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Film cuts / script changes - certain cuts were made to the film before release

The end shot of the pre-title sequence was cut - this was a sweeping shot following the Aston Martin escaping Bouvoir's men:

A scene with Bond and Pat Fearing at 'Shrublands' where Fearing is using the mink glove on Bond was cut:

Shrublands reception scenes trimmed from the final print - thankyou to Stephen Oxenrider:

In the trailer, Bond quips 'the things I do for England' - this was the end of the scene with Fiona Volpe in the hotel bathroom, which was cut (although it was later incorporated into 'You Only Live Twice'):

Also seen in the trailer but trimmed later was a shot of Largo (below) at Palmyra, probably around the pool area. Largo only wore the white shirt when showing Bond around Palmyra and must have been shot as part of that sequence:

A sequence where Bond is shown around the 'Disco Volante' was cut.

Three photos below courtesy of Lee Pfeiffer and the fantastic Cinema Retro site. Third photo along courtesy of Marc Schaison:

 
 

Apparently, the number of scenes with Felix Leiter were cut down (including one with 'Q' and Leiter). Also, the scene where Bond and Domino meet underwater (after Bond and Leiter find the Vulcan) was to show Domino's swimming costume also rise to the surface - in the final cut we only see bubbles.

Film cuts / script changes - there were several differences between the shooting script and the finished film

In the pre-title sequence, the action with Bond and Bouvoir was to have been set in an oriental strip club / gambling den in Hong Kong with Bouvoir disguised as a cabaret artiste dressed in a peacock costume.

Bouvoir was originally to be strangled with his own bra rather than the poker that was eventually used.

Paula Caplan was originally Paula Roberts and Fiona Volpe was originally Fiona Kelly in early scripts. Also, Jacques Boitier became Bouvoir, Count Lipson became Lippe and Major Palazzi became Major Derval.

At Shrublands, Bond was originally to have impersonated one of the cockney staff when trapping Lippe in the sauna and was to sing 'We're having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave' as he leaves him baking.

The conference hall scene, where Bond and the other double-O agents are briefed, was originally to feature several famous actors, in cameo, who had previously played on-screen secret agents.

There was to be another scene in the Bahamas with Bond meeting Paula for the first time - set in a beach bar, she was to spell out '007' in the sand as a recognition sign.

There were to be additional scenes between 'M' and the Foreign Secretary involving the collection and delivery of the diamonds by armoured car.

Both Bond AND Pinder were to have descended on 'Palmyra' for the night sortie. They were to have got to a boathouse to see what had made two tracks in the sand. They find it is just a pedalo but accidentally set off the alarm and in the following gun battle on the beach Pinder is killed. The scene would have ended in the same way as the film with Bond jumping free of the shark pool - although the line he was to have said was: 'Sorry you'll have to order something else.'

Originally, Bond was to escape from Volpe, after bedding her, by escaping down his hotel corridor, dressed in costume for the Junkanoo. He was to pick up a cookstove from a nearby waiters trolley and use this is as a weapon, although Volpe did manage to get a shot at him - which would have led into the Junkanoo sequence.

Film cuts / script changes - the ending for the film had several differences between what was planned and what was filmed

Having been rescued from the underwater cave, Bond joins Leiter on a hovercraft and they team up with the aquaparas for the final battle as SPECTRE try to drop the first bomb in a sunken wreck. Largo escapes to the 'Disco Volante', but before it leaves Bond gets on board. Largo is killed by Domino, and Bond and Domino jump to safety from the hydrofoil which is now out of control. Kutze is left on board and destroys the ship by detonating the fuel tanks. After Domino and Bond are picked up by Leiter in the hovercraft, there is a final scene shown as the credits roll: the ransom is dropped by an air force plane and the package sinks to the sea bed where it is intercepted by a two man SPECTRE sub. As the mechanical arm extends to grab the package, it explodes.

Versions - 'Thunderball' doesn't always sound the same - there are differing versions of the soundtrack

Alternate line

As Bond exits Largo's shark pool, he is heard to say:

'Sorry old chap, better luck next time'

and as an alternate version: 'Now you can tell about the one that got away'.

Extra manta ray line

When Bond and Leiter are looking for the Vulcan, the line 'manta ray - unusual to see them as far out as this' is spoken by Earl Cameron (Pinder), although he is not in the helicopter.

Certainly more recent (DVD) releases have had this line removed.

Score-less underwater sequence

A sequence underwater, where Largo sees Bond and sends a diver after him, is without the John Barry score.

More recent releases have the music restored.

Edited line

As the cocoon is jettisoned, Largo is heard to say:

'Come on, I'll take over. We've got away from them, we've still got one bomb aboard'

and as an alternate version this line has been edited down into: 'we've got away from them, we've still got one bomb aboard'.

Alternative end theme

The British end theme of the film differed from overseas - the UK version used the original Monty Norman 'James Bond theme' whereas internationally an edited instrumental of 'Thunderball' was used.

ITV has broadcast a version with the alternate line ('Now you can tell about the one that got away'), the extra 'manta ray' line, the full version of the 'bombs' line, the score-less section underwater and the instrumental 'Thunderball' theme over the end credits. This has been broadcast since 'at least' Christmas Day 2002. Since 'at least' November 2011, ITV now broadcasts the 'standard' version with 'James Bond theme' ending.

Release history - UK versions

  Warner Home Video (1989)   MGM/UA Home Video (1992)   MGM/UA Home Entertainment (1995)   Special Edition DVD (1999)   Ultimate Edition DVD (2006)   Blu-ray Disc (2008)
 

 

                     
Alternate line Now you can tell about the one that got away   Now you can tell about the one that got away   Sorry old chap, better luck next time   Sorry old chap, better luck next time   Sorry old chap, better luck next time   Sorry old chap, better luck next time
 

 

                     
Manta ray? Yes   Yes   Yes   No   No   No
 

 

                     
Score-less? Yes   Yes   No   No   No   No
 

 

                     
Edited line Come on, I'll take over. We've got away from them, we've still got one bomb aboard   Come on, I'll take over. We've got away from them, we've still got one bomb aboard   We've got away from them, we've still got one bomb aboard   We've got away from them, we've still got one bomb aboard   We've got away from them, we've still got one bomb aboard   We've got away from them, we've still got one bomb aboard
 

 

                     
End theme JB   TB   JB   JB   JB   JB

End credit tag - James Bond will be back 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'

At the end of each Bond film (from 'From Russia With Love' through to 'Octopussy') the next film's title was announced. 'Thunderball' was originally to be the first James Bond film but, because of the litigation between McClory and Fleming at the time, 'Dr. No' was produced instead.

'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' was originally to follow 'Goldfinger', which the initial prints of that film showed. But, as a result of McClory failing to get 'Thunderball' made independently and on agreement with Saltzman and Broccoli, plans for the Piz Gloria adventure were shelved. 'Thunderball' was made instead.

'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' was then to follow but problems were encountered when the filming of 'Thunderball' overran. Scheduling winter shooting for the film was not possible and so 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' was again postponed. The end titles of 'Thunderball' were amended - this time though, instead of them being re-done (as in the case of 'Goldfinger'), early prints of the announcement of the next film ('On Her Majesty's Secret Service') were 'wiped' - the caption at the end of the film being removed...

As 'The End' caption appears at the top of the cast/crew listing after the 'wipe', was the missing caption similar to the original 'Goldfinger' ending (aswell as the ending of 'You Only Live Twice') whereby it is simply stated that 'James Bond will be back "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"'?

Missing end caption (possibly):

 
 

Professor Ladislav Kutze

Previously based in Warsaw; last seen jumping from SPECTRE boat the 'Disco Volante' before its explosion in the waters around the Bahamas - no known whereabouts.

Wanted in connection with the capture of two atomic weapons (MOS type - numbers 456 and 457) from hijacked NATO flight 759. Vulcan bomber, Ramjet MBX79, had been on a training sortie and was taken off course 45 minutes from its point of return.

Continuity - chronological

As the doorman opens the chateau door one of the crew lights reflects off the glass:

Bouvoir's veil is knocked off when the bookcase falls on him. After Bond pulls the bookcase away the veil is back on his head:

Bond pushes the jet pack into the boot of the Aston Martin but you can just see that the boot won't close over it. It is closed in the next shot when the bullet shield is activated:

At 'Shrublands', when the 'bandage man' enters Lippe's room, Bond is seen reaching for his gun from his holster. However, a wide shot inserted shows Bond's arm by his side:

Lippe's towel, when in the steamer, is first seen as white. As Bond adjusts the temperature control it has turned blue:

Lippe is seen with several guns through the film - first he has a Walther PPK with silencer. Later on, it has changed to what looks like a Beretta. In the car chase, he has a snubnosed revolver:

One close up shot of Bond's arms unwrapping Derval's bandages shows him with long sleeves - although he was wearing his top with the sleeves having been rolled up:

Palazzi straps himself into the cockpit of the Vulcan with a white safety harness. The shot of him reaching for the Gamma gas cannister has the white harness missing:

There are two different watches on Palazzi's wrist in different shots when he is caught underwater:

Lippe's 1957 Ford Skyliner (in the sequence where Lippe and Bond are chasing each other) is missing its numberplate. Only a close up shot, once the car is hit by Volpe's rocket, sees the car with the numberplate:

Bond is wearing black flippers when he first meets Domino underwater. The shots of him talking to Domino as she climbs aboard her boat show him without them:

You can just see a mans head appear from within Domino's boat (to the left of the wheel) when its turned around after she and Bond come ashore:

For the shots of Bond and Felix taking a look at 'Palmyra' from the helicopter the film print has been reversed:

After finding Paula dead at 'Palmyra', Bond exits via a hatch which swings back. As Largo approaches seconds later the hatch is closed:

When Bond finds Volpe in his bath he is at the doorway. After saying the line 'not from where I'm standing' he moves closer, but he's back at the door when asked by Volpe for something to wear:

When Bond escapes from Volpe and company he is shot in the right leg. But thereafter it is his left leg that has been wounded:

Within the Junkanoo sequence, there is a shot of a dog 'relieving' itself and a group holding '007' placards in the background. Also, the film print has been reversed again with a shot of a placard reading 'Galliano' shown backwards:

The shots of Bond and Volpe dancing at the 'Kiss Kiss Club' just before (and as) Bond swings Volpe around to shield himself from the bullet are reversed:

Leiter is wearing shorts in the helicopter when they look for the Vulcan. But when Bond jumps into the water Leiter can be seen in black trousers. When Bond gets out of the water after finding the Vulcan there is a shot again of Leiter with the black trousers:

Whilst underwater in the Vulcan, the close up shot of Palazzi shows Bond wearing a watch:

As Bond reaches the surface, he hands the tag and watch to Leiter who slings them in the helicopter. A shot later Bond has them in his hands again:

When Domino spikes her foot on an egg spine, it is her right one. But when they reach the beach, Bond sucks the poison from the left foot:

When Bond swims to the breakwater he is bare footed but the next shot of him on the steps sees him in sandals:

After leaving the water Bond's swim shorts are obviously wet. After crossing the bridge and down the steps they are completely dry:

Bond is wearing a watch on his left wrist (see image above). Later on, once aboard the Disco Volante, he is sporting 'Q's watch on his right wrist:

In the underwater battle a frogman smashes another diver's mask with a harpoon gun - in the next shot we see the mask intact:

Bond wears a blue mask and flippers in the underwater battle. When Largo grabs Bond's mask, Bond takes a black mask from a SPECTRE frogman - however there are several shots of Bond still wearing the blue mask:

In the fight aboard the Disco Volante, the captain loses his cap a couple of times as the shots are inter-cut: