More of the same Mr. Bond ...
Distributed by MGM/UA Home Video
Connery's 4th outing as super smooth spy James Bond 007 saving the world from the ransom of SPECTRE.
After a funeral opener for JB ? Bond has to fight a 'black widow' who turns out to be a fella in drag ( however many times I watch this opening scene I am amazed that she is seen clearly as a blonde lady with veil and later transforms into a guy for the exciting fight scene ). On escape from a French chateau with the aid of power jet pack, the Aston Martin DB5 helps 007 escape with slightly over use of the water hoses which helps lead into the opening 'swimming' titles with Tom Jones singing of ".. and he strikes likes a thunderball". What is a 'Thunderball' ? This allows John Barry to provides another score & song similar to Goldfinger.
The villain, Emilo Largo is played by Adolfo Celi and provides a menacing presence, especially in the company of his lovely escort Domino played by ex-Miss France Claudine Auge. Another voluptuous beauty is played by Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe ( she can lean over me any day ).
Connery delivers some great one-liners especially when disposing of Count Lippe at the health farm. Molly Peters as Patricia tries to tone up our action hero and provides a welcome distraction. We have another 'big' set for SPECTRE's Paris HQ designed by Ken Adam which is similar to Goldfinger's ranch hideout.
The cast includes the usual support from Lee (M) who on Bond's late arrival at a meeting exclaims "Now we are all here !" which brings him down a peg, Maxwell (Moneypenny) and Llewelyn (Q) with more gizmos for the underwater scenes.
I compare this movie with having a sandwich but with a few wrong ingredients ( e.g. the poor end fight with back screen projection ). So you take them out but you still enjoy the sandwich, alas that's my overall feeling with this Bond outing.
Made later as Never Say Never Again with Kim Basinger in the Domino role.
On the ending how did Bond & Domino get down after being 'picked up' by that plane ? ... perhaps a drop in the ocean.
First released in 2006 MGM Home Entertainment brought us James Bond Ultimate Edition 2-Disc DVD set of each of the 20 movies, now in 2008 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment repackage the same 2 MGM discs with a cardboard golden copy cover ( this one with Connery & Auger ) and alas minus the interesting eight page booklet. The format remains the same with disc one having the digitally restored movie and disc two with the extras - Declassified: MI6 Vault, 007 Mission Control, Mission Dossier, Ministry of Propaganda & Image Database. Each menu has a Bond lookalike silhouette, shooting girls, casino chips & cards and gun barrels incorporating photos & music from the movie. A regular feature tucked away in 007 Mission Control with movie snips is a section called Exotic Locations narrated by Maud Octopussy Adams about the filming locations & their history.
For this disc movie audio commentaries comes from director Terence Young & others while a second commentary has Peter Hunt, John Hopkins & others supplying their memories. The sound quality stands out for this particular restoration process. A couple of documentaries that grab your attention - a Ford Motor one with a young Dennis Norden of It'll Be Alright On The Night fame called A Child's Guide to Blowing Up a Motor Car filmed during location shooting at Silverstone racing circuit. Another called The Incredible World of James Bond made by NBC tv with clips from the first 4 movies and a deadpan voice-over recalling the history of our spy. Further documentaries include the usual making of the movie, the phenomenon when the movie was released and its production history. In another section designer Ken Adam voices over his home movies taken during filming. And there's more ..
So another must for the classic Bond fans !