007 Thunderball (1965)




Bond is tasked to find two NATO atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE, which holds the world ransom for £100 million in diamonds, in exchange for not destroying Miami.



It's pretty good.  Certainly more restrained than pretty much everything for the next 20 years. It doesn't start that way, though.  It starts at a funeral that you're faked into thinking is Bond's.  Then you think he's going to try to fuck the widow, but instead he punches her in the face, revealing it to be a man.  SWERVE.  He kills the guy and then escapes...WITH A FUCKING JET PACK. Seemed like the movie was definitely going to be fun and playful after that, but it settled down immediately after.  The gadget up car from Goldfinger makes a reappearance, all beaten up from whatever adventures Bond has been up to since we saw him last.

Titles sequence is women swimming and dancing in various colored waters in silhouette. The theme is performed by Tom Jones, which is pretty cool.  He has a bonkers never ending note to end the song.  Here are some of the lyrics:

He always runs while others walk.
He acts while other men just talk.
He looks at this world, and wants it all,
So he strikes, like Thunderball.
He knows the meaning of success.
His needs are more, so he gives less.
They call him the winner who takes all.
And he strikes, like Thunderball.

Any woman he wants, he’ll get.
He will break any heart without regret.
His days of asking are all gone.
His fight goes on and on and on.
But he thinks that the fight is worth it all.
So he strikes like Thunderball.

This has quite a bit that is referenced in Austin Powers.  Evil head dude stroking his cat all the time (and never seen, so more Dr. Claw than Dr. Evil in this one).  The main villain is named Number 2. One of the evil dudes is killed in his chair, which then drops through the floor to get rid of him.  Sharks.  No laser beams, but quite a few sharks.  Actually, I'm pretty confident real sharks were killed or at least harmed during the making of this film. There are SO MANY underwater scenes.  It's a 2 hour movie.  I'd say close to 30 minutes is underwater. From simple "let's follow a fish/turtle around for a bit" all the way up to a full on battle scene, with each side shooting spear-guns, stabbing with knives, using explosives.  It's actually quite impressive.  I can't think of another scene like that in a movie.  It must have been crazy to film.

There are only 2 sex scenes.  There are a few other suggestive ones, but only 2 of definite "these two banged" kind of scenes.  However there is a scene where Bond forces himself on a nurse, who then puts him on "The Rack" to help his back.  While she was out, a member of SPECTRE turned it on full blast and gave what might be considered a sex scene.  And then Bond blackmails the nurse into fucking him so he won't tell her boss what happened.  He's kind of a cunt.

There is quite a bit of blood in this, which seems unusual from what I've seen.  Most have people getting riddled with bullets and not even having bullet holes.  This has people getting shot and having blood stain the surrounding area.  In the water battle scene, this is a bit inconsistent, though.  At one point, Bond gets shot in the leg and hobbles off into a parade.  For some reason, there is a shot of a dog taking a piss right in the middle of the street that stayed in the movie. I suppose it was the best take.

There are some cool mythology jokes in the movie.  One scene has SPECTRE doing their own version of the Q gadgets scene.  Another has Bond enter the office ready to throw his hat on the hat rack, only to be disappointed that the rack was right next to the door. As for the gadgets, this movie had an underwater jet pack, an underwater camera that could take 8 pictures at once and doubles as a Geiger counter, a super tiny flare thing, and a mini air tank with 4 minutes of air.

The Bond Girls are pretty hot in this.

Connery was pretty great in this.  I think the most underrated aspect of his portrayal as Bond is when he gets exasperated or gives up into the tiniest moments of humor.  It's always extremely short and subtle.  Often just an eyebrow and slightly raised voice.  It's so charming, though.  More than the scenes where he's actually charming women. He's shirtless for a large portion of the movie if you like seeing hairy dudes get wet a lot. This might be his most bad ass movie in a physical sense.  The fight at the end takes place in an extremely cramped cabin of a boat and he KNOCKS THE SHIT out of everyone in there.  Not the overly big movie punches, but shit that looks like he's really hitting and getting hit, throwing anything he can find near, tripping, choking.  A real FIGHT.  It's pretty rad.


Overall, I recommend the movie.  There are too many underwater scenes, but they aren't the slow as molasses underwater scenes from the Moore era.  The underwater battle is extremely impressive, in my opinion. Bond kills 12-20 men in this.  The number is in question due to the underwater battle, where he cut the oxygen lines of a number of men, but it is conceivable they would have been able to swim back to the surface before dying.

Stro007, Sean ConneryComment