Bond in Review: Thunderball Part III

In the dossier, Bond is disturbed a bit that the man shown in them is the same man he saw dead at the clinic (or rather, his double). So he asks M to send him to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, based on that hunch. M trusts him, despite the protests of his air force liaison (Who would’ve gone with him to Canada). Moneypenny naturally thinks he’s in it for Duval’s sister, who might have a link to the whole thing-which leads to an awkward moment between M and Moneypenny, with Bond wondering what’s happened to his hat….a bit of an in-joke, perhaps, as Bond would seldom wear the hat from now on (Although it would still show up in the gunbarrels until “Live and Let Die”, and the hat gag would reappear in “one Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and the later Moore years. Bond would also throw his naval hat in the next film. However, by Dalton it’s completely gone).

 

Next, we go to Nassau, and one of my all-time favorite Bond settings, Nassau in the Bahamas, and Bond starts rapid-fire flirting with domino after saving her from getting stuck in the reef.

Bond:I arrived soon after you went down. I’ve been admiring your form.

Domino:Have you, now? Your name’s James Bond and you’ve been admiring my form?

Bond:Most girls just paddle around. – You swim like a man. –

Domino:So do you.

James Bond:Well, I’ve had quite a bit of practice. – Do you come here often? –

Domino:When I’m bored. Practically every day.

Bond:What else do you do, and where? –

Domino:You don’t waste time, do you? –

Bond:No.

Domino (hands him starfish): For effort. 

Bond:Thank you. I’ll wear it, so you’ll know me next time. I was right. Couldn’t miss.

Domino:I’m not with you. 

Bond:Oh, you soon will be.

 

I find Auger-or rather, the woman who dubbed her’s-performance, a bit bland, which is kind of a bit odd since she’s actually the dub artist for most of the early Bond girls-Honey Ryder, Sylvia Trench, Jill Masterson-that’s all her (She even dubbed over some of Jane Seymour’s dialogue in Live And Let Die). Maybe because it’s her trying to do a French accent instead of a British one. However, she’s certainly written as a smart and sassy Bond girl.

We are also introduced to another Bond girl, of sorts, Paula Caplan.  She’s Bond’s main aid here, although it’s unclear if there’s any relationship between them apart from a professional one, although she’s certainly knowledgeable about Bond’s ways:

Bond: Tell London I’ve made contact with the girl.
Paula:It’s not what I’d call contact, but I’ll pass it through. You’ve seen the girl.

Faking a motor malfunction, Bond hitches a ride on Domino’s boat and he continues his flirtation with her, but they’re both being watched-Domino by one of Largo’s henchman, and Bond, by a mysterious man in sunglasses. Gee, where have we seen that before? Bond appears to slip up for a second by mentioning Domino by her name before she told him, but luckily for him she has it on her ankle bracelet.

 

Next, we come to the Casino scene, where Bond and Largo meet formally and each tries to measure each other up, with Bond pretty much trolling Largo’s SPECTRE affiliation: “Yes, I thought I saw a SPECTRE at your shoulder; the SPECTRE of defeat, that your luck was about to change”. Largo doesn’t seem too bugged by it, in fact he shows off his fancy SPECTRE ring. SPECTRE’s got quite a lot of vanity; in fact it’s what gives them away in a different continuity, and it’s certainly what got the ball rolling on this film when Bond noticed Lippe’s Tong tattoo.

After beating Largo at cards, Bond takes Domino for a short dance, still subtly asking for information, and starting to win her over a little.  Largo-although jealous-invites Bond over to his estate. Despite the ring, he’s less obviously up to no good as say, Goldfinger.

 

…and there’s sunglasses guy again.

Bond returns to his hotel, but there’s somebody waiting for him-inside and outside his door. Thankfully, Bond has a hidden recorder. Outside, the man with the sunglasses tries to get in, but Bond sucker-punches him as he says “00….” Bond then quickly turns on the hot water in the shower, stunning Largo’s henchman Quist and disarming him.

Turns out the man with the sunglasses is in fact Felix Leiter-who has once again changed into a different actor, this time more in the Jack Lord style than Cec linder’s kind of clueless goof. The sunglasses he wears are even a callback to that, as Felix wore sunglasses early in Dr.No and we were unsure of his motives then…

Giving Quist his gun back-minus the bullets-Bond allows him to escape, “letting the little fish” back into the sea-and letting Felix know he’d like a look at Largo’s yacht-the “Disco Volante” (Italian for Flying Saucer-although in the remake Never Say Never Again, it actually called simply “Flying Saucer”).

 

Meanwhile, Qwist the “little fish” certainly gets thrown into a body of water for disappointing Largo.  One pool filled with Sharks, which make quick work of Qwist.

 

 

And thus begins the series’s fascination with sharks, who we’ll see even more of later in the movie. Sharks will appear again in “Live and Let Die”, “The Spy Who Loved Me” (as well as the man named “Jaws” after THE Shark movie) “For Your Eyes Only” and most spectacularly in “License to Kill” where they ate poor Felix’s legs…and later the guy who betrayed him. They don’t seem to have shown up that much in the Brosnan and Craig films. I wonder if a certain Bond parody had anything to do with that?

 

Next: Bond pays Largo a few visits, and goes searching for the missing plane and it’s lethal payload, but also comes across Fiona Volpe. Plus, Q stops by with some special toys.

 

 

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