When two colleagues of James Bond are murdered, James follows the widow of a double agent who has been killed - and a confrontation ensues. The double agent is part of SPECTRE, and the organization's meeting in a secret lair in Paris regrets the agent's passing as it deals with new criminal business. Emilio Largo, a ruthless and flamboyant one-eyed enforcer, has hatched a scheme against the North Atlantic Treaty powers that begins at a rehabilitation clinic near an RAF airbase. Scheduled to pilot an RAF Vulcan strategic bomber on a normal "fail-safe" flight is Francois Derval, who is having a passionate affair with the magnificently endowed beauty Fiona Volpe - an affair that SPECTRE exploits. Soon, the Vulcan and its warload of two nuclear bombs has been hijacked, the bombs seized by Largo, for use in SPECTRE's most audacious extortion scheme yet. James Bond, however, finds a key clue in the sister of Francois Derval, Dominique "Domino" Derval, a beautiful young woman who is a passionate scuba-diver living in Nassau. When James investigates Domino, he comes into contact with a SPECTRE operation on the island, and he gets help from HMSS' man in Nassau, Pinder, and in old CIA chum Felix Leiter. But when James and Felix find out what SPECTRE is up to, it may be to late to save a major US coastal city from nuclear annihilation. (Written by Michael Daly)
Produced by Albert R. Broccoli & Harry Saltzman
Directed by Terence Young
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum, John Hopkins based on an original story by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and Ian Fleming
World Premiere 9th December 1965 (Tokyo, Japan)
UK Release Date 29th December 1965
US Release Date 21st December 1965
Worldwide Box Office $141,200,000 US
Budget $9,000,000 US
Running Time 130 Minutes
France; Shrublands Clinic; London; Nassau; the Bahamas and other surrounding islands.
Although asked by Emilio Largo, Dominique ‘Domino’ Derval and Fiona Volpe his name, Bond does not use his standard introduction at all in Thunderball.
Tom Jones reportedly fainted after recording the high note at the end of the theme song.
A scene was cut from the final film that had Domino's bikini rising from the seabed when Bond and Domino disappear between the coral during their love scene. This was cut for being too suggestive.
The carnival sequence, the annual Junkanoo, was re-enacted by locals just for the Bond cameras, although in some scenes the homemade posters read '007'.
Martine Beswick is well-tanned in the film, but before shooting she was pale white due to years of stage work in England. So before filming in Nassau she was required to spend some two weeks sunning herself to get the proper tan of a native girl.
The underwater breather was actually just a prop and required the user to hold their breath whilst underwater.
The underwater propulsion unit at the end of the film was actually powered by a piece of wire that was dragged by a speedboat on the surface.
When the hydrofoil of the Disco Volante exploded at the end of the film, the explosion broke all the windows along Nassau's Bay Street - 30 miles away! §
Selected behind the scenes information courtesy IMDb.