Tuesday, December 21, 2010

“The Biggest Bond of All!”

That was the hype line for Thunderball, the controversial fourth James Bond spy movie starring Sean Connery, which premiered in the United States on December 21, 1965--45 years ago today. As The HMSS Weblog observed last month, this is “a bittersweet anniversary for 007 fans. Bondmania hit its peak with Thunderball for the general public and it would never make it back to those levels. Obviously the series has remained popular, generating 18 installments over the next 43 years. But it wouldn’t be the entertainment phenomenon it was in 1964 and 1965.”

As Wikipedia recalls,
The film follows Bond’s mission to find two NATO atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE, which holds the world ransom for £100 million in diamonds, in exchange for not destroying an unspecified major city in either England or the United States (later revealed to be Miami). The search leads Bond to the Bahamas, where he encounters Emilio Largo, the card-playing, eye-patch wearing SPECTRE Number Two. Backed by the CIA and Largo’s mistress, Bond’s search culminates in an underwater battle with Largo’s henchmen. The film had a complex production, with four different units and about a quarter of the film consisting of underwater scenes.
It’s been a while since I watched Thunderball. All I really remember from the film are Bond’s jet pack (a travel innovation for the near future, viewers were led to assume back then), that underwater fight scene, and the lovely French actress Claudine Auger, who played Bond girl Domino Derval. But I dug up the original trailer on YouTube today:

For more on Thunderball, check out The HMSS Weblog’s terrific six-part series of posts, available here, here, here, here, here, and here.


Gerald So said...

I'm partial to Luciana Paluzzi as SPECTRE assassin Fiona Volpe myself.

Jared said...

My favorite Bond lady. By far...

As decent as the latest Bonds have been, I think I'd happily live in a world where the old ones were just regularly re-released to the big screen.

RJR said...

Don't forget Luziana Paluzzi. I liked her better than Auger.