Bond: Sean Connery
Classic, Cheese or Crap? CLASSIC
Thunderball. This movie practically defines why the Bond series should be considered Classic. From Tom Jones belting out the opening theme to the airlift rescue at the end, everything about this movie oozes 1960s cold war era cool. Bond uses a jet pack. The villain tries to kill him by locking him in a shark tank. He beds like 3, 4 different women (no matter which side they’re on) and they’re all gorgeous. The finale is an under water speargun war between about 200 parachuting frogmen. I’m not kidding. I mean, the villain wears an eyepatch! COME ON!! That’s AWE-some
This is the fourth movie in the Bond franchise, and the immediate successor to the smash global phenomenon Goldfinger. How could they top that? They could top it by making everything “bigger”. (Goldfinger’s budget? $3,000,000. Thunderball’s? $9,000,000) You can tell the scope of this movie is enormous, and that its budget must have been huge. It’s still an older movie though, so be forewarned… even though there’s a lot of action, its definitely slow by today’s standards.
But it really shouldnt matter much, as it’s chock full of gorgeous locations, gorgeous women, and fantastic bond gadgets.
The plot revolves around the theft of a fighter jet armed with nuclear missles. The international terrorist organization SPECTRE takes credit and demands ransom from the world’s governments. Bond is sent to investigate the sister of the jet’s missing pilot, and of course winds up uncovering the entire SPECTRE plot. Along the way he faces off against assasins, sharks, and the evil, one eyed, Emilio Largo! In the end, he saves the World, gets the girl, and makes it all look cool.
This movie is probably the high point of the Connery Bonds. If I were forced to debate between Goldfinger and this one, my head might explode. Its worth a brief mention that this was the film Kevin McClory collaborated on, leading to several years worth of lawsuits, and eventually, “Never Say Never Again” - which is a loose remake. It’s also the last film before Connery began to ask out. Even though the next film (You Only Live Twice) is also classic, you can tell Connery was less than thrilled there reprising his role, and that will always diminish that movie for me. Thus, this is the last great, and arguably the best, of the “Connery in his prime” Bonds.