Thunderball (Special Edition)
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
I noted that this is the only Bond film of the entire series that, to date, has not received a single 1-star review here on Amazon. That's pretty dang good!

Director Terrence Young had introduced us to Bond in DR. NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Guy Hamilton then took us down the GOLDFINGER road, and while his attention to action made that the first SMASH Bond film, he also seemed to lose alot of the more down-to-earth flavor that made the first two Bonds so much better.

But, Terrence Young returned for his final Bond film, and somehow managed to provide the perfect mesh of the realistic Bond from the first two films, and the more action-oriented Bond of GOLDFINGER. The result is a very happy marriage indeed - it's just too bad there were very few legitimate children born of it!

THUNDERBALL contains all the great locales, villains, and Bond coolness that we love, without getting into the ridiculous, gadget-filled territory of the later films. It introduces us to our first true Bond femme fatale, and also gives us the first really interesting Bond girl in Claudine Auger's Domino character.

The music in the movie by John Barry is very nice, high-lighting the slower pace of much of the film. This movie is longer than the previous three by almost 20 minutes, and it is a nice extra cushion to really build the tension. In fact, Bond is largely absent from the first 45 minutes of the movie, and we finally see more of the villians plans - what they are and how they are being accomplished - in almost meticulous detail. Somehow, this makes the threat more real. Speaking of the threat, the plot being about terrorists stealing nukes and demanding ransom to prevent blowing up an undesignated city, is as fresh as today's headlines!

The only real gripe that can be levied at the film is that Connery does indeed seem a little less interested in the role than he had been. I think he's still mostly on track here, but he's missing the total devotion that he showed in the first three films.

That aside, THUNDERBALL is simply the best Bond - offering everything that makes Bond great, and eliminating all the over-the-top sillieness that made the later films so excruciating to sit through!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
In the wake of the enormous success of GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL became one of the most anticipated films in cinema history. "Bondmania" was at a fever pitch in the 1960s and that lended a certain air of confidence to the cast and crew. By Bond's fourth adventure, everyone was assured of success and everything was done on the largest scale possible. THUNDERBALL is often regarded, along with GOLDFINGER, as one of the better Bond films. It contains all of the elements of a good Bond flick at a time when Bond was not tired or clichéd. Bond's fourth adventure finds him taking to the sea, culminating in some of the most spectacular underwater fight footage ever recorded. And with Terence Young once again taking the director's chair after his temporary hiatus, the audience and the film is in good hands.

After the opening "gun barrel" sequence, re-shot for the first time in widescreen format with Sean Connery playing the part, we are greeted with the opening pre-credits "teaser." Audiences loved GOLDFINGER's teaser and the producers knew that they would have to arise to the occasion. We find Bond in France discreetly attending the funeral of Colonel Jacques Bouvar, SPECTRE's Number Six, who we learn is personally responsible for the death of two of Bond's colleagues. Thanks to Bond's sharp eyes, he determines that the Colonel has faked his own death and Bond makes it a priority to finish the job personally. After a brutal fight sequence, Bond strangles Bouvar and escapes using a jet pack. The Bell Rocket Belt used was a functioning jet pack, capable of a flight time of twenty one seconds. The scene is spectacular, all the more so because of the real jet pack. Bond makes his way to his waiting Aston Martin DB5 (first seen in GOLDFINGER) and prevents his enemies from reaching him with the use of rear-firing water canons--a new feature of the DB5. The water rushes over the screen and seamlessly morphs into the opening credits. Maurice Binder serves up a great title sequence featuring the naked silhouettes of female swimmers being chased by armed scuba divers. The colors are rich and vibrant and maintain the visual themes of the previous title sequences. Tom Jones belts out the title track, containing some awkward lyrics about our protagonist. I suppose it's hard to work Thunderball into song lyrics, leaving us only with "He strikes...like Thunderball."

The plot of the film is, once again, larger than life and would end up being a frequently copied and parodied theme. SPECTRE, this time represented by one-eyed Number Two, Monsieur Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), has managed to penetrate NATO forces and hijack two nuclear missiles. SPECTRE threatens to destroy two cities if NATO does not agree to cough up 280 million. It is described as SPECTRE's most ambitious project to date. Blofeld makes his second appearance, though once again we cannot see his face, in a secret French lair. The set is wonderful, containing a long table with all of SPECTRE's top officials present. Here we meet Numbers Seven, Ten, Five (obviously, they have replaced the previous Number Five of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE), Nine, and Eleven. We also get a sense of the range of SPECTRE's activities (blackmail, assassination, crime consultation, and narcotics) and also the brutal efficiency of Number One, who kills Number Nine on suspicion of embezzlement. It is a sign to all those present of what the consequences of failure are. Number Two must not fail in his NATO plans!

The first part of the film is filled with wonderful espionage as we learn how SPECTRE has penetrated NATO security. The actual hijacking of the missiles is spectacular. After SPECTRE has transmitted its demands to Britain, MI6 is called into action to find those missiles at all costs. All of the 00 agents are called in on this one and sent to different parts of the world to try and discover the hiding place before it is too late. Bond asks to be reassigned to Nassau because he believes he has a lead on the case, stemming from his experiences early on in the film. Of course, his instincts are correct and soon Bond finds himself playing a game of cat and mouse with Emilio Largo, who is all to aware of who Bond is and what he intends to do. What follows is a terrific storyline in which Bond inches his way closer to Largo's operation to discover the villain's secrets, with all of the destruction, love-making, and mayhem that entails.

Many have complained that THUNDERBALL is too long (at 130 minutes) and that the last half hour of the film is incredibly slow. Shot entirely underwater, the last bit of the film can seem long due to the slow movement of underwater action. But I do not think its pace suffers at all. I can remember seeing the film on television and thinking that it was a bit dull. But with the enhanced sound of the score pushing the beautifully restored images of the Ultimate Edition, I believe these sequences shine. They truly look spectacular and it is certainly the most ambitious underwater fight sequence I've ever seen. A seemingly endless supply of divers swim from all angles, launching an equally endless supply of harpoons at each other. The underwater images are surprisingly clear and we can honestly say that we haven't seen anything quite like it before (or since). Bond breaks new ground here and I think the action is as suspenseful as ever. In fact, the lack of sound underwater (besides the score) can actually increase the tension of the moment, in a manner reminiscent of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, produced three years later).

Connery, once again, is impeccable as Bond. Reunited with director Terence Young, whom many say is the real inspiration for Bond's class and sophistication, Connery plays the role with a renewed sense of vigor and style. I particularly enjoyed the increasing chemistry between Q (Desmond Llewelyn) and Connery. If they were slightly antagonistic in GOLDFINGER, they are thoroughly annoyed with each other here. Q is back with a host of new gadgets suited to the underwater nature of the film: a homing device pill that Bond can swallow, a watch that doubles as a Geiger counter, a waterproof camera that doubles as a Geiger counter, a mini signal flare, and a small rebreather (capable of giving Bond an extra few minutes of air underwater in a pinch). Bond is fitted with these devices in the field and, naturally, they all get put to use before the film is out.

The Bond girls in THUNDERBALL are some of the most beautiful Bond girls of all. Former Miss France, Claudine Auger, plays the main role of Domino Derval, an absolutely stunning beauty who proves to be both elegant and athletic. Her beauty and grace remind me of Audrey Hepburn. She is everything a Bond girl can hope to be. Opposite her is the film's female protagonist, femme fatale Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi), a deadly girl who seduces Bond (or is it Bond who seduces her?). Unfortunately, their play is not long lived, for the girl capable of stopping traffic with her beauty is also capable of stopping bullets--particularly when Bond throws her deliberately into their path! Also of Bond girl note is Bond's assistant, Paula Caplan, played by Martine Beswick. Bond fans will remember her as first appearing in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE as Zora the gypsy dancer.

Our villain Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), for my tastes, is a bit bland. Perhaps it is because he seems merely SPECTRE's pawn, but Largo seems to lack the necessary evil of his predecessors. Of course, he is evil. But he is out for blackmail money and doesn't seem personally invested in the affair other than to generate profit for SPECTRE. Besides his personal shark pool and his excellent taste for women, there really isn't much going for him. Indeed, Bond's immediate threats in this film seem to revolve around the dangers of being underwater--hand grenades used as depth charges, killer sharks, and an army of henchmen armed with powerful harpoons--rather than from menacing villains and uniquely skilled henchmen. Whatever the case, THUNDERBALL still manages to be a roaring success and the action is still quite good. It won't be the last time that the evil villains are left a little underdeveloped.

All in all, I believe THUNDERBALL is one of the best of the Bond series. Connery is fantastic in his role, Terence Young's directing is superb, the women are some of the most beautiful we have seen yet, and the action breaks new ground in special effects. Make sure that you get the 2-disc Ultimate Edition set. The Ultimate Edition, like all of these releases, is absolutely wonderful. The DTS sound is amazing and really bring the action and John Barry's terrific score to life. The picture is amazing and blows the old television and DVD releases out of the water (I had to say it). Plus, it is packed with extras, including a "Making of" documentary, a documentary about the "Thunderball Phenomenon" created by the film, and a 45 minute television production released at the time exploring "The World of James Bond." I highly recommend it to any Bond fan or anyone interested in classic action pictures. THUNDERBALL holds up well to the test of time.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
THUNDERBALL (1965) the fourth of the James Bond 007 series is among the best of the films. As a follow-up to the phenomenally successful and definitive GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL is just a shade less satisfying. In terms of tone and composition the two films are of an era in the James Bond mythology.
Sean Connery returns as the inimitable British Secret Agent, this time set against SPECTRE Agent Number Two, Largo (Adolfo Celi). SPECTRE has stolen an atomic bomb and is holding the world hostage.
Largo is a worthy adversary. Strongly-built, silver-haired, wearing an eyepatch, and more physically intimidating than Gert Frobe's plump Goldfinger, Celi's Largo lacks the faintly tongue-in-cheek air which animated Goldfinger's behavior. In fact, the entire film lacks the decidedly humorous undertone of GOLDFINGER. The villains are more vicious, and Connery's Bond, his wit more honed than ever, is playing for keeps.
The theme song (with Tom Jones singing), plot and story are at least on a par with the predecessor film; however, the action, based in the Caribbean, takes place largely around, and under, water, and the film drags deplorably during most of the underwater sequences despite the fact that one of these is the climactic fight scene. The change in tempo between land and undersea action is jarring and detracts from the movie in a manner that its innate excellence in other respects cannot compensate.
Of course, Bond successfully seduces just about every woman on the set (except for Miss Moneypenny, the Penelope of the series). While he is able to win an ally in Domino (Claudine Auger), he is less successful with others, though as he admits, after all, it is "all for King and Country." What a sense of selfless sacrifice the man has!
THUNDERBALL was later remade as NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN in which Connery, still trim, fit, and feisty (but with toupee) returned to the James Bond role after more than a decade's hiatus. The remake is great to watch as a counterpoint to the original.
While THUNDERBALL is not as much fun as GOLDFINGER, if all subsequent Bond films could have been as good as THUNDERBALL, even Timothy Dalton would have been a tolerable 007. Let's give this one FOUR AND A HALF STARS.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This movie was the next in the Bond series after Goldfinger. This movie builds upon the tradition of the previous movie, giving you more of everything. More gadgets, more action, more involved plot, an even more nefarious villain, and more women.
The plot is simple. S.P.E.C.T.R.E.s #2 man leads a rather complex scheme to steal two nuclear bombs carried by a British Vulcan bomber. All the double-Os are mobilized to find who stole the bombs and to get them back to prevent having to pay the $100 million ransom, a rather princely sum in 1965. Thanks to a fortuitous meeting with Count Lippe (Guy Doleman) at a spa, James Bond believes he may have a lead on where the bombs went. You might guess it is not Canada, where M wanted to send him.
Up until the bombs are captured by Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), this movie is a classic spy movie with minimal gadgets (except right at the very beginning, where Bond gets to escape from a villa with a rocket pack and then zooms off in his Aston-Martin DB-5, which is a fun car in any era with machine guns, ejection seat, and numerous other goodies no spy should be without) and lots of spy movie action. Once Largo takes the bombs, the tech gets higher as does the action.
There is lots of maneuvering in the Bahamas while looking for the bombs until an underwater fight that has to be the best hand-to-hand underwater fight ever filmed, and foreshadows the battle in space in "Moonraker". Of course, Largo has a getaway plan, which involves a hydrofoil, very state-of-the-art in 1965.
There are a number of other fun technical devices that appear throughout the movie, but it is more interesting to find them yourself than have me tell you about them.
The title song was sung by Tom Jones, who in 1965 was near the peak of his popularity, with a large number of hit songs and his own tv show. Tom Jones was perhaps the first well-known pop star to sing a Bond title song, but he would not be the last.
This movie is another of the best of Bond movies. James Bond gets to do some tongue-in-cheek, but again it is very natural and fitting with his super-spy image. There are really bad, bad people. So bad that you would be happy to exterminate them yourself. There are some very lovely and strong women. In fact, one of the opposition is a very strong woman who takes care of Count Lippe in a dramatic way, and then makes an escape that is just as dramatic.
This movie is classic in many ways, and enjoyable time after time. I highly recommend it as a spy film, a Bond film, and a classic 60s film. Somewhat dated, but enjoyably so, it is one of the best of a genre and an era.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2007
This review is not for the Blue Ray edition, which I have not seen. The underwater battle in this DVD is a clipped version of the original. Several shots have been excised from the last third of the sequence. This is very noticeable due to the change in the music. I compared it with my old VHS tape and the version on this supposedly definitive version has been edited.

I have since obtained the Blue Ray and it also has the edited version of the underwater battle.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
In the wake of the enormous success of GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL became one of the most anticipated films in cinema history. "Bondmania" was at a fever pitch in the 1960s and that lended a certain air of confidence to the cast and crew. By Bond's fourth adventure, everyone was assured of success and everything was done on the largest scale possible. THUNDERBALL is often regarded, along with GOLDFINGER, as one of the better Bond films. It contains all of the elements of a good Bond flick at a time when Bond was not tired or clichéd. Bond's fourth adventure finds him taking to the sea, culminating in some of the most spectacular underwater fight footage ever recorded. And with Terence Young once again taking the director's chair after his temporary hiatus, the audience and the film is in good hands.

After the opening "gun barrel" sequence, re-shot for the first time in widescreen format with Sean Connery playing the part, we are greeted with the opening pre-credits "teaser." Audiences loved GOLDFINGER's teaser and the producers knew that they would have to arise to the occasion. We find Bond in France discreetly attending the funeral of Colonel Jacques Bouvar, SPECTRE's Number Six, who we learn is personally responsible for the death of two of Bond's colleagues. Thanks to Bond's sharp eyes, he determines that the Colonel has faked his own death and Bond makes it a priority to finish the job personally. After a brutal fight sequence, Bond strangles Bouvar and escapes using a jet pack. The Bell Rocket Belt used was a functioning jet pack, capable of a flight time of twenty one seconds. The scene is spectacular, all the more so because of the real jet pack. Bond makes his way to his waiting Aston Martin DB5 (first seen in GOLDFINGER) and prevents his enemies from reaching him with the use of rear-firing water canons--a new feature of the DB5. The water rushes over the screen and seamlessly morphs into the opening credits. Maurice Binder serves up a great title sequence featuring the naked silhouettes of female swimmers being chased by armed scuba divers. The colors are rich and vibrant and maintain the visual themes of the previous title sequences. Tom Jones belts out the title track, containing some awkward lyrics about our protagonist. I suppose it's hard to work Thunderball into song lyrics, leaving us only with "He strikes...like Thunderball."

The plot of the film is, once again, larger than life and would end up being a frequently copied and parodied theme. SPECTRE, this time represented by one-eyed Number Two, Monsieur Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), has managed to penetrate NATO forces and hijack two nuclear missiles. SPECTRE threatens to destroy two cities if NATO does not agree to cough up 280 million. It is described as SPECTRE's most ambitious project to date. Blofeld makes his second appearance, though once again we cannot see his face, in a secret French lair. The set is wonderful, containing a long table with all of SPECTRE's top officials present. Here we meet Numbers Seven, Ten, Five (obviously, they have replaced the previous Number Five of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE), Nine, and Eleven. We also get a sense of the range of SPECTRE's activities (blackmail, assassination, crime consultation, and narcotics) and also the brutal efficiency of Number One, who kills Number Nine on suspicion of embezzlement. It is a sign to all those present of what the consequences of failure are. Number Two must not fail in his NATO plans!

The first part of the film is filled with wonderful espionage as we learn how SPECTRE has penetrated NATO security. The actual hijacking of the missiles is spectacular. After SPECTRE has transmitted its demands to Britain, MI6 is called into action to find those missiles at all costs. All of the 00 agents are called in on this one and sent to different parts of the world to try and discover the hiding place before it is too late. Bond asks to be reassigned to Nassau because he believes he has a lead on the case, stemming from his experiences early on in the film. Of course, his instincts are correct and soon Bond finds himself playing a game of cat and mouse with Emilio Largo, who is all to aware of who Bond is and what he intends to do. What follows is a terrific storyline in which Bond inches his way closer to Largo's operation to discover the villain's secrets, with all of the destruction, love-making, and mayhem that entails.

Many have complained that THUNDERBALL is too long (at 130 minutes) and that the last half hour of the film is incredibly slow. Shot entirely underwater, the last bit of the film can seem long due to the slow movement of underwater action. But I do not think its pace suffers at all. I can remember seeing the film on television and thinking that it was a bit dull. But with the enhanced sound of the score pushing the beautifully restored images of the Ultimate Edition, I believe these sequences shine. They truly look spectacular and it is certainly the most ambitious underwater fight sequence I've ever seen. A seemingly endless supply of divers swim from all angles, launching an equally endless supply of harpoons at each other. The underwater images are surprisingly clear and we can honestly say that we haven't seen anything quite like it before (or since). Bond breaks new ground here and I think the action is as suspenseful as ever. In fact, the lack of sound underwater (besides the score) can actually increase the tension of the moment, in a manner reminiscent of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, produced three years later).

Connery, once again, is impeccable as Bond. Reunited with director Terence Young, whom many say is the real inspiration for Bond's class and sophistication, Connery plays the role with a renewed sense of vigor and style. I particularly enjoyed the increasing chemistry between Q (Desmond Llewelyn) and Connery. If they were slightly antagonistic in GOLDFINGER, they are thoroughly annoyed with each other here. Q is back with a host of new gadgets suited to the underwater nature of the film: a homing device pill that Bond can swallow, a watch that doubles as a Geiger counter, a waterproof camera that doubles as a Geiger counter, a mini signal flare, and a small rebreather (capable of giving Bond an extra few minutes of air underwater in a pinch). Bond is fitted with these devices in the field and, naturally, they all get put to use before the film is out.

The Bond girls in THUNDERBALL are some of the most beautiful Bond girls of all. Former Miss France, Claudine Auger, plays the main role of Domino Derval, an absolutely stunning beauty who proves to be both elegant and athletic. Her beauty and grace remind me of Audrey Hepburn. She is everything a Bond girl can hope to be. Opposite her is the film's female protagonist, femme fatale Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi), a deadly girl who seduces Bond (or is it Bond who seduces her?). Unfortunately, their play is not long lived, for the girl capable of stopping traffic with her beauty is also capable of stopping bullets--particularly when Bond throws her deliberately into their path! Also of Bond girl note is Bond's assistant, Paula Caplan, played by Martine Beswick. Bond fans will remember her as first appearing in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE as Zora the gypsy dancer.

Our villain Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), for my tastes, is a bit bland. Perhaps it is because he seems merely SPECTRE's pawn, but Largo seems to lack the necessary evil of his predecessors. Of course, he is evil. But he is out for blackmail money and doesn't seem personally invested in the affair other than to generate profit for SPECTRE. Besides his personal shark pool and his excellent taste for women, there really isn't much going for him. Indeed, Bond's immediate threats in this film seem to revolve around the dangers of being underwater--hand grenades used as depth charges, killer sharks, and an army of henchmen armed with powerful harpoons--rather than from menacing villains and uniquely skilled henchmen. Whatever the case, THUNDERBALL still manages to be a roaring success and the action is still quite good. It won't be the last time that the evil villains are left a little underdeveloped.

All in all, I believe THUNDERBALL is one of the best of the Bond series. Connery is fantastic in his role, Terence Young's directing is superb, the women are some of the most beautiful we have seen yet, and the action breaks new ground in special effects. The Ultimate Edition, like all of these releases, is absolutely wonderful. The DTS sound is amazing and really bring the action and John Barry's terrific score to life. The picture is amazing and blows the old television and DVD releases out of the water (I had to say it). Plus, it is packed with extras, including a "Making of" documentary, a documentary about the "Thunderball Phenomenon" created by the film, and a 45 minute television production released at the time exploring "The World of James Bond." I highly recommend it to any Bond fan or anyone interested in classic action pictures. THUNDERBALL holds up well to the test of time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2007
One of the great things about the hobby of cinema is the ability to re-evaluate films throughout the course of one's lifetime, and note how time and experience can alter our perceptions.

I went with my parents to see Thunderball at age 11, when it premiered in `65, and remember feeling that this highly touted entry to the series didn't live up to my enjoyment of the previous three 007 pictures--particularly Goldfinger. Now, having viewed the re-mastered Thunderball DVD, I'm grateful I refrained from watching Thunderball for over thirty years, as my appreciation for this film has increased tenfold, and I could've killed the experience through over exposure.

True, the film is unusually long and slow-paced, but rather than feeling bored, I luxuriated in every scene, but this wouldn't hold true if any of Connery's successors had been cast in Thunderball instead of him.

His screen presence and ability to suspend our disbelief are the magic of his star-power. My only real complaint, in terms of pacing, was the climactic underwater battle, as it would've been twice as exciting if it had been at least half as long. I always enjoyed the soundtrack, and it's wonderful hearing Barry's score along with the designated action & drama once again.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 1999
In truth, "Thunderball" never impressed me as much as the Bonds that preceded it, but this DVD release has certainly increased my respect for it. In fact, if I had to rate this film before the DVD release, I would have probably only given the film 3 stars. But it deserves 5 in this format, because the wealth of extra goodies really manage to put you back in the sixties so that you can appreciate the film for what it was at the time. I never knew, for example, that it had the biggest gross of any of the Bonds, and, if measured in 1997 dollars, made more money (and certainly a bigger profit) than "Titanic"--and that was when movies were under a buck a head.
Also, this DVD goes a long way to explaining the legal "battle over Bond" between Kevin McClory and Cubby Broccoli which even today threatens to allow McClory to make a second, rival series to MGM's.
But perhaps most impressive is the participation of the Ian Fleming Society in preparing the two alternative sound tracks, which allow many, many members of the cast and crew to explain their involvement with the picture. All the while, the president of the Ian Fleming Society provides background information which neatly ties together the narrative given by the film participants. It's a truly novel approach to secondary audio tracks I've not seen elsewhere in DVD-land.
For anyone weighing the choice between getting this on VHS or DVD, or between getting the regular DVD or special edition, there really is no choice. Buy "Thunderball: Special Edition DVD".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2008
Version: U.S.A / Region-A
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
MPEG-4 AVC BD-50
Running time: 2:10:23
Movie size: 29,00 GB
Disc size: 44,66 GB
Average video bit rate: 23.20 Mbps
Number of chapters: 32

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3436 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 24-bit / 3436kbps (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48kHz / 24-bit / 1536kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 448kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz / 224kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz / 224kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz / 224kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz / 224kbps

Subtitles: English SDH / French / Spanish

#"The Complete Special Features Library: Mission Dossier" - Audio Commentary Featuring Terence Young and Others
#Audio Commentary Featuring Peter Hunt, John Hopkins and Others
#"Declassified: M16 Vault" The Incredible World of James Bond - Original 1965 NBC Television Special
#A Child's Guide to Blowing Up a Motor Car - 1965 Ford Promotional Film On Location With Ken Adam
#Bill Suitor: The Rocket Man Movies
#Thunderball Boat Show Reel
#Selling Bonds - Original 1965 Television Advertisements
#"007 Mission Control" Interactive Guide Into the World of Thunderball
#The Making of Thunderball
#The Thunderball Phenomenon
#The Secret History of Thunderball
#"Ministry of Propaganda" - Original Trailers, TV Spots, Photo Gallery and Radio Communications
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2005
Thunderball was released in 1965, at the height of Bond-mania from the blockbuster smash that was Goldfinger. If Goldfinger was the first film to bring all the classic Bond elements together, then Thunderball is the first time where these elements are truly refined and meshing together. It's all in the little touches, such as how Connery is now in the gun-barrel and the transition to the teaser is smoother, how the budget is now big enough to support all the epic action that Goldfinger sometimes faltered on, and how the whole film is presented in glorious panavision widescreen. It's not hard to see why this film is still a record-holder when you adjust for box-office inflation.

The plot, surprisingly, is probably my least favourite aspect of the movie. This isn't to say that it's bad, but only that a leaner screenplay could've been written. The world's in danger, yet you get no real sense of urgency from Bond, who goes about business like usual. The underwater scenes, for all their superb imagery and cinematography, are long, drawn out, and get tedious (especially when John Barry's score isnt there to boost things). I'm sure they were jaw droppers in 1965 when this kind of filming was still innovative, but today it's fairly common (though no less beautiful). Still, everything else is there. Connery puts in a great performance - he looks a little weary from all the Bond-mania, but the passion is still there, unlike his later entries. And the Bond girls are jaw-dropping beautiful - I'm usually not a sucker for the older Bond girls, but Claudine Auger definitely makes my top 5 list, and I'd have an even bigger crush on her if this film wasn't now 40 years old (though I'm sure she's still got that elegant charm).

MGM's given us a great disc to enjoy Thunderball with. I wish the picture had been restored, as it contains a little too much dirt and grain, but the audio got a good 5.1 mix, and the supplements are very extensive. Of particular interest are the two documentaries and one of the audio commentaries that plays the alternate "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" song over the titles. There's a rumour that MGM will release all the Bond movies again in remastered hi-def versions to coincide with the next Bond film, and Thunderball is definitely one of the ones I'm willing to buy again. Bond Mania at its best indeed.
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You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice by Sean Connery (DVD - 2007)
 
     

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