James Bond's Weird World of Inventions (c. 1966)

James Bond's gadgets had captivated moviegoers for a looong time! Here's a 1966 article from Popular Science detailing some of the gadgets featured in 007's Thunderball:

Because their success has spawned so many imitators, the Bond producers now have to reach for some pretty spectacular devices to keep Bondophiles on the edge of their seats. So they’ve invested about $500,- 000 for the zany gadgets in the newest 007 thriller, Thunderball, starring Sean Connery.

Most of the infernal devices never existed in the original Ian Fleming stories. “Our only excuse for using them” says screenwriter Richard Maibaum, “is that such devices are available and cry out to be buckled onto James Bond’s back.”

Some of the gadgets actually are buckled onto Connery’s famous back. One is the Bell jet-pack flying belt Bond uses in the beginning of the film to escape from a French chateau. Connery has to wear a special Dacron suit whose color won’t bleach out when touched by the belt’s highly concentrated peroxide fuel. The belt provides about 20 seconds of flight, but only 10 seconds is used for the upward flight. It would be disastrous to run out of power a couple of hundred feet up in the air.

Thunderbolts prize piece of gatgetry is a $300,000. 64-foot hydrofoil yacht. It belongs to 007’s enemies—SPECTRE—a sinister gang of international criminals that has hijacked two H-bombs from NATO. They’re holding the bombs for $300 million in ransom. If the Allies don’t pay off, SPECTRE threatens to wipe out two Western cities.

SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion) is led by Emilio Largo from the hydrofoil floating fortress called the Disco Volante.

Ah, the Disco Volante! I had forgotten about that ... Link


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"Disco Volante" I believe translates to "Flying Saucer" although I don't know in what language.

I thought the big battle at the end of Thunderball was fun, although now that I think about it, death by harpoon has got to be up near the top of the "Ways I Don't Want to Die" list.
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