It was so popular the last time we did it, I've decided to have another special James Bond Grudge Match, so tonight's Saturday the 14th event is "Thunderball" vs. "Thunderbirds Are Go," or Thunder in the Jungle!! So let's get the ball and the bird rollin'....10 rounds, and no holds barred!
We'll lead off with "Thunderball" since it came out in 1965! The opening credits are spectacular no doubt!
But you've gotta admit, the credits for "Thunderbirds Are GO" which came out a year later in 1966, are much more brazen and bolder!
02 Handsome Leading Man
Even at his nerdiest, as in this rocketman getup, Sean Connery.....
....is going to be cooler than four or five puppets, now if it had been Muppets, that might have been a different story!
03 Hot Women
Although her voice is that of "Thunderbirds" co-creator Gerry Anderson's genius wife Sylvia, Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward just doesn't really do it for me! I don't know how to say this without being offensive, but she looks like a puppet!!
Martine Beswick as James Bond's assistant Paula, on the other hand does! Check out Martine's silhouette in the bottom picture, that's it, I am convinced the woman is perfect!
04 Hot Cars
Every way I turned, I read that Bond drove a Bentley Mark II Continental in "Thunderball," but after being corrected, I realized this was an Aston Martin DB5 as I first had thought! What a beautiful car!
This is the FAB1! It was based on the Chinese-six car, four in front and two in back, and was also known as the Bassackwards! They constructed a real-life copy to transport Gerry and Sylvia Anderson to the London premiere of "Thunderbirds Are GO," and the car broke down before they got there! Gerry and Sylvia were forced to take a taxi to the premiere, and I think that's funnier than Hell! As you can see, the FAB1 was also an amphibious vehicle!
05 Meeting of the Minds
This is a tough one, but I'm going with the extra big cut-out giant desk with the matching centerpiece in "Thunderbirds Are GO!" Pretty scary, but unless I miss my guess, that puts "Thunderbrids Are Go" ahead 3 rounds to 2!
06 Bathing Beauties
This isn't even worth discussing! Score is tied!!
07 Tantalizing Titillation!
"Thunderbirds" bounce back with fake little zine titled "Riviera," and the article "girls, girls, Girls," and the back cover is "TANS!"
08 Coolest Sunglasses
A strong choice by both contenders, I declare this round a draw!
09 Night Life!
Anything on a tropical island is amazing, but how can you compete with a restaurant called the "Swinging Star" that features outdoor dining on something akin to one of the rings of Saturn!
How is it possible that a fake explosion could be even better than a real fake explosion? Damned if I know!
So a puppet movie manages to beat out a classic James Bond adventure in a grueling ten round match? It was a split decision but that's the way the three judges, Jeff Tracy, Scott Tracy, and Virgil Tracy saw it!!! I think the real clincher was the music!!!
Cliff Richards and The Shadows puppets perform "Shooting Star"
And here's just a taste of the theme from "Thunderball" written by one of the masters, John Barry, and sung by the iconic aTomic Jones!