007 Casefile: ‘Thunderball’

Bond is back and this time he’s getting wet! Boom tish!

The Mission: MI:6 receives a threat from SPECTRE who have stolen a nuclear warhead and are planning to launch it at NATO. With every Double-Oh agent sent out around the globe, with Bond following up a lead he picked up doing his recovery in a day spa.

Locales: Nassau, The Bahamas.

Gadgets: Wrist mounted giger counter, underwater and infrared camera, pocket emergency air supply and a homing device in pill form.

Vehicle: The Bell Rocket Belt jet pack is one of the more outlandish mode of transportation but it makes for a stylish method of escape. After that Bond’s ways of getting around include boats, propulsion packs and helicopters. A skyhook makes an appearance at the end as well.

Sidekicks: Felix Leiter, CIA Agent, turns up again played by Rik Van Nutter. Paula Caplan acts as Bond’s assistant while in the Bahamas, as well as Pinder. Q makes a rare appearance in the field.

The Girls: Fiona Volpe, another SPECTRE agent. Domino, Largo’s mistress posing as his niece. Patricia Fearing, a physiotherapist who Bond meets during his recuperation.

The Enemy: Emilio Largo – SPECTRE Agent #2, second in command to Blofed.

Evil Plot: Largo has put into play a complex scheme that involves having a pilot undergo two years of cosmetic surgery and voice training to replace a French NATO pilot with instructions to down a jet into the ocean. Largo recovers two nuclear war heads that he uses the hold England to ransom for 100 Million dollars worth of diamonds.

Distinguishing Features: A rather fetching eye-patch. Classic.

Secret Liar: Largo has made himself comfy in the Bahamas with a large coastal villa complete with a shark filled pool. When not at home he’s found on his yacht, the ‘Disco Volante’.

Henchmen: The aforementioned Volpe does some of the leg work for Largo, going for manipulation rather than confrontation. Vargas, Janni and Quist make-up his squad of ineffective thugs who wound up getting harpooned and fed to sharks. Kutze rounds out the pack as a physicist.

I hear she kicks all kind of ass.

Facts About the Movie

Politically Incorrect Behaviour: After having his attempts to make a move on his therapist rebuffed he coerces her to give in to his charms by threatening to get her fired over a mistake that he knows for a fact wasn’t her fault.

Notable Firsts: This is a remarkably formulaic Bond film. The only lasting feature is the use of silhouettes in the opening.

Random Trivia: Thunderball was intended to be the first Bond film, but legal disputes concerning film rights prevented it.

The effect of Bond’s underwater jetpack was achieved by attaching the stunt double to a speed boat and towing him at high speed.

Locals were convinced to re-enact their Junkanoo parade for the film, incorporating the hundreds of tourists who were hanging around to watch the filming of both Thunderball and The Beatles: Help! that was filming in the same location the previous week.

Domino, like Goldfinger, has had all of her dialogue dubbed to compensate for her strong accent.