THUNDERBALL (1965) C widescreen 130m dir: Terence Young
w/Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi, Luciana Paluzzi, Rik Van Nutter, Bernard Lee, Martine Beswicke, Guy Doleman, Molly Peters, Desmond Llewelyn
From Variety's contemporary review of the film: "Sean Connery plays his indestructible James Bond for the fourth time in the manner born, faced here with a $280 million atomic bomb ransom plot. Action, dominating element of three predecessors, gets rougher before even the credits flash on. Richard Maibaum (who coscripted former entries) and John Hopkins's screenplay [based on an original screenplay by Jack Whittingham, from the original story by Kevin McClory, Whittingham and Ian Fleming] is studded with inventive play and mechanical gimmicks. There's visible evidence that the reported $5.5 million budget was no mere publicity figure; it's posh all the way. Underwater weapon-carrying sea sleds provide an imaginative note, as does a one-man jet pack used by Bond in the opening sequence, reminiscent of the one-man moon vehicle utilized by Dick Tracy in the cartoon strip.
"Connery is up to his usual stylish self as he lives up to past rep, in which mayhem is a casual affair.
"Adolfo Celi brings dripping menace to the part of the swarthy heavy who is nearly as ingenious --- but not quite --- as the British agent, whom, among other means, he tries to kill with man-eating sharks.
"Terence Young takes advantage of every situation in his direction to maintain action at fever-pitch."
THUNDERBALL received an Oscar for Best Visual Effects (John Stears).