Thunderball Title Sequence
Title sequence created by Maurice Binder
'Thunderball' performed by Tom Jones, written by John Barry and Don Black
Featured in Thunderball (1965)
Maurice Binder steps back into the role of designer for the Thunderball titles. Unlike the previous two films with its projected imagery onto female forms, Thunderball started a new kind of title sequence. With imagery relevant to the film, and often containing telling a story through its visuals and composition, this new style of title sequence would be adopted into future films.
Audiences were presented with a very much graphical watery title sequence, with solid blues and green prominent, with the occasional blooded red waters to signify some of the more gruesome scenes in the film. Scantily clad female silhouettes are seen acrobating around the screen, before menacing looking divers with spear guns chase them off.
Right up until very near the end of production, the title theme for Thunderball » was going to be called 'Mr Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang' written by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse, and sung by Dionne Warwick. However when United Artists requested that the song contain the films title, a new title theme had to be produced. With the assistance of Don Black, Barry then had to very quickly come up with a new version.
Famous Welsh singer Tom Jones is consequently brought in to record the new theme. He proceeds to belt out the number with everything he's got, famously holding onto to the last note for as long as he could "before the room started to spin". The result is bold, confident and melodramatic, to go along with the similarly themed background trumpets and bond cues, although is perhaps a little too slow.
While the single fared well in the USA reaching a peak of number 8 in the charts, it only managed to scrape into the top 40 in the UK, reaching number 35.
He always runs while others walk. He acts while other men just talk. He looks at this world, and wants it all, so he strikes, like Thunderball.
He knows the meaning of success. His needs are more, so he gives less. They call him the winner who takes all, and he strikes, like Thunderball.
Any woman he wants, he'll get. He will break any heart without regret. His days of asking are all gone. His fight goes on and on and on.
But he thinks that the fight is worth it all, so he strikes like, Thunder, ball! §