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Thunderball James Bond Movie (1965) Sean Connery
James Bond actors
Running Time: 125 minutes
Svensk titel: Åskbollen
Premiärdatum, England: 17 december 1965. USA: 29 december 1965. Sverige: 26 december 1965. Längd: 129 minuter.
Producent: Kevin McClory.
Exekutiva producenter: Harry Saltzman & Albert R Broccoli, Eon Productions.
Regi: Terence Young. Manus: Richard Maibaum & John Hopkins.
Foto: Ted Moore. Scenografi: Ken Adam. Klippning: Peter Hunt.
Musik: John Barry. Filmbolag: United Artists.
Titelmelodi: Thunderball, framförd av Tom Jones (Musik: John Barry, text: Don Black)
plans an intricate scheme to lure James Bond into stealing a valuable Soviet decoding machine, and unknowingly deliver it into their hands. In the process, Agent 007 is to suffer a humiliating and disgraceful death.
Summary: The thrills never stop as Agent 007 goes above the call of duty - and to the bottom of the ocean - to track down a villainous criminal who's holding millions hostage and threatening to plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust!
Review: Released at the pinnacle of Bond fever, Thunderball is the one of the best and most popular of all the Bond films. With its exotic locals, beautiful women (both bad and good), a sinister villain, casino scenes, fast cars, big explosions and the original Bondian underwater fight, Thunderball was such a success that shortly after its release the Paramount Theater in New York City had to run the film 24 hours a day to meet the demand.
The Bond girls are great; Fiona Volpe is the most memorable villainess in any Bond movie. She is cold hearted, smart and deadly, all while exuding an aura of beauty and sultriness. Even Domino, who is a bit of a one-dimensional character (not a big surprise considering the era the movie was released in), has her shining moments and proves herself to be stronger than she appears by eventually killing Largo.
Emilio Largo often gets a bad rap as being too "soft" to be a truly memorable villain, which is a statement I wholeheartedly disagree with. The scene between him and Bond in the casino in Nassau is brilliant, with these two strong men in a public battle of whit, each fully knowing who the other is. I also love the cruelty Largo's ordering Quist thrown into the shark tank. So, while in reality Largo is just another henchman for Blofeld, I still like him better than other classic villains including Goldfinger and Dr. No.
Thunderball also features the original Bondian underwater battle. Between the backdrop of the crystal blue Caribbean waters and the pure scale of two armies fighting underwater, Thunderball truly proves that no one does it better.
Summary: Sean Connery returns as James Bond in this thrill-a-minute adventure with blistering action, romance, and high-tech gadgetry. The evil organization SPECTRE has hatched a plan to steal a decoder that will access Russian state secrets and irrevocably unbalance the world order. It is up to James Bond to seize the device first, but he must confront enemies that include Red Grant and the ruthless Rosa Klebb, a former KGB agent with poison-tipped shoes. Even as Bond romances a stunning Soviet defector, he realizes he is being lured into a deadly trap, and he will need all of his courage, abilities and cutting-edge technology to triumph over the forces that seek to destroy him.
Review: Perhaps the most realistic and down-to-earth movie of the series, From Russia With Love is the perfect Bond movie and my favorite of the series. Sean Connery is in the prime of his Bondian career both physically and in terms of his portrayal of the character. While many consider Goldfinger to be his best movie, I feel that he was a bit too comfortable in it. In From Russia With Love, he still seems a bit wet around the collar, which is perfect for an agent on his second mission. Connery is also most like Ian Fleming’s version of 00: something that gets lost in his later films.
As for the film itself, the tone is set early when Red Grant kills a Bond double during the opening sequence, showing the audience that this man is Bond’s equal, even if it is not Bond himself. As the movie continues, Bond must rely on his skills as a secret agent and his God-given talents, not on Q’s gadgets and dumb luck. The plot itself is brilliant yet simple; spies don’t spend their lives battling megalomaniac villains bent on world domination. Rather, the espionage aspect of this film seems like something Bond would be more suited for in real life.
Another wonderful aspect of From Russia With Love is that it continues the Blofeld/SPECTRE arc that was begun in Dr No. Blofeld’s introduction and utilization is well done, not giving away too much of who he will become in the Bond universe while still impressing the diabolical nature of his character. There is no need to see his face yet, as he is a mere puppet-master in the film.
The true villains of the movie, Rosa Klebb and Red Grant, are brilliantly developed characters and two of the most memorable of the series. Klebb’s shoe goes down as one of the best villain “gadgets” ever and the battle between Bond and Red Grant aboard the Orient Express shows the true brutality of Bond’s job as well as just how much of a trained assassin he is. Even Kronsteen, who has minimal time, is a sinister and brilliant henchman who is a perfect fit for the film.
Of course, what would a Bond film be without the Bond Girls. First, Sylvia Trench returns for a little rendezvous with Bond in the beginning of the movie and later the gypsy battle between Zora and Vida provides some fantastic eye-candy. However, the screen really heats up when Tatiana Romanova first meets Bond in bed, wearing only a bowtie. Tatiana is, in my opinion, the most beautiful Bond girl in the series and, despite being in an early Bond movie, she is still a strong woman.
To conclude, From Russia With Love excels in that it takes its
time, develops the characters and makes the viewer care for the people on
the screen. In addition, it manages to avoid the “dragging” feeling
prevalent in so many of the early Bond films and moves quickly enough to
not lose the viewer’s interest no matter how many times it is viewed.
So, due to amazing characters and their development, stunning locations, a
classic plot and James Bond at his best, I can safely declare From
Russia With Love as my favorite in the series.
Luciana Paluzzi (Fiona Volpe)
Dominique 'Domino' Derval (Claudine Auger)
Molly Peters (Patricia Fearing)
Paula Caplin (Martine Beswick)
Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) S.P.E.C.T.R.E NR 1
James Bond (Sean Connery)
Claudine Auger - Dominique 'Domino' Derval
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