SirHenryLeeChaChing's For Original Fans - Favorite Moments In NTTD (spoilers)

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  • edited May 2013 Posts: 3,564
    THUNDERBALL
    Here we reach a turning point for the series. This is the film in the Bond line that was originally envisioned AS a film, with Kevin McClory & Jack Whittingham attached. The legal ramifications of Fleming’s arrangements (or lack of such) with his collaborators echoed for far longer than he had anticipated; and those ramifications can be seen in this very movie if you look hard enough. I really want to like this film more than my ratings might suggest is the case; as with other aging agents my sentimental attachment to Thunderball is quite strong. But the film has some significant problems, and I think those problems are intrinsic to the storyline that Fleming, Whittingham, and McClory developed.

    BOND: 4.5/5 As ever, Sean Connery as Bond is in top form. However, this time I have one minor quibble with Bond as the script-writers portray him: he’s something of a cad. While earlier films show Bond to be quite the womanizer, he’s never forced his sexual attentions where they were not welcome. At Shrublands, for the first time, this changes: he basically blackmails Patrician Fearing into having sex with him. Up until now, she has been striving mightily to keep their interactions on a professional level; but after she rescues him from “the Rack” he repays her with blackmail. The fact that she is willing to see him again, “any time, any place,” after spending the night with Bond and his mink glove, is somewhat beside the point. I’m afraid I’ll have to dock Bond a half-point this time. “BeHAVE yourself, Mr. Bond!”

    WOMEN: 4/5 For the first time, the hottest woman on screen is not the one Bond ends the film beside. Claudine Auger as Domino is gorgeous and sympathetic…but Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe steals every scene she appears in. Martine Beswick also makes a welcome reappearance in the series, this time playing Bond’s assistant, Paula…nonetheless, time and again, Fiona is the most memorable woman of this film. Whether she’s cavorting in bed with Angelo or donning a leather outfit to ride a rocket-firing motorcycle that puts Count Lippe out of the picture…appearing naked in a bathtub in Bond’s hotel room, or shooting skeet at Largo’s estate at Palmyra…Lucianna Paluzzi’s appearance as Fiona is one of the highlights of the series. Why, then, I have I docked the women of this movie a full point? Again, blame it on the script. One of the lynchpins of this movie is the fact that Largo’s mistress is also the sister of Major Derval, the doomed pilot of the NATO flight that SPECTRE has chosen to hijack. Okay: WHY? Why the enormous coincidence? Why is Largo endangering the security of his operation by shacking up with the pilot’s sister? Fleming may have explained away this plot point -- but McClory’s film doesn’t feel the need to, and it is weaker for that omission.

    VILLAINS: 3/5 Adolfo Celi is lots of fun as the eyepatch-endowed Largo, and his various henchmen -- particularly Vargas, who (we are told) “does not drink, does not smoke, does not make love” are also enjoyable…but again, I have to dock this category for the sins of the script, as our scoring system does not allow me to adequately express my disappointment in any other way. SPECTRE, here and in other movies, is the overall villain of the story -- and at SPECTRE, job performance reviews are a real bitch. One SPECTRE operative is electrocuted for embezzlement at a business meeting while Largo sits by impassively…Count Lippe is blown away by Fiona because Angelo, his choice to be the replacement pilot, dared to ask for a raise…and Largo throws one of his own minions to the sharks because he lets Bond get the better of him. Job security is evidently pretty much non-existent at SPECTRE! At any rate, I give this category 1 point for each member of SPECTRE killed by their own organization. No wonder Bond keeps thrashing these guys, the way they keep offing their own people for greater or minor failings…

    HUMOR: 3/5 With this movie, we’re staring to see the humor as being somewhat forced. From the juvenile (“See you later -- irrigator,” at Shrublands) to the pointless (“I enjoy my dancing,” with Fiona at the Junkanoo) the humor here is serving less as an outlet for Bond’s nervous tension after avoiding another brush with death, and more as punctuation in counterpoint to the outrageous situations that are Bond’s stock in trade. Bond’s verbal jousting with Largo during his tour of Palmyra is a far better use of humor than is seen in much of the film, probably because there is a dramatic point to the wordplay.

    ACTION: 3.5/5 Some people find the underwater sequences in Thunderball to be too slow, and fault the movie for that point. I am not among these people; if anything, Thuderball’s aquatic action left me with a life-long interest in scuba diving. I also should state here that I think the main plot of this movie is one of the most enduring in the series’ history. Atomic terrorism, with a nuclear device falling into the wrong hands, was a very real fear back in 1965…and if anything, it is even more so today. Why then do I find this story so unsatisfying? One word: coincidence. The coincidences at the heart of this story pile up, one on top of the other, until the film limps to its climax, hobbled by the accumulated coincidences. Why does Bond JUST HAPPEN to be at the same resort that SPECTRE has chosen as its staging-grounds for the NATO flight hijacking? Why did Largo JUST HAPPEN to take the sister of that flight’s true pilot as his mistress? For that matter, why do Largo’s men stash their scuba equipment at the “small bridge by the canal” where Largo NEVER allows strangers to go, so that Bond can use that equipment to infiltrate their ranks just after spear-gunning Vargas? Couldn’t they just keep their equipment on the Disco Volante? Of course they could, but then...then we wouldn’t notice that Kevin McClory’s precious story line, his ticket of entry into the world of James Bond, has a few holes in it.

    No, no, let’s pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…instead, let’s kick SPECTRE a few more times for their lack of professionalism. From Count Lippe’s Tong symbol tattoo, to the huge ugly ring that both Fiona and Largo wear, these guys are practically shouting their memberships in secret societies to the world at large. But we'll let that go...the final word in SPECTRE’s lack of professionalism has to be in allowing Bond to escape at the Junkanoo. Their car halted by milling celebrants in the street, Fiona warns Bond not to try anything…then looks away from him long enough to light a cigarette…while at the same time, a drunken celebrant pushes a bottle of alcohol into the open “shotgun” window, urging the SPECTRE agent sitting there to have a drink. Bond knocks the bottle of alcohol onto the passenger seat and pushes Fiona’s cigarette lighter against the alcohol-drenched seat. Commotion ensues. Bond escapes. Now, while the ensuing chase is one of my favorite scenes in the movie, I’ve got to say: these SPECTRE agents are just plain incompetent on at least three levels. If I’ve got James Bond prisoner in my car, I’m (A) not going to have the windows open, (B) not going to take my eyes off him long enough to light a cigarette, and (C) not going to allow any drunk off the street to pass ANYTHING into my car. When Fiona is finally shot at the climax of this scene, the assembled SPECTRE agents, who still outnumber Bond by at least 4 to 1, just retreat into the night, rightfully embarrassed at the hash they’ve made of things.

    SADISM: 5/5 Full marks here. While I’m not inclined to score simple killing, or even “poetic justice” retribution, as sadism, Thunderball totally delivers the kink. Largo’s threatened torture of Domino with a cigar for heat and ice cubes for cold, “applied scientifically and slowly,” qualifies as full-bore sadism in anybody’s book. Of course, Bond serves up a different level of pain to Domino: when she steps on a sea urchin, he warns her: “This is going to hurt,” before biting into her foot to draw out the venomous spines…and follows up by inflicting a far deeper pain, informing her that her brother is dead and her lover is responsible for his death. Lots of assorted kink in this movie, too: from Bond wrestling a cross-dresser in the PTS (she really shouldn’t have opened that car door herself!) to Fiona’s prisoner fantasies (“This bed feels just like a cage! All these bars! Do you think I’ll be…safe?”) Merely feeding people to sharks isn’t enough for this movie, we’ve got to shoot one with a spear gun so they can have at each other while Bond searches for the NATO jet!

    MUSIC: 4/5 Tom Jones provides a theme song that is nearly as memorable than Shirley Bassey’s rendition of “Goldfinger” …but the offering at the “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” club has rightly been forgotten by the ages. Still, the incidental music is exciting enough, and one leaves the theatre with the various themes caught in one's memory.

    LOCATIONS: 5/5 There are some nice moments in France as the film opens…but this movie is based in the Bahamas and beautifully done for all that. Some of the best underwater photography ever committed to celluloid at the time and still largely unequalled in that regard.

    GADGETS: 4/5 The centerpiece gadget of the whole film…the one featured in all the advertising and magazine coverage…the famous jet-pack…is used briefly in the PTS and then abandoned. What a waste! Even as a kid I was disappointed…now I’m appalled. The legendary briefcase was used throughout From Russia With Love…the ever-popular Aston Martin figured prominently in Goldfinger…and now this. While the signature gadgets of the previous two films were integral parts of their respective storylines, Thunderball has its Money Item shoehorned in and then forgotten. I blame McClory and drop the subject. The Disco Volante is probably the coolest gadget in the film, and it belongs to the villain. Bond’s re-breather, while nice and certainly useful, brings up another logical inconsistency. Q tells Bond that it is good for 4 ½ minutes’ worth of use…and he uses it for much longer than that during the climactic underwater battle. Ah, Q -- must you always understate the case?

    SUPPORTING CAST: 4/5 M, Moneypenny, and Q are all dependable, with Q getting even more use than before as he declares that outfitting Bond in the field is “Highly Irregular.” Better get used to it, Q! Ric Van Nutter makes a much more interesting Felix Leiter than did Cec Linder…although not quite up to Jack Lord’s level he is at least portraying Felix in the same ballpark. Pinder is something of a placeholder -- he’s there but we’re never quite sure why. Martine Beswick as Paula is in much the same boat. She’s pretty to look at, and she serves as the film’s obligatory sacrificial lamb -- but when Fiona breaks into her hotel room, Paula is doing nothing but lounging around, reading a magazine. Hey Paula -- didn’t anybody tell you we’re on a rush schedule here? Only a matter of hours to go before the ransom gets paid, or Miami goes up in an atomic fireball!

    OVERALL SCORE & RECOLLECTIONS: 40/50 I’m sorry to have to be so rough on the logic of this film…I really did enjoy it back in the ‘60s, and if I can just turn off the rational side of my brain I still do enjoy it quite a bit. Perhaps my distaste for the baggage that Kevin McClory brings to this film colors my opinion…but I don’t think so. I’m not going to have to review Never Say Never Again, am I? Now THERE’S a piece of tripe!

    THE END
    of this review...
    ...but BeatlesSansEarmuffs will return soon
    to review You Only Live Twice
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,730
    ...but BeatlesSansEarmuffs will return soon
    to review You Only Live Twice
    Can't wait!
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,121
    @BeatlesSans I'll just say I don't agree with you on Bond forcing himself on Patricia, as he may not have blackmailed Galore, he did force himself upon her. Even more, I had the idea that when Bond utters 'someone is going to regret this day ever happened' he's referring to Lippe. It's only because she reacts to it the way she does he takes advantage.

    Other then that I have no way to defend my fav. Bond to your critisism. Only that I think Fiona Volpe ought to have given the film at least 6 out of five, regardless of the other girls. Domino could've added one more point to that too ;-)
  • 007Skyfall wrote:
    I'm new but I've decided to go backwards
    Since we seem to be short on Skyfall reviews.

    Bond: Best performance by a Bond actor
    Ever. Great range of emotion by Craig and he does the scenes with M with great depth. He is my favorite bond and gives one of the best performances ever in a film
    Here. 5/5

    Women: I love how Eve is introduced and he has the greatest character arch of a Bond girl ever. Severine is underused but the scene where she describes Silva she looks genuinely scared.
    5/5

    Villains: Let's just say Silva is my favorite film villain ever. Plus Patrice is a great villain despite being mute.
    5/5

    Humor: Classic one liners and I enjoy the banter between Bond, Kincade,
    And M.
    5/5

    Action: Filmed well with great editing unlike QOS. Best PTS, best finale, and a great scene in the courthouse and the awesome silhouette Shanghai fight. I also love the train chase.
    5/5

    Sadism:
    Lots of cold-blooded murders by the psycho Silva. The violence is heavy but not too MUch for a Bond film.
    5/5

    Music: Fun when needed and dark when necessary I love the feel
    It gives. Adele's theme is the series best.
    5/5

    Gadgets: Just enough for the modern ages Bond and the gun is a cool concept for
    The realistic bond.

    Locations: You have the beautiful Scotland, the gorgeous Istanbul, and the colorful
    Shanghai and lots of London which adds up to the perfect blend of locations.
    5/5

    Overall supporting Cast:
    Lets say this, Dench gives her best M, Kinnear his best Tanner, I love q, and Fiennes gives me hope for Bond's future. I think everyone was perfectly casted in SF.

    Overall:
    Hell I will say this is my favorite film
    ever. I saw it over and over in theatres and on Blu-Ray. I can't get enough of this masterpiece.

    Total:5/5
    PERFECT

    I am sure we'll see the last 3 original viewers get their SF reviews in. Nic is working on his, and I'm sure OHMSS will deliver his as well before Beatles gets around to this one.

    While SF is not "perfect" to me (no Bond film is beyond some criticism) and has some annoying plot holes that leave the viewer to come up with their own conclusions, it appears for the moment to be a top 10 effort and there are very few even among the hardcore fans who don't appreciate it as one of the better entries in the series. So while I find this review a bit over the top and not quite grounded in recognizing the negatives (sorry but as a musician the soundtrack is not a 5 and not nearly as good as Barry, Martin, or 3 of Arnold's 5 efforts), I nonetheless thank you for your views and hope you are enjoying your visit!



  • edited May 2013 Posts: 3,494
    @BeatlesSans I'll just say I don't agree with you on Bond forcing himself on Patricia, as he may not have blackmailed Galore, he did force himself upon her. Even more, I had the idea that when Bond utters 'someone is going to regret this day ever happened' he's referring to Lippe. It's only because she reacts to it the way she does he takes advantage.

    Other then that I have no way to defend my fav. Bond to your critisism. Only that I think Fiona Volpe ought to have given the film at least 6 out of five, regardless of the other girls. Domino could've added one more point to that too ;-)

    You've definitely lost me on this thought of yours. I understand the rationale of Bond taking advantage of Fearing not knowing he was referring to Lippe, but even before that he was forcing himself on her with a kiss before she put him "on the rack". In Dr. No, there is also a scene where he pulls Miss Taro to him by using the towel wrapped around her neck and forces a kiss on her as well. I really do not see the difference in the Galore situation and feel those who look at the seduction of Galore as practically a rape are greatly overreacting. No matter how you want to slice it, this is "macho" Connery Bond and he gets what he wants and practically no woman can resist him.

    @Beatles- what an awesome way to start Memorial Day before going out to the usual cookouts and imbibing a few cold ones, another fantastic review! You brought up many good points that were more or less "glossed over" and that always counts for how one sees a film.

    As you likely read all the prior reviews as well as my thoughts on Connery's interaction with women during his era, I feel TB represents Sean's best performance and wouldn't dock him for, well, being his kind of Bond. To me he's still GF Bond yet brings back the more of the serious side we see in the first 2 due to Young's direction. I'm glad Young recognized these aspects.

    I mostly agree with the coincidence aspect. The film is very convenient like that and obviously supposed to be. Is it lazy writing? Perhaps. But Largo's romance of Domino I don't find anything but an obvious plan by Largo himself. Maybe their meeting and initial attraction was (obviously Domino can overlook a one-eyed guy old enough to be her father due to his charms and money and give him some strange), but if not then Largo, like any competent bad guy, recognized an opportunity to use her to get the vital information on her brother's background and movements on a daily basis. And speaking of women, I LOVE this cast and give it top marks regardless of coincidence. We don't see another woman as deliciously evil as Volpe until 1995, where Famke Janssen rocks the screen as an updated version of Volpe with a twist- can't wait to hear what you think of her when the time comes.

    Some slight corrections- the story was filmed and takes place in the Bahamas, not Bermuda, and to Fearing he says "see you later alligator", not "irrigator". Although I'm sure he "irrigated Fearing's garden" quite plentifully :))
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 388
    Some slight corrections- the story was filmed and takes place in the Bahamas, not Bermuda, and to Fearing he says "see you later alligator", not "irrigator".
    I know that there are two different versions of TB available with a few noticeable differences in the soundtrack so it's possible we're watching different versions. On my copy, Bond clearly says "see you later... irrigator" looking back at the sign on the steam room door reading "Irrigation".

    It's taken directly from the novel where it's a recovering alcoholic who makes the pun and Bond simply overhears it.
  • @Sir Henry: Sir_James covered the "irrigator" point for me (thanks, Sir James) and the Bahamas/Bermuda snafu was a total brainfreeze on my part. Sorry! As for the difference between Bond's treatment of Fearing and both Pussy as Miss Taro, let's not forget that Fearing is a civilian while the other two lovely ladies are working for the opposition when Bond works his considerable charms on them. I think the rules of the game give him some leeway in dealing with Pussy G and Miss T, but those same rules do not apply to Miss Fearing. And yes, if I could award 6 points out of 5 for any category, Fiona would certainly be the recipient of one or more extra points. Finally, it would have been simple enough for the film-makers to give SOME explanation for Largo's motives in taking Domino into his "care" -- the fact that they didn't just points out the lazy storytelling that so irks me about this otherwise-fabulous Bond adventure!
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 3,494
    Some slight corrections- the story was filmed and takes place in the Bahamas, not Bermuda, and to Fearing he says "see you later alligator", not "irrigator".
    I know that there are two different versions of TB available with a few noticeable differences in the soundtrack so it's possible we're watching different versions. On my copy, Bond clearly says "see you later... irrigator" looking back at the sign on the steam room door reading "Irrigation".

    It's taken directly from the novel where it's a recovering alcoholic who makes the pun and Bond simply overhears it.

    I always heard "alligator", even when I first saw it in 1968. I was 7- jokes like that a kid remembers :)

    @Beatles- I see your point when you put it that way.

  • Posts: 63
    @sirhenryleechaching I will get my reviews for the other films in and maybe you can add them to your list
  • 007Skyfall wrote:
    @sirhenryleechaching I will get my reviews for the other films in and maybe you can add them to your list

    Are you an original fan who fits the criteria? If the answer is no, your reviews will not count in the ratings poll, but we still appreciate your participation as a guest :)
  • Posts: 63
    Oh ok I'm 13 so I don't fit
  • I always heard "alligator", even when I first saw it in 1968. I was 7- jokes like that a kid remembers :)

    There are two completely different audio versions of the film with different lines of dialogue, music cues etc. and TB seems to be the film which most heavily relied on additional dialogue recording so it's certainly possible that two two different versions exist.
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 3,494
    I always heard "alligator", even when I first saw it in 1968. I was 7- jokes like that a kid remembers :)

    There are two completely different audio versions of the film with different lines of dialogue, music cues etc. and TB seems to be the film which most heavily relied on additional dialogue recording so it's certainly possible that two two different versions exist.

    Yes, naturally I am aware of the numerous versions of what Bond says after escaping the shark and the at least 2 different pieces of music at the end, as my VHS copy is different like that from the UDVD. Mine was the original CBS/Fox version with the black and white packaging and the poster style cover. So Ernst Stavro says "all that you say could be true". For the irrigator line that is. My point is only that I never heard anything but alligator said on both versions, so I was unaware of any of this.

  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    Posts: 12,459
    007Skyfall wrote:
    Oh ok I'm 13 so I don't fit

    That just means your reviews won't count towards the final rating - but you are welcome to give your opinions and reviews. :)
  • Posts: 1,766
    excellent review. And you didn't even go so far as to ask why Bond punches Felix in the gut to stop him from saying "007" and then Bond himself says "007" in front of Largo's man.
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 4,622
    I think Bond's seduction of Fearing is perfectly legit. Consider Bond is a consummate ladies' man. He effortlessly reads the signals. He knows when women are interested, so he made his move on Fearing, when he saw a smooth opening. She was fully plumped and prepped by this point. Her "resistance" was only token, much like Pussy's.
    When Bond makes his move, the green-for-go signal has been well flashed. Where lesser men waver, Bond smoothly acts. Women would demand no less. Bond is that good.
    delfloria wrote:
    excellent review. And you didn't even go so far as to ask why Bond punches Felix in the gut to stop him from saying "007" and then Bond himself says "007" in front of Largo's man.

    This I think can be danced around, in the sense that Bond didn't want his identity known, until he knew who he was dealing with. Once the opposition, was identified as smallfish, it seems he didn't care. Weak I know, but it's something.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,121
    @SirHenry indeed as @Timmer has pointed out, Bond reads the girls perfectly and even before he's put on the rack he notices she enjoys his...company. I think in TB it's all done perfectly, but maybe for some NSNA will have put a different light on things. That, in the end, is McClory's take, which is far less smooth and on the edge.

    On the different soundtracks: I don't know about TB, but with TWINE there's a different tape for the US and Europe. When Christmas Jones and Bond get out of the pipeline that just exploded on the US version she says '.. or somebody is going the get my butt' whereas the European version the word 'but' is replaced by 'ass' (or v.v.).
  • @SirHenry indeed as @Timmer has pointed out, Bond reads the girls perfectly and even before he's put on the rack he notices she enjoys his...company. I think in TB it's all done perfectly, but maybe for some NSNA will have put a different light on things. That, in the end, is McClory's take, which is far less smooth and on the edge.

    On the different soundtracks: I don't know about TB, but with TWINE there's a different tape for the US and Europe. When Christmas Jones and Bond get out of the pipeline that just exploded on the US version she says '.. or somebody is going the get my butt' whereas the European version the word 'but' is replaced by 'ass' (or v.v.).

    I seem to remember that she says "ass" in the American version too, since that's the one I have.
  • @SirHenry indeed as @Timmer has pointed out, Bond reads the girls perfectly and even before he's put on the rack he notices she enjoys his...company. I think in TB it's all done perfectly, but maybe for some NSNA will have put a different light on things. That, in the end, is McClory's take, which is far less smooth and on the edge.

    On the different soundtracks: I don't know about TB, but with TWINE there's a different tape for the US and Europe. When Christmas Jones and Bond get out of the pipeline that just exploded on the US version she says '.. or somebody is going the get my butt' whereas the European version the word 'but' is replaced by 'ass' (or v.v.).

    For the record- I don't count NSNA or the older CR's as official films because quite simply they are not, and no one here will ever have to review one of them. I sure won't waste my time, we have 23 films to enjoy and plenty of discussion will come from them.

    If we're going to split hairs or something like that- Pussy smiles at Bond as he's waking up on her plane, which tells me right away that she finds him as attractive as Fearing does. Yet another reason why I dismiss the "this is practically a rape" idea as overreaction. She could have easily scratched him up while yelling for help, and she would have been heard as the door to the stable was clearly open. I think she enjoyed the physical and mental game of one-upsmanship between the two of them between the judo and quips.



  • On the different soundtracks: I don't know about TB, but with TWINE there's a different tape for the US and Europe. When Christmas Jones and Bond get out of the pipeline that just exploded on the US version she says '.. or somebody is going the get my butt' whereas the European version the word 'but' is replaced by 'ass' (or v.v.).

    I seem to remember that she says "ass" in the American version too, since that's the one I have.

    Yes, you're right @Soundofthesinner. @CommanderRoss is remembering the trailer where the line is indeed changed to "butt".
    timmer wrote:
    I think Bond's seduction of Fearing is perfectly legit. Consider Bond is a consummate ladies' man. He effortlessly reads the signals. He knows when women are interested, so he made his move on Fearing, when he saw a smooth opening. She was fully plumped and prepped by this point. Her "resistance" was only token, much like Pussy's.
    When Bond makes his move, the green-for-go signal has been well flashed. Where lesser men waver, Bond smoothly acts. Women would demand no less. Bond is that good.

    It's only a film and that's clearly the intention but probably not an attitude to carry over into real life!
  • edited May 2013 Posts: 4,622
    It's only a film and that's clearly the intention but probably not an attitude to carry over into real life!
    But what can be carried into real life, is Bond's ability to spot the green-light.
    Many guys have no clue, when to move on girls. Ideally one should never make a move, until the green light has been flashed. Guys either move without getting a green and thus get rejected, or even worse from the guys pov, the green has been signaled but they don't recongnize it and fail to act, so the girl moves on.
    Bond has none of these problems though. Men earn the green essentially by having their stuff together. The woman takes notice, and gives the green. The man has to be saavy enough to pick-up though. Bond always does.
    But the guy doesn't have to be Bond. He could be the alpha geek in the lab, or just have his stuff together, no matter what he does, and he'll get his share of green lights, from within his natural social circle or environment.
    Bond's confident swagger and natural self assurance can be carried into real life. Bond pulls it off, because he does make effort to have his stuff together.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 8,121
    @SirHenry indeed as @Timmer has pointed out, Bond reads the girls perfectly and even before he's put on the rack he notices she enjoys his...company. I think in TB it's all done perfectly, but maybe for some NSNA will have put a different light on things. That, in the end, is McClory's take, which is far less smooth and on the edge.

    On the different soundtracks: I don't know about TB, but with TWINE there's a different tape for the US and Europe. When Christmas Jones and Bond get out of the pipeline that just exploded on the US version she says '.. or somebody is going the get my butt' whereas the European version the word 'but' is replaced by 'ass' (or v.v.).

    If we're going to split hairs or something like that- Pussy smiles at Bond as he's waking up on her plane, which tells me right away that she finds him as attractive as Fearing does. Yet another reason why I dismiss the "this is practically a rape" idea as overreaction. She could have easily scratched him up while yelling for help, and she would have been heard as the door to the stable was clearly open. I think she enjoyed the physical and mental game of one-upsmanship between the two of them between the judo and quips.
    All I'm saying is that both situations are quite similar. Bond 'forces 'himself through. Both times a crying for rape would have been overheard and both times they did not. Especially Bond's first kiss with Fearing would have had him expelled in an instand haddend she wanted it.
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 3,494
    Updated ratings from the originals after 23 films, as of 11:00AM U.S EST-


    1. Casino Royale- 4.33
    2. Goldfinger- 4.30
    3. From Russia With Love- 4.26
    4. Skyfall (4/7 reviews)- 4.15
    5. The Living Daylights- 4.12
    6. Thunderball- 4.09
    7. Licence To Kill- 4.06
    8. The Spy Who Loved Me- 4.05
    9. On Her Majesty's Secret Service- 4.00
    10. You Only Live Twice- 3.92
    11. For Your Eyes Only- 3.90
    12. Live And Let Die- 3.83
    13. GoldenEye- 3.75
    14. Octopussy- 3.73
    15. Tomorrow Never Dies- 3.63
    16. Dr. No- 3.57
    17. Quantum Of Solace- 3.42
    18. A View To A Kill- 3.28
    19. The World Is Not Enough- 3.17
    20. The Man With The Golden Gun- 3.13
    21. Diamonds Are Forever- 3.02
    22. Moonraker- 2.97
    23. Die Another Day- 2.70


    Below is the updated list of missing reviews-

    SKYFALL- No votes from OHMSS and NicNac

    @BeatlesSansEarmuffs latest review of Thunderball fell within the range of average as far as prior scoring, and thus it remains in the #6 position for the moment. As usual, I much enjoyed his review. And now we come to a film in You Only Live Twice that our panel has seen very differently depending on the reviewer, and the last of the original Connery run. Love it or not, the film has undoubtedly has as much influence as the first four so I am anxious to read what he thinks about the film and (of course) my ultimate Bond girl :)

    In other news, at least one original member has asked me "what's next for the future of the thread?". My answer is that we are in a holding pattern waiting for Nic and OHMSS to complete their 23rd and final reviews while enjoying Beatles' new contributions, so for the moment we will continue to revisit the past. Once Beatles is finished I will post a list of each reviewer's individual scores per film from highest to lowest, one at a time starting with my own, and have the reviewer comment on how the first group poll as well as their scores compares to their own personal ratings. Originals and guests will naturally be welcomed to comment, so if you don't have a defined list of your own like I already do, or find that yours needs some updating, this would be a good time if you've completed your initial task. Following that exercise, I'll pull all the personal polls into a collective thought that we can compare to the group poll for further comparison. We've got some time yet before the next film in I'm guessing late 2014 or sometime in 2015 (personally I am a traditionalist and like my fix every 2 years), and we can also discuss news on those films here amongst ourselves. We can also eventually have book vs movie talks, I am always trying to come up with ideas to keep our little corner of the Forum fresh and exciting and welcome suggestions how to continue our special camaraderie.

    Have a great weekend everyone, enjoy the grilling, chilling, and "swilling" weather!
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 3,564
    I intend to get the YOLT review on board later today. In the meanwhile, for the benefit of our younger members, it seems to me that a timeline of sorts might help provide context for the films that we've been reviewing. I've seen some folks asking how the special effects for the space sequences of YOLT stand up to other films of the times. Another thread on this board discusses the impact of the "Hippie Movement" on George Lazenby's brief stint as James Bond. Here are a few significant cultural and political signposts of the time (from an American perspective, as that's the only one I've got available to me...)

    1962 Dr. No is released
    1963 From Russia With Love is released
    First Beatles records released in UK
    President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is assassinated
    1964 Goldfinger is released
    Beatlemainia reaches the US as the Beatles appear on the Ed Sullivan TV show
    First episodes of the Man From UNCLE are shown on TV, the spy craze begins in earnest
    Lyndon Baines Johnson elected President of the US by a landslide
    Ian Fleming dies from his second heart attack
    1965 Thunderball is released
    1966 The first episodes of Star Trek (the Original Series) are shown on TV
    1967 You Only Live Twice is released
    Beatles release "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band"
    Jefferson Airplane releases "Surrealistic Pillow," including "White Rabbit" (later released as a single,) perhaps the first significant pop song to reference drug use.
    1968 Last episode of Man From UNCLE airs. The spy craze is officially over.
    LBJ declines to run for re-election, primarily due to controversy over America's involvement in Vietnam.
    Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy, Martin Luther King assassinated
    Richard Nixon elected President
    1969 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is released
    1970 The Kinks release “Lola," probably the first pop song to reference homosexuality and transsexuality.

    I'm hoping this timeline helps provide some context for the public mind-set during the course of the release of the initial Bond films. If you want to understand why homosexuality could only be obliquely referenced in FRWL while it was presented front & center in DAF, listen to "Lola." If you want to get some background on the psychedelia presented in the brainwashing segments of OHMSS, listen to Sgt. Pepper and White Rabbit. If you want to get some context on the special effects for YOLT, check out Star Trek TOS, a weekly TV show with a substantially lower budget for special effects. And if you're at a loss to understand the youth movement's wholesale rejection of "establishment" culture in the late '60s, please understand that we'd only recently seen some of the most popular public figures of that time eliminated by shadowy forces that some are still trying to identify today. Where was James Bond when we REALLY needed him? Please tell me that Felix Leiter wasn't among the unidentified figures on that grassy knoll in Dallas!
  • Thank you very much for the timeline. I'm very interested in the '60's, as with most other decades and centuries and even milllenia. I had a teacher in high school who would tell us (somewhat edited) tales of his life as a hippie back in the late '60's and '70's. If you wouldn't mind doing one for the other decades, I would be eternally grateful.
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 4,622
    1962-63 season, post Dr. No, the Avengers fully transitions emphasis to spyfy duo of Patrick MacNee's John Steed and Honor Blackman's Cathy Gale.
    1968, Rolling Stones release Sympathy For The Devil, "Who killed the Kennedys?"
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 3,494
    1966- Speaking of Sgt. Pepper, in 1966 the very first "concept" record called "Pet Sounds" was released by Beatles rival The Beach Boys. Sir Paul McCartney called "God Only Knows" his favorite ever song to the day, and admitted the record was a huge influence on their creation of their own Sgt. Pepper concept record. There was major respect and a solid friendship between both bands amidst the public debate on who was better, and I'm not taking sides there, but any discussion of Pepper should always acknowledge IMHO the equal genius of Pet Sounds.

    My favorite concept album that to me beats any of them is Queensryche's 1988 "Operation Mindcrime". They could make a movie out of this one.

    1969- Two fellow Americans are the first to walk on the moon. Can't forget that one either.
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 3,564
    YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

    This film is very much a mixed bag for me. On the plus side, it’s got Connery as Bond and one of Ken Adams’ most impressive sets ever. On the minus side, the special effects in the space sequences are quite disappointing, and Connery’s attempts at portraying a Japanese fisherman are simply ludicrous. This is the first Bond film to largely ignore its Fleming source material, and perhaps that’s the beginning of my dissatisfaction with it.

    BOND 3.5/5 Connery’s well-publicized run-ins with the Japanese press clearly had an impact on his work in this movie. He’s quite amusing in some sequences -- with Helga Brandt, for example, when he’s confessing to being an “industrial” spy, or in his fight in Osata’s office, clobbering his opponent with chairs and a statue -- but he’s never as impressive here as he had been in FRWL (in the fight with Grant) GF (in the vault against Oddjob) or TB (dispatching Vargas with the spear gun.) I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Connery is sleepwalking through the film, as some have claimed -- but he’s pretty clearly not at the top of his game. Nowhere is Connery’s performance weaker than when he’s “turning Japanese,” both early on when trying to pass as Henderson’s assassin, and then later in the film when his transformation into a peasant fisherman amounts to nothing more than a bad haircut and an unconvincing crouch.

    WOMEN 3.5/5 A Bond woman can only be a convincing as her Bond. (Actually, that’s not at all true, as demonstrated by the next film on our list.) Still, I’m just not terribly impressed by most of the women in this film, not for their physical charms but for the characters they portray. I’m pretty much a “total package” kind of guy, and I don’t get much of a sense of totality from any of these lovely ladies. Tsai Chin as Ling may give Bond her “very best duck,” but she’s pretty much a cipher to the audience. Akiko Wakabayashi as Aki has just enough of a sense of humor that her interplay with Bond gives her the top rank among the women in this film as far as I’m concerned; and the fact that her death seemed to cause both Bond or Tanaka little concern didn’t really sit well with me. No big deal, Bond seems to think, he’s already got a fake marriage arranged so he’ll be sleeping with another babe tomorrow night anyway. Mie Hama as Kissy Suzuki is certainly beautiful, but she and Bond never really seem to connect other than professionally. Karin Dor has some nice moments as Helga Brandt, but at base she’s nothing more than Fiona Volpe-lite, without the screen time Fiona had to flesh out her part.

    VILLAINS 3/5 Donald Pleasance as Blofeld is actually something of a let-down. His voice has none of the menace we’ve been hearing in FWOL or TB, and physically he’s just not imposing at all. His scarred face is ugly, but not particularly frightening. And as much as he enjoys killing his underlings for their failures, Blofeld is just as much of a fool as any of them when it comes to dealing with Bond. Blofeld has Bond captured while the clock is ticking down for his master plan to be launched, so what does he do? Kill him? No, of course not -- he gives him a tour of the facility! “Do you mind if I…*SMOKE*?” asks Bond, anticipating the use of a well-timed & placed rocket-cigarette. “Give him his cigarettes,” replies the master criminal off-handedly, thereby ensuring his own defeat. Bond could be substantially less obvious here, and Blofeld really ought to be substantially less obliging to his greatest nemesis. Ronald Rich as Hans and Teru Shimada as Mr. Osato are there, but not much more. Villains simply aren’t this film’s strong suit.

    HUMOR 4/5 The humor in this film is perhaps as perfectly tuned as in any Bond film. “Request permission to come aboard, sir?” asks a smiling Bond in his full dress naval uniform, fresh out of his coffin and on board one of Her Majesty’s submarines. “Mr. Osato believes in a healthy chest, “ Miss Brandt states, her bosom angled JUST SO for maximum effect on the audience. “It can save your life, this cigarette!” claims Tiger Tanaka, and Bond replies, “You sound like a commercial.” There are a few humorous misfires, of course, but not too many -- when Bond takes a drink from Osata’s bar, and makes a face, murmuring “Siamese vodka!” my response was not the hoped-for laugh, but rather a grimace at Bond’s poor trade-craft. You’re leaving your fingerprints all over that glass, James! Poorly-done work for a master-spy…

    ACTION 3/5 This category seems to be the place that I most often lodge my complaints against the overall plot. Here as above, I must state my primary dissatisfaction with this film: it omits the most compelling aspects of Fleming’s original story, in favor of a reprise of Dr. No with a larger budget to spend blowing up the villain’s base. I can only hope that the Garden of Death finds its way into a future film. There’s not an awful lot of Fleming left unused… Still, one must rate the film before us rather than the film one wishes were made. There’s a lot of fun action sequences in YOLT, but too much of it is spoiled by sloppy film-making. The space scenes here are marred by unconvincing model work. Compare these with the special effects in 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and see just how much better the model work could have been. The model work in Little Nellie’s battle with the helicopters is of similarly weak quality. And the helicopter-borne magnet that picks up the villains’ car and drops into the sea is a wonderful scene…until we see it from a TV screen in Aki’s car, and wonder: where is the camera that is catching this shot based from? Still, the assault on Spectre’s volcano island base is one of the most astounding action sequences captured on film up to that time. I only wish the film were more consistently of this level of quality.

    SADISM 4/5 Helga Brandt’s surgical tools and Blofeld’s piranha give this category a strong showing. Too bad she didn’t have those tools on hand when she was dropped into the piranha pool -- sushi, anybody?

    MUSIC 5/5 This theme song is probably my favorite in the whole Bond canon, not so much for Nancy Sinatra’s rendition as for the beautiful orchestration that supports it. The falling and rising of the instrumental line is just magnificent, and the lyrics to the song very nicely present a Flemingesque viewpoint. John Barry’s overall score is likewise among the best the series has to offer, and his judicious use of oriental instruments throughout the score evoke the film’s setting perfectly.

    LOCATIONS 5/5 Beautiful scenery, breath-taking architecture, and a Ken Adams set that is the epitome of Villains’ Lairs even now -- full marks for this category! I’m not sure where to score this particular point, so I’ll just file it under “inventive use of the country’s resources” -- I think YOLT was one of the first Western films ever to depict ninjas to a mass audience, and surely that oughta count for something!

    GADGETS 4/5 Little Nellie is one of the most amazing feats of engineering ever seen circa 1967, and it still holds up well today. Bond also has a portable safe cracking machine to use in Osato’s office, and suction pads for use in climbing into the fake volcano -- but gadget-wise, this film is all about Little Nellie!

    SUPPORTING CAST 4/5 Charles Gray is quite amusing as Dikko Henderson. If anything, he’s killed off too quickly -- which is probably why Eon brought him back a few years later as the cross-dressing incarnation of Blofeld in DAF. Tetsuo Tamba gives us a strong showing as one of Bond’s best allies ever in the role of Tiger Tanaka, nearly reaching the exalted heights occupied by Pedro Armendiraz as Kerim Bey. And Desmond Llewellyn is really starting to get into the swing of things as a globe-trotting Q.

    OVERALL SCORE & RECOLLECTIONS 38/50 It looks like I have to give this film’s lower categories its highest marks. A shame, really -- Sean Connery is my favorite actor as James Bond, but he clearly didn’t want to be here. The movie is still quite entertaining, and some aspects of it stand up well next to anything else in the Bond canon -- but some crucial aspects are sadly lacking, notably the overall scheme and portrayal of the villains involved. I only wish that Eon has stuck with their original plan -- and Fleming’s timeline in the novels -- by filming OHMSS as the fifth Bond film, and YOLT as the sixth. Who knows? Perhaps Connery might have been able to work out his pay disputes with EON, enjoyed the creative stretch afforded him by the storyline of OHMSS, and not quit the series until after a YOLT released in 1969!

    THE END
    of this review...
    but BeatlesSansEarmuffs will return in a few weeks
    to review On Her Majesty's Secret Service
  • edited June 2013 Posts: 3,494
    A couple of weeks? I hope not, I'll really miss your weekly reviews :(

    In general, I still truly enjoy a watch of YOLT even through all the eye-rolling and laughter inspired by the attempt to make Connery into a Japanese fisherman, because of course my Mie is in it :) It's no wonder SPECTRE was doomed to failure as an organization, all the security on this little island can't spot an even worse disguise than Blofeld in drag or Inspector Clouseau as a hunchback? I also feel the same way about Pleasance as Blofeld, when I finally got to see the film in 1969 it was such a letdown. And yet it inspires the parody of "Dr. Evil", who the general public seems to readily recognize. So, could Pleasance as Blofeld still really be all that bad to have been so unintentionally influential? I'm still afraid the answer for me is "yes" and I love Pleasance in a lot of different things, just not this role. Thankfully the easily best Blofeld to date would appear next time.

    You definitely see the film in similar terms as I did, right down to an identical score. In some areas it's as good as it gets and wildly entertaining, but Connery and the villains short of Helga Brandt are a big letdown from the prior entries. Obviously I am fine with the ladies but admit they weren't as strong as what came before. As far as lack of comparison to the novel, that lies at the feet of Roald Dahl. I didn't quite agree with his assessment of the book as a "plotless travelogue", but it's obvious that EON felt otherwise and did agree. I'm not a big fan of the novel myself, it's okay but far from Fleming's best work and in some aspects I find it a little bizarre.

    As far as OHMSS being first filmed in order for novel continuity, we know they tried but it didn't work out. I do believe that the isolation of Piz Gloria from the crush of the world press and the strength of the story and cast would have inspired a terrific Connery performance. Some of the readers think he would have been terrible based on his YOLT effort alone, and to that I say they really didn't understand that Connery's professional pride would not have allowed him to conduct himself in the same manner. He's the kind of actor who rises to a challenging script like he would have had in OHMSS, and it's very obvious that he didn't have the kind of script here that he had to work with in the first 4 films.


  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,730
    Akiko Wakabayashi as Aki has just enough of a sense of humor that her interplay with Bond gives her the top rank among the women in this film as far as I’m concerned; and the fact that her death seemed to cause both Bond or Tanaka little concern didn’t really sit well with me.
    That sat so not-well with me that I didn't own or watch the movie for a decade, but at the behest of a fan I respected, I gave it another shot and I found it a fun comic book romp similar to Moore's TSWLM. TB is still my favourite Connery flick.
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