Thunderball, 1965

Director

Terence Young

Cast

visit the film locations

France:

Visit: the Chateau d’Anet 78 km from Paris, and 16 km from the town of Dreux. From Porte Maillot in Paris take the motorway A14 then the A13 (towards Rouen), take exit N°12 to Mantes Sud then follow D 928 towards Dreux. (rail: Bueil, from Paris Gare St Lazare station)

UK:

Buckinghamshire:

Visit: the Royal Saracens, 6-8 London End at Windsor End, Beaconsfield (tel: 01494.674119)

Northamptonshire:

Visit: Silverstone Racetrack (rail: Banbury or Northampton)

Bahamas:

Visit: the Bahamas

Experience: Junkanoo in Nassau

Atlantis, Paradise Island

Florida:

Visit: Silver Springs and Wild Waters Water Park are located just east of Ocala, Florida on S.R. 40. Take exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95

Thunderball location, Chateau d'Anet

Thunderball location: Bond escapes with the jetpack: Chateau d'Anet

Photograph: flickr/Jean Pierre Belot

The fourth Bond, eagerly awaited after Goldfinger, had the biggest budget of the series so far and was the first shot in full Panavision widescreen.

It turned out to be phenomenally successful, despite a protracted underwater battle that just drags on forever (well, that’s my opinion).

Thunderball location, Chateau d'Anet Chapel

Thunderball location: the suspect funeral: Chapel, Chateau d'Anet

Photograph: flickr/Nukleo

The opening teaser, with Bond (Sean Connery) beating the life out of the rather butch widow at the funeral, and the jetpack escape, is at the Chateau d’Anet, a partly-destroyed palace built for Diane de Poitiers at Anet, about 50 miles west of Paris.

Thunderball filming location: Avenue díEylau, 16th arrondissement, Paris

Thunderball location: Largo arrives at the SPECTRE HQ: Avenue d’Eylau, 16th arrondissement, Paris

Villain Largo (Adolfo Celi) arrives at the ‘Centre International d’Assistance Aux Personnes Déplacées’, which is a front for the SPECTRE HQ, at 35 Avenue d’Eylau, in the 16th arrondissement, northwest of the Palais de Chaillot, Paris.

‘Shrublands’, the health farm where Bond roasts Count Lippe (Guy Doleman) in the Sitz bath, was Chalfont Park House, Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, near to the Pinewood studios.

This 18th century house, once owned by the great-nephew of the Duke of Marlborough, was redesigned by John Nash in the fashionable Gothic style. Transformed into a military hospital during World War I, the estate became a hotel and country club in 1921 and was subsequently taken over as offices (it now houses an IT company.

The incineration of Count Lippe, blown up in his car, uses the famous Silverstone Racetrack, between Towcester and Brackley in Northamptonshire.

Major Derval stays at the Royal Saracens, 6-8 London End at Windsor End, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. The 18th century inn still operates as a pub and restaurant.

Thunderball location, Clifton Pier

Thunderball location: Bond in the Bahamas: Clifton Pier, Nassau

Photograph: flickr/Noel back in Zurich

Most of the other locations are – surprise! – at Nassau, in the Bahamas. The swish nightspot, where Bond gambles with Largo and dances with Domino, is the Cafe Martinique – now revamped as Atlantis – on Paradise Island, a two-mile strip of sand and rock at the outer edge of Nassau harbour.

The dressed-up-to-the-eyeballs extras are locals, tempted out in their poshest frocks, with the promise of free caviar and champers – very much director Terence Young’s style. At the time, the island could be reached only by boat (there’s now a bridge) and was called by its pre-tourism name of Hog Island.

Largo’s ‘Palmyra’ estate, with its shark-infested swimming pool, was the summer home of the Nicholas Sullivans of Philadelphia (no, I don’t know who they are, either), Rock Point, West Bay Street, east of Compass Point on New Providence Island. The Junkanoo, Nassau’s Boxing Day parade, used Parade Street in downtown Nassau. Most of the major Bahamian islands celebrate Junkanoo, though downtown Nassau hosts the largest and most popular parades. There are two major Junkanoo parades a year, on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

The stolen Vulcan bomber crash-lands in the sea off Rose Island, on the northeastern coast of New Providence Island. It is hidden alongside Clifton Wall, part of Nassau Harbour, where the framework of the purpose-built prop (despite being blown up after filming) can still be seen, almost alongside the sunken freighter from the Thunderball remake, Never Say Never Again. The speargun sequence uses the Golden Grotto, now known as Thunderball Reef.

Clifton Pier in Nassau Harbour is the site of Bond and Domino’s underwater tryst, though the beach where they come ashore is the aptly-named Love Beach (it’s actually named for the Love family), west of Gambier Village on the northwest shore of New Providence. The climactic, and tiresomely protracted, underwater battle is also alongside Clifton Pier.

The underwater scenes were staged by Ricou Browning, the veteran diver inside the rubber suit as the original Creature From the Black Lagoon, and a few close-up shots were recreated at the all-purpose underwater location of Silver Springs in Florida, where much of the Creature movie was made – along with a fight scene for Moonraker.

Silver Springs is a tourist attraction just east of Ocala, Route 40, central Florida. Also in Florida are the skydiving frogmen – that’s clearly the city of Miami in the background.




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