And now, let’s turn to the most famous, legendary, EPIC final scuba battle between Largo and his SPECTRE divers VS Bond and the Navy divers! We have an underwater battle with around 40-50 (!!!) scuba divers…there is no movie that ever had (or will have) an underwater battle of such an epic proportion.
Let’s start with a little poll. If you could participate in that battle….would you be….
….and think about: Which team you wanna be in, which gear do you wanna wear and which gear your opponents will wear.
Largo and his SPECTRE divers are on their way to bring one of the bombs in position near Miami. Better equipped than the Navy divers that drop in by parachute, they have a mini-submarine with a lot of firepower and several underwater “scooters”(?) that are equipped with spear guns as well. But the good guys have James Bond and his speeding underwater gadget on their side. And as always…James Bond makes the difference!
It’s pretty hard to keep track at the beginning, with so much happening in the background as well, but the Navy divers have a lot of casualties at first. The SEPCTRE frogmen use their spear guns in combination with their underwater vehicles’ weaponry to their advantage. And even after that, the Navy divers seem to lose much more men than the SPECTRE frogmen. That changes as Bond enters the scene! He rips off scuba masks, unarms SPECTRE frogmen, cuts air hoses, and uses the speargun of his underwater gadget to kill several divers.
The tide of the battle turns and Largo and his frogmen are on the losing side now….
My thoughts on this first part of the underwater battle:
I first saw this as a young teenager I guess and was thrilled immediately. There had been scuba fights before in the movie, but only with Bond VS one enemy diver.
But the scale of the battle was (and still is) really something spectacular! So many divers, so many “one on one”-fights, great scuba gadgets and so many different ways how the scuba divers killed each other. Divers who drop in the ocean on their parachutes…..WOW! I heard that the film crew asked around the divers about ways that divers could kill an enemy. And they sure dug up a lot of different ways! Very creative…
And I really envy the scuba divers that participated in that battle. How often do you get the chance to do such a thing?
And the timing for that battle was perfect. They had the really sexy 60’s dive gear. Rubber wetsuits, double hose regulators!
If you would do a remake of these scenes in normal modern dive gear….that wouldn’t be half as good.
And the battle was very well prepared. You have water with good visibility and you can clearly separate the teams: Good guys=red / bad guys=black. That’s how you do it! I have seen many scuba fights in murky water where you sometimes have to guess which diver is on which side. The gear is often far too similar and the divers have pretty much the same equipment (often).
After watching this battle…my interest in scuba scenes started. And I wasn’t alone in that. I read that the movie really influenced a lot of people. The scuba teachers had a lot of students after that.
I imagined myself in such scuba gear and I wanted to see more scenes like that. But without the internet, that wasn’t so easy for me back in the ’90s.
And I was always interested in learning to scuba dive myself. Finally, in 2013 I made my diving license.
Weird/funny/strange aspects of this first part of the underwater battle:
1) The disappearing parachute gear
And even the hood, that they wore above the water vanishes…
It would have been interesting to see how the divers get out of the parachute harnesses…. (better than Angelo from his harness 😉 ).
But ok, that would have slowed down the action. The drop in and get ready to face the SPECTRE divers.
2) The diver-driver and his bubbling signals?
Hmh, in scenes with the submarine, you sometimes see that the diver who actually drives the sub, seems “to lose” air from his left hand. Why? Is that some sort of signal for the other divers?
Pretty mysterious…I guess that was a signal element, what else could it be?
3) The SPECTRE diver and his disappearing hood!
Yeah, one of the many “connecting errors” of the movie. Nothing bad, just funny.
4) Largo really loves to cut air hoses!
Well, after Largo drowned Angelo, the imposter pilot by cutting his air hose he now continues to go for the air hoses. And this time his opponent is strapped in a jammed harness….
The scene starts late, as we see that Largo already ripped off the scuba mask of his opponent. He now cuts his air hose but lets him escape to the surface….
The only time we actually witness that a modern single hose gets cut in the movie…..
5) James Bond enters the fight and leaves a trail in the ocean…
I heard that they used the “color”(?) to show the speed he has with his underwater drive. Well, it works, we see that he is really fast!
But at the same time, we wonder: Why the color in the movie? Does Bond wanna show that he is there and SPECTRE can surrender now? 😉
Actually, he uses the speed of his drive just once….for a “grab the scuba mask”-drive-by.
6) They robbed this poor dead SPECTRE diver!
Even during a scuba battle…it seems that there are thieves who like to steal equipment. This dead SPECTRE frogman has no fins….. (and no tank/regulator?)
I guess they ran out of equipment for that dummy…
7) Please cut my air hose!
Bond doesn’t wanna fall behind Largo in terms of air hose cuts…. He spots two divers that attack one Navy diver. He grabs the air hose of the first one. He stretches it…no reaction at all. He cuts it, the diver swims to the surface (if he makes it). He grabs the air hose of the second guy, he too doesn’t react at all. He floats in the water like a puppet and is waiting for Bond to cut his air hose.
Pretty sexy scene, but weird…
8) Bond and the weird weapon that explodes on a SPECTRE diver
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Bonds seems to have two weapons on his underwater drive. A harpoon (which comes to action later) and this thingy. Strange that it wasn’t explained to the audience as Q presented the gear to Bond….
Something hits the diver (a device with a long cable? picture 3) and the poor guy is killed right away. Seems like some sort of explosive was involved…
The stunt guy who played the diver was actually hurt pretty bad, they underestimated the blast.
9) SPECTRE divers get smashed…
A very ….creative scene with a spectacular ending!
10) Underwater fights arouse some folks….
Well, I know that watching the scuba fights already makes….well….something hard in the pants of some men.
And actually being in such a rubber wetsuit, breathing on a regulator, and fighting other divers…..Hmh, it’s no big surprise that this diver is really thrilled to fight the SPECTRE guy. To finish him off somehow…
Diving around in such gear is already…very interesting.
I wonder how many scenes like that didn’t make it in the movie. But this one wasn’t cut out…
Female divers in that underwater battle?
I always fantasized about female divers in that scene. Especially in the SPECTRE team…imagine Fiona Volpe (aka Lucianna Paluzzi) in a black rubber wetsuit, with double hose regulator.
Fighting against other divers. OH my GOD! That would be so awesome.
And she would wear this mask (Technisub mistral) as an upgrade (leader of the female squad):
(click to enlarge for a full view)
Just imagine how she would fill out that suit….
Or even more, fighting women on both sides. But, with the female role in the mid-’60s…I guess the producers didn’t think much about it.
And to find some women who could play in an action underwater scene. I guess there weren’t so many back then that could have done that.
So, enough from me….
Your comments on these scenes?
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