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Where is Thunderball Filmed? Filming Locations, Production &Cast

Where is Thunderball Filmed?

Where is Thunderball Filmed? Sean Connery’s lead role in Thunderball, a 1965 spy film directed by Eon Productions. In addition to the novel, the film is based on an original story by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, and Fleming, as well as a screenplay by Jack Whittingham. Richard Maibaum and John Hopkins co-wrote the screenplay for Terence Young’s final Bond film. The film would have been the first in the Bond series if not for copyright issues.

Bond tries to recover two NATO atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE in exchange for not destroying an unidentified UK or US metropolis (later revealed to be Miami). The search takes Bond to the Bahamas, where he meets Emilio Largo, SPECTRE Number Two. Following Largo’s goons, Bond engages them underwater, aided by CIA agent Felix Leiter and Largo’s mistress Domino Derval. Approximately a fifth of the film was shot underwater. James Bond film premiered in widescreen Panavision and was first to run over two hours. Now we move towards Thunderball Filming Locations. Where is Thunderball filmed? Let’s find out

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Where is Thunderball Filmed?

Thunderball is filmed in the Bahamas, France, Florida, and England. Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire was used for several scenes. The opening sequences were shot near Dreux, France, west of Paris at the Château d’Anet.

The scene in which Bond meets Count Lippe at the Scrublands clinic was shot at Chalfont Park House in Buckinghamshire, England. Several luxury cars, including Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, can be seen in the scenes at the front of the building:

Chalfont Park House

Chalfont Park House

After leaving the clinic, Bond engages in a car chase with Lippe, which is filmed at Silverstone Circuit. Major Derval’s hotel is modeled after an English 18th-century coaching inn (The Royal Saracens Head) in Chilterns, Buckinghamshire.

The Junkanoo parade was filmed on Bay Street in Nassau, Bahamas, as was the scene in which he first meets Largo and Domino at Cafe Martinique. Clifton Pier was used to filming several underwater scenes, including the love scene. Additional scenes were shot on the Exumas, West Providence Island, and Paradise Island.

Also Read: Where is Silent Witness Filmed? Filming Locations & Production

What music is on the Thunderball soundtrack?

John Barry was already established as Bond’s musical voice by Thunderball. Barry had a brief marriage to glamorous model and actress Jane Birkin while leading his own jazz ensemble, the John Barry Seven. Barry’s Bond legacy is formidable when combined with his instinctive sense of rhythm and melody.

James Bond

James Bond

In 1964, Goldfinger became the first Bond film to feature both the title song and the underscore in Barry’s signature style. (However, Harry Saltzman despised Shirley Bassey’s booming voice.)

Barry had complete control over the Thunderball soundtrack by 1965 (Barry’s status was boosted by his first Academy Award win for the stunning Born Free soundtrack in 1966).

Title Track

Although the title track ‘Thunderball’ features Welsh supremo Tom Jones’ impressive lungs, it was written for Dionne Warwick. As a result of the difficulty of writing a song around the word Thunderball, Barry and lyricist Leslie Bricusse recorded ‘Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ with Warwick. Warwick’s delivery was questioned, so Goldfinger’s Bassey sang a replacement.


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United Artists requested that the music include the film’s title. After a song by Johnny Cash was rejected, Barry quickly composed ‘Thunderball’ with lyrics by Don Black. (Warwick and Bassey’s original work came out in the 1990s.) “I closed my eyes and held the note for so long when I opened my eyes the room was spinning,” Tom Jones said of the famously long last note.

Due to the tense nature of the recording, Barry had difficulty incorporating the song melody into his underscore. At the same time, he intended to use ‘Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ throughout the score, he was forced to rework it around the new ‘Thunderball’ melody. Some tracks, like ‘Death of Fiona’, still feature Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

The Thunderball soundtrack’s coherence and excitement are a testament to Barry’s talent. Like Goldfinger, the raucous brass and timpani were turned up to 11 to reflect Bond’s increasingly outrageous adventures, as well as the sultriness of many of the female characters. While other composers have worked on Bond, none have captured the character’s raw sexual charisma like Barry.

The many underwater set-pieces were also a challenge. Because the action on screen was slowed, Barry had to adjust his music’s tempo, focusing on timpani and moody bass flutes. They would inspire all of Barry’s later Bond works.

Thunderball also reintroduces the secondary ‘007 Theme’ from From Russia With Love. A boisterous march for brass and timpani, it suited the series’ increasingly OTT direction. During the climactic Disco Volante fight, Barry appears to be overcompensating for the awkward choreography and clunky back projection. The theme would later appear in Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker before disappearing.

Thunderball Collection

The Thunderball premiered in Tokyo on December 9th, 1965 (pre-empting the Japan-based action of You Only Live Twice), and in London on December 29th, 1965. Indeed, Thunderball premiered in the United Kingdom at two different cinemas on the same night: the Pavilion and the Rialto.


It was a huge box office hit, grossing $141.2 million worldwide against a budget of $9 million. With $1.129 billion in the bank, Thunderball is the second most successful Bond film of all time when adjusted for inflation. This puts it just behind Skyfall ($1.218 billion) from 2012 and ahead of Goldfinger ($1.015 billion).

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I am a content writer at Otakukart. My main job is to provide them with intel on sports, music and movies. Currently, I am studying B.Com. (h) as an undergraduate at LPCPS, Lucknow.

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