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Thunderball

If you noticed that almost all of the bad guys including the villain are all Italian, this is no coincidence. The original story involved the Mafia and the villain Emilio Largo as a Mafia chieftain. The story was changed to replace the Mafia with the organization SPECTRE.

While recording the title song, Tom Jones asked the song writer what the phrase "strikes like Thunderball" actually meant. The composer admitted he hadn't the slightest clue.

Legend has is that when recording the title track, Tom Jones had to hold the final note for so long that on one take, he passed out. On some recordings, you can hear his voice tail off.

Little known fact is that this is the first time Sean Connery actually appears as James Bond during the iconic gun barrel opening. Due to unexpected complications in shooting the sequence (mostly due to the camera being unable to focus on both the barrel details and whatever was on the other end simultaneously) a stunt man portrayed Bond largely in silhouette for the intro in 'Dr. No,' which was then re-used for 'From Russia With Love' and 'Goldfinger'. It was only when new camera technology became available that the scene could finally be re-shot in proper definition for this film, with the proper actor playing Bond.

When Bond plus guard fall into the pool and have the shutters close over them Largo gets the gate opened to allow sharks into the pool. When they were shooting this, there was supposed to be a sheet of glass in the water with the sharks on one side, and Sean on the other. Unfortunately, a couple of the sharks got round it and when Sean opens the door to go through to the other pool, he's nose to nose. At this point he's not acting. Watch his face for the genuine look of horror.

This is the only James Bond film in which Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman are not credited for their work done as producers. They are instead only credited as executive producers.

For a very long time, the working title of "Thunderball" was "Mister Kiss Kiss Bang Bang". Indeed, the change of title was so late in the production, that composer John Barry was asked to write a title song called "Mister Kiss Kiss Bang Bang". You can hear the 'alternative' title song in the DVD Special Features section

Last Bond film directed by Terrence Young. He directed Dr. No and From Russia With Love.

When the blackout hits Palmyra, a henchman of Largo's can be heard shouting something. The sentence is in German and says: "Go to Mr. Largo! Tell him the lights are all broken!"

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John Stears won the Oscar for visual effects for his remarkable achievements on this film. Stears did not even realize he had been nominated until his Oscar was delivered to him.

When James Bond arrives at the Nassau Casino, we can see a man seated smoking a cigar. This man is Kevin McClory, the film's producer.

This was originally planned to be the first James Bond film, but the budget at the time did not allow for a shoot of such proportions.

When Bond drives off in his car he first tells a woman that they will meet in "Another time, another place". This is the title of a film that Sean Connery starred in at the beginning of his career.

As a further 'Thunderball' / "Never Say Never Again' reference, 'Emilio Largo's yacht in the film was called the 'Disco Volante', the translation of which, 'Flying Saucer', was the name of 'Max Largo's vessel in McClory's 1983 re-make.

The method used in the end of the movie to pick up Bond and Domino from the life raft is called "sky-hooking". When the retrieved object is picked up, a winch reels it in, line and all (this is not featured in the final shot). It is now barely used, if ever, since helicopters nowadays perform the same job safer and more precisely.

A timely reference to the recent famous British train robbery was inserted into the script at the last moment, which can be heard during the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. meeting during the film's opening credits.

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Mistakes

When James Bond is fighting underwater with an opponent, the opponent rips off James' diving mask (which is blue). Then James rips another mask off another opponent who is lying dead on the ocean floor. This dead opponent's mask is black. James puts on the black mask and then he turns around and the mask is blue again.

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