Thunderball (1965)


SPECTRE has hijacked two atomic bombs from NATO and threatens to destroy an important city in the US or England unless their ransom demand is met. James Bond has only four days to thwart SPECTRE mastermind Emilio Largo and prevent a nuclear holocaust.

Release Data
UK: 29th December 1965 (PG)
USA: 21st December 1965 (PG)
World Premiere: 9th December 1965 (Hibiya Cinema, Tokyo, Japan)
UK TV Premiere: 26th February 1977, ITV
US TV Premiere: 22nd September 1974, ABC

Running Time: 125 minutes
Classification: PG (UK), PG (US)
Budget: $5.6m
Worldwide Box Office: $141.2m
US Box Office: $63.6m
US Admissions: 58.1 million
UK Box Office: N/A

Cast & Characters
James Bond
Sean Connery
Domino Derval
Claudine Auger
Emilio Largo
Adolfo Celi
Fiona Volpe
Luciana Paluzzi
Paula Caplin
Martine Beswick
Patricia Fearing
Molly Peters
Philip Locke
Francois Derval
Paul Stassino
Felix Leiter
Rik Van Nutter
Bernard Lee
Miss Moneypenny
Lois Maxwell
Desmond Llewelyn

Producer: Kevin McClory
Presented By: Harry Saltzman and Albert R Broccoli
Director: Terence Young
Screenplay: Richard Maibaum, John Hopkins
Based On An Original Screenplay By: Jack Whittingham
Based On An Original Story By: Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and Ian Fleming
Composer: John Barry

Paris, France; Shrublands, South of England, UK; MI6 HQ, London, UK; Nassau, Bahamas; Miami, USA

Pre-Credits Sequence
Bond is observing a widow paying her respects at her dead husband's funeral. The woman gets into a car and goes home, however Bond gets there first and is waiting for her. It turns out that the woman is actually the supposedly dead enemy agent Jacques Boitier in disguise.


A brutal fight ensues with 007 the victor, and he escapes the scene using a jet pack. After his brief flight across the chateaux, Bond lands next to his Aston Martin and female accomplice. After stashing the pack in the back of the car they leave shooting water out from under the bumper at their pursuers.

Thunderball is the MI6 codename given to the mission to foil SPECTRE's plans by recovering the nuclear warheads and avoid paying the ransom. It is marked on the assignment folders as well as being mentioned by M to Bond.


Cut Scenes & Alternate Versions
An underwater scene featuring Bond and Domino making love behind a rock was on the request of Cubby Broccoli who considered it a little too suggestive - it featured a huge explosion of bubbles rising to the surface, followed by Domino's bathing costume.

A scene shot but not used featured Domino showing around Bond on the Disco Volante. According to the documentary on the DVD special edition, the footage is presumably lost, but a few rare publiclity stills remain. The UK cinema release was cut to recieve an "A" rating, but all video releases were uncut.

In different versions, Bond says a different line when he escapes from Largo's shark pool. Some versions also feature a comment that Felix makes when he and Bond see a manta-ray from the helicopter. There are also alternate takes of a scene with Largo on his boat in different versions.

In the trailer for the film, Bond says the line, "The things I do for England." The line was cut from the final version of the film, and then used in the next Bond film, You Only Live Twice. Further details on alternate versions of Thunderball can be found on the Release History page.

Best Line
Bond: "That looks like a woman's gun."
Largo: "Do you know a lot about guns, Mr Bond?"
Bond: "No, but I know a little about women."

Best Mistake
Bond's jet pack proves to be too big for the boot of the Aston Martin.

Distinguishing Feature
It is the only film in which all the Double-O's are seen together.

Vital Statistics
Conquests: 3
Martinis: 0
Kills: 22
"Bond, James Bond": 0

MI6 Rating

Fan Rating

As voted in MI6's Fan Verdict poll

James Bond will return in "You Only Live Twice".

DVD cover image courtesy Amazon Associates