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Bond playing Largo in the game "Domination" as Domino Petachi looks on.

Never Say Never Again (1983)

Never Say Never Again, released in 1983, is a non-EON Productions remake of the 1965 James Bond film, Thunderball. It stars Sean Connery, who returns as British Secret Service agent James Bond.

Although the film was not part of EON's Bond film franchise, subsequent mergers and dealings mean that it is currently owned, like the series, by United Artists' parent, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer:[1] MGM acquired the distribution rights in 1997 after its acquisition of Orion Pictures. The film also marks the culmination of a long legal battle between United Artists and Kevin McClory that goes back to his working on the original story with Fleming and Jack Whittingham.

Originally, the film was scheduled for release in direct competition with the EON Bond film, Octopussy, starring Roger Moore, which led to the media dubbing the situation "The Battle of the Bonds". Ultimately, the two films were released at different points in 1983 and both were big box-office successes, though Octopussy was the 'winner', making $187 million compared to the $160 million made by Never Say Never Again.

The title is based on a conversation between Sean Connery and his wife. After Diamonds Are Forever he told her he'd 'never' play James Bond again. Her response was for him to "Never say never again". She is credited at the end of the film for her contribution. As a result, it was the first Bond movie to use a non-Fleming originated title.


The film opens with a middle-aged, yet still athletic James Bond making his way through an armed camp in order to rescue a girl who has been kidnapped. After infiltrating a house and killing the kidnappers, Bond lets his guard down, forgetting that the girl might have been subject to the Stockholm syndrome (in which a kidnapped person comes to identify with his/her kidnappers) and is stabbed to death by her. Or so it seems.

In fact, the attack on the camp is nothing more than a field training exercise using blank ammunition and fake knives, and one Bond fails because he ends up "dead" (a previous "fake" mission saw his legs get blown off by a land mine). A new M is now in office, one who sees little use for the 00-section. In fact, Bond has spent most of his recent time teaching, rather than doing, a fact he points out with some resentment.

Feeling that Bond is slipping, M orders him to enroll in a health clinic in order to "eliminate all those free radicals" and get back into shape. While there, Bond one night discovers a mysterious nurse (Fatima Blush) and her patient, who is wrapped in bandages and witnesses a strange machine attending to his eye. Bond's suspicions are aroused further when he is evidently recognised and attempted to be killed by a thug Lippe as he works out in the gym, ending in Lippe's death in the kitchen after a long battle. Blush and her charge, an American Air Force pilot named Jack Petachi, are in fact operatives of SPECTRE, a criminal organisation run by Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Petachi has undergone an operation to alter one of his retinas to match the retinal pattern of the American President. Using his position as a pilot and the president's eye pattern to circumvent security, Petachi infiltrates an American military base in England and orders the dummy warheads in two cruise missiles replaced with two live nuclear warheads, which SPECTRE captures and uses to extort billions of dollars from the governments of the world.

M reluctantly reactivates the 00 section, and Bond is assigned the task of tracking down the missing weapons, beginning with a rendezvous with Domino Petachi, the pilot's sister, who is kept a virtual prisoner by her lover, Maximillian Largo. Bond pursues Largo and his yacht to the Bahamas, where he engages Domino, Fatima Blush, and Largo in a game of wits and resources as he attempts to derail SPECTRE's scheme.


  • Sean Connery as James Bond
  • Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximillian Largo
  • Barbara Carrera as Fatima Blush
  • Kim Basinger as Domino Petachi
  • Bernie Casey as Felix Leiter
  • Max von Sydow as Ernst Stavro Blofeld
  • Edward Fox as M
  • Alec McCowen as Q (also known as Algy)
  • Pamela Salem as Miss Moneypenny
  • Rowan Atkinson as Nigel Small-Fawcett
  • Prunella Gee as Patricia Fearing
  • Valerie Leon as Lady in Bahamas
  • Gavan O'Herlihy as Jack Petachi
  • Saskia Cohen Tanugi as Nicole

Directed by Irvin Kershner Produced by Jack Schwartzman Novel/Story by Kevin McClory Jack Whittingham Ian Fleming Screenplay Lorenzo Semple Jr. Cinematography by Douglas Slocombe Music by Michel Legrand Main theme Never Say Never Again Composer Alan Bergman Marilyn Bergman Performer Lani Hall Editing by Ian Crafford Distributed by Warner Bros. Released October 7, 1983 Running time 134 min.




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