The film is based on the James Bond novel Thunderball , which had been previously adapted in a film under that name. McClory retained the filming rights of the novel following a long legal battle dating from the s.
Connery played the role of James Bond for the seventh and final time, marking his return to the character 12 years after Diamonds Are Forever. The film's title is a reference to Connery's reported declaration in that he would "never again" play that role. As Connery was 52 at the time of filming, although nearly three years younger than incumbent Bond Roger Moore , the storyline features an aging Bond, who is brought back into action to investigate the theft of two nuclear weapons by SPECTRE.
In , the film's distribution rights were transferred to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer , the current distributor of the Eon Bond films; the company has since handled all subsequent home video releases of the film. After MI6 agent James Bond, , fails a routine training exercise, his superior, M , orders Bond to a health clinic outside London to get back into shape.
While there, Bond witnesses a mysterious nurse named Fatima Blush giving a sadomasochistic beating to a patient in a nearby room. The man's face is bandaged and after Blush finishes her beating, Bond sees the patient using a machine which scans his eye.
Bond is seen by Blush, who sends an assassin, Lippe, to kill him in the clinic gym, but Bond manages to kill Lippe. Petachi has undergone an operation on his right eye to make it match the retinal pattern of the US President , which he uses to circumvent iris recognition security at the fictitious RAF Station Swadley, an American military base in England.
Under orders from the Foreign Secretary , Lord Ambrose, M reluctantly reactivates the double-0 section and Bond is assigned the task of tracking down the missing weapons.
Bond follows Largo and his yacht to the Bahamas , where he spars with Blush and Largo. Bond goes to a health and beauty centre where he poses as an employee and, while giving Domino a massage, is informed by her that Largo is hosting an event at a casino that evening.
At the charity event, Largo and Bond play a 3-D video game called Domination ; the loser of each turn receives a series of electric shocks of increasing intensity or pays a corresponding cash bet. After losing a few games, Bond ultimately wins. While dancing with Domino, Bond informs her that her brother had been killed on Largo's orders. Bond returns to his villa to find Blush has killed Nicole by drowning her in a water bed. After a vehicle chase on his Q-branch motorbike, Blush captures Bond.
She admits that she is impressed with him, and forces Bond to declare in writing that she is his "Number One" sexual partner. Bond distracts her with promises, then uses his Q-branch-issue fountain pen to kill Blush with an explosive dart. Bond and Leiter attempt to board Largo's motor yacht, the Flying Saucer , in search of the missing nuclear warheads. Bond finds Domino. He attempts to make Largo jealous by kissing Domino in front of a two-way mirror.
Largo coldly punishes Domino for her betrayal by selling her to some passing Arabs. Bond subsequently escapes from his prison and rescues her. Domino and Bond reunite with Leiter on a U. Navy submarine and track Largo to a location known as the Tears of Allah, below a desert oasis on the Ethiopian coast. Bond and Leiter infiltrate the underground facility and a gun battle erupts between Leiter's team and Largo's men in the temple.
In the confusion, Largo makes a getaway with the second of the warheads, the first already defused in Washington, D. Bond catches and fights Largo underwater. Just as Largo tries to use a spear gun to shoot Bond, he is shot with a spear gun by Domino, taking revenge for her brother's death. Bond then defuses the nuclear bomb underwater, saving the world. Bond retires from duty and returns to the Bahamas with Domino, vowing never again to be a secret agent.
Never Say Never Again had its origins in the early s, following the controversy over the Thunderball novel. In the mids McClory again started working on a project to bring a Thunderball adaptation to production and, with the working title Warhead , he brought writer Len Deighton together with Sean Connery to work on a script. Towards the end of the s developments were reported on the project under the name James Bond of the Secret Service ,  but when producer Jack Schwartzman became involved and cleared a number of the legal issues that still surrounded the project  he brought on board scriptwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr.
Connery was unhappy with some aspects of the work and asked Tom Mankiewicz , who had rewritten Diamonds Are Forever , to work on the script; however, Mankiewicz declined as he felt he was under a moral obligation to Eon's Albert R. This was because of a restriction by the Writers Guild of America.
The film underwent one final change in title: after Connery had finished filming Diamonds Are Forever he had pledged that he would "never" play Bond again. A final attempt by Fleming's trustees to block the film was made in the High Court in London in the spring of , but this was thrown out by the court and Never Say Never Again was permitted to proceed. When producer Kevin McClory had first planned the film in he held initial talks with Richard Burton for the part of Bond,  although the project came to nothing because of the legal issues involved.
When the Warhead project was launched in the late s, a number of actors were mentioned in the trade press, including Orson Welles for the part of Blofeld, Trevor Howard to play M and Richard Attenborough as director. In the working title James Bond of the Secret Service was being used and Connery was in the frame once again, potentially going head-to-head with the next Eon Bond film, Moonraker. For the role of Felix Leiter, Connery spoke with Bernie Casey, saying that as the Leiter role was never remembered by audiences, using a black Leiter might make him more memorable.
Hunt , was approached to direct the film but declined due to his previous work with Eon. A number of the crew from the film Raiders of the Lost Ark were also appointed, including first assistant director David Tomblin , director of photography Douglas Slocombe , second unit director Mickey Moore and production designers Philip Harrison and Stephen Grimes.
Filming for Never Say Never Again began on 27 September on the French Riviera for two months  before moving to Nassau, the Bahamas in mid-November  where filming took place at Clifton Pier, which was also one of the locations used in Thunderball.
Production on the film was troubled,  with Connery taking on many of the production duties with assistant director David Tomblin.
Connery was unimpressed with the perceived lack of professionalism behind the scenes and was on record as saying that the whole production was a "bloody Mickey Mouse operation! Steven Seagal , who was the fight choreographer for this film, broke Connery's wrist while training.
On an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno , Connery revealed he did not know his wrist was broken until over a decade later. Horner, who worked in London for most of the time, wound up unavailable according to Kershner, though Schwartzman later claimed Sean Connery vetoed the American. Frequent Bond composer John Barry was invited, but declined out of loyalty to Eon. Phyllis Hyman also recorded a potential theme song, written by Stephen Forsyth and Jim Ryan, but the song—an unsolicited submission—was passed over given Legrand's contractual obligations with the music.
These included the gun barrel sequence , where a screen full of symbols appeared instead, and similarly there was no " James Bond Theme " to use, although no effort was made to supply another tune. Warner Bros. Never Say Never Again was broadly welcomed and praised by the critics: Ian Christie , writing in the Daily Express , said that Never Say Never Again was "one of the better Bonds",  finding the film "superbly witty and entertaining, Derek Malcolm in The Guardian showed himself to be a fan of Connery's Bond, saying the film contains "the best Bond in the business",  but nevertheless did not find Never Say Never Again any more enjoyable than the recently released Octopussy starring Roger Moore , or "that either of them came very near to matching Dr.
No or From Russia with Love. Writing for Newsweek , critic Jack Kroll thought the early part of the film was handled "with wit and style",  although he went on to say that the director was "hamstrung by Lorenzo Semple's script".
He wrote that Klaus Maria Brandauer's character was "played with silky, neurotic charm",  while Barbara Carrera, playing Fatima Blush, "deftly parodies all the fatal femmes who have slithered through Bond's career". It makes Bond's cynicism and opportunism seem the product of genuine worldliness and world weariness as opposed to Roger Moore's mere twirpishness. Janet Maslin , writing in The New York Times , was broadly praising of the film, saying she thought that Never Say Never Again "has noticeably more humor and character than the Bond films usually provide.
It has a marvelous villain in Largo. Connery expertly fills the bill. The critic for The Globe and Mail , Jay Scott , also praised the film, saying that Never Say Never Again "may be the only instalment of the long-running series that has been helmed by a first-rate director". Good work, Because Never Say Never Again is not an Eon-produced film, it has not been included in a number of subsequent reviews.
But take my word for it; they're both pretty awful". The site's critical consensus reads: "While the rehashed story feels rather uninspired and unnecessary, the return of both Sean Connery and a more understated Bond make Never Say Never Again a watchable retread.
Sauter thought the film "is successful only as a portrait of an over-the-hill superhero. It would be one of the best Bond films if the finale weren't disappointing. When will filmmakers realize that underwater fight scenes don't work because viewers usually can't tell the hero and villain apart and they know doubles are being used?
In the s, McClory announced plans to make another adaptation of the Thunderball story starring Timothy Dalton entitled Warhead AD , but the film was eventually scrapped.
Ultimately McClory's heirs sold the Thunderball rights to Eon, allowing the company to reintroduce Blofeld to the Eon series in the film Spectre. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the film. Taliafilm Producers Sales Organization. Release date. Running time. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 20 September Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Archived from the original PDF on 31 March Retrieved 3 September British Film Institute.
Edinburgh Evening News. Daily Express. Sunday Express. Retrieved 1 January Official Golden Globe Award Website. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved 2 September Penguin Readers Factsheets. Archived from the original PDF on 30 October Retrieved 5 September Archived from the original on 6 December