Synopsis - Thunderball
James Bond attends the funeral of... JB, In this case a French
agent named Colonel Jacques Boitier who was responsible for the
deaths of two of Bond's colleagues. Uncharacteristically turning
down a proposal from his temporary assistant, La Porte, Bond instead
sets off after the grieving widow, arriving in her chateau before
her. When she arrives Bond punches her, revealing 'her' to be
Boitier himself. A tremendous fist fight breaks out during which
Bond strangles Boitier using a poker. Boitier's henchmen burst
in and Bond makes good his escape with the aid of a jet-powered
backpack. Reunited with La Porte, Bond hops into his Aston Martin
DB5 activates its defences, spraying the pursuing villains with
a high pressure jet of water before making good his escape.
In Paris, Emilio Largo arrives at the offices of the International
Brotherhood for the Assistance of Stateless Persons, an organisation
ostensibly to help refugees but in reality a front for SPECTRE.
Largo is SPECTRE's Number Two and Boitier was SPECTRE's Number
Six. Various agents report in to Blofeld who is so displeased
with one of the operations that he electrocutes the unfaithful
Eventually, Largo announces to the meeting SPECTRE's most ambitious
plan yet - to extort £100 million from the Western powers.
To this end, he has despatched agent Count Lippe on a mysterious
mission to England, to a health farm near a NATO base. By coincident,
Bond is also at the health farm and spots a Tong tattoo on the arm
of a fellow guest. He calls in the details to Moneypenny, then spots
the man leaving the centre.
He takes his chance to sneak into the man's room and nose around
a while, but he's disturbed by a man whose head is tightly wrapped
in bandages, completely obscuring his features. Undetected, Bond
gets away with nothing more than a grape from the fruit bowl for
his troubles. As he leaves, he's unaware that he's being watched
by the bandaged man.
Bond visits his physiotherapist, Pat, and wastes no time trying
to force his attentions on her. She retaliates by strapping him
to a traction machine for a gentle workout while Bond questions
her about the man in the room next door to Lippe. But while Pat
is gone, Lippe adjusts the setting on the stretching machine,
nearly tearing Bond apart. Only the timely arrival of Pat saves
his life. Ever the one to make the most of any eventuality, Bond
promises not to tell anyone about the accident so long as Pat
shares a sauna with him...
On his way back to his room, Bond spots Lippe up to his neck
in a steam box. Barring the exit flaps with a broom, he leaves
Lippe to broil gently for a while then heads back to Pat to administer
a massage with a mink glove! Elsewhere, Major Derval of the Royal
Air Force is doing some entertaining of his own with an attractive
redhead when he's called away on business. But when he opens the
door to his apartment, he comes face to face with his own double
who shoots him with a gas dart. Lippe is also on hand and takes
orders from the woman, Fiona Volpe, who hands over gas grenades
to the fake Derval. He in turn demands more money for what he's
been through - years of training and plastic surgery to allow
him to effectively replace the real Derval. Volpe and Lippe disguise
Derval as the bandaged man in the health farm who we now realise
was the fake Derval.
'Derval' heads for the NATO air base where he joins a mission
aboard a Vulcan bomber armed with two nuclear missiles. He embarks
on his mission as Bond continues his massaging of Pat. When he
closes the window to shut out the noise of the aircraft taking
off, he spots Lippe returning to the health farm in an ambulance
and watches as he has two men carry inside a body.
Bond explores the quite health farm in search of clues and finds
the body, still wrapped in bandages. He takes the bandages off and
gets a look at Duvall's face. He is about to call in to base when
he ambushes an assassin outside the window trying to get a bead
on him. He sets off the fire alarm and is caught by a furious Pat
chatting up another woman patient.
In the Vulcan bomber, 'Duvall' plugs himself into an emergency
air supply then sets off one of his gas canisters, killing the
rest of the flight crew almost immediately. He takes control of
the Vulcan and sends it into a deep dive, dipping below radar
and heading for a rendezvous out to sea with largo aboard his
yacht, the Disco Volante. 'Duvall' crashes the Vulcan into the
sea and the two warheads are retrieved by teams of minisub riding
divers led by Largo himself. For his impudence, 'Duvall' has his
air line cut and is left to drown in the bomber's cockpit. The
bombs are returned to the Disco Volante and the wreck of the plane
is disguised against prying eyes.
Blofeld is well pleased with the turn of events, but is less
well pleased with Lippe whose choice of one Angelo Palazzi as
the new Duvall nearly caused problems for the operation. At the
health farm, Pat sees Bond off and they watch what they believe
to be Palazzi's body being loaded into an ambulance.
As he drives away, Bond is attacked by a would-be assassin in
a car and is about to respond with the Aston Martin's range of
defences when the car is hit by missiles fired by a pursuing motorcycle.
As Bond drives on, the leather clad biker pushes the bike into
a lake and takes of her helmet to reveal Fiona Volpe.
In London, Bond arrives at M's office and is told by Moneypenny
that something big is happening - every 00 agent in Europe has
been called in and the Home Secretary has joined them in the conference
room for a meeting. Bond, arriving late, takes his seat and hears
a tape received from SPECTRE announcing their plans. The British
government has seven days to pay up £100 million or else
the bombs will be detonated in a city in either Britain or the
States. To signal their acceptance, the government must make Big
Ben sound seven chimes at 6 o'clock. Given the gravity of the
situation, the government has decided to capitulate to their demands
but still want to recover the bombs if at all possible.
Bond opens his dossier supplied by M and recognises Derval in
a photograph with his sister Dominique. Bond has been assigned
to Station C but requests a transfer to Nassau, explaining to
M that he saw Derval dead at Shrublands while an Air Force official
insists that he must be mistaken - Derval was seen boarding the
plane. M decides to send Bond to Nassau but gives him just four
days to complete the mission.
In Nassau, Bond conveniently bumps into Dominique - know to her
friends as Domino - while swimming and arranges, with the help
of his field assistant Paula, to fake the breakdown of his speedboat.
He charms his way into getting a lift from Domino and joins her
for drinks by the pool, unaware that he is being watched by two
As they talk, Domino spots the men and reveals that they work
for her 'guardian' who owns the large yacht anchored in the bay.
Bond lets slip that he knows Domino's nickname but she fails to
succumb to his charms, refusing an offer to join him for dinner
and returning to the yacht.
That evening, Bond wiles away the hours at a casino where he again
runs into Domino, this time at the side of Largo. Bond takes on
Largo in a game of cards and uses the word 'spectre' to see if he
gets a response. Having beaten Largo at baccarat, Bond finally gets
his wish and takes Domino to dinner where she talks briefly about
her brother, apparently unaware that he is dead. They dance for
a while and Domino is just giving in to Bond's charms when Largo
arrives and takes her away.
Next morning, Bond scores with a clearly very interested receptionist,
then calls on Paula but finds her missing. Reviewing a recording
made by a tape machine hidden in a book, he realises that Paula
may be in trouble. He's exploring her apartment when one of the
men who had been watching him earlier arrives at the door. Bond
punches him in the stomach to silence him, the finds a man lurking
in the shower who he scalds out with hot water. The man at the
door turns out to be Felix Leiter, and Bond lets the man in the
shower go, telling him to report back to Largo. On the Disco Volante,
Largo is so displeased with his man that he has him thrown to
Teaming up with Paula, Bond and Leiter visit a secret British
facility where he is met by Q in shorts and a fetching Bermuda
top! Q hands over a Geiger counter disguised as a watch; an underwater
camera with infra red capability; a miniature Veri pistol; a tiny
breathing device capable of delivering up to four minutes emergency
oxygen; and a radioactive pill so that HQ can keep track of Bond.
Back in London, the government receives the terms of SPECTRE's
demands. It's now looking more certain than ever that they might
have to pay up. But M has received word from Bond which they might
all want to hear...
That night, Bond uses scuba gear to sneak upon the Disco Volante
but is ambushed by a frogman wielding a speargun. An underwater
fight breaks out which is monitored from the bridge by Largo.
When his man fails to deal with Bond, who gets photographs of
the hull of the yacht, Largo orders his men to lob hand grenades
over the side. Bond manages to fake his own death and evades capture
by a group of men aboard a speedboat, returning safely to shore.
He's picked up by Volpe who takes him on a hair-raising high speed
car ride back to the hotel where both of them are staying.
Bond has his photographs developed and shows Leiter an underwater
hatch beneath the yacht. They realise that the whole operation took
place underwater which is why no-one saw the plane land anywhere.
Working out how far the yacht might have travelled on the night
in question, Bond and Leiter set off aboard a helicopter to search
for the crashed plane. On the way back, they fly over Largo's home
where he is clay pigeon shooting with Volpe who seems to outrank
him - she vows that when the time is right, she will kill Bond herself.
Bond pays a visit to Largo's home and the pair engage in wordplay,
each hinting that they know the true identity of the other. Bond
is introduced to Largo's sidekicks, Yanni and Vargas, before showing
off his shooting prowess on the beach. Largo shows Bond his collection
of pet sharks, then asks Bond to accompany Domino to the Junkanoo
parade, the local equivalent of a Mardi Gras, as he will be busy
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Paula is visited by Volpe who claims
to be looking for Bond as they have arranged a date. Suddenly,
Vargas appears and overpowers Paula while Volpe retrieves the
photographs of the Disco Volante.
At the parade, Bond spots Leiter calling to him and learns that
Paula has gone missing. He leaves Leiter to look after Domino
and sets into action a plan to find Paula. He arranges for an
island-wide power cut then mounts a one-man assault on Largo's
mansion, convinced that Paula is being held there. But rather
than give anything away, Paula has swallowed a cyanide capsule
and is dead by the time Bond finds her.
Bond's presence in the mansion is discovered and he is forced
to flee, pursued by Largo's gunmen. During a struggle, he and
one of Largo's men fall into a swimming pool. Largo seals them
in using a motorised metal cover, then has his men release the
sharks. Bond kills his opponent and, using his portable breathing
device, is able to escape down the sharks' access tunnel as they
pay attention to the dead man.
Bond returns to the hotel room and breaks into Volpe's room,
finding her in the bath. When she asks him to pass her something
to put on, he hands her a pair of sandals and sits back in a chair
to see what will happen! Inevitably, they end up in bed together
but it turns out to have been a trap and, afterwards, Bond is
captured by Volpe, Yanni and Vargas.
En route to Largo's mansion, the car is held up by the parade
and Bond manages to escape, despite a minor bullet wound to the
leg. He is pursued through the teeming crowds by the trio of killers.
He eventually finds himself in the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang club where
he tends to his wound then tries to hide himself in the crowd
of dancers. But Volpe cuts in and they dance for a while, exchanging
threats. When one of the gang of assassins who have converged
on the club tries to shoot Bond, he whirls Volpe around and lets
her take bullet instead, sitting her body in a chair. The terrified
assassins flee and Bond is able to escape.
Back in England, plans are under way to deliver the money and
diamonds to SPECTRE's drop point. M defends Bond against criticism
Back in Nassau, Bond has resumed his search for the missing Vulcan
bomber. He becomes suspicious of The Golden Grotto, a cove full
of sharks and moves in for a closer look, eventually spotting the
camouflaged aircraft. While Leiter picks off the sharks with a rifle,
Bond dives to the bottom to examine the bomber. He finds that the
bombs are missing and then discovers Palazzi dead in the cockpit
and retrieves some of his personal belongings before returning to
Later, while scuba diving, Bond finds Domino also diving and
actually makes love to her underwater! Returning to shore, he
tells her that her brother is dead, showing her the watch and
dog tags he took from Polazzi's body. He explains what he knows
about Largo and asks for Domino's help. She's furious, believing
that Bond was only interested in her because he wanted to get
to Largo. But he persuades her of the seriousness of the situation
and she agrees to help finding the bombs hidden aboard the yacht.
She tells him about a small bridge over Largo's private canal
which Largo will allow no-one near. His curiosity piqued, Bond
sets off to investigate and finds a flight of steps leading down
into the sea and a large group of men gathered nearby preparing
for a dive. He finds some discarded diving gear and swallows Q's
That night, Largo leads his men on another underwater mission,
swimming out to the Disco Volante and entering through the secret
hatch. Once on board, Largo sets off for Miami, their designated
target area, unaware that Bond has taken the place of one of his
men and has also sneaked aboard the yacht. One of the bombs is
taken off the Disco Volante aboard a small submersible and placed
on the seabed. Bond is discovered and an underwater pursuit takes
place, Bond fending off Largo's speargun wielding hitmen.
On the yacht itself, Domino uses Bond's Geiger counter watch
to search for the other warhead but is discovered by a furious
Largo. He tortures Domino for information but is interrupted by
a henchman who tells him that the bomb has been activated.
Bond has turned up on shore in Florida and is tracked down by
Leiter who follows the signal from his radioactive pill. Using
a Coast Guard helicopter, Leiter rescues Bond and he directs him
to Orlando Beach where the bomb has been hidden.
Largo's team of divers are patrolling the area around the bomb when
a crack unit of US Navy frogmen parachutes into the area and engages
them in combat. Furious hand-to-hand fighting breaks out as Bond
uses the distraction to go after the bomb itself. He ends up beneath
the Disco Volante in pursuit of Largo, as the US navy converges
on the yacht. But Largo has a surprise for them. The Disco Volante
suddenly splits into two, the front half transforming into a high
speed hydrofoil that easily outruns the pursuing naval vessels..
The remaining section is easily destroyed.
Bond has managed to climb aboard the speeding Disco Volante along
one of the hydroplanes and confronts Largo in hand-to-hand combat
on the bridge. Meanwhile, one of his flunkies, fearing for his
life, has freed Domino. Bond is about to be shot by Largo when
Domino arrives and skewers him with a speargun.
But their celebrations are short lived as they are forced to
abandon the hydrofoil as it careers out of control towards rocks.
Bond, Domino and the surviving flunky leap overboard and the yacht
explodes as it runs aground. Retrieving an inflatable dingy and
a balloon marker, Bond and Domino embrace and are whisked away
to safety when a USAF bomber equipped with special gear on its
nose cone snags the balloon's wires and hauls them away.