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Topic: Appreciating "Thunderball"

I re-watched "Thunderball" in it's entirety recently, then last night caught the middle act of it again. It had never been my favorite, but my is it a good looking film, and it has gone closer to the top of my list.  First of all Connery is at his absolute best, which is, simply put, Bond at his best. The scenes when he is shirtless show him at his fittest, and while not as muscular, he gives Craig a run for his money. His Bahaman tan means he looks the best he ever looked as Bond. (Points off for his toupee- not the most natural looking he has worn.)
His wardrobe is also notably dapper- my favorite being the grey suit, light blue shirt, and navy tie combo. 
The Bond girls are maybe the most beautiful of any supporting cast, and the main villain Largo is equal parts suave and menacing.
I was not too high on Rik Van Nutter's Felix Leiter, he was very poorly written (especially when first coming to Bond's room and loudly (almost) blurts out his code number"007", then again when frantically waving to Bond to come down from the balcony to inform him that his fellow CIA agent, Paula is dead, "what should we do?")

All in all, though I really like this flick, and just wanted to express it to some fellow Bond fans.

Ciao

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

ajb007/cheers  Very well put, and I'd like to add John Barry's music to the film's other good points.

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

May I add, that they obviously have been paying sh@tloads of cash for those beautiful locations and it has really paid off!

The only slight negative imo is the underwater battle which is slightly too long.

I agree that TB has the best girls!
And THE most beautiful, Claudine Auger!  ajb007/heart

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

My favourite Connery Bond film. Love the Bahamas locations and Shrublands.

Yes. Considerably!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lukey_sparrow/

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

Thunderball was the first Bond film I saw on television, the first Connery Bond film I saw, and only the second Bond film I ever saw and as such it has always been amongst my favourites. Sentimentality aside, however, I like it for all the reasons cited above, plus the starring roles given to the magnificent Avro Vulcan and the jetpack. My only criticism is, as others have said, the length of the underwater fight scene. Cut that back by perhaps half, and I love Thunderball unconditionally!

Last edited by The Domino Effect (20th May 2019 14:48)

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

I've always liked this film, despite it dragging. But the good parts are amongst the best of Bond, and I think it's Connery at his best as Bond. The PTS is one of the best of the series, if not the best. It was the first one to feature a big stunt, and boy is it a good one. The PTS can stand alone as a short film, and if you stop after the title sequence you get something incredibly satisfying. Because Thunderball has some of the greatest Bond moments, I rank it fairly high.

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

Barbel wrote:

ajb007/cheers  Very well put, and I'd like to add John Barry's music to the film's other good points.

I agree. How lucky the James Bond series was to have had a world-class composer such as Barry score so many films. The John Barry channel on Pandora is one of my very favorites.

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

Although Thunderball is not one of my favorite movies, it is actually quite low on my list, I can totally understand why people love it. Great music, great locations, Sean Connery in top form, maybe the best hench(wo)man ever in Fiona Volpe, nice action, fantastic villain. However, to me, the total is less than the sum of its parts.

I still enjoy watching it and would love to see it in cinema some day. Because I think this is one of those movies that would be sooo much better on the silver screen.

1. Ohmss   2. Frwl   3. Op   4. Tswlm   5. Tld   6. Ge  7. Yolt 8. Lald   9. Cr   10. Ltk   11. Dn   12. Gf   13. Qos   14. Mr   15. Tmwtgg   16. Fyeo   17. Twine   18. Sf   19. Tb   20 Tnd   21. Spectre   22 Daf   23. Avtak   24. Dad

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

Of the Bond movies TB is the one I feel I ought to like, but I don't really like much. I'm not going to list the reasons here, but I agree with Calvin Dyson on this one.

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

Number24 wrote:

Of the Bond movies TB is the one I feel I ought to like, but I don't really like much. I'm not going to list the reasons here, but I agree with Calvin Dyson on this one.

Yeah, that's sorta how I always felt about it too, but my most recent viewing changed my opinion a bit. To each their own...

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Whenever I stumble upon a showing of Thunderball (which is pretty frequently these days), I watch to the end, no matter where I started.  It's an easy film to access, if that makes sense.  The whole film drips with glamour -- beautiful people, high-society-playground locations, cutting-edge technology, sun, sun and more sun.  And, for sure, gorgeous music.  This was Bondmania at its apex, and while it's not as good as Goldfinger, it's an excellent follow-up act.

Over the years I've become annoyed at the seemingly slapdash aspects of the film (poor action cuts, dialogue not even coming close to what the actors are mouthing) but that's probably because I've seen it so many times I can recount every frame.  That stuff didn't bother me when I first saw it (early '80s on VHS), and I imagine very few people who watched in the 1960s noticed at all.

Hilly...you old devil!

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

Thunderball has always been one of my favourite films, let alone Bond film, it just ticks so many boxes for me, Connery is at his best, the locations, the sets, even the pacing, which given as Bond has such a short amount of time seems quite leisurely at times. It has a tremendous score and some brilliant Bond characters like Volpe and Lago, Claudine Auger was an inspired choice and it was nice to see Q out of the Lab. Cracking stuff. The editing at times leaves a bit to be desired and the final underwater battle possibly goes on a bit too long, but non of it detracts from my viewing pleasure, even the speeded up disco volante at the end.
Bond beating up the "grieving widow" in the pts is a favourite of mine, probably because Connery looks to be really enjoying the fight.

It was either that.....or the priesthood

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

Ah, there are some lovely things being written about TB here  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart
I too had my first experience of OO7 watching TB on television in the '70s. Unbelievably, my bedtime was 9.30pm and I wasn't allowed to stay up and watch the climax - I stayed down as long as I could but was forced upstairs and missed the last 15 minutes. Oh, the indignities I suffered at school the next day!  ajb007/frown  ajb007/frown  ajb007/frown
Anyway, I agree with lots of what has been said, TB is in no way a perfect film, it has some horrible continuity errors and from almost the very beginning the script fails to explain anything adequately.
What it does have - and I echo all above - is lashings of glamour, superb underwater photography, violence a plenty, gorgeous girls - yes, the VERY VERY BEST Bond-girl ensemble - depreciating humour, a smooth suave at-ease Sean Connery, a magnificent music score, a barnstorming OTT song, stand out credits which Maurice Binder spent 20 years trying to replicate, a bravura opening PTS with one of the most vicious fight scenes in the series, Oscar winning special effects, a still relevant plot, oh goodness... I could go on and on and on.
If you can, go and see it in the cinema, that Panavision ratio and the soundtrack absolutely blows you away. It's a fantastic experience, difficult to beat, despite the implausibility's and the rather dull underwater battle - of all the editing errors the biggest one is why the frogmen battle wasn't shorn by about 75%.
Chiefly, because it moves so fast and rarely pauses for breath, TB sits comfortably in my top 10 Bond movies.

Last edited by chrisno1 (22nd May 2019 11:02)

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

Chrisno1  ajb007/cheers  ajb007/cheers

It was either that.....or the priesthood

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It's one of my favorites as well!  It is my go-to "Summer Bond" movie, and always the one to watch prior to heading away on a tropical vacation!  An absolute classic!

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Compared with Terence Young's previous Bond film, the taut, suspenseful FRWL, TB is weighed down by its own hardware; in parts, it's slow and somewhat disjointed. It's best seen in the cinema, where its gorgeous mise-en-scene and John Barry's mesmerising score can be fully appreciated.

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chrisno1:

magnificent music score, a barnstorming OTT song, stand out credits which Maurice Binder spent 20 years trying to replicate,

Agreed - the film certainly has its flaws, but Binder never managed to match the simple, stylish elegance of the TB credits sequence. Later attempts seem parodic (and, dare I say it, increasingly cheesy) by comparison. And Barry's '60s Bond scores just kept getting better and better.

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TB has always registered high with me. I was privileged to see all the Bond movies in the cinema upon release and the tagline on the poster “Here comes the biggest Bond of all” was no lie. Everything in it was classic Bond - the PTS with the jet pack and the Aston Martin - the SPECTRE meeting - Shrublands and the delicious Molly Peters - the hi-jack - the fabulous location of the Bahamas - the brilliant designs of the submersibles (which still look modern today) - Connery at his absolute best - Rik Van Nutter looking as if he has stepped out of the pages of Fleming - Barry’s superlative score - the praise is endless.

I write this because on my last trip to the UK I picked up a box that I had left with my daughter when I emigrated out here and in it was my diary from 1966 - I quote from the entry for Friday 7th January;

At last we went to see Thunderball it has seemed forever since I saw the trailer each week in the cinema. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic! The best ever!  So much action! The harpoon gun was great and everyone roared with laughter at I think he got the point! I want to see it again please Dad please can we go!!!

50 odd years on and TB is still up there - not as good as FRWL but still top notch Bond.

Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

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Re: Appreciating "Thunderball"

CoolHandBond wrote:

TB has always registered high with me. I was privileged to see all the Bond movies in the cinema upon release and the tagline on the poster “Here comes the biggest Bond of all” was no lie. Everything in it was classic Bond - the PTS with the jet pack and the Aston Martin - the SPECTRE meeting - Shrublands and the delicious Molly Peters - the hi-jack - the fabulous location of the Bahamas - the brilliant designs of the submersibles (which still look modern today) - Connery at his absolute best - Rik Van Nutter looking as if he has stepped out of the pages of Fleming - Barry’s superlative score - the praise is endless.

I write this because on my last trip to the UK I picked up a box that I had left with my daughter when I emigrated out here and in it was my diary from 1966 - I quote from the entry for Friday 7th January;

At last we went to see Thunderball it has seemed forever since I saw the trailer each week in the cinema. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic! The best ever!  So much action! The harpoon gun was great and everyone roared with laughter at I think he got the point! I want to see it again please Dad please can we go!!!

50 odd years on and TB is still up there - not as good as FRWL but still top notch Bond.

That's a lovely little insight  ajb007/smile  ajb007/smile  ajb007/smile