"Don't worry, I'll tell the chef ": Thunderball Appreciation & Discussion

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  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    Agreed again. Great score. I'd actually have liked the scene in which Bond investigates the Disco underwater extended.....as in the novel with the Baracuda. Underwater scenes are always interesting to me.
  • Posts: 19,339
    I created this thread also because of the smoothness of it and the consistancy...a beautiful film to look at...
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Not only is the shooting composition underwater as beautiful as the standard cinematography of the land shooting, all the gear we see was fully operational and designed from the ground up by Adam and his team. There's no room for movie magic. Add to that the way they were able to make the divers really appear to be shot through with the harpoons as blood seeped out of them to carry into the open water, it's a sequence that feels like a snuff film to watch. If you didn't know the fight was from a film, it wouldn't be difficult to imagine we were watching real men die.

    Funny story that relates to this: As a lad years and years before I ever so much as knew Bond by anything other than name (maybe), I spoke to a kid my age (around 8 to 10 at the time, maybe) who told me that one of his older relatives, I think an uncle, had been an extra in a Bond film and got shot with a harpoon in an underwater sequence. At this point in my life I had no idea who Bond truly was, much less that Thunderball existed, and it was only years later that I realized the kid I knew was speaking of his relative's part in its finale.
  • And I also enjoy how the underwater stuff is so tied into the plot.
    Love how the bombs are kept in the Golden Grotto, how the sharks were kept in a pen in Palmyrra.
    Really enjoy this picture.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    And I also enjoy how the underwater stuff is so tied into the plot.
    Love how the bombs are kept in the Golden Grotto, how the sharks were kept in a pen in Palmyrra.
    Really enjoy this picture.

    And like a true detective, Bond is able to locate the bombs by remembering Largo got those sharks from a specific part of the Bahamas, a spot where Bond later uncovers the Vulcan and is able to use the dog tags he finds from Domino's brother to turn her to his side . Largo's own pompous mutterings about sharks is the ultimate undoing of his work.
  • And the ending is, for me, a gigantic spectacle.
  • Posts: 14,896
    And it is one of the most "poetic" Bond. TB is at some moments allegorical. The whole sea is so peaceful, in spite of its dangers, from sharks to evil men to... nuclear bombs. Eros and Thanatos on an epic scale.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 5,092
    TB was always one of my favourite Bond films. The script is pretty tight. Though I usually speed through the hijacking of the Vulcan. I always had a huge cruch on Ms Auger. The John Barry score enhances the film and provides some sophistication to the proceedings.

    Some great lines!

    "Wait till you get to my teeth"

    "Most girls just paddle around. You swim like a man."
    "So do you."
    "Yes but I've had years of practice at it."

    "Somebody's probably lost a dog."

    "Is there any reason for your request, besides your fondness for water sports?"
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,076
    "Is there any reason for your request, besides your fondness for water sports?"

    Indeed, it's one of the few times we see Lee's M finding it difficult to remain completely serious, which enhances his character for me. He definately thinks it's a long shot but as he has no better plans....

  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    I really love Lee's delivery of the line where he mentions to Bond if Domino is worth looking into. He looks totally at a loss there, but is willing to hear Bond out as he respects his opinion and thoughts on the coming operation, much like in FRWL. This was one thing that is missing from some of the Bond/M relationships later on, especially Brown's M who was a nightmare. Lee's M was never afraid to go down to Bond's level and treat him like an equal, despite their difference in rank and restricted professional dynamic. He was more than a boss, and though Bond was an employee he was also his partner that he trusted and could depend on, despite his roguish ways.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe The long road ahead
    edited April 2017 Posts: 8,236
    Thunderball is peppered with brilliance, immersed in longer stretches of mediocrity. The PTS is utter rubbish and doesn't even represent the overall tone of the film very well. Nothing that daft happens again. The scenes in shrublands are excellent, as is the mission briefing, and the hijacking of the plane. It's one of the most compelling rampings up of a Bond film ever, even if Dervals plastic surgery device is a little hokey.

    The initial scenes in the Bahamas, meeting Domino and Largo, and the clay pigeon shooting are the high point of the film. All the dynamics between the characters really gel well together. I should also note that anytime Volpe is on screen the film is in its highest gear. The scene of Bond stealthily infiltrating Palmyra is super moody and atmospheric - one of the best. Finally the scene on the beach between Bond and Domino, and the climatic underwater battle provide a solid basis to round things off with.

    Perhaps the biggest strength of the film is that there are a lot of individual highlights, and you are never waiting long for the next one to come around. The problem is the stuff surrounding these scenes just serve to illuminate some minor detail in the story that ultimately pushes things forward about half an inch. There's not a lot of narrative thrust, inspite of the race against time nature of the narrative. It's mainly a lot of monitoring, exploring, probing etc. I swear Bond and Felix must go up in that helicopter 3 or 4 times, just looking around.

    I think they either needed to trim out a lot of what they had, and make a tighter, more nail-bitting version, or they had to add more layers to the script. I would've liked to see the love triangle played up more between Bond Largo and Domino. Once Largo has Paula killed, that should have lead to Bond changing his tact and becoming far more motivated, but he basically forgets about her in the next scene. So either remove her character entirely, or have her death be more impactful, and mark a crucial turning point in the story.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    If I turn off my thinking cap and ask myself why I enjoy TB so much, it's primarily due to atmosphere (by which I mean overall immersive ambience, including score). The only other Bond films that give off that feeling/vibe are OHMSS, TSWLM, FRWL & DN and they all are in my top 6 as well. This is an important element of what I find enjoyable in a Bond film, and all of the above entries nail it better than the rest, imho.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    Thunderball is peppered with brilliance, immersed in longer stretches of mediocrity. The PTS is utter rubbish and doesn't even represent the overall tone of the film very well. Nothing that daft happens again. The scenes in shrublands are excellent, as is the mission briefing, and the hijacking of the plane. It's one of the most compelling rampings up of a Bond film ever, even if Dervals plastic surgery device is a little hokey.

    The initial scenes in the Bahamas, meeting Domino and Largo, and the clay pigeon shooting are the high point of the film. All the dynamics between the characters really gel well together. I should also note that anytime Volpe is on screen the film is in its highest gear. The scene of Bond stealthily infiltrating Palmyra is super moody and atmospheric - one of the best. Finally the scene on the beach between Bond and Domino, and the climatic underwater battle provide a solid basis to round things off with.

    Perhaps the biggest strength of the film is that there are a lot of individual highlights, and you are never waiting long for the next one to come around. The problem is the stuff surrounding these scenes just serve to illuminate some minor detail in the story that ultimately pushes things forward about half an inch. There's not a lot of narrative thrust, inspite of the race against time nature of the narrative. It's mainly a lot of monitoring, exploring, probing etc. I swear Bond and Felix must go up in that helicopter 3 or 4 times, just looking around.

    I think they either needed to trim out a lot of what they had, and make a tighter, more nail-bitting version, or they had to add more layers to the script. I would've liked to see the love triangle played up more between Bond Largo and Domino. Once Largo has Paula killed, that should have lead to Bond changing his tact and becoming far more motivated, but he basically forgets about her in the next scene. So either remove her character entirely, or have her death be more impactful, and mark a crucial turning point in the story.

    You've summed up how I see TB very well. This is probably about as accurate an assessment as I've seen.

    Also agree with you @bondjames that it excels in terms of atmosphere.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,076
    bondjames wrote: »
    If I turn off my thinking cap and ask myself why I enjoy TB so much, it's primarily due to atmosphere (by which I mean overall immersive ambience, including score). The only other Bond films that give off that feeling/vibe are OHMSS, TSWLM, FRWL & DN and they all are in my top 6 as well. This is an important element of what I find enjoyable in a Bond film, and all of the above entries nail it better than the rest, imho.

    Personally I'd trade in TSWLM for QoS or LALD, but on the whole I agree. @Mendes4Life the thing is, the film was made in the sixties and has a high pace for films from that era. I love the fact that he has to do his investigative work under such high pressure, and the fact that this isn't intersperced with random fights like they do nowedays.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 5,092
    "Some men just don't like to be driven."
    "No some men just don't like to be taken for a ride."

    "What a blow it must be. You having a failure."
    "Well you can't win them all."

    "You should keep this on you day and night."
    "I resent that remark."

    More great lines that popped into my head. I just remembered that this was the second film to have Q and Bond have interplay. Not sure why Q would be sent out to the field and how he got all those gadgets through customs. But I suppose that's for another thread.

    I love the scene between Bond and Domino on the dance floor after the casino scene. The way she says "The way you hold me." I can only wish a female would ever say that to me. LOL!
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    That dance with Bond and Domino is so perfect, one of my favorites. Sean looks so handsome and relaxed in his tuxedo and the way that he holds Claudine in his arms transmits a very protective nature in his Bond this go around. The scene does a great job of underscoring the differences between Bond and Largo as men, and how they treat women. Bond is all bravado and the classic womanizer, but he treats women with supreme respect and infatuation, as a worshipper would a totem. Largo is very cruel in comparison, gripping Domino around the arm like he's scolding her, while Bond always brushes his hand along her back, in a supporting stance. These are all minor blink and you miss it moments, and just choices Sean and Celi made as actors, but they go a long way toward characterizing the men and how they both act while around Domino that really pops off the screen. That Domino becomes a fleshed out and intimate character of her own is all the more powerful.
  • Posts: 3,333
    DoctorNo wrote: »
    Yes, he never made a bad one and set the standard for sure. Still, to dream. A Young directed, Connery starring, OHMSS would have topped off the decade (and the series, until CR).
    There's plenty of good material out there on what a Connery OHMSS would have been like, such as the Charles Helfenstein book which covers almost everything on the making of the movie. What some here refuse to acknowledge is that after TB, Connery demanded that the shooting schedules were greatly reduced for his remaining 2 Bond picture deal; the next one being OHMSS which was switched to YOLT due to the lack of snow where they intended to shoot. He never did complete his deal, hence why a new actor was sought. Besides, Connery would never have stood for the gruelling 9 month shooting schedule that Lazenby endured in OHMSS. He used to grumble if it even went over 3 months, which was why DAF had such a tight shooting schedule and looks shoddy by comparison.

    Maibaum had written a couple of scripts for the Connery OHMSS which Charles Helfenstein actually holds due to Peter Hunt leaving them, and the entirety of his Bond production material, to him in his will. The original script actually featured an amphibious Aston Martin which predated the Lotus Esprit seen in TSWLM. Fortunately, when Hunt was given the job of making OHMSS he demanded that the story be dialled back and be more faithful to Fleming's book. Maibaum then had to do a complete rewrite. Hunt even had Fleming's book on set every day to refer to. The reason why we got a great OHMSS movie was down to Peter Hunt. He even fought the producers and UA about the running time, as they wanted to cut it back to under 2 hours - Hunt won. Of course the overlong running time was another thing that hurt the BO of the movie due to one less showing a day. Remember, this was before multiplexes.

    Even if Connery had agreed to OHMSS in 69, Young was finished with the series and couldn't be persuaded to return. Undoubtedly, Hunt brought a freshness to the movie that still stands up to this day, especially when you look at the flat Guy Hamilton shot DAF that followed. The budget for OHMSS was also cut due to the money EON had haemorrhaged on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which didn't even make it's production costs back. Also, Salztman was losing money hand-over-fist on the Battle of Britain movie which was simultaneously in production. Contrary to popular opinion, it in fact helped OHMSS that it didn't have an expensive Connery as its lead, plus the incredibly long shooting schedule helped make OHMSS the fabulous looking movie that it is. Be thankful that Peter Hunt directed this and not Lewis or Hamilton.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    @bondsum, fantastic thoughts and background. Utterly fascinating.

    As a Connery devotee I have often been haunted by his absence in OHMSS-to see him battle Lee's M and call him a monument or toss his hat to Lois at the wedding would be electric and moving-but I always come back to a logical place and address the facts that you lay out in my head.

    First and foremost, Sean of 1969 (or even 1967, mind) was not the one we saw in even 1965, much less from 62 to 64. He'd lost that credibility in look, becoming very pudgy, and his disinterest with the growing strangeness of the films and what was asked of him seems evident in places. Even if a Connery led OHMSS could've been delivered in the right way, could we really be certain that it would've gone off as well as so many hold it would've? I'm not too certain. And then there's the extraneous factors you mention, including Sean's paycheck, the chaos of the productions going on simultaneously and the fight by Hunt to keep his vision intact over such a long shooting period that you can guarantee wouldn't have pleased Sean.

    These days I count my blessings, and am profoundly pleased with the OHMSS we got. It's imperfect as they all are, but the scope of the piece, its choreography in action, composition of cinematography, Barry's score and the great cast all under control of Hunt really dazzle in miraculous ways. Lazenby doesn't get enough credit for the work he put in, not only in scenes of high drama and physicality, but also in portraying a Bond that was always feeling the danger coming at him. You are there with him on that bench before Tracy comes along to save him, and my heart crumbles in tandem to his every time I have to sit through that ending. His performance was subtle, and his recreation of human shock in the aftermath of trauma was spot on. The film leaves an impression the way I couldn't be certain it could've with a different tone, a less stripped back story and a Connery led cast when he was well out of his prime.

    Hunt's own approach to the material, his visceral direction and the very cinematic and powerful visual style he employed alongside his deep understanding of Bond as a character are elements that would've only been all the lesser if the other directors of his time were chosen to lead the project, outside of maybe Young who, as you said, was well past his 007 days at the time anyway. Hunt was the dream choice and his work to make the character so iconic from the early 60s up to YOLT more than made his directing title on OHMSS a deserved and longer overdue one. He put in the work, and boy did he get a payoff. I prefer the history as it is written, and try not to dream of what-ifs when we already have what is.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited May 2017 Posts: 23,883
    Yes @bondsum, that is a very informative summary of events surrounding OHMSS, thank you. I recently purchased Helfenstein's book, but have yet to read it.

    What's especially notable about your recounting of the history of events is Hunt demanding changes to the script. That is something that any competent director is likely to ask for. So looking forward to B25, I would imagine that EON is probably in the advanced stages of courting a director, because that choice is likely to impact Craig's interest in coming back for one more, as well as any potential distributor deal. I actually think they are much further along with the director choice than we know - it may have even influenced P&W's return.

    The other interesting point of note for me is that the amphibious car was originally conceived for OHMSS. These recycling of ideas that were previously shelved are a constant in the Bond world, and are probably a reason P&W continue to be asked back for the job despite their mixed reviews.

    I was always under the impression that OHMSS's budget was quite steep though. A quick check of some internet sites show that it was slightly less than the far more extravagant YOLT ($8m vs. $9.5m) but more than DAF ($7.2m, where a big chunk of it went to Connery & his charity).
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 3,333
    I'm in total agreement with your intelligent thoughts on OHMSS, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7. The "what-if" scenario can be a fun bit of speculation amongst some fans here but, at the same time, I think it also does a great disservice to the original director - in this case the sublime Peter Hunt. Some think that by simply substituting the actor like-for-like we'd have exactly the same movie but with an assured Connery spewing the lines in place of Lazenby. Truth be told, the end results would've been entirely different. A Connery OHMSS would have been a rushed production on an even tighter budget, much like DAF was, and it would have looked and felt entirely different, especially as Hunt would not have been given the extra time needed to create his vision with a grumpy Connery calling the shots. Connery would never have put up with the months of protracted isolation and long filming hours, stranded atop a snowy mountainside, like Lazenby did. It was because Lazenby was a novice that he persevered and did what the producers demanded of him. In fact, there was so little for them to do outside of production at Piz Gloria, that this is where the stories of Lazenby and Savalas gambling happened, plus the on-set affairs, whereby Savalas had a secret affair with one of the Bond girls and got her pregnant. Yet it was Lazenby that got all the bad press afterwards.

    According to the Charles Helfenstein interview on James Bond Radio, Peter Hunt was so deeply troubled by the producers' choice of director for DAF, that he voiced his concern that it would be a step backwards, both visually and artistically, to appoint Guy Hamilton. History shows he was right.

    IMHO the better "what-if" scenario is one I know you've covered in your astute observations elsewhere on these forums, and that is: what would a Peter Hunt DAF movie looked like? Believe it or not, but there was an actual script written by Maibaum that addressed this, especially when Saltzman was hopeful that Lazenby would return. The original story for DAF contents included Bond as a heavy drinker, morose, and full of seething revenge on the trail of Blofeld after dispatching Irma Brunt in the PTS. Yes, DAF would have been the revenge story everyone hoped it would have been, and more. There's no doubt in my mind if Lazenby and Hunt had returned, DAF would not have been the rushed and confused mess, all shot on a restricted schedule, that it ended up being, and people would now be talking about DAF as the perfect sequel to OHMSS.

    I loved Connery as Bond, still do, but I think Hunt and Lazenby's collaboration was the right step, and at the right time, to take Bond forwards.
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 4,325
    I'm currently doing a Bondathon, and watched Thunderball over the weekend.

    I was pleasantly surprised by how well it stood up. Thunderball often comes in for criticism of its pacing and the climatic underwater battle scene. I have to say that it didn't seem to lag too much at all, not as much as I was prepared for. Granted, the underwater battle scene certainly doesn't even want to be a second longer.

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm watching consecutively and the thing that's struck me most about the Connery Bonds is how light they are, especially Dr. No.
  • Posts: 3,333
    bondjames wrote: »
    I was always under the impression that OHMSS's budget was quite steep though. A quick check of some internet sites show that it was slightly less than the far more extravagant YOLT ($8m vs. $9.5m) but more than DAF ($7.2m, where a big chunk of it went to Connery & his charity).
    The fact is, the OHMSS budget would have been significantly higher if it had not been for the excessive spending on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which actually cost more to make than OHMSS and failed to make its money back. People forget about that particular EON production in between YOLT and OHMSS, and don't understand that it had a huge impact on their next feature, that being OHMSS. Saltzman's extravagant and loss-making Battle of Britain also played its part in the scaling back of costs on OHMSS and DAF.

    Yes, you're right about DAF being a much smaller picture and a proportion of its budget going to Connery, and it shows in the overall quality of the movie. But when you think that OHMSS and DAF cost about the same, which one do you think has the better direction and artistic merit? For me, the answer is obvious.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,076
    @bondsum well if the not-return of Connery also meant we got 'The Battle of Britain', then I couldn't be happier that he didn't return. That film was not only a gem in itself but helped preserve warbirds from then on, saving many from beeing scrapped.

    Anyway, that Hunt-Lazenby DAF seems very temting for me right now. Especially as I care little for the Connery version (as a Bond-fan of course, not compared to films outside the Bond universe).
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    Personally I'm happy with the OHMSS we got. The Hunt/ Lazenby DAF sounds better too. Connery is my favorite Bond, but his attitude post YOLT stank! So I doubt OHMSS would have improved with him in it?.......Unless Young could exert his influence on him?
  • Posts: 3,333
    I actually like The Battle of Britain movie, @CommanderRoss, and think it's a great movie and homage to those that bravely fought in that aerial battle. Sadly, it didn't have the worldwide BO appeal that Saltzman was hoping for. Saltzman was a risk-taker, and I for one am glad of his involvement in the British film industry. He's now the 'forgotten man' of Bond history, even though he played a significant part in its development and success.

    Getting back to Terence Young, who I have a lot of time for, it's interesting to note that both he and Peter Hunt both turned down the offers to direct Never Say Never Again and For Your Eyes Only. It's just a hunch of mine, but I think if Moore had stuck to his promise of MR being his last Bond picture, and Cubby had cast a new Bond in his place, then I think Young or Hunt would have jumped at the chance to direct another Bond movie. The reason for declining NSNA is an obvious one, that was out of respect for EON.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    bondsum wrote: »
    I'm in total agreement with your intelligent thoughts on OHMSS, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7. The "what-if" scenario can be a fun bit of speculation amongst some fans here but, at the same time, I think it also does a great disservice to the original director - in this case the sublime Peter Hunt. Some think that by simply substituting the actor like-for-like we'd have exactly the same movie but with an assured Connery spewing the lines in place of Lazenby. Truth be told, the end results would've been entirely different. A Connery OHMSS would have been a rushed production on an even tighter budget, much like DAF was, and it would have looked and felt entirely different, especially as Hunt would not have been given the extra time needed to create his vision with a grumpy Connery calling the shots. Connery would never have put up with the months of protracted isolation and long filming hours, stranded atop a snowy mountainside, like Lazenby did. It was because Lazenby was a novice that he persevered and did what the producers demanded of him. In fact, there was so little for them to do outside of production at Piz Gloria, that this is where the stories of Lazenby and Savalas gambling happened, plus the on-set affairs, whereby Savalas had a secret affair with one of the Bond girls and got her pregnant. Yet it was Lazenby that got all the bad press afterwards.

    According to the Charles Helfenstein interview on James Bond Radio, Peter Hunt was so deeply troubled by the producers' choice of director for DAF, that he voiced his concern that it would be a step backwards, both visually and artistically, to appoint Guy Hamilton. History shows he was right.

    IMHO the better "what-if" scenario is one I know you've covered in your astute observations elsewhere on these forums, and that is: what would a Peter Hunt DAF movie looked like? Believe it or not, but there was an actual script written by Maibaum that addressed this, especially when Saltzman was hopeful that Lazenby would return. The original story for DAF contents included Bond as a heavy drinker, morose, and full of seething revenge on the trail of Blofeld after dispatching Irma Brunt in the PTS. Yes, DAF would have been the revenge story everyone hoped it would have been, and more. There's no doubt in my mind if Lazenby and Hunt had returned, DAF would not have been the rushed and confused mess, all shot on a restricted schedule, that it ended up being, and people would now be talking about DAF as the perfect sequel to OHMSS.

    I loved Connery as Bond, still do, but I think Hunt and Lazenby's collaboration was the right step, and at the right time, to take Bond forwards.

    @bondsum, even more fascinating details. I absolutely agree that Sean's temperament at the time, already being full of the role, would've only made the set tensions worse. It was already hard enough with Lazenby in the role, who really was at a loss outside of some of the crew he grew a bond with (slight pun intended) and Saltzman, who really took a shine to him the moment he busted his stunt partner's nose during auditions. The press were quite brutal, and it didn't help that he was a new comer with a penchant for suggesting scandal through his playboy persona. He was an easy man to make stories up about, as he was a storyteller himself, hence things like the garlic incident.

    Lazenby used to be a peeve of mine, because I looked at some of his behavior on set and didn't see behind all the bravado. It must've been the craziest year of his life, to step into a role that was only known to be owned by the gigantic star that was Sean Connery, a role he had to fulfill with little experience to his name beyond some modeling. It's a story far stranger than fiction, and what happened really seems ripped out of a surrealist novel at times. Of course, as I've read and learned a lot more Lazenby earned my respect and I for one appreciate just how hard he worked to give it his all. One good thing about his trademark confidence at the time is that this same arrogance drove him to throw all he had at the project and show people what he could do. He stumbles at times and it's certainly not a perfect performance, but he nails all the moments he needs to and somehow doesn't feel out of place even when acting opposite Dame Diana herself. That certainly must account for something.

    It was also news to me that Hunt wasn't happy about Hamilton coming back into the fold for DAF. I'm a fan of the film, as I have learned to accept it for what it is, but that synopsis via Maibaum's script had my mouth watering. The perfect OHMSS follow-up would largely be that for me: Bond acting out violently in his rage to get Blofeld, turning from M and MI6 to Draco, who he teams up with (alongside the man's Union Corse associates) to avenge a woman they knew as a wife and daughter, respectively. As you note, I think the lost promise and momentum of OHMSS's ending is the worst "what-if" in comparison to a hypothetical situation where Sean was in Lazenby's place. It's a shame the stars didn't align properly, and the need was felt to step away from the innovation and truly unique identity OHMSS had as a film. Taking a pop culture womanizer and making him commit to one woman while putting a ring on his finger? How scandalous. Hunt and co. really created something amazing, even without the likes of Ken Adam on board, and I share the great man's disappointment with what Bond would come to be in the 70s, as OHMSS really was the end of the era for original and strikingly influential classic Bond films. Did Hunt ever make any more statements about the tonal changes to the films post-OHMSS, as in Hamilton's early 70s run? If he didn't like the man's appointment for DAF, I can only imagine how he took the way films like TMWTGG were being made.
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 3,333
    I'm glad we share the same enthusiasm for Hunt, Lazenby and OHMSS, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7. I, too, don't hate DAF and except it for what it was, or is, especially as I saw DAF on its initial release back in '71 and got caught up in the return of Connery myself. But let's just brush that aside for one moment and look back at what was happening on OHMSS. (Sorry, folks, I know this is a TB appreciation thread but the momentum is still going strong on this "what-if subject).

    I suppose we have to remember who Lazenby was and how he came to be cast as Bond. The producers were looking for a complete unknown; if you were already an established actor at the time, forget it, they weren't interested. Yes, Oliver Reed was considered briefly, but due to the bad publicity of his off-set antics, they realised they'd never be able to control him, so that was that. The story of Dalton being offered the role is a myth, he never even turned up for the screen test once he found out what the screen test was for. That's why there's always been a reluctance from Dalton to go along with the stories of him turning down the part. You can see evidence of this in any interview he made prior to LTD being released. But back to Lazenby, he arrived in the UK in 64, got a job as a car salesman, was so good at it he was promoted to the exclusive Park Lane district of London, whereby he became the top salesman there. Soon after he was spotted by a talent scout who suggested he try his hand at male modelling. This led him to being the top male model in Europe at the time. When he turned his interest to acting, he lands the most sought after role in movies - James Bond. To put yourself in Lazenby's shoes, everything you had turned your hand to had came up smelling of roses -- and because Lazenby was such a free-spirit, he never tied himself down to anything that he'd already made a success out of. This was one of the reasons why Lazenby was always moving on. It's true that by mid-production, after Piz Gloria (that's after 4 and a half months), Lazenby told Hunt that he couldn't do anymore, and the thought of doing another 7 Bond pictures gave him cold sweats. Let's not forget, the job wasn't just shooting OHMSS, which was gruelling and intense enough, but also talking to a dozen or more different journalists of every nationality, almost every single day on-set, who would all ask the same questions. Even Dalton didn't like this aspect of making a Bond movie, and has said as much. Then there's the motorbike incident, where the producers confiscated his superbike because they were scared of him having an accident around London, and you have a recipe for resentment and rebellion. Of course there's more, such as the draconian contract that forbade him having a beard, wearing the wrong clothes, etc, which contributed to him wanting to get out of any further contracts.

    Sorry, but I have to correct myself with Hunt being concerned about the direction of DAF. It was in fact Richard Maibaum that stuck up for Hunt and voiced his concerns over the direction of DAF, not Hunt. Peter Hunt was pretty much discarded after OHMSS when Lazenby refused to return. It was Maibaum that didn't like the choice of Guy Hamilton and bent both Cubby and Harry's ears about it being a mistake and step backward artistically - he still wanted Hunt for DAF. I just double-checked my notes and realise I made a slip there suggesting Hunt was vocal about the direction DAF was taking.

    But everything else I say is recorded in Helfenstein's book and interviews. The only thing I can add about Hunt is that he said he considered himself very fortunate to have got the chance to direct OHMSS rather than YOLT, which had been the one he'd been pressing to do. The stuff about Lazenby and Hunt not talking is just tall-tales, it never happened.
  • Posts: 338
    To support Sean, I don't agree that it would be a simple case of dropping in the SC we see in YOLT or DAF.

    My understanding is that SC's main concerns were (1) the films getting silly with too many gadgets, and (2) financially not been given what he saw as his fare share. He was also fed up with the intense scrutiny. I believe that he has since commented he would have liked to have starred in OHMSS when he saw how it turned out.

    SC made it plain he was done with Bond after YOLT - therefore that version of SC would never had made OHMSS. He would only have come back if he was motivated.

    He could have made the film was if EON had done a far better man management job. They should have listened to his concerns, and sorted out his contract. The Studio guy on Everything or Nothing criticised the producers for personally renegotiated their own renumeration and not looking after SC.

    Secondly, they should have made it clear that Hunt's OHMSS would be stripped back, much closer to SC's vision. Perhaps they could have given him a co-producer credit, as per DC.

    If they had got together and agreed that this would be SC's last Bond, a motivated fit SC playing a jaded 007 considering marriage, who resigned from MI6 after being reprimanded for not finding Blofeld, would have been tremendous. It would have completed the story arc, and given SC the clean triumphant end he deserved.

    Think Abbey Road after Let It Be.
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 17,432
    Thunderball is my number one summer movie. Every year, if there is a specially warm summer night, I put this one on, drink a few beers (or other beverages) and enjoy everything it has to offer. For me, there's nothing missing from this movie - much of which has been covered over the previous pages.

    The thing that stands out watching TB, is that I always get lost in the locations. There is something with that exotic 1960s Bahamas that really gets to me. I often find myself looking at the background or even the interior design as much as what's really going on. That has nothing to do about getting bored or anything, there is just so damn much to look at!

    Very few Bond films does that same thing. OHMSS is probably the only film that get's close in that regard. Looking forward to see it yet again this summer. Will probably do a double feature with Dr No - another summer Bond film for me.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    @bondsum, another reason I flipped on Lazenby is because I put myself in his shoes at the time, and realized how crazy it must've been for him to be given such a draconian contract, after he'd already been treated like a child on set with all these minute rules and regulations, sometimes from Cubby (which could've caused rows with Harry, as he loved George). As far as Lazenby was concerned, James Bond could be dead post-OHMSS, because it looked like Sean was out of the picture forever and that was the only man the public credibly saw as the character. Looking back after seeing how far the series went it's easy for some to call him a fool for doing what he did, but to put yourself in the context of the time, I think many would've done the same thing. I don't think anyone would've thought Bond would be able to go on past the new millennium that was then thirty years away, and so Lazenby made the choice he thought was the best at the time, departing the franchise before it sunk under its own weight with Sean Connery already having walked the plank. Now there's obvious regret in his mind, but I certainly hold nothing against him for stepping back. 1969 and the stuff he experienced is just from another planet; it'd warp anyone's mind.
    Thunderball is my number one summer movie. Every year, if there is a specially warm summer night, I put this one on, drink a few beers (or other beverages) and enjoy everything it has to offer. For me, there's nothing missing from this movie - much of which has been covered over the previous pages.

    The thing that stands out watching TB, is that I always get lost in the locations. There is something with that exotic 1960s Bahamas that really gets to me. I often find myself looking at the background or even the interior design as much as what's really going on. That has nothing to do about getting bored or anything, there is just so damn much to look at!

    Very few Bond films does that same thing. OHMSS is probably the only film that get's close in that regard. Looking forward to see it yet again this summer. Will probably do a double feature with Dr No - another summer Bond film for me.

    @Torgeirtrap, a DN-TB double-bill sounds fantastic. Part of the reason I love the movie so much is that what I view to be Sean's last classic ends very much in the kinds of locations that his era began. It's easy to get lost in both Jamaica and the Bahamas.
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