The film follows Bond’s mission to find two NATO atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE, which holds the world ransom for £100 million in diamonds, in exchange for not destroying an unspecified major city in either England or the United States (later revealed to be Miami). The search leads Bond to the Bahamas, where he encounters Emilio Largo, the card-playing, eye-patch-wearing SPECTRE Number Two. Backed by CIAagent Felix Leiter and Largo’s mistress, Domino Derval, Bond’s search culminates in an underwater battle with Largo’s henchmen. The film had a complex production, with four different units and about a quarter of the film consisting of underwater scenes.Thunderball was the first Bond film shot in widescreenPanavision and the first to have over a two-hour running time.
- Sean Connery as James Bond (007): An MI6 agent assigned to retrieve two stolen nuclear weapons.
- Adolfo Celi as Emilio Largo (voice dubbed by Robert Rietty): Main antagonist.SPECTRE’s Number Two, he creates a scheme to steal two atomic bombs.
- Claudine Auger as Dominique “Domino” Derval (voice dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl): Largo’s mistress. In early drafts of the screenplay Domino’s name was Dominetta Palazzi. When Claudine Auger was cast as Domino the name was changed to Derval to reflect her nationality. The character’s wardrobe reflects her name, as she is usually dressed in black and/or white.
- Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe: SPECTRE agent, who becomes François Derval’s mistress and kills him before being sent to Nassau.
- Rik Van Nutter as Felix Leiter: CIA agent who helps Bond.
- Bernard Lee as M: The head of MI6.
- Guy Doleman as Count Lippe: SPECTRE agent who tries to kill Bond in the health clinic.
- Martine Beswick as Paula Caplan: Bond’s ally in Nassau who is kidnapped by Vargas and Janni.
- Molly Peters as Patricia Fearing: a physiotherapist at the health clinic.
- Earl Cameron as Pinder, Bond and Felix Leiter‘s assistant in The Bahamas.
- Paul Stassino as François Derval and Angelo Palazzi: Derval is a NATO pilot, who is also Domino’s brother. He is killed by SPECTRE agent Angelo Palazzi, who impersonates him. Palazzi is later killed by Largo.
- Desmond Llewelyn as Q: MI6’s “quartermaster” who supplies Bond with multi-purpose vehicles and gadgets useful for the latter’s missions.
- Roland Culver as the Foreign Secretary: British Minister who briefs the “00” agents for Operation Thunderball and has doubts about Bond’s efficiency.
- Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny: M’s secretary.
- Philip Locke as Vargas: Largo’s personal assistant and henchman who according to Largo abstains from alcohol, smoking and sexual intercourse emphasising his devotion as a killer. He is killed by Bond with a spear gun on the beach.
- George Pravda as Ladislav Kutze: Emilio Largo’s chief nuclear physicist who aids his boss with the captured bombs.
- Michael Brennan as Janni: One of Largo’s thugs who is usually paired with Vargas.
- Anthony Dawson as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, voiced by Eric Pohlmann (both un-credited): The head of SPECTRE
- Bill Cummings as Quist: Another of Largo’s inefficient thugs who, after failing to assassinate 007, is thrown into a shark pool under orders from his boss.
- André Maranne, best known for portraying Sergeant François Chevalier in thePink Panther films, cameos as SPECTRE #10.
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