sunken Vulcan bomber. Peter Lamont had previously visited a Royal Air Force bomber station carrying a concealed camera which he used to get close-up shots of the secretive missiles and those appearing in the film were not actually present.
Most of the underwater scenes had to be done at lower tides due to the sharks in the Bahamian sea. Connery's was wary of scenes involving the use of sharks, such as the scene where Bond is trapped in a shark-infested pool. He insisted that Ken Adam build a special Plexiglas partition inside the pool but, despite this, it was not a fixed structure and one of the sharks managed to pass through it; forcing Connery to abandon the pool immediately.
I felt that the whole out-of-control boat thing was really stupid.
I mean I understand that they tried to make it look spectacular, but in using the same technique they used to buff up the fistfights, they made it look cheesy and cheap. Luckily this is just one short moment in the film and the film is not ruined by something as a dreadful character or a bad actor. All in all this is one of the better Bond films and well worth watching if one sets out for 2 hours of pure adventurous entertainment with a standard-formula story.
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