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Topic: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

Starring Sean Connery, Thunderball was the 4th James Bond film in the series.  Kevin McClory helped develop it, but sued Fleming because he felt he wasn't given proper credit.  The court decided that Fleming still owned the Bond IP, but McClory owned Thunderball, as well as "SPECTRE", the villain organization in the movie. 

Compared to the previous three Bond films, Thunderball significantly increased the budget, special effects (for underwater action sequences) and as a result remains one of the best selling films in the series.  To fans, it's polarizing: some love it and some hate it.

Pros:

  • The level of grandiosity and ambition

  • Back when terrorists launching a missile was actually an original plot

  • Every single one of the wonderful Blofeld, SPECTRE and shark scenes

  • Largo is a convincing villain ; plus the poker scene

  • Bond sneaking around and constantly evading death. 

  • Nice scenery and all around good moments of suspense

Cons:

  • The last half-hour drags in pace and is quite predictable

  • Connery starts to look a little worn out, compared to the previous films.

  • The reason Bond goes to a health clinic isn't elaborated on.

  • Bond blackmails a nurse into sex.  Bad.  Very bad.

It's a slump down from the first 3 classics, in my opinion, but the good still outweighs the bad.  It was a benchmark for its time technologically.  Though Connery himself said, it was the transitioning point where the series shifted toward more camp and more hardware.  The length could've been shaved by 10-15 minutes and the finale could've been more interesting, but the movie is still full of great classic Bond moments.

Last edited by Absolutely_Cart (19th Sep 2015 18:12)

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

None for me it's my favorite Bond movie  ajb007/smile

Top 10 Bond Films
1. Thunderball 2. FRWL 3. Casino Royale 4. TLD 5. OHMSS 6. SkyFall 7. GF 8. TSWLM 9. GE 10. FYEO

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

None for me, could bore you forever on its greatness

1. For Your Eyes Only      2. The Living Daylights    3 From Russia with Love  4. Casino Royale  5. OHMSS  6. Skyfall

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

I really like Thunderball and it's my go to Bond film when I want a bit of classic Connery without watching my faves FRWL or Goldinger.

True, he is on the wain in his appearance but still looks perfectly acceptable and Domino is just adorable.

Pros:
A Classic James Bond Bank Holiday film.
Good plot
Great soundtrack
Love Shrublands
Love Nassau
The cold war Vulcan
Perfect 1960's style
Great one-liners

Cons:
Not mad on the PTS (The jetpack, H&S helmet and the fact it would never fit in the DB5 boot bug me!)
Final battle does drag a little
As beautiful as Domino is, she is pretty wooden

"Any of the opposition around..?"

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

My fave Connery film by a mile!

Prob the best assemble of Bond Girls in one movie  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart

It really feels like Paradise (Island) literally back then!

Instagram - bondclothes007

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

welshboy78 wrote:

My fave Connery film by a mile!

Prob the best assemble of Bond Girls in one movie  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart  ajb007/heart

It really feels like Paradise (Island) literally back then!

It's my 2nd favourite Connery movie behind FRWL - but runs it pretty close & I find it a very easy watch. 

Completely agree re: the assemble of girls - bloody hell there's some absolute crackers in there!  ajb007/embarrassed

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

broadshoulder wrote:

could bore you forever on its greatness

Sounds about right.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

I love TB, but I've always felt that the Underwater Battle could be trimmed down a bit. Even if it is a brilliant bit of Filming  ajb007/martini

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

Awesome film Thunderball is...

I particularly like the scope of it. The mission in this one is so huge that every 00 is brought in.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

I do agree the scope of this film is big and that's a plus side.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

TB is in my top three Bond films.  Connery I think is great, Adolfo Celi as the villain (an eye patch AND sharks!), Claudine Auger, Luciana Paluzzi, Martine Beswick, Molly Peters what's not to like?  OK, the underwater battle is a tad too long.

You're that English secret agent from England | Instagram: @matchedperfectly | Web: www.matchedperfectly.us

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

Pros:
Everything about this film except the extended underwater sequences

Cons:
The extended underwater sequences

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

I was watching Thunderball this morning.. I love it! 

Emilio Largo is a great character as well, the eye patch is cool!

Do you expect me to talk?

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

002 wrote:

Pros:
Everything about this film except the extended underwater sequences

Cons:
The extended underwater sequences

Well, that summed up my opinion in a nice, concise nutshell. Thanks 002!

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

Oddjob's Hat wrote:

I was watching Thunderball this morning.. I love it! 

Emilio Largo is a great character as well, the eye patch is cool!

Agreed  ajb007/cheers

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

I have not seen the film in quite a while, but I've seen it enough times I can play most of it back in my head.  As surprising as the jetpack was at the time, I agree it was all done for thrills and a joke and is as unbelievable as the water tanker amount of H2O spraying out of the back of the Aston.  The fight scene is great fun though.

I never liked the whole "plastic surgery making the agent look like Domino's brother" part of the plot.  It was a totally unnecessary complication.  Then there's Bond being attacked in his Aston and when he goes to see M it's never mentioned.(?)
What??

Celi made a really sinister bastard of a villain but having his minions dress in all black in the Bahamas was just too much for me.  Being a diving enthusiast I always enjoy the underwater scenes, though I agree many could have been cut down.  Though I enjoyed Bond's scenes with Q, having him there to personally kit him out was to me a bad idea and was the road downhill to the rest of his appearances outside his labs (the lowest was when they had him in disguises).

Though at times a bit too bombastic and over the top, it's still in the top of my personal favorite Bond films list.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

Pros:

  • Jetpack
    Fiona and her death
    This film almost completely inspires first Austin Powers

Cons:

  • Swipe transitions
    Slow and boring
    Underwater fight is boring
    The editing on the Disco Volante climax is laughable
    The stupid trap at the health spa

1.LTK  2.AVTAK  3.OP  4.FYEO  5.TND  6.LALD  7.GE  8.GF  9.TSWLM  10.SPECTRE  11.SF  12.MR 13.YOLT  14.TLD  15.CR (06)  16.TMWTGG  17.TB  18.FRWL  19.TWINE  20.OHMSS  21.DAF  22.DAD  23.QoS  24.NSNA  25.DN  26.CR (67)

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

For me, Thunderball is one of my favorites.  It was the first Bond film I ever watched, at the age of 9.  Back then, I was completely in awe because I had never seen anything like it... sharks, spy gadgets, scuba diving, spear guns, the flying jet pack, and the Disco Volante (the way it broke apart and became the hydrofoil speed yacht).  Plus, all the beauty of the Bahamas.  It was the movie that started my quest to read the Fleming novels.  Also back then, it was the movie that made me want to save my money and buy a waterproof diving watch.  It took me what seemed like forever to save for that watch. 

Thunderball is the most nostalgic Bond movie for me.

I can't really come up with any cons.

- Troy

"Now pay attention double O seven..." - Q.  Words I think we should all live by.

- Troy

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

Thunderball may be the most polarizing movie in the series.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

Pros - Locations. Cons - Bond vs Largo on the Volante with the film overcranked.  What were they thinking?

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

CmdrAtticus wrote:

  What were they thinking?

Peter Hunt said he did his best with what Terence Young presented him with.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

The Domino Effect wrote:
002 wrote:

Pros:
Everything about this film except the extended underwater sequences

Cons:
The extended underwater sequences

Well, that summed up my opinion in a nice, concise nutshell. Thanks 002!

Me too! ajb007/cheers

"Felix Leiter, a brother from Langley."

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

I'm kinda mixed on this one.  It's not bad at all.  It's actually quite good.  It might end up on the lower part of my ranking list simply because I preferred the other ones better.  Thunderball does have it's good moments, good scenery and it's place in history.  It just wasn't as essential or coherent as the 3 films that preceded it or the 1 film that succeeded it.

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

Absolutely_Cart wrote:

Thunderball may be the most polarizing movie in the series.

Something I've noticed too. It's love it or hate it. Like LTK.

The script is the best thing about TB, one of the best in the series. The score is great, and Volpe one of the best villains.

I'm going predictable here but the underwater scenes drag the film "under the water".

2019 Bondathon...in progress (6) FRWL (7) GE (8) FYEO (9) TND (10) MR (11) GF (12) LALD (13) DAF (14) LTK (15) TMWTGG (16) TB (17) TSWLM (18) DAD (19) AVTAK (20) YOLT (21) QOS (22) SF (23) TWINE (24) SP

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Re: Pros and Cons: Thunderball

I watched it again, and I did like it more.  It's a movie I keep putting off because of the dreaded pacing but once I watch it, I actually really enjoy it.  The last half hour could've been edited and perhaps the hospital scenes in the first half hour could have been further contextualized, but the middle hour is some of the best stuff I've seen in a Bond film.