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

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  • edited May 2017 Posts: 3,333
    Troy wrote: »
    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.
    While I agree with a lot of what you say, @Troy, I wouldn't necessarily be as bold as to call it SC's vision. When SC walked after YOLT, the producers didn't know what direction the next Bond feature was going to go in, as they were gearing up for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, so they put Bond on the back-burner. By the time Cubby and Harry had settled on Peter Hunt being the next director, SC was already entrenched in two TV movies and had signed up for The Red Tent and Molly Maguires. Yes, money was a large factor in him getting out of his contract, feeling that he hadn't been financially rewarded for what he had put in to the series, but another huge factor was the extended shooting schedules. He made it clear that if he came back for one more, that being DAF, it would have to be a short shoot with days off so he could play rounds of golf which totalled 130 days and not a day over, otherwise SC would get a bonus for every extra day over-schedule. As I pointed out previously, OHMSS was an incredibly long and arduous 9 month shoot. No way would SC have agreed to that shooting schedule regardless of Peter Hunt's vision. More than likely, he would've complained that Hunt didn't know what he was doing and should be replaced by one that did. Make no mistake, a Connery OHMSS would have been a rushed production, less creative and not the same fresh-looking movie that we got with Lazenby.
    Troy wrote: »
    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.
    Not sure what you're getting at here? I was talking about the scripts when OHMSS was originally set to be the next Bond movie after both GF and then TB. There were numerous treatments that had evolved since the post-GF script by Maibaum. The OHMSS script that Hunt was handed was the last one written during TB, before they switched it to YOLT, that included a reappearance of Goldfinger. Yes, I know Maibaum used this idea again for an unused DAF script, but it wasn't the first time it had surfaced, originally the producers wanted Goldfinger's twin brother in OHMSS. It was Peter Hunt that threw all that crap out and told Maibaum to go back to the original story and keep it grounded, not the producers.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    bondsum wrote: »
    Troy wrote: »
    It was Peter Hunt that threw all that crap out and told Maibaum to go back to the original story and keep it grounded, not the producers.

    Good call by Hunt. Great vision.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,120
    Yep, my respect for Hunt is growing. As is my respect for Lazenby.
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 17,470
    @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.

    I've never thought about it that way, really. He's at his best in both films, so it's a good point to draw similarities between the locations, and where Connery's at in his Bond tenure. Besides the strong summer feeling I get from the locations, there is also the somewhat close geographical proximity, which almost make TB like an extension of Bonds mission in Jamaica.

    Actually, if you extend that double-bill to include Goldfinger, you have the Miami location as well, and get a "Bond-on-holliday"-treble!
  • Posts: 338
    Basically I'm saying that SC was unhappy with EON during filming YOLT - apparently he even refused to act when Saltzman (or was it Cubby) was on set. So he would never have made OHMSS in that frame of mind. So you cannot predict his performance based on YOLT

    He would only have made it OHMSS after YOLT if he wanted to - and therefore would have (hopefully) turned in a better performance. The stripped back OHMSS would have suited SC - and we may have got FRWL-quality performance.

    I know little about the script evolution, but presumably the kilt costume was intended for SC, suggesting they were still hopeful of getting him back

    Of course, we will never know - but I'm just saying it could have been glorious
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 3,333
    Troy wrote: »
    I know little about the script evolution, but presumably the kilt costume was intended for SC, suggesting they were still hopeful of getting him back
    The kilt introduction had nothing to do with luring SC back to the role after he quit. According to the Fleming Archives, Ian Fleming had begun researching Bond's ancestry as far back as 1960 and had settled on him having both a Scottish and Swiss ancestry long before SC was cast as Bond. I must admit even I believed the myth that Fleming included a Scottish background to his character due to the popularity of its actor, but this isn't true as the Fleming Archives show this was already being researched long before. Let's not forget that Fleming himself was of Scottish ancestry, and as he always saw himself as Bond, he gave his fictional character a similar background as himself. Also, one must remember that it took many months of research back then, not like today where we have the internet at our disposal. By the time Fleming had gathered all his information and put it into the book of OHMSS, Connery had been cast but Fleming wasn't happy with Connery in the role, especially when OHMSS was first published by 1 April 1963. Let's not also forget that Fleming only warmed to Connery after watching him in FRWL, not before. He disliked him immensely in Dr No and said as much. Therefore, call it a happy coincidence that SC also happened to be Scottish, which helped start the myth that he wrote the background specifically for Connery.

    So, Peter Hunt and Richard Maibaum were staying faithful to the book. If what you say was their true intention, then they would have simply dropped the kilt-wearing stuff from their movie as soon as Lazenby was cast and simply shot him in a Tux and no one would've been any the wiser.
  • Posts: 338
    I don't think the kilt was to lure SC back - more about being written with SC in mind. Off hand, I can't remember Bond wearing a kilt in any later films.

    Interesting about the ancestry work. I agree it would take time to research Fleming's own ancestry - but Bond's ancestry was fiction, so could be made up in a morning. I suppose it could be coincidence that Fleming stated Bond was Scottish around the same time he accepted SC as Bond, but may have been to head off contemporary questions as to why the quintessential English gentlemen spy had a Scottish accent?
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 3,333
    But @Troy, it wasn't made up in a morning, that's the point. Fleming was serious about his work. As an example, he did a hell of a lot of research for rocket weaponry for his book MR to give it the ring of authenticity, as he did for many of his books. Of course it's fiction but that doesn't mean that the author makes stuff up on the spot. No good author does that.

    It's probably selective memory syndrome, but Fleming said a lot of unkind things about Connery after watching him in Dr No, a lot of them involving four-letter expletives. FRWL movie didn't come out until 10 October 1963, which was when Fleming changed his mind about Connery and thought his performance great. OHMSS had already been published over 6 months prior, that's without factoring in the months of research, writing and getting the book to the publishing stage. And again, Bond isn't Scottish, his ancestry is both Scottish and Swiss. He is in fact defined as an Englishman in the novels. Bond only wore a kilt because he was impersonating Sir Hilary Bray at Piz Gloria, not as a homage to Connery.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited May 2017 Posts: 28,694
    bondsum wrote: »
    But @Troy, it wasn't made up in a morning, that's the point. Fleming was serious about his work. As an example, he did a hell of a lot of research for rocket weaponry for his book MR to give it the ring of authenticity, as he did for many of his books. Of course it's fiction but that doesn't mean that the author makes stuff up on the spot. No good author does that.

    It's probably selective memory syndrome, but Fleming said a lot of unkind things about Connery after watching him in Dr No, a lot of them involving four-letter expletives. FRWL movie didn't come out until 10 October 1963, which was when Fleming changed his mind about Connery and thought his performance great. OHMSS had already been published over 6 months prior, that's without factoring in the months of research, writing and getting the book to the publishing stage. And again, Bond isn't Scottish, his ancestry is both Scottish and Swiss. He is in fact defined as an Englishman in the novels. Bond only wore a kilt because he was impersonating Sir Hilary Bray at Piz Gloria, not as a homage to Connery.

    I was going to interject this bit, as it seems to get lost at times. Some seem to be under the impression that Bond was using his own heritage to make the mask of Bray, when he's just playing the part by wearing the kilt. It was all part of the academic uniform, the ulster coat and professor-like tweed being a very obvious recall of academia, while the kilt was to show that Bray was so consumed in his work, he did studies on his own family line.

    That's how I've always taken it, at least.
  • Posts: 3,333
    Thanks, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7. You're right, it's easy for fans to get that detail mixed up and overlook the fact he was in disguise as Sir Hilary Bray, and not as an undercover Scottish James Bond.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,120
    People probably get this wrong because Bray starts out with Bond's lineage. But again that shows his dedication to his profession, and isn't used further down the line. I really love that bit. I love the book version even more, where he first meets Griffon D'Or(?), with whom he hardly can communicate.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    People probably get this wrong because Bray starts out with Bond's lineage. But again that shows his dedication to his profession, and isn't used further down the line. I really love that bit. I love the book version even more, where he first meets Griffon D'Or(?), with whom he hardly can communicate.

    It is very cool to see Bond studying up on the heraldry items of crests to impress the ladies, that's true.

    One of the things that is coolest about OHMSS is that Bond is actively playing a caricature of Bray, who signifies everything he isn't. While Bond in reality is cool under the collar, athletic, powerful, confident, mischievous, wild and all the rest, he plays Bray as a meek wimp with no real skills with women or social parlays. I always imagine that Bond is having a real out of his head moment at Piz Gloria, as he has to basically repress all the traits about him audiences loved him for having as an icon to adequately lose himself in the "character" of Bray and fool all there. At no other time does Bond ever disguise himself as someone who is so very clearly the antithesis of himself. Yet another way OHMSS was the first film to truly deconstruct Bond and flip the script, in addition to making his womanizing personality go the way of horses and carriages through the eyes of Tracy.
  • Posts: 3,333
    So true, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7. That's why it's such a smart movie and book. Another thing I'll throw in is that the very first scene that Lazenby shot for the movie was that kilt-wearing moment where he confidently walks up the stairs and into Piz Gloria restaurant with all those beautiful ladies. Can you imagine your very first day of shooting as the new Bond and having to wear that kilt as not 007 but as the character of Hilary Bray? And yet, Lazenby did it all with style and cocky assurance.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    bondsum wrote: »
    So true, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7. That's why it's such a smart movie and book. Another thing I'll throw in is that the very first scene that Lazenby shot for the movie was that kilt-wearing moment where he confidently walks up the stairs and into Piz Gloria restaurant with all those beautiful ladies. Can you imagine your very first day of shooting as the new Bond and having to wear that kilt as not 007 but as the character of Hilary Bray? And yet, Lazenby did it all with style and cocky assurance.

    Agreed. Also, I bet that Lazenby will have been a little nervous.....and the fact that he doesn't show it makes him a good actor!
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 17,470
    suavejmf wrote: »
    bondsum wrote: »
    So true, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7. That's why it's such a smart movie and book. Another thing I'll throw in is that the very first scene that Lazenby shot for the movie was that kilt-wearing moment where he confidently walks up the stairs and into Piz Gloria restaurant with all those beautiful ladies. Can you imagine your very first day of shooting as the new Bond and having to wear that kilt as not 007 but as the character of Hilary Bray? And yet, Lazenby did it all with style and cocky assurance.

    Agreed. Also, I bet that Lazenby will have been a little nervous.....and the fact that he doesn't show it makes him a good actor!

    I always get tired of people saying that Lazenby was a poor actor. For the one film he did, I think he did great, juggling being Bond and Bond in disguise. On top of that, with the way he does his fighting scenes, I found his Bond to be more dangerous and unpredictable than any Bond - except for Craig, perhaps.

    This is a very big difference to the way we see Bond in TB, with a very "in control" and cool Connery.
  • Posts: 3,333
    Thunderball is my number one summer movie. Will probably do a double feature with Dr No - another summer Bond film for me.
    Coincidentally, I saw both Dr No and Thunderball as a double-bill feature back in 1972, I think it was. A great combo.
  • Posts: 19,339
    bondsum wrote: »
    Thunderball is my number one summer movie. Will probably do a double feature with Dr No - another summer Bond film for me.
    Coincidentally, I saw both Dr No and Thunderball as a double-bill feature back in 1972, I think it was. A great combo.

    Interesting ,chaps...i might give that a go !
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    barryt007 wrote: »
    bondsum wrote: »
    Thunderball is my number one summer movie. Will probably do a double feature with Dr No - another summer Bond film for me.
    Coincidentally, I saw both Dr No and Thunderball as a double-bill feature back in 1972, I think it was. A great combo.

    Interesting ,chaps...i might give that a go !
    Those two would really work well together. One big Caribbean holiday feeling!
  • Posts: 19,339
    I hope all this massive love on this thread for TB has it in your top 10 Bond films ,TB fans ?
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited May 2017 Posts: 23,883
    Firm #2, and has been for decades.
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 17,470
    bondsum wrote: »
    Thunderball is my number one summer movie. Will probably do a double feature with Dr No - another summer Bond film for me.
    Coincidentally, I saw both Dr No and Thunderball as a double-bill feature back in 1972, I think it was. A great combo.
    Would love to see a double-bill with these two films in the cinema!
    barryt007 wrote: »
    I hope all this massive love on this thread for TB has it in your top 10 Bond films ,TB fans ?

    Gave TB 8 points (third place) in the BOND POLLS 2016: The Top 10 JAMES BOND-007 Film Ranking Contest , only behind FRWL (first) and OHMSS (second). Ranking these three is impossible for me, really, as they can change places between each viewing!
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131

    [/quote]Connery had been cast but Fleming wasn't happy with Connery in the role, especially when OHMSS was first published by 1 April 1963. Let's not also forget that Fleming only warmed to Connery after watching him in FRWL.[/quote]

    Fleming must have quite liked Ursula Andress in DN though. He included her in OHMSS.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    barryt007 wrote: »
    I hope all this massive love on this thread for TB has it in your top 10 Bond films ,TB fans ?

    Somewhere between #4-6 for me, probably.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    Always top 5 for me. Top 10 is underrating it.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    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!

    I totally agree on the Bahamas point. Although I'd argue that DN achieves this too. Your points on the tropics are one of the reasons DN is one of my favourite Fleming novels too......he transports you there!
  • Posts: 3,333
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Fleming must have quite liked Ursula Andress in DN though. He included her in OHMSS.
    Indeed he did, like most full-bloodied males of the time, he was completely enraptured by her charms.

    DN is one of my favourite JB books, and as @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7 points out, Fleming manages to transport the reader there.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited May 2017 Posts: 23,883
    TB feels very much like DN on steroids to me. It gives off the same vibe, but is just far more 'dialled up' from a budget and consequence perspective, & it also has a more playful nature to it.

    I can't think of any two films in the series with the same actor that naturally give that same ambience (TSWLM/MR have similar plots but these wo remind me more of the move from TB to YOLT where there's more money up on the screen but one is too OTT).
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    bondjames wrote: »
    TB feels very much like DN on steroids to me. It gives off the same vibe, but is just far more 'dialled up' from a budget and consequence perspective, & it also has a more playful nature to it.

    I can't think of any two films in the series with the same actor that naturally give that same ambience (TSWLM/MR have similar plots but these wo remind me more of the move from TB to YOLT where there's more money up on the screen but one is too OTT).

    Very much agreed that TB is DN on steroids. It's funny that TB was supposed to be the first Bond film, but EON were smart enough to see that the budget they had wouldn't be enough to get what they wanted. With the series built up by 64, they chose to really do TB justice the next time around.

    As for other films that give off a similar feeling, I'd maybe elect GF-DAF, FRWL-TLD, and QoS-LTK.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Very much agreed that TB is DN on steroids. It's funny that TB was supposed to be the first Bond film, but EON were smart enough to see that the budget they had wouldn't be enough to get what they wanted. With the series built up by 64, they chose to really do TB justice the next time around.
    I didn't know that. Now it makes sense.
    As for other films that give off a similar feeling, I'd maybe elect GF-DAF, FRWL-TLD, and QoS-LTK.
    Yes, without the same actor there are more similarities. I agree on FRWL/TLD only to a degree. I will add GE/TLD and OHMSS/FYEO to the mix (not just because of the alpine sequences but also the reset feel after the overblown predecessor).
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    I just noted FRWL and TLD because the latter is a clear tribute act to the early classic. Bond facing danger in a divided Soviet owned location, a Bond girl who has questionable allegiances, a trio of villains involved in the planning and execution of the mission, Necros as the obvious recall of Grant, a scheme that involves a plan to run the British and Russians at each other, etc.
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