Location Guide - Thunderball


Paris, France
Bond and the beautiful Mademoiselle Laporte are in Eure-et-Loir, observing the funeral of Colonel Jaques Boitier - a SPECTRE operative. Bond smells a rat and follows the suspicious Madame Boitier to her sitting room, where he unmasks her as the Colonel himself. After dispatching with Boitier, Bond makes his escape via Textron Jet Pack to the waiting Aston Martin. Meanwhile, Emilio Largo is proposing a plan to hold the west to ransom to the SPECTRE committee at a hidden boardroom underneath Champ de Mars.



Shrublands Clinic, Buckinghamshire, UK
Bond is checked into Shrublands health clinic in the south of England for some rest and recuperation. However, 007 is never off duty and between spas and massages from the beautiful Patricia Fearing, Bond investigates some strange happenings at the Shrublands clinic. Bond discovers that a NATO officer, Major Francois Derval, has been abducted and a SPECTRE operative has been sent on a mission in his place but things unravel and British agent is too late to prevent the flight.



London, UK
When a ransom message for the SPECTRE-stolen nuclear weapons is delivered to the British government, 00-Agents from across the globe are called into MI6 Headquarters. In the situation room, M, the Chief of Staff and the Home Secretary brief the Service's best agents. Later, Bond is called in M's office in Regent's Park to discuss his posting to Canada. During the brief, 007 reasons to the Secret Service Chief that he should instead be sent to investigate the pilot's sister, Dominique Derval, who currently resides in the Bahamas.



Nassau, Bahamas
Bond touches down in Nassau, New Providence Island where he rendezvous with the delightful Domino - a reluctant captive held by her guardian Emilio Largo. They meet diving at Clifton Pier before Bond pursues her and makes contact with Largo. Bond is in and out of the water, keeping tabs on Largo with the able assistance of Paula Caplin, Q and Felix Leiter. 007 convinces Domino to side with MI6 on Love Beach on the North Shore of the island before a gigantic underwater battle ensues in Staniel Cay.



Miami, USA
Once the sub-aquatic battle has cooled, Bond boards Largo's luxury launch and fights the furious villain on the bridge of his super-yacht, the Disco Volante Speeding towards the shores of Miami, Bond and Domino thwart Largo's plan once and for all and abandon the yacht. Before long the Volante collides with rocks and a gigantic explosion. To top the mission off, 007 and his damsel in distress are picked up by US Navy in unique style.


Shooting Thunderball
Sean Connery returned to his familiar role of James Bond on 16th February 1965. In a rare turn of events, the principal unit shot the pre-title sequence at Chateau D'Anet, Paris, prior to any other. This scene was reported to have only been worked up and inserted into the final draft a month before principal production.

Terence Young and his crew then journeyed to the UK to shoot at the famed Pinewood Studios, prior to an extended location shoot in the balmy Bahamas. At Pinewood, the crew shot internals of the Shrublands clinic and MI6 headquarters.

Left: Bond tidies up a loose end in France before returning the UK for some rest and recuperation...


On a race track doubling for a local road, the second unit shot a very dangerous chase between Bond, Count Lippe and the femme fatal, Fiona Volpe. Bob Simmons threw himself into the role as the doomed Lippe, abandoning a burning stunt vehicle at the last second. This turn of events caused director Terence Young some nerves but Simmons delivered movie-goes a brilliant, high-action sequence.

Above: Bond charts the 4339 miles from London to Nassau...

All the while Ken Adam had been working hard on the unique underwater designs of "Thunderball". When the crew arrived on location in Nassau on 22nd March 1965, the paint was just drying on Adam's sensational designs and the Bond team was ready to spend a hot-and-sticky month on location. The underwater sequences proved a challenge to all involved and a high level of precision was required to capture the diving stunts. Providence Island provided many suitable locations for the 007 crew but the production also ventured to Paradise Island and Potters Wharf to shoot some of the key scenes seen in "Thunderball".

Largo's exorbitant headquarters was the local home of the Sullivan family at Rock Point on the North Shore of the island. Today some of the locations left behind by the crew are commonly dubbed after the role they played in the film - for example, Thunderball Reef and Thunderball Grotto in The Exumas are now popular tourist spots.

Above: 007 lands a sub-aquatic mission, tracking Largo and his nuclear payload from the Bahamas to Miami Beach...

In May 1965, Bond and his entourage returned to Pinewood to shoot further interiors, cumulating in fight scenes onboard Largo's yacht. With this finale in the can, Terence Young called a wrap on the fourth and by far the biggest Bond picture yet.

Fan Facts
The tropics have often proved a popular spot for 007. In fact, throughout the course of the film series the James Bond film crew returned to the Bahamas on several occasions. A sun-soaked paradise proved popular among the fans - placing second in the MI6 polling and collecting 17% of the voters choice for the best James Bond location.