Thunderball (1965) Tidbits

  • Intended to be the first James Bond film, this screenplay invented the group SPECTRE, which had not appeared in Ian Fleming’s novels but was incorporated into later books.
  • Fleming’s collaborator on the script, Kevin McClory, sued for the rights to Bond and lost, though he was allowed to remake the film (hence, Never Say Never Again).
  • The portable breathing device was so cool the British military wanted to see it; it didn’t really work, of course.
  • The Shrublands resort was actually a converted hotel near Pinewood Studios
  • Disco Volante means Flying Saucer which was the name of Largo’s boat in Never Say Never Again
  • All the underwater sequences were practiced in a parking lot in the Bahamas.
  • In order to accomodate crowds, New York’s Paramount Theatre ran the film 24 hours a day.
  • While filming sequences with the jetpack, Sean Connery and his stuntman had to wear a special Dacron suit so the color would not fade as a result of contact with the jet fuel.
  • The sharks in Largo’s pool were rented at the cost of $500 a day and had to be shipped in every day for filming from an off-shore vessel.
  • During an in-flight stop-over, Aldolfi Celi (Largo) purchased the Ian Fleming’s book Thunderball. Later that week he learned he was to meet with EON productions regarding a part in the film.
  • Thunderball is the only movie which Albert “Cubby” Broccoli was not the executive producer for: it was Kevin McClory due to winning a plagarism suit.
  • Thunderball was supposed to be the first bond movie, but due to legal entaglments with Kevin McClory, Dr. No proceeded as the first.
  • When Bond is in Largo’s pool with the sharks, Sean Connery was actually in the water with the sharks at the same time with no protection of any kind. In the film,when a shark swims by Bond, and Connery has a look of total fear on his face, he is not acting. Connery refused to do the scene more than once.
  • Largo’s (Adolfo Celi) voice was dubbed by Robert Rietty.
  • When Tom Jones recorded the final version of the theme song he actually fainted from lack of oxygen right at the end of the song after sustaining the same high pitched intense note. If you buy the 30th anniversary soundtrack you can actually make out his voice trailing off at the end.
  • In the scene where Bond is shot escaping from Fiona, Bond makes the escape and a henchman shoots Bond in the right calf, but in later scenes his left calf was shot and he put a hankerchief on the left calf at the Kiss Kiss Club.
  • The song MR. KISS KISS BANG BANG sung by Shirley Bassey, was originally supposed to be the main title song, but was changed when the producers felt that Thunderball was more appropriate.