The international crime syndicate SPECTRE holds the British
government to ransom when it threatens to destroy a major
city with stolen nuclear warheads...
is the biggest of the Connery Bond films? Well, you could
argue that it was You Only Live Twice, as that one
featured the largest set (for the volcano interior) but Thunderball
is certainly the longest, at two hours and five minutes duration.
It also includes many a memorable set piece, including the
SPECTRE briefing scene, all of which lend this film a truly
epic feel, which is aided by the introduction of Panavision
to the Bond 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,
have sought 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 overlong. Compare such
scenes to 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 onto video in the 1980s that erroneously lacked large
sections of its incidental score. The mystery behind this
omission is discussed in a short feature about the numerous
alternative versions of the movie that have been released
over the years. This feature also includes an alternate line
of Connery dialogue to the more familiar "bon appetite" that
Bond delivers to the shark from which he narrowly escapes
in Largo's pool.
second of two audio commentaries also includes the song Mr
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which was originally intended to
be the main theme before it was replaced with 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
other nuggets of fascinating information that are revealed
by the commentaries is an explanation of how the scriptwriters
subtly acknowledged and responded to the critics of Bond through
the dialogue of the villainous Fiona (Luciana Paluzzi).
minor imperfection in this package is the use, on one of the
menu screens, of an image of Connery from (horror of horrors!)
Never Say Never Again. Nor will this be the last time
that the Bond DVDs make a photographic blunder... Apart from
that, however, there is plenty here to ensure that 007 fans
have a ball.