The international crime syndicate SPECTRE holds the governments
of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to ransom when it
threatens to destroy a major city using hijacked nuclear warheads.
James Bond travels to Nassau to track down the stolen bombs
that are being controlled by SPECTRE field operative Emilio
is the biggest of the Sean Connery Bond films? Well, you could
argue that it was You Only Live Twice, since that one
featured the largest set (for Blofeld's volcano base) but
Thunderball is certainly the longest, weighing in at
two hours five minutes duration. It also includes many a memorable
set piece, including the SPECTRE briefing room scene, all
of which lend this film a truly epic feel, an effect that
is aided by the introduction of Panavision to the series.
large proportion of the action takes place underwater. Indeed,
this movie set a trend that many of its successors, including
The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only,
would seek to emulate. It is a testament to the quality of
Terence Young's direction, the cinematography and John Barry's
incidental music that the lengthy aquatic sequences - and
indeed the entire movie - never really seem to drag. Compare
such scenes with the underwater sequences in the non-EON-produced
1983 remake, Never Say Never Again, in which the absence
of dialogue is far more noticeable.
as some fans will already be aware, a version of Thunderball
made it on to video in the '80s that erroneously lacked large
sections of its incidental score. The mystery behind this
omission is discussed in a featurette about the numerous alternative
versions of the movie that have come to light over the years.
This feature also includes an alternate line of 007 dialogue
to the more familiar "bon appétit" that Bond utters to the
shark from which he has just narrowly escaped in Largo's pool.
second of two audio commentaries also includes the song "Mr
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", sung by Dionne Warwick, which was originally
intended to be the main theme but was replaced by the title
track performed by Tom Jones. "Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is
played over Maurice Binder's title sequence as part of the
commentary, thus creating an authentic reconstruction of what
might have been.
Among other nuggets of fascinating information revealed by
the commentaries is an explanation of how the scriptwriters
subtly acknowledged and responded to critics of Bond through
the dialogue of the villainous Fiona (Luciana Paluzzi).
to DVD in this Ultimate Edition 2-disc set is a veritable
cornucopia of newly discovered archive material, including
a 50-minute 1965 NBC television documentary, The Incredible
World of James Bond; location film narrated by production
designer Ken Adam; and footage of "rocket man" Bill Suitor.
And if you're one of those people who appreciates the wit
of Denis Norden, then you'll enjoy the tongue-in-cheek Ford
Motor Company promotional film A Child's Guide to Blowing
Up a Motor Car.
minor imperfection is the use, on one of the menu screens,
of an image of Connery from (horror of horrors) Never Say
Never Again. The same error also affected the previous
DVD release of this movie.
from that, though, there's plenty here to ensure that Bond
fans will have a ball.