Sunday, July 6, 2014

Flick Pick: Thunderball

(United Artists, 1965)

The fourth installment, and the biggest to date in every way, with a budget tripled to $9M, a car chase, boat chase, submarine chase, explosions, and even a jetpack, this was the largest grossing film in North America in 1965, and discounting people who doubtless saw it more than once, it sold enough tickets that nearly 1 person in 3 in the United States saw it. Connery appears somewhat less charming and more lethal, the locales and underwater scenes were spectacular by anyone's standard, and the explosions weren't always mere effect: the boat explosion utilized a rare rocket fuel, and the resultant blast actually shattered windows 30 miles away in Nassau. It won another Oscar, for Best Visual Effects. And pulled in $141M, making the series' second blockbuster, and their continuance virtually a license to print money. One reviewer's quote: "The cinema was a duller place before 007." Indeed.

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