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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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as James Bond
as Emilio Largo
as Domino Derval
as Fiona Volpe
as Felix Leiter
as Felix Leiter
as Count Lippe
as Patricia Fearing
as Paula Caplan
as Miss Moneypenny
as Major Derval/Angelo ...
as Mme. Boitier
as Group Captain
as Foreign Secretary
as Air Vice Marshall
as Mlle. La Porte
as Jacques Boitier
as Hydrofoil Captain
as Ernst Stavro Blofeld
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Critic Reviews for Thunderball
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.
Slightly bloated Bond, with too much technology for my taste and a climactic slaughter that's a little too mindless to be much fun.
There's visible evidence that the reported $5.5 million budget was no mere publicity figure; it's posh all the way.
The fourth Bond, marking the point at which spectacular hardware began to dominate the series. Sleek and quite fun all the same.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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