Double O Countdown: Thunderball

James Bond returns in the biggest Bond film yet. If “Goldfinger” was an explosion, “Thunderball” was an earthquake. This film is the closest thing to today’s event blockbusters. It did incredible box office, broke records everywhere and set a standard of “BIG” that all the Bond films since have emulated.


For me as a kid, the most memorable images of ugly death from a James Bond film, came in this film.  The treacherous Angelo, operated on to resemble Derval, lands the hijacked bomber in the ocean. For his last minute demand for more money, Largo takes the opportunity to kill him by cutting his oxygen while trapped in the seat of the plane. Watching him flail and then stop was traumatic for my nightmares for years.


As a last minute replacement, so the opening song of the film would include the title, Tom Jones wails his heart out (and reportedly collapsed after sustaining the last note).


Every spy film lampoon since has used some variation of the shark tank, an original created for this film.


Upping the stakes and the gadgetry starts with the Jet Pack that 007 uses to escape in the pre-title sequence in this film. The artwork for the poster exceeds the actual shot which has Bond donning a helmet in the middle of the chase.


John Barry Rules

Maybe his greatest work for the series that he did from it’s inception to “The Living Daylights”. Here is a section of Barry Awesomeness that you can enjoy for ten minutes.


It goes on too long, and the setting ends up being a hindrance to the intensity of a real fight, but the underwater battle scene is the highlight of the visual moments in the film.


In a boardroom meeting among killers, we should expect brutality, the send up in Austin Powers is what most of today’s audiences will remeber, but my guess is after the new film opens, and the organization is revealed, there will be more respect than laughter in the audience.

James Bond will return in “You Only Live Twice”.

4 thoughts on “Double O Countdown: Thunderball

  1. This one gets a love of deserved love. Might be my favorite soundtrack, too. Saw this at the Chinese Theatre on it’s first-run, and it remains a cherished memory.

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