Trivia: 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.

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

Trivia: Legend has it 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.

Trivia: When Bond and the guard fall into the pool and 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.

Trivia: Little known fact: 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.

Trivia: 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.

Trivia: 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.

Trivia: 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.

Trivia: 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.

Trivia: 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.

Trivia: 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!" (01:17:00)


Trivia: 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.

Trivia: 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.

Trivia: 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.

Trivia: 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.

Trivia: Ricou Browning was the Underwater Coordinator for this film. He also played "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" when the Creature was swimming underwater.


Trivia: This was the first Bond film to be released in the USA before the UK.

Continuity mistake: When the Disco Volante separates to escape the cruisers firing on it, the "cocoon" is seen facing the pursuing ships stern-first. When the shot changes to show the gunners firing on the ships, the back half of the "cocoon" has turned completely around. The gunners are firing from the separated mid-section of the Volante, and the stern of the "cocoon" is now facing away from the cruisers, making it easy to see which parts of the scene were filmed live and which were done in the studio.


More mistakes in Thunderball

James Bond: My dear, uncooperative Domino.
Domino: How do you know that? How do you know my friends call me Domino?
James Bond: It's on the bracelet on your ankle.
Domino: So... what sharp little eyes you've got.
James Bond: Wait 'til you get to my teeth.

More quotes from Thunderball

Question: As I watched the end scene I wondered: how do James and Domino intend to return to terra firma? They were whisked out of the boat by the plane and are hanging on the end of a long cord so the plane can't land without them being dragged at high speed along the concrete.

Answer: Look up Skyhook online and you'll find out how it was done. The person hanging from the cable wold be pulled aboard by the plane's crew.

Answer: A helicopter could lower a line to them to attach themselves to. They could then cut the rope and be lowered to safety. A bit outlandish, but this is Bond we are talking about after all.

Grumpy Scot

More questions & answers from Thunderball

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