Author Topic: Thunderball (1965)  (Read 1343 times)

Offline Antares

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Thunderball (1965)
« on: February 28, 2010, 11:50:19 PM »
Thunderball





Year: 1965
Film Studio:
Genre: Action, Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
Length: 125 Min.

Director
Terence Young (1915)

Writing
Richard Maibaum (1909)...Screenplay
John Hopkins (1931)...Screenplay
Jack Whittingham (1910)...Original Screenplay
Kevin McClory (1926)...Original Story
Jack Whittingham (1910)...Original Story
Ian Fleming (1908)...Original Story

Producer
Kevin McClory (1926)

Cinematographer
Ted Moore (1914)

Music
John Barry (1933)...Composer

Stars
Sean Connery (1930) as James Bond
Claudine Auger (1941) as Domino Derval
Adolfo Celi (1922) as Emilio Largo
Luciana Paluzzi (1937) as Fiona Volpe
Rik Van Nutter (1929) as Felix Leiter
Guy Doleman (1923) as Count Lippe
Molly Peters (1942) as Patricia Fearing
Martine Beswick (1941) as Paula Caplan

Review
       By 1965, the cold war between the United States and Russia was deeply entrenched in the mindset of almost every individual living in the world at that time. Just three years earlier the two superpowers had stood toe to toe in a Mexican standoff over missiles on a small Caribbean island nation, with the world’s fate hanging in the balance. That same year a film would be released that would play upon the fear and intrigue that had become a way of life between the political enemies. Dr. No would the first in what would become the most successful film series in movie history, and the world’s first look at James Bond, Agent 007. From the opening moments of the film, Sean Connery’s suave demeanor and good looks created an icon that would last for the next forty plus years and five successive incarnations. The following year would see the release of From Russia with Love, a hearty and gut-wrenching sequel to its predecessor. But it would be with 1964’s Goldfinger that the series reached its creative zenith. Everything that is associated with the Bond character was finally in place by the third films release; the gadgets, the car, and of course the women. But it would be with the fourth venture in the canon that the ‘Bond girls’ would take their place alongside Connery as the primary enticements for the viewer, both male and female.

       After the success of Goldfinger, the world was clamoring for more of their favorite secret agent. By 1965, the Bond character had seen many pale comparisons and imitators in both film and television, yet Sean Connery still remained ahead of the pack. Thunderball would be his fourth outing with the shaken, not stirred martini and sadly, the last time he truly gave it his all. He would star in three more ventures, but mainly for the paycheck. Although the story lacked the punch of the Goldfinger screenplay, it more than made up for this shortcoming by giving us the best of the ‘Bond girls’ so far, and probably of all time. Luciana Paluzzi, Claudine Auger and Martine Beswick would set the standard for each of the successive films as the perfect foils and femme fatales for what had become a legendary screen icon.

       SPECTRE has hijacked a military bomber and stolen two nuclear warheads. It is their plan to extort £100 million or a major city in England or the United States will be destroyed. Agent 007 is sent to the Bahamas to investigate a lead and while there he meets Emilio Largo (Adolpho Celi), SPECTRE No. 2. He soon deduces that Largo is behind the plot and after seducing his mistress Domino (Claudine Auger), who is actually the pilot’s sister, he plots to stop Largo’s plan. But Largo knows who this stranger is and sends his trusted assassin Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) to silence him once and for all. Here is the first time in a Bond film where the femme fatale is not only gorgeous but is equal to Bond in expertise. She is not so easily swayed by Bond’s looks and charisma, as she states in the film; “But of course, I forgot your ego, Mr. Bond. James Bond, who only has to make love to a woman, and she starts to hear heavenly choirs singing. She repents and immediately turns to the side of right and virtue. But not this one. What a blow it must have been. You, having a failure.” How refreshing to view such a sexy seductress verbally sparring with the Uber-macho agent and putting him in his place.

       Although everything that would be essential to a successful Bond outing is in this film, it runs a little long and therefore can’t reach the strata of its predecessor. There’s plenty of cool gadgets, the villains are eerie, calculating and cold, and of course the women are to die for, but for all intensive purposes this movie never really clicks. Sure, it made a lot of money, in fact it was the most successful film in the series up to that point, but a little editing could have propelled it past Goldfinger in the eyes of most Bond fans. Two years later, the release of You Only Live Twice, would send Connery into the first of his ‘Bond’ retirements. After that, to me, the series was never the same. Roger Moore just was a little too smarmy for me, and the rest of the 007’s were overshadowed by the gadgets and special effects.


Ratings Criterion
5 Stars - The pinnacle of film perfection and excellence.
4 ½ Stars - Not quite an immortal film, yet a masterpiece in its own right.
4 Stars - Historically important film, considered a classic.
3 ½ Stars - An entertaining film that’s fun or engaging to watch.
3 Stars – A good film that’s worth a Netflix venture.
2 ½ Stars - Borderline viewable.
2 Stars – A bad film that may have a moment of interest.
1 ½ Stars – Insipid, trite and sophomoric, and that's its good points.
1 Star – A film so vacuous, it will suck 2 hours from the remainder of your life.
½ Star - A gangrenous and festering pustule in the chronicles of celluloid.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 06:43:06 PM by Antares »