Never Say Never Again – James Bond (1983)

Never Say Never Again - James Bond (1983)

Taglines: Sean Connery is back as James Bond 007

SPECTRE agents under the command of Ernst Blofeld infiltrate a US air force base situated in the UK and steal two Tomahawk cruise missiles. When NATO is held to ransom, the British reactive their “00” agents and send James Bond to recapture the warheads and kill Blofeld.

Never Say Never Again is a 1983 British spy film directed by Irvin Kershner, produced by Jack Schwartzman, and written by Lorenzo Semple Jr. with uncredited additional co-writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, from a story by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, and Ian Fleming. It is the second adaption of Fleming’s Thunderball, which was previously adapted as the 1965 film of the same name.

Unlike the majority of Bond films, Never Say Never Again was not produced by Eon Productions, but by an independent production company, one of whose members was Kevin McClory. McClory, one of the original writers of the Thunderball storyline, retained the filming rights of the novel following a rights controversy.

Sean Connery played the role of James Bond for the seventh time, marking his return to the character 12 years after Diamonds Are Forever. The film’s title is a reference to Connery’s reported declaration in 1971 that he would “never again” play that role. As Connery was 52 at the time of filming, the storyline features an aging Bond, who is brought back into action to investigate the theft of two nuclear weapons by SPECTRE. Filming locations included France, Spain, the Bahamas and Elstree Studios in England.

Never Say Never Again - James Bond (1983)

About the Story

After MI6 agent James Bond, 007, fails a routine training exercise, his superior, M, orders Bond to a health clinic outside London to get back into shape. While there, Bond witnesses a mysterious nurse named Fatima Blush giving a sadomasochistic beating to a patient in a nearby room. The man’s face is bandaged and after Blush finishes her beating, Bond sees the patient using a machine which scans his eye. Bond is seen by Blush and an attempt is subsequently made to kill him in the clinic gym, but Bond manages to defeat the assassin.

Blush and her charge, a United States Air Force pilot named Jack Petachi, are operatives of SPECTRE, a criminal organisation run by Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Petachi has undergone an operation on his right eye to make it match the retinal pattern of the US President, which he uses to circumvent iris recognition security at an American military base in England. While doing so, he replaces the dummy warheads of two cruise missiles with live nuclear warheads; SPECTRE then steals the warheads, intending to extort billions of dollars from NATO governments. Blush murders Petachi to cover SPECTRE’s tracks.

Under orders from the Prime Minister, M reluctantly reactivates the double-0 section and Bond is assigned the task of tracking down the missing weapons. He meets Domino Petachi, the pilot’s sister, and her wealthy lover, Maximillian Largo, a SPECTRE agent. Bond follows Largo and his yacht to the Bahamas, where he spars with Blush and Largo.

Bond is informed by Nigel Small-Fawcett of the British Consulate that Largo’s yacht is now heading for Nice, France. There, Bond joins forces with his CIA counterpart, Felix Leiter. Bond goes to a beauty salon where he poses as an employee and, whilst giving Domino a massage, is informed by her that Largo is hosting an event at a casino that evening.

At the charity event, Largo and Bond play a 3-D video game called Domination; the loser of each turn receives a series of electric shocks of increasing intensity or pays a corresponding cash bet. Bond ultimately wins. While dancing with Domino, Bond informs her that her brother had been killed on Largo’s orders. Bond returns to his villa to find that Nicole, his French contact, has been killed by Blush. After a vehicle chase on his motorbike, Blush captures Bond. She admits that she is impressed with him, and forces Bond to declare in writing that she is his “Number One” sexual partner. Bond distracts her with promises, then uses his Q-branch-issue fountain pen to shoot Blush with an explosive dart.

Bond and Leiter attempt to board Largo’s motor yacht, the Flying Saucer, in search of the missing nuclear warheads. Bond finds Domino. He attempts to make Largo jealous by kissing Domino in front of a two way mirror. Largo becomes enraged, traps Bond and takes him and Domino to Palmyra, Largo’s base of operations in North Africa. Largo coldly punishes Domino for her betrayal by selling her to some passing Arabs. Bond subsequently escapes and rescues her.

Never Say Never Again - James Bond Movie Poster (1983)

Never Say Never Again (1983)

Directed by: Irvin Kershner
Starring: Sean Connery, Kim Basinger, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Barbara Carrera, Bernie Casey, Max von Sydow, Pamela Salem, Rowan Atkinson
Screenplay by: Jack Whittingham
Production Design by: Stephen B. Grimes, Philip Harrison
Cinematography by: Douglas Slocombe
Film Editing by: Ian Crafford
Costume Design by: Charles Knode
Set Decoration by: Peter Howitt
Art Direction by: Leslie Dilley, Roy Stannard, Michael White
Music by: Michel Legrand
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: October 7, 1983