SirHenryLeeChaChing's For Original Fans-**NO SPOILERS** Discussion For Bond 25 Preparations

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  • edited July 2012 Posts: 3,494
    @ Everyone- Overall score is the combined total of the 10 categories. They aren't counted as separate points.

    @ DB5- A very reasonable view of the movie. I believe most of the originals will see the movie in similar terms. Please add a score for supporting cast if you would.
  • Posts: 5,651
    Really pressed for time, got a lot to do today, but I was quite justified I feel with regards to the Goldfinger car. Yes, it has an array of fancy gadgets and tricks, such as the Ejector seat, smoke screen, spike tires, bulletproof windshield etc, but what when Bond steps out of the vehicle?, what does Bond depend on then to get out of tricky situations, all the gadgets and what Q branch seemed to entail came in the way of Bonds motor that year, there was little else on show, we can argue until we are blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is, I found it a largerly dull and mundane adventure. Was Frobe really a sadist, it's not something I look for or even evaluate in a Bond movie, Yes those qualities may have been evident but I had greater concerns watching this particular release. That's all I have to say on the issue for today
  • edited July 2012 Posts: 3,494
    If you don't want to re-evaluate some of your scores, I can't make you do it. I respect your decision either way as an original. I just feel that you didn't give enough weight to certain categories and was suggesting you think about the ones I mentioned a little bit more. You mentioned in your FRWL review that Klebb and Grant delighted in their sadism and gave the category a 4. How did Goldfinger not equally delight in the sadism he exhibited, which I insist was equally if not more cruel? He was also going to laser Bond in half- alive no less.

    However, there was also the homing gadget in Bond's shoe that Leiter uses to track Bond's whereabouts that had nothing to do with the car. Bond depended on that gadget so he could be located, and to get out word on Goldfinger's plans. In the former, the gadget was successful and helped him personally outside of the car.



  • DB5DB5
    Posts: 408
    @ Everyone- Overall score is the combined total of the 10 categories. They aren't counted as separate points.

    @ DB5- A very reasonable view of the movie. I believe most of the originals will see the movie in similar terms. Please add a score for supporting cast if you would.

    My fault. Yes, I'd give SUPPORTING CAST 4 out of 5. And I was also remiss in not mentioning the excellent job that Richard Vernon does as Colonel Smithers. He really had me believing he was an English banker.

  • Posts: 2,341
    I'm gonna run this up the flag pole and see who salutes it. here goes:

    Bond 5
    women 5
    villains 5
    humor 4
    action 4
    sadism 5 Bond to be castrated by a laser? Tilly's lovely neck broken? Goldfinger sucked out of a plane to his horrified screams, Oddjob dispatched in a blaze of sparks and his cries of pain. ? these are all nasty scenes but done tastefully. Unlike the crap Peckingpah would shove down audiences throats.
    music 5
    locations 3
    gadgets 5 I liked how the gadgets were dealth with and then out of the film
    support cast 4 Cec Linder was weak, and Talia Mallet had some not so great moments. The gangsters were too cliche-esque. Otherwise strong all around.

    Overall score and reflections :45 out of 50

    Goldfinger is seen as the quinsential Bond film and the one that really got the Bond formula established. they were messing with the formula in the first two but GF nailed it to the point where the formula has been used for the rest of the 50 years of Bond. Sure there are a couple of exceptions (OHMSS and LTK) but the formula remains consistent throghuout the series.
    GF had it all: beautiful women, coolest gadget (DB5), Q and Bond's relationship is fully developed and set the standard for how the two would relate to each other throughout the series. Great and classic villains. Though Blofeld is the one most parodied it was Goldfinger and his henchman OddJob who really set the bar. An exciting PTS that became a staple to the series. A classic John Barry score. That Bond theme is recognized all around the world but if you pick a movie with the most theme And finally : SEAN CONNERY IN HIS PRIME.
    Despite the high marks I give this movie it is not my favorite 007 adventure. It looks dated today unlike FRWL which has aged gracefully. Like many of the film noire of the fifties and sixties, the movie may show it's age but it is still enjoyable to watch.
  • Posts: 306
    OHMSS69 wrote:
    @JBFan626
    There was not much all things Bond back then. The movies were just not taken seriously. there were no books that broke down the films or any real decent reviews. One had to hunt down the occassional magazine article.
    Yes, GF was the first one shown on network TV in the early 70's on ABC. (1972). And it so edited. The gunbarrel was cut, the electrocution in the bathtub was cut down, even Oddjob's and Goldfinger's death scenes were cut down. Go figure.

    Your second question: there is so much more info out there today. Good and detailed books, (I recommend License to Thrill for a good read), more specials on TV and more articles in addition to the internet. There was not much out in the 70's and even the 80's. I was in Denver on business back in the summer of '81 prior to FYEO release and a film festival was going on. I got to attend. They showed GF, ran trailers on all the films released up to that point and the upcoming FYEO. they had a half-assed Q&A where they served vodka martinis but that was about it. The event was on a Saturday afternoon and fairly well intended.

    Wow, small world and strong justification for this thread. I remember watching that first showing of GF on ABC as a kid, and I was at that pre-FYEO Bond film festival in Denver in 1981. Except I don't think I had a martini, being underage and all.

  • edited July 2012 Posts: 306
    I saw my first Bond film at a double-feature in San Francisco in 1970 at the age of 7. Weird how that seems to be the magic age for so many of us... ;)

    I saw OHMSS first and then YOLT. My big brother and babysitter told me in the intermission that now I was going to see the "Real Bond" in YOLT. But I was already set as an instant Bond fan after OHMSS because it absolutely blew my mind. Although most of it was probably just a blur for me plot-wise (and let's face it, that's one bizarre-ass plot with the hypnotized girls) I also "got it" in a way that was instinctual and beyond my 7 years. I knew right away this was who I wanted to be, this was MY hero. I've often felt good about the fact that my first movie was the red-headed stepchild of the series and it was the CHARACTER, not any particular actor, that I liked right away. Of course, I loved YOLT just as much and both films are still in my top 5. OHMSS was considered a "bomb" for so long, it astounded me - now it's a common favorite!

    The first film I saw first-run - and I forced every adult I knew to take me over and over again - was DAF. Also a much-maligned film, to this day. I loved it as a kid, and still love it. Yes, it's a freaky concoction and oddly laid-back, and yes Connery is older and heavier, but he's still the epitome of coolness to me (I pronounced his name SEEN Connery, just could not grasp the implied 'H') and I find the film wonderfully entertaining. It updates the formula cleverly, brings it into the 70's. Then LALD takes that formula and knocks it out of the park. IMO.

    I guess, I'm different than other older members here who think it went "downhill" at that point. There's a definite sweet spot for me in the middle of the series, from TB through TSWLM. The only exception is TMWTGG and I've even grown fond of that turkey. But the rest are my all-time favorites: TB, YOLT, OHMSS, DAF, LALD, TSWLM. What a run! MR was a crushing disappointment at the time it came out and FYEO swung too far the other way for me, into a banal kind of "realism" that I found boring. (Although the PTS is fantastic fun) OP, although a little silly in parts, made me happy again. I guess if I'm brutally honest with myself, since then I have been disappointed in the films at least as much as I have been happy. That wonderful consistency of quality under Cubby has never been replicated by his offspring, unfortunately. There have been times when I have wondered if they had any clue about why people like me loved Bond. I'm sorry to say, now is one of those times. But I'm hoping that SF will surprise me - and of course, I always want the films to be hits, go on endlessly...

    So, you see, I'm kind of the opposite of a lot of people here....

    I want the big bold fun Bond back. I want him to change with the times, of course, and break new ground, but I stll want variations on the arched-eyebrow playboy Bond.

    I do enjoy the first three films, they're just not my favorites. DN is great, GF has a killer first-half and then fades a little for me, and FRWL I respect more than enjoy.

    Anyway... It has been a lifelong obsession, for better or worse.

    Do we fans have a choice anymore? It's an addiction!

    Remember what Warren Zevon said in his last talk-show appearance before he died: "I hope I live long enough to see the new James Bond movie".

    Wise words.

    :D
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 11,223
    I love Warren; he is missed. I didn't know he said that. Thanks for sharing.
    I'm older than you, and I personally love many of Moore's films, especially TSWLM and FYEO.
    I am getting around to reviewing Goldfinger but it may take another 2 or 3 days.
  • edited July 2012 Posts: 2,784
    Sorry to interupt the reviews but for the older Bond fan who likes Dr No there's this 116 page special from Cinema Retro coming out in November...
    http://www.cinemaretro.com/index.php?/archives/6888-COMING-IN-OCTOBER-2012-CINEMA-RETROS-MOVIE-CLASSICS-PRESENTS-DR.-NO-SPECIAL-EDITION-ISSUE!.html
  • edited July 2012 Posts: 2,341
    @VeryBond

    WHAT A SMALL WORLD AND HUGE COINCIDENCE. You were there in Denver in 1981. I remember during the panel discussion one of the guys referred to CR 1967 as the biggest crock of "bullshit'.
    Memories.... :)
    I didn't have a martini either, just chose not to partake...
  • Posts: 532
    Fantastic read this! And not to put down too many questions, but I do have one as well:
    What was Bondmania like around the time of Thunderball? Was it really that impressive? I mean, it is my favorite, but I'd really like to know what that time was like? And did you get many 'Bond items', (random) things that had 007 printed on them and/or stuff like that?

    Getting info in those days was quite different. In middle America, not much on radio or television. Mostly came through magazines. Enough buzz had been created by Dr. No that the coming of FRWL was getting enough publicity to be an event to see. As with DN, I saw FRWL at the movies and was blown away. I felt I was on to something and begin reading the novels and doing book reports, which my English teacher got tired of two.

    With the coming of GF, this was world class stuff. Lots of anticipation. The film was another event, and did not disappoint. The theme song alone was as big and brassy as the film. Combined with radio play, GF was gigantic, which set almost impossible expectations for TB.

    By then Bond was getting lots of magazine coverage in Life and Look. Lots of special features. I do remember managing to get a copy of Playboy (for the articles mind you) because there were several pages devoted to all the underwater gadgetry created for the film. Again, another whopper of an opening, especially with Tom Jones eerie theme. My memories are of YOLT are less clear, perhaps because I continue to think Donald Pleasance was a bad choice for Blofeld, who seemed more pathetic than sinister.

    Then came the news. Not sure of the sequence here, Fleming dead and Connery done. The world ended.

    But OHMSS was still an event. For sure, Lazenby was not Bond, but I didn't hate him. I just missed Sean. Then, as now, the film remains one of my favorites in the series and I've liked Lazenby better with every subsequent viewing.

    DAF is also fuzzy. But the return of Sean was world news with a staggering payday for that time. Sean was back with a new hairpiece, but essentially sleepwalking through the film. Bassey was back but with less brass than before. Blofeld was back in the form of a clown. Jimmy Dean was there for whatever reason. DAF ended derivatively. GF, TB, YOLT, and OHMSS had all ended with lots of explosions and massively staged fights between the armies of Bond and the armies of Spectre. By now the formula was well established and Sean waved his final goodbye.

    True, it was devastating to lose Sean, but the series had also lost something. DAF illustrated how overly comfortable the series has become with its formula. Spectacle had become more important than story and character. And for an original fan, what could have been worse? The announcement that Roger Moore was the new 007.

    End of an era.



  • edited July 2012 Posts: 3,494
    Some really great commentary from the classic era, thanks everyone for your thoughts.

    Thunderball is coming in a day or two. I hope to see those who haven't reviewed Goldfinger do so, now would be a good time. Although I would add that there is no specific time limit to do so nor is reviewing at all a requirement.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 5,038
    @CrabKey thanks for sharing that! although I highly anticipated GE, the first film I saw in the cinema, things were definitely not that worked up (I was, but that's something different). I do sometimes miss the days without internet or mobile phones (and I'm 32!), for getting posters, flyers or magazines was still something special. Well, I'll shut up again, I'm now highly anticipating your reviews, and those of your fellow originals.
  • Posts: 532
    I do sometimes miss the days without internet or mobile phones (and I'm 32!), for getting posters, flyers or magazines was still something special. Well, I'll shut up again, I'm now highly anticipating your reviews, and those of your fellow originals.

    Speaking of posters.

    Last night got to Leicester Square in time to catch the final live interviews at the Batman premiere: Nolan, Levitt, and Hathaway. The gated barriers were covered with hardboard Batman posters. All between 4 to 6 feet long. As the interviews neared their end, the crowd started detaching the posters. No one seemed to mind. But they were pretty well secured with plastic ties. As a result a lot of the posters were being broken.
    A policeman nearby was watching the frustration of the woman next to me, so he reached into his pocket and pulled out to some snippers. Went all along the fence
    helping out folks who ended up with some pretty nice collectors items.

    Not about Bond, but posters are still special.
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,862
    Goldfinger

    BOND- 5. Connery has relaxed into the part, and here starts to play it for laughs, gone is the tough spy of the first two films, here we have the beginnings of the super spy, even when he's strapped to the table with the laser inching toward his gonads, you know he's going to get out, somehow.

    WOMEN- 3.5. Apart from the brief appearance of Jill, the women are no match for the first two films.


    VILLAINS- 5. Oddjob is a great sidekick, but Goldfinger himself lacks menace (to me).

    HUMOR- 4.5. Again some great one liners and overall humour.

    ACTION- 4. Not too much action, but then I prefer story over action.


    SADISM- 4.5. Lasering your gonads!

    MUSIC- 4. Great, iconic theme song, nice score 'coming into Miami' and the Kentucky stud farm cue being favourites.


    LOCATIONS- 4. Love the Switzerland location.

    GADGETS- 5. Yes the DB5 is awesome (not sure why you would want revolving number plates though), but it did start the reliance on gadgets.

    SUPPORTING CAST- 5. Pretty good supporting cast - except for the hideously miscast Felix, surely there was someone better around at the time?

    OVERALL SCORE AND RECOLLECTIONS- 5. This is the film that started it all for me. Went to see it at my local town hall which for two nights (Wed and Sat - I think) during the summer it was turned into a cinema. So even though this is not my favourite Bond, or even close, it does have a very special place in my heart. And it looks pretty damn fine on Blu-ray too!
  • Samuel001 wrote:
    May I suggest a topic for discussing?

    If so, how did you feel about Connery leaving? What did that mean for your relationship with the films? Where you going to continue watching them, think they'd die a death, or that maybe they could survive?

    Any information on this would be great to read.

    I'm 52 and can even remember seeing Dr No at the theater in 1963. Yes, I was 3 at the time. Anyhow, I wrote an article about my experience with You Only Live Twice. You can catch it at Dr. Shatterhand's Botanical Garden

    http://www.shatterhand007.com/YOLT35/YOLT35.html
  • Posts: 5,651
    I haven't seen Thunderball for ages, don't even own a copy, well due another watch some time, but in any event

    Thunderball 1965

    Bond 4/5 - Connery redeems himself from his Goldfinger disappointment. A shadow of his former self from the first two releases but back to efficient and plausible and his last truly impressive Bond outing

    Women 4/5 - Volpe steals the show, even if she did turn bad. Auger is not nearly so exciting or alluring but one of the better Bond girls of the Connery tenure

    Villains 3/5 - Adolfo Celi actually does menace the screen from time to time, but can't compare with earlier adversaries such as Dr No, Grant, Oddjob or even Klebb. Still a worthwhile nemesis for Bond that year

    Humor 3/5 - Not really excessive, not as serious as before, but a definite minimum on what was to come in later years. Just the right balance between the two maybe

    Action 3/5 - The underwater scenes really weigh it down, long, boring and mundane sometimes, but the other action bits and pieces do componsate for the other uninteresting sequences

    Sadism 3/5 - never really a factor in Bond for me, but Largo does take a certain pleasure in some of his more cruel endeavors. Nothing too extreme, but it is evident in this movie

    Music 3/5 - Jones does OK with the theme intro, nothing too spectacular or anything that will live long in the memory. The other scores that year that accompany any action bits and pieces works well for the most part

    Locations 4/5 - lots of lavish shots of Ocean environment, exotic locations seems plentiful, there is plenty to keep the interest and a definite improvement on what came directly before and after

    Gadgets - 3/5 - I thought the rocket pack early on was a bit silly, unusual for Connery so early in his tenure and still at a serious point in time to be zooming over rooftops with a Jet Pack. The infra red camera/geiger counter and underwater breather device doesn't set the pulse racing. The underwater propulsion device was a good idea, even if a bit unnecessary or lame, maybe it's just my viewpoint

    Supporting cast 3/5 - anyone else involved does their part well enough, a few of the Largo henchmen are actually quite good, Q, M and Moneypenny as always are enjoyable to be seen

    Overall score - 4/5 - The last truly fine and upstanding Connery release without question. It's not as good or standout as Dr No or Russia but a damn improvement on the lacklustre Goldfinger and the two major disappointments that were still yet to come. The underwater scenes as stated drag on a little too long, and things just seem static for long periods, but when the action does get underway, it's a hard act to follow

    (apologies if this review is a bit premature maybe, but there you are)

  • edited July 2012 Posts: 3,494
    @ Lancaster- another excellent review. For me, you really hit it on the head regarding the term "superspy". That's just one more reason why Goldfinger is so important in the series, and how it differs from DR and FRWL. It was a major progression of the character and one that obviously struck a chord with the general public that the first two did not.

    @ Baltimore- Yes, a little premature. I would prefer to lead off with the synopsis as a refresher about the movie for those who may have not seen it in awhile, but no worries.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,199
    Samuel001 wrote:
    May I suggest a topic for discussing?

    If so, how did you feel about Connery leaving? What did that mean for your relationship with the films? Where you going to continue watching them, think they'd die a death, or that maybe they could survive?

    Any information on this would be great to read.

    I'm 52 and can even remember seeing Dr No at the theater in 1963. Yes, I was 3 at the time. Anyhow, I wrote an article about my experience with You Only Live Twice. You can catch it at Dr. Shatterhand's Botanical Garden

    http://www.shatterhand007.com/YOLT35/YOLT35.html

    Thanks @Doctor_Shatterhand! By the way, love your site. The archives are a great read. I've spent days reading through the stories of yesteryear.
  • KerimKerim Istanbul Not Constantinople
    edited August 2012 Posts: 2,631
    Here's my Goldfinger Review.

    Goldfinger (The Gold It's in the...)


    BOND- SC took a step back in GF. I'm more convinced than ever that SC didn't put a 100% effort in with Guy Hamilton running. Granted this was probably the least he had to do physically, but still a letdown after FRWL. (3)

    WOMEN- For having the greatest character name in cinematic history, I hoped for more from Pussy Galore. A very independent woman for 1964, but still left a lot to be desired. Jill Masterson was more iconic than she deserved to be. I was never impressed with Tilly Masterson. Dink could take a butt slap better than anyone else. A nice surprise to see my mistress move one. (3)

    VILLAINS- To me, Goldfinger comes off as a buffoon. Very ill-tempered in losing in gin and golf. But he brilliantly delivers one of the greatest lines in franchise history. To me, you could have probably eliminated Goldfinger by giving him a cyanide laced sundae. The real threat in GF is Oddjob, the silent but deadly killer. I'm not sure how Harold Sakata was in a wrestling ring, but I wouldn't want to face him. Other than Jaws, Oddjob is probably the last person you'd want to fight. Kisch was an underated #2 henchman. The hoods and the Chinese wear solid, particularly Solo. Oddjob carries the high rating. (4)

    HUMOR- GF is the first where we see the humor and puns in the forefront. "No Mr Bond, I expect you to die" and "I must be dreaming" are two of my favorite lines in the series. We also see the first of many Bond's interactions with Q. A solid 4 here. (4)

    ACTION- Limited in GF with just Bond's invasion of GF's Swiss factory and the Fort Knox battle. Good, but not great. (3)

    SADISM- Which would you prefer, being strapped to a laser table, or being strapped naked to a chair with no seat? Goldfinger and Oddjob do bring it for the sadism. (4)

    MUSIC- Shirley gave us a classic main title song and John Barry gives us the first of many excellent soundtracks. Loved the inclusion of bluegrass music at GF's horse stables. (4)

    LOCATIONS- The Swiss countryside and the Kent golf course were nice. Visiting the Western Kentucky area however isn't on my bucket list. (3)

    GADGETS- The 1964 Astin Martin DB5. Need I say more. (5)

    SUPPORTING CAST- We get to see more of Bernard Lee and Desmond Llewelyn. Less of Lois Maxwell though. I really wish they had negotiated with Jack Lord to come back as Felix because I would be very worried about having to rely on Cec Linder. Still, Lee and Llewelyn's added depth offsets Linder's portrayal. (3)

    OVERALL SCORE AND RECOLLECTIONS: Total score 36. Goldfinger used to be one of my favorites, but as I've gotten older and wiser, it's become a middling film for me. I feel Gilded Jill and Pussy's name are probably the two main reasons why GF is more iconic than I feel it deserves to be. Raiding and nuking the gold in Fort Knox was a bit of a stretch. I've often wondered how Terrence Young would have presented Goldfinger. I certainly felt it would have been an improvement. I still roll my eyes at the blown editing on the bomb in Fort Knox. Peter Hunt was better than that. Goldfinger may be beloved by the mainstream, but I'm glad the true Bond fans know better about Goldfinger. Still, it beats watching clown porn.

    Film MVP-Harold Sakata

    Running Scores:

    FRWL-45 (MVP: Pedro Armaderiz)
    DN-38 (MVP: Sean Connery)
    GF-36 (MVP: Harold Sakata)
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,862
    Kerim wrote:
    Here's my Goldfinger Review.



    VILLAINS- To me, Goldfinger comes off as a buffoon. Very ill-tempered in losing in gin and golf. But he brilliantly delivers one of the greatest lines in franchise history.


    But Gert was dubbed, so Michael Collins brilliantly delivered one of the most famous lines in Bond history!
  • Updated movie ratings from the originals. From Russia With Love and Goldfinger are running neck and neck to this point, no surprise-

    1. From Russia With Love- 4.03
    2. Goldfinger- 4.00
    3. Dr. No- 3.42

    Will post the intro to Thunderball tomorrow.
  • Posts: 2,341
    Updated movie ratings from the originals. From Russia With Love and Goldfinger are running neck and neck to this point, no surprise-

    1. From Russia With Love- 4.03
    2. Goldfinger- 4.00
    3. Dr. No- 3.42

    Will post the intro to Thunderball tomorrow.

    Interesting. FRWL scores higher than GF
    Move on to Thunderball
  • edited September 2012 Posts: 3,494
    THUNDERBALL (1965)

    "You may now open the folders in front of you. Codename- Thunderball"


    As the 1964 release of Goldfinger launches Bond into iconic status and overwhelming financial success throughout the world, Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman are busy hammering out a deal to make the movie they had intended to be the first James Bond film, Thunderball, which was unavailable due to various legal disputes since 1961 between the now late Ian Fleming and his Thunderball project collaborators Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham, who had sued Fleming shortly after the publication of the novel claiming he had based the book on the screenplay the trio had earlier written. After an out of court settlement in 1963, McClory was awarded certain screen rights to the novel's story, plot, and characters. With the legal rights settled, Broccoli and Saltzman agree to give McClory a producer's credit for the cinematic version, with Fleming, McClory, and Whittingham getting the writing credits, and bill themselves as executive producers in order to get the movie made. In his 4th adventure, Bond and his fellow 00's are given a mission to find two NATO atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE, who returns after a one film hiatus. SPECTRE demands a ransom of 100 million pounds, $280 million U.S, in diamonds in exchange for the return of the bombs, with the alternative being the atomic destruction of a major city in either England or the United States.


    Principal filming of Thunderball began on February 16th 1965 in France, but the majority of the film is shot in the Bahamas. Both England and Miami, FL are also revisited for other scenes. Also on hiatus due to a pay dispute, Dr. No and From Russia With Love director Terence Young returns to direct his 3rd and final Bond film after Goldfinger director Guy Hamilton cites exhaustion and creative burnout. As a result of Goldfinger's overwhelming success at the box office, United Artists triples the budget for Thunderball from $3 to $9 million dollars. Filming ends in May 1965, but the film release is delayed from September to December after editor Peter Hunt and the producers convince UA that they need the time to have the movie measure up to previous standards.


    Thunderball premiered on December 9th, 1965 in Tokyo, Japan and makes it's debut in London on December 29th. Like it's predecessor, high demand to watch the movie leads to yet another round of "Bondmania", as the film is again shown 24/7 early on to meet the public's desire for James Bond. While not the most well known film in the canon in later years, the movie went on to become the top grossing film in North America in 1966, it's $141 million in earnings surpassing the prior 3 films, and it remained the highest grossing Bond film until 1973 when Live And Let Die is released. The film has, adjusted to 2011, earned the equivalent of $1 billion dollars, the most financially successful in the series. In addition, it earns the 2nd and to this day final Academy Award in the series, with John Stears getting the award for Best Visual Effects. Production Designer Ken Adam is also nominated once again for a BAFTA award, and the movie also wins the German Golden Screen award for Best Film as well as a Canadian/American "Laurel" award for Best Action film. To this day, the movie is still hailed as one of the great classics in the series, and garners new fans to this very day.


    THE CAST-


    - Sean Connery as James Bond
    - Adolfo Celi as Emilio Largo
    - Claudine Auger as Dominique "Domino" Derval (voice dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl)
    - Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe
    - Guy Doleman as Count Lippe
    - Martine Beswick as Paula Caplan
    - Molly Peters as Pat Fearing
    - Rik Van Nutter as Felix Leiter
    - Bernard Lee as M
    - Desmond Llewelyn as Q:
    - Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
    - Earl Cameron as Pinder
    - Paul Stassino as François Derval and Angelo Palazzi
    - Roland Culver as the Foreign Secretary
    - Philip Locke as Vargas
    - George Pravda as Ladislav Kutze
    - Michael Brennan as Janni
    - Anthony Dawson as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, voiced by Eric Pohlmann (both un-credited)
    - Bill Cummings as Quist



    BOND- In his 4th outing, Connery distills his interpretation even more. The script and Terence Young brings him back closer to his first two portrayals, but he brings the relaxed "superspy cool" attitude from Goldfinger with him in quite a few scenes. This was, for my money, his best performance in the role- 5/5


    WOMEN- 1958 Miss France and Miss World runnerup Claudine Auger plays Domino Derval, the villain's much younger girlfriend. Auger attended the Paris Drama Conservatory and brought some experience that served her well in the role, plus her beauty also gets her top marks. English actress Molly Peters appears as Pat Fearing, a physical therapist at the Shrublands Health Clinic where Bond is improving his health and first discovers some "hijinks" that lead him to the Bahamas and into SPECTRE's plot. Bond also gets into some "hijinks" with Fearing as well, who is a fun character. Jamaican actress Martine Beswick makes her 2nd and final appearance in the series as Bond's Bahamian assistant Paula Caplan, and a host of beauties in the casino and on the beaches of Nassau round out the cast. Adding Paluzzi to this bevy makes this another perfect casting- 5/5


    VILLAINS- Two excellent villains highlight yet another outstanding cast. SPECTRE #2 Emilio Largo is played by Sicilian actor Adolfo Celi, who gives a first rate performance as Bond's ruthless yet somehow charming adversary. I can see how he got to be Blofeld's right hand man, he's also very smart and thinks quickly on his feet. He is assisted in his plot by Italian actress Luciana Paluzzi as SPECTRE #6 Fiona Volpe, who is absolutely, deliciously evil. She uses sex to lure her victims much like a black widow lures a mate, and is a highly competent executioner in her own right. She more than holds her own with Celi and perhaps because they speak the same language, they have excellent personal chemistry in their scenes. We also have Guy Doleman as SPECTRE agent Count Lippe, who assists Volpe in England with the Derval switch but takes the fall for Angelo Palazzi's attempt to blackmail the blackmailers, Philip Locke as Largo's personal executioner Mr. Vargas, and others add to the mix. Another great and memorable crew- 5/5


    HUMOR- True to Terence Young's style, humor is kept to a minimum and adds to the story rather than becoming a part of the overall focus. Connery gets off lots of great one liners and has his now normal usual great interactions with his colleagues. The villains also get into the act, and in a good way- 4/5


    ACTION- Again true to the style of the Connery classics, action is once again meted out in proper doses relevant to the story rather than becoming the focus of everything going on. This balance is what makes the Connery films the best in the series, when it happens it enhances the storyline and is not there just to have it. The underwater finale is a gorefest filled with tons of nasty harpoon shots and ends the movie on a high note- 4/5


    SADISM- Plenty of it. Largo feeding the hapless Quist to his sharks and sacrificing another loyal man to them in the hopes of Bond also being eaten is good stuff. As is his planned torture of Domino. We also get the great electrocution of SPECTRE #9, and of course Vargas, who eschews normal human pleasures in favor of murder and mayhem- 5/5


    MUSIC- Believe it or not, this is probably my least favorite Barry written soundtrack in the series. Not that it doesn't have it's moments. The title song is tremendous and variations using it such as "At The Casino" with it's sensual and classy piano accompaniment are fantastic. Barry also continues to experiment with African drums as he did in Goldfinger, which would lead him to his first Oscar a year later. What I don't care much for here is the underwater themes, which are a little too basic and repetitive considering Barry's calibre, and often the loud brass makes it sound like Godzilla is about to emerge from the depths. Not a fan of the equally pedestrian "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" either. A fairly big step down from his previous effort- 3/5


    LOCATIONS- Some nice opening footage shot in France gives way to the glorious beauty of the Bahamas. The underwater scenes are exceptionally well filmed and add to the glamour of the locations. Ken Adam does a superior job as well with everything he does. My problem is that for all the visuals, I get bored with all the large doses of underwater footage, which tend to dominate and thus "water down" all the good stuff going on above- 3/5


    GADGETS- Not as the level of Goldfinger but still a focal point. Bond makes full use of everything Q provides him and it's effective within the storyline, in particular the underwater breather and the turbo powered oxygen tank with harpoon gun- 4/5


    SUPPORTING CAST- The interaction with M, Q, and Moneypenny is excellent. Rik Van Nutter as Felix Leiter is an improvement over Cec Linder, but he's no Jack Lord either and doesn't particularly thrill me. I don't find Pinder to be very engaging as a section head and Kutze isn't anything special for the important role he is supposed to have, a too gentle and reluctant bad guy with only one important scene where he frees Domino. This category for me is a "sum of its parts" encompassing minor characters and works well overall, just not quite as memorable to me as the first 3 films. Plus, anything with a cameo of Kevin McGlory automatically gets a debit- 4/5


    OVERALL SCORE AND RECOLLECTIONS- Thunderball will always have a very special place in my heart. It is the film that my Dad chose to introduce me to Bond as a 7 year old boy in 1968, and immediately started my lifelong love of the series. I'll always remember looking at Coral Harbor and saying to myself "WOW, compared to the New Jersey shore, now THAT'S a beach!". And Sean Connery, well, he was the epitome of cool in such a place, romancing beauties, kicking the bad guy's arses, using gadgets I couldn't dream of, and of course that incredible music courtesy of John Barry that was unlike any I'd ever heard and just fit what I was seeing so well. I could go on and on and on but I know Bond fans understand all these feelings without further elaboration. As it was night, I didn't make it much past the title song of the second half of the double feature, the most recently released "You Only Live Twice", before joining my younger brother in dreamland in my seat. I then got woken up to go home despite me begging to stay and finally making Dad promise to take me to see the others before I left with no further fuss. A true classic of the series, it scores 42 out of 50 points for me, or an average of 4.2.
  • edited July 2012 Posts: 2,341
    "Dr No Big ; From Russia with Love Bigger; Goldfinger evern bigger, now here comes the biggest Bond of them all THUNDERBALL" Quote from radio ads, Dec 1965...

    Bond 5 This was Sean's last performance where he was really into the role. Highest marks here.

    Women 5 again, Auger and Palluzzi kept the screen ablaze

    Villains 5 I really liked Largo and his evil henchmen.

    Humor 4 tastefully done and not over the top.

    Action 3 A lower mark as parts of the film seems to drag

    Sadism 4 The fight in the PTS and Largo throwing an underling to the sharks, not to mention Vargas cruel death and Bond's making light of it.

    Music 4 another one of Barry's triumphs

    Locations 5 beautifully shot and you had a feeling of "being there"

    Gadget 4 not too many and just the right mixture. The underwater battle and Bond doing some cute things with his was kinda dumb but for the most part. Okay.

    Supporting Cast 4 I liked M, Moneypenny, Paula and Van Nutter was the best interpretation of Leiter for years to come.

    Overall score : 3.8

    I rank Thunderball the lowest of the first four films. It was an enjoyable film but some scenes are just too slow, the plot appears overly complicated at times, disjointed and undeniably boring. Bond just stumbles onto the SPECTRE plot thru luck rather than spy work. The scenes at the health clinic are so full of coincidences that they are hardly believable.

    This movie was so built up for me. My friends had raved about it, the ads had praised it. I finally saw it on a double bill with FRWL in 1968 and I remember feeling disappointed in it. I thought FRWL was the better film. But I guess no film could have lived up to the amount of hype.
    I can watch it today and have more appreciation for it. The beautiful colors, the underwater photography, the women.

  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 5,038
    CrabKey wrote:
    I do sometimes miss the days without internet or mobile phones (and I'm 32!), for getting posters, flyers or magazines was still something special. Well, I'll shut up again, I'm now highly anticipating your reviews, and those of your fellow originals.

    Speaking of posters.

    Last night got to Leicester Square in time to catch the final live interviews at the Batman premiere: Nolan, Levitt, and Hathaway. The gated barriers were covered with hardboard Batman posters. All between 4 to 6 feet long. As the interviews neared their end, the crowd started detaching the posters. No one seemed to mind. But they were pretty well secured with plastic ties. As a result a lot of the posters were being broken.
    A policeman nearby was watching the frustration of the woman next to me, so he reached into his pocket and pulled out to some snippers. Went all along the fence
    helping out folks who ended up with some pretty nice collectors items.

    Not about Bond, but posters are still special.
    Indeed. I remember winning tickets to TND's premiere in th Netherlands through Grolsch, which at that time was connected to Bond. We had 4 tickets, and when we got back we also managed to take a cardboard poster with us. I wanted to save it, but my fellow students in the student home used it as dartboard and to pin all sorts of rubbish on it, in the end damaging it. Eventually it was the owner of the building that took it away, to y dismay. I really liked it.
  • OHMSS69 wrote:
    "Dr No Big ; From Russia with Love Bigger; Goldfinger evern bigger, now here comes the biggest Bond of them all THUNDERBALL" Quote from radio ads, Dec 1965...

    Bond 5 This was Sean's last performance where he was really into the role. Highest marks here.

    Women 5 again, Auger and Palluzzi kept the screen ablaze

    Villains 5 I really liked Largo and his evil henchmen.

    Humor 4 tastefully done and not over the top.

    Action 3 A lower mark as parts of the film seems to drag

    Sadism 4 The fight in the PTS and Largo throwing an underling to the sharks, not to mention Vargas cruel death and Bond's making light of it.

    Music 4 another one of Barry's triumphs

    Locations 5 beautifully shot and you had a feeling of "being there"

    Gadget 4 not too many and just the right mixture. The underwater battle and Bond doing some cute things with his was kinda dumb but for the most part. Okay.

    Supporting Cast 4 I liked M, Moneypenny, Paula and Van Nutter was the best interpretation of Leiter for years to come.

    Overall score : 3.8

    I rank Thunderball the lowest of the first four films. It was an enjoyable film but some scenes are just too slow, the plot appears overly complicated at times, disjointed and undeniably boring. Bond just stumbles onto the SPECTRE plot thru luck rather than spy work. The scenes at the health clinic are so full of coincidences that they are hardly believable.

    This movie was so built up for me. My friends had raved about it, the ads had praised it. I finally saw it on a double bill with FRWL in 1968 and I remember feeling disappointed in it. I thought FRWL was the better film. But I guess no film could have lived up to the amount of hype.
    I can watch it today and have more appreciation for it. The beautiful colors, the underwater photography, the women.

    Your points add up to 43, or 4.3.

  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,862
    THUNDERBALL

    Bond 4.5 Connery is so familiar in the role now it is like putting on a favourite coat - not as 'bored' a performance as YOLT, and there are times where he is brilliant, but he was getting tired of playing Bond especially as the gadgets seemed to be taking over.

    Women 5 Auger and Palluzzi, two of the best Bond girls, sexy alluring and just so much fun.

    Villains 5 With Largo, Vargas, Volpe and assorted henchmen, a still as yet unseen Blofled, top villains.

    Humor 4 Great humour that hasn't yet become overt. "On yoghurt and orange juice? …James are you there? Have you fainted?"

    Action 4 Some great action, but as has been mentioned the underwater bits tend to slow the pace of the action - the final battle is great but the getting of the bombs, etc does drag.

    Sadism 4.5 Largo use of ice and cigar on the lovely Domino is one of the most sadistic of the series, I could think of 'more sociable things' to do with Domino! Plus feeding the sharks…

    Music 4.5 Nice score that really makes the movie - see the underwater scene in the special features that is minus Barry's score - very flat. Plus you've got Sir Tom blasting out 'he strikes like THUNDERBAAAALLLL!' awesome

    Locations 5 Could there be a better location than the Bahamas? Photographed in excellent widescreen splendour.

    Gadget 4 Some great underwater gadgets, but top side nothing too extravagant - I love that an SLR with infrared film is considered cutting-edge.

    Supporting Cast 4.5 Solid support, obviously with Lee, Maxwell et al, and a Felix Leiter that actually is pretty close to Fleming's character (so much better that the mis-cast GF).

    One of the biggest regrets is that I never saw this in the cinema. I had to wait until ITV screened it - watched on a 21" telly with a pan and scanned image, didn't stop me enjoying it though. And I've always thought that Auger is one of the most beautiful Bond girls, probably my all time favourite. Classy woman, they don't seem to make 'em like that any more. I love the fact that Blofeld remains unseen, so I can still visualise him as he is in the book, and not the DP god-awful version. It just needs tightening up in the recovery and relocating of the bombs scenes and it would have been almost perfect. Unfortunately YOLT is just around the corner…
  • Lancaster007Lancaster007 Shrublands Health Clinic, England
    Posts: 1,862
    not sure if I've mis quoted there - is it 'carrot juice and yoghurt' or 'orange juice and yoghurt'? Whatever it is a very funny exchange.
  • @ Lancaster007- Lemon juice and yogurt
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