20 Things You Didn’t Know About Thunderball (1965)

Your days of asking are all gone in James Bond’s fourth adventure: Thunderball!


Thunderball (1965) had big shoes to fill in trying to be bigger and better than Goldfinger (1964), but certainly cemented James Bond’s position as box office gold.

SPECTRE's Number Two agent, Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi) hijacks a Vulcan bomber in mid-air and steals two atomic bombs to hold the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to ransom for £100 million. If NATO does not comply, SPECTRE will detonate the bombs in areas where they will cause maximum damage.

Suspecting an inside job, James Bond (Sir Sean Connery) convinces M (Bernard Lee) to assign him to Nassau in The Bahamas so that he can contact Domino Derval (Claudine Auger), the sister of a NATO officer overseeing the flight. Domino is also Largo’s mistress and Bond immediately suspects the mysterious millionaire, believing that his yacht, the Disco Volante is involved in the plot.

Assisted by his CIA ally, Felix Leiter (Rik Van Nutter), Double-0 Seven also tangles with SPECTRE assassin, Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) in his bid to find and recover the bombs, but gradually realises that Domino may be far more important in stopping Largo than he first thought.

Often touted as “the biggest Bond of all” and certainly one of the most financially successful films in the franchise, Thunderball also has numerous fascinating stories lurking in its depths...


I started writing for WhatCulture in July 2020. I have always enjoyed reading and writing. I have contributed to several short story competitions and I have occasionally been fortunate enough to have my work published. During the COVID-19 lockdown, I also started reviewing films on my Facebook page. Numerous friends and contacts suggested that I should start my own website for reviewing films, but I wanted something a bit more diverse - and so here I am! My interests focus on film and television mainly, but I also occasionally produce articles that venture into other areas as well. In particular, I am a fan of the under appreciated sequel (of which there are many), but I also like the classics and the mainstream too.