Review: Thunderball (1965)

04 - Thunderball (1965) cover

“Like your friend you’ve been a little too clever, and now you are caught!”
– Emilio Largo

MI6 007 agent James Bond (Sean Connery) attends the funeral of a SPECTRE operative, Number 6, in which he discovers the death is faked and 6 is posing as his own widow. Bond finishes the job and returns to England, where M (Bernard Lee) sends Bond off to a clinic for his health. SPECTRE has placed Count Lippe (Guy Doleman) at the clinic. Bond recognizes him, and Lippe attempts to kill Bond. He is saved by Patricia Fearing (Molly Peters).

French Nato pilot François Derval (Paul Stassino) is killed by SPECTRE henchamn Angelo (played by the same actor), who is put in his place and has undergone tons of surgery and years of training to pass off as the deceased man. Derval was tasked the mission to fly two atomic bombs aboard his aircraft on a training mission. It is soon discovered by Bond that Derval was murdered and replaced to steal the atomic bombs, and soon they drop off the face of the earth. Angelo gets greedy and it angers SPECTRE Number 2 Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), resulting in Angelo’s death. The plane that he hijacked goes down around the Bahamas, and naturally that is Bond’s next stop after all 00 agents are called to Whitehall. At Whitehall they learn that  SPECTRE has it in their heads that they will exchange the bombs for £100 million worth of white flawless uncut diamonds. If NATO does not make that happen, they will destroy a city in either the United Kingdom or the United States. Bond establishes that Derval was impersonated, and that the plane with the atomic bombs was actually hijacked.


“You wish to put the evil eye on me, eh? We have a way to deal with that where I come from.” – Emilio Largo

Bond requests M to send him to Nasseau to meet with Dominique “Domino” Derval (Claudine Auger), Derval’s sister. What he does not count on is that Domino is Largo’s mistress. Felix Leiter (Rik van Nutter) joins Bond at the hotel, and together they catch out a SPECTRE henchman who is killed by Largo for incompetency. Bond attempts to infiltrate Largo’s ship, but is almost killed, and later taken captive by Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi), though he escapes. Bond and Felix come together and search for the fallen aircraft, sure that it is somewhere beneath the water seeing as Largo has been doing some midnight diving expeditions.


“How do you know that? How do you know my friends call me Domino?”

Will Bond find out where the bombs are located before the governments pay out a ridiculous amount of money to terrorists? Will he flip a source and find a way to get into Largo’s company without alarming anyone or tipping them off of his game? Will he be able to save a city from destroy and ruin by uncovering the truth or bending to insane demands?

A 6.5/10. I don’t know. This movie disappointed me so much. It had all the right potential to be amazing. It had lots of sharks, both in the ocean and in the round swimming pool, it had scuba divers and harpoon guns, underwater fight scenes, decent villains, a theoretically interesting plot, cats and eyepatches… pretty much the recipe for awesome. But it failed to catch. It lacked something so large and I could not put my finger on it. It was so disappointing. The effects right at the end with the boat speeding along, the stuff you see outside the windows and approaching islands, it looks absolutely terrible. But aside from that it is watchable, but a let down in terms of the potential that it had and how far awry they went from it, for me at any rate.

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