main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Film: Never Say Never Again
Algernon: Good to see you Mr. Bond. Things've been awfully dull 'round here. I hope we're going to see some gratuitous sex and violence in this one!
James Bond: I certainly hope so too.

The one where Bond is getting too old for this shit. Well, technically the other one. Or one of the other ones.

An "unofficial" James Bond film, starring Sean Connery and directed by Irvin Kershner (director of The Empire Strikes Back). It's a remake of Thunderball, with two nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE and used in a blackmail attempt against the nations of the world. Bond is sent to investigate the only lead, a sister of the pilot who performed the operation. The film was the result of an odd legal situation whereby Kevin McClory, who had co-written the novel Thunderball with Ian Fleming, was allowed to retain the rights to that film's story and the characters who appeared in it. This included SPECTRE and Blofeld, who consequently were retired from the official Bond films (it also forced Electronic Arts to rename SPECTRE when they adapted From Russia with Love as a video game).

It was in competition with the official Octopussy, which came out the same year. Though it did make a pretty great $55 million, it lost to Octopussy by over $12 million. This may have been a factor in why McClory never followed up on this to continue his goal of making his own James Bond franchise to rival the EON Productions series, another being the constant legal disputes.

This film uses the following tropes:

  • Choke Holds: James uses a sleeper hold on a Mook guard during opening and an assassin uses a sleeper hold on one of the attendants at Shrublands.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Lampshaded by Bond, when Nigel Small-Fawcett is yelling Bond's name to attract his attention, then acts furtively when talking to Bond. The fact Nigel is played by Mr. Bean makes it funnier.
    Nigel Small-Fawcett: (yelling) Mr Bond! I say Mr. Bond! Nigel Small-Fawcett, British Embassy, Nassau."
    James Bond: Nice to meet you Nigel.
    Nigel Small-Fawcett: Sorry I'm late, but as you're one of these undercover jollies, I took the precaution of not being followed.
    James Bond: And that's why you shouted my name across the harbor?
    Nigel Small-Fawcett: Oh God, did I? Oh I'm sorry! Damn! Damn! Sorry I'm rather new to all this!
  • Die Laughing: Fatima.
    Bond: "Not perfected yet"!
  • Cut Apart: 007 is having sex with a girl as a bomb ticks away under his bed. Cue explosion in a room across the courtyard from Bond and Bond Girl.
    Bond: Well, it proves we made the right decision.
    Fishing Girl: About what, darling?
    Bond: Your place or mine.
  • The Dragon: Fatima Blush.
  • Driving Into A Truck: While James Bond is riding a motorcycle the enemy Mooks force him to ride up a ramp into a truck so he can be captured. However, as the ramp is rising up to trap him he guns it and jumps the motorcycle over the ramp and out of the truck.
  • Improvised Weapon: Bond defeats one Mook with his urine.note 
  • Improvised Zipline: During the opening.
  • Instant Sedation: During the opening (so it probably wasn't real).
  • Large Ham: Both Largo and Fatima.
  • Lean and Mean: Blofeld
  • Keep the Reward: When Bond beats Largo at the "Domination" video game, theoretically winning over $300,000, he turns down Largo's money in exchange for a dance with Domino. Subverted in that Largo's jealousy makes the dance a much bigger sting than losing money.
  • Kitchen Chase: The assassin trying to kill Bond at Shrublands follows him into a kitchen and a fight breaks out, complete with a terrified female chef.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now: Blofeld says this as the warhead is being sent to the target.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Though not younger by that much, but Bond is definitely showing his age - which is M's complaint.
  • Painting the Medium / Take That: Algernon's quip about hoping to see some "gratuitous sex and violence" was aimed at the "official" Bond films which had become cartoonish.
    • Granted, this film's not much better in that regard.
  • Punny Name: Nigel Small-Fawcett. Think about it.
  • Race Lift: Felix Leiter, who is played by African-American actor Bernie Casey.
  • Revealing Coverup: SPECTRE'S attempt to keep their activities at Shrubland's a secret not only attract Bond's attention, but point him in the direction of Domino - and by extension, Largo.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Blofeld's Persian.
  • Role Reprisal: Sean Connery as James Bond, for the first time since Diamonds are Forever. 22 years later, he would do it again in the video game adaption of "From Russia with Love"
  • Running Gag: The bit about "eliminating Free Radicals."
  • Shark Pool: Fatima Blush turns the Caribbean into a giant version by sending electronically controlled sharks to attack Bond after placing a Tracking Device on him.
  • Shoe Phone: Subverted at least once. The "gyroscopic bomb" disguised as a cigar case turns out to be just a cigar case.
  • Smoldering Shoes: played straight when Fatima is killed by one of Q's devices.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The theme is a light, easy listening tune, and it's first played during the opening training sequence where Bond beats the crap out of everyone.
  • Spanner in the Works: Keep in mind, James stumbled onto the plot while he was on holiday in a health spa.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: "She could have turned."
  • Straw Feminist: Fatima Blush certainly prides herself on being an empowered woman able to control any man she wants, but when Bond implies that he was not impressed by her performance while making love, she nearly goes to pieces, frightened and embarrassed by the idea that her sexual prowess is anything less than stellar. For a brief moment, Fatima actually begs Bond to assure her that making love to her was the greatest experience of his life - right before she resumes threatening to shoot him in his privates (see Groin Attack above).
    • She took great delight in murdering her "rival" for Bond's affections as well. Again, Sigmund Freud, field day.
  • Superior Firepower: Bombers: The B1B Lancer.
  • Tracking Device: Fatima Blush plants one on Bond so her electronically controlled sharks can home in on him.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: James uses a sleep-poisoned blowgun dart on a Mook guard at the beginning.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: While it employs the plot and character names of Thunderball, Bond mainstays which Eon wouldn't allow such as the Leitmotif and the Bond Gun Barrel are absent.
  • You Are Number Six: Largo calls Fatima "Number 12" at one point to remind her that they have a strictly professional relationship. This, when she was going to kiss him for giving her an order to kill Bond's female assistant.
  • You're Insane!: Delivered by Domino to Largo. Largo just smiles.
  • Zeerust: The arcade game Domination, very much so. It was supposed to be advanced and futuristic, but it comes off as LESS advanced than the games in the game room in the casino that Domino had just been inside.

The Last StarfighterCreator/Apogee ProductionsRock-A-Doodle
Casino Royale (1967)Film/James Bond    
OctopussyFilms of the 1980sA View to a Kill
The NegotiatorCreator/Warner Bros.Ocean's 11

alternative title(s): Never Say Never Again
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy