Thunderball (1965) - Rotten Tomatoes


Thunderball (1965)



Critic Consensus: Lavishly rendered set pieces and Sean Connery's enduring charm make Thunderball a big, fun adventure, even if it doesn't quite measure up to the series' previous heights.

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Movie Info

Thunderball finds James Bond matching wits with the sinister espionage organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E, (which stands for Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion). This time, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. hijacks a NATO nuclear bomber, hiding the bombs under the ocean depths and threatening to detonate the weapons unless a ransom of 100,000,000 pounds is paid. The mastermind behind this scheme is international business executive Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), who maintains a pool full of sharks for the purpose of eliminating enemies and those henchmen who fail to come up to standard. Dispatched to the Bahamas, lucky Mr. Bond enjoys the attentions of three nubile ladies: Largo's mistress Domino Derval (Claudine Auger), British spy Paula Caplan (Martine Beswick, previously seen as a gypsy girl in the 1962 Bond epic From Russia With Love) and enemy agent Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi).

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Sean Connery
as James Bond
Adolfo Celi
as Emilio Largo
Claudine Auger
as Domino Derval
Luciana Paluzzi
as Fiona Volpe
Rik Van Nutter
as Felix Leiter
Rick van Nutter
as Felix Leiter
Guy Doleman
as Count Lippe
Molly Peters
as Patricia Fearing
Martine Beswick
as Paula Caplan
Lois Maxwell
as Miss Moneypenny
Paul Stassino
as Major Derval/Angelo Palazzi
Rose Alba
as Mme. Boitier
Leonard Sachs
as Group Captain
Roland Culver
as Foreign Secretary
Edward Underdown
as Air Vice Marshall
Maryse Guy Mitsouko
as Mlle. La Porte
Bob Simmons
as Jacques Boitier
Harold Sanderson
as Hydrofoil Captain
Anthony Dawson
as Ernst Stavro Blofeld
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Critic Reviews for Thunderball

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (8)

If Thunderball's gimmickry seems to overreach at times, Actor Connery gains assurance from film to film, by now delivers all his soppiest Jimcracks martini-dry.

October 13, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Slightly bloated Bond, with too much technology for my taste and a climactic slaughter that's a little too mindless to be much fun.

May 6, 2008

There's visible evidence that the reported $5.5 million budget was no mere publicity figure; it's posh all the way.

May 6, 2008 | Full Review…

The fourth Bond, marking the point at which spectacular hardware began to dominate the series. Sleek and quite fun all the same.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The color is handsome. The scenery in the Bahamas is an irresistible lure. Even the violence is funny. That's the best I can say for a Bond film.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…

Two Bond staples, gratuitous sex and violence, are captured in Thunderball's underwater-photography scenes, and they still look incredible 25 years later.

October 1, 2003
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Thunderball

"...And he STRIKES!!! Like Thunderbolt!!!" (Gotta love that Tom Jones theme song) A bit overlong but still remains my personal favorite Sean Connery-era James Bond film. Great larger-than-life set pieces perfectly balanced out by carefully crafted slow-burn suspense sequences. Terence Young (Dr. No, From Russia with Love) returns to helm and I think this movie demonstrates that he was by far one of the franchises best directors next to Martin Campbell, John Glen, and Sam Mendes. Connery gives probably his most self-assured performance yet as James Bond and Fiona Volpe (played wonderfully by the beautiful Luciana Paluzzi) remains one of my favorite femme fetales of the series next to Xenia Onatopp of "Goldeneye." The usual make-or-break element of this film are the extensive underwater sequences, but personally I love them. They are gorgeously shot and the epic underwater battle between the good and evil Spectre army is fantastic.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

"Thunderball" may not be a crowd favourite, but I really got a kick out of the story in this film and how well the underwater action scenes presented themselves. The action is top-notch and I could easily re-watch this film for that reason alone. As always, the acting is fantastic by the entire cast, especially Sean Connery, and all the elements of a great Bond film are present. It is definitely not without it's overlong running time, but if you sit through the film and be patient, you will get was you deserve. This film has great direction and very solid effects for it's time. "Thunderball" is one of the better bond films I've seen.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Though the gadgets get too gimmicky and the climax feels like anything but, 'Thunderball' is significant because it is carried by Connery's most assured performance as Bond.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

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