Thunderball is one of my favorite Bond movies. It’s slow and drags on in some places; and some of the special effects, including the boat chase scene at the end, are cheesy looking back at it 40+ years later, but those are the only marks against it in my book.
SPECTRE makes its return in Thunderball — we get an insight into the breadth and depth of this terrorist organization right after the opening credits, several agents in a hidden conference room reporting on the status of various criminal activities around the world. To advance their scheme of stealing nuclear bombs and holding the NATO countries hostage with them, they’ll stop at nothing, including killing their own and their hired help (by electrocution, piranha pit, drowning, shark attack). Not that I’m a fan of evil, but in a Bond film the villians are of the utmost importance — Emilio Largo is brilliantly cold and ruthless, and Luciana Paluzzi makes Fiona Volpe one of the best femmes fatales in the series.
The budget for Thunderball was more than the budget for all three of the first films combined. My guess is that a lot of the reason has to do with all the underwater scenes — the photography equipment and setup and such.
Pat Fearing: Funny-looking bruise. A fall?
James Bond: A poker, in the hands of a widow.
Pat Fearing: Really? I’d have thought you were just the type for a widow.
James Bond: Not this one. He didn’t care for me at all.
Bond: Will I see you again?
Domino: It’s a small island.
Bond: Perhaps we can have dinner together?
Bond: My dear uncooperative Domino.
Domino: How do you know that? How do you know my friends call me Domino?
Bond: It’s on the bracelet on your ankle.
Domino: So, what sharp little eyes you’ve got.
Bond: Wait till you get to my teeth.
Bond: My dear girl, don’t flatter yourself. What I did this evening was for Queen and country. You don’t think it gave me any pleasure, do you?
Fiona: But of course, I forgot your ego, Mr. Bond. James Bond, the one where he has to make love to a woman, and she starts to hear heavenly choirs singing. She repents, and turns to the side of right and virtue… but not this one!