Updated: April 12, 2018
My favorite scene! I wrote a lot on this page, so take your time…. 😉
After Angelo had gassed the remaining crew and took control over the Vulcan bomber, he quickly flies the plane to the rendezvous point with Largo who is waiting on board of his yacht.
Flying very low and under the radar, no one knows where the plane actually landed (except SPECTRE). Angelo manages to land safely on the water. He floods the plane which sinks to the bottom of the ocean in shallow water. He has fulfilled his job and delivered the plane with the atomic bombs, now he needs to get to the surface before the oxygen of his small oxygen container runs out. But for the moment he is safe, his oxygen mask keeps him alive. He pushes on the release of this safety harness, but it won’t open. He starts to pull on the harness straps but the harness is jammed, he is trapped! Good for him that a SPECTRE frogman arrives! With his help, he should get out of that damn harness….
(watch the video before reading the text below)
….but Largo, the villain himself has other plans! Angelo blackmailed SPECTRE and Largo can’t let him get away with it. He greets the pilot and notices that he seems to have problems getting out from his harness. Largo pulls out his scuba knife, the pilot thinks he finally can get out of his jammed harness. But Largo grabs the air hose of the pilot, pulls it, stretching it. And then he slices with his knife through the air hose, cutting it! Air is streaming out of the severed hose. Largo wants to get the detonators of the bombs. The pilot (who actually can’t see very much – no scuba mask), grabs on Largo and his rubber wetsuit. Largo gets the detonators, frees himself from the grasp of the pilot, and swims away. Angelo’s oxygen mask is now completely flooded. In full panic, he pulls on the harness, struggles frantically to get out. But the straps of the harness won’t let him get away and are pulling him back in his seat. Finally, Angelo, the imposter, drowns in his seat harness….
I made a special video for this scene. I included every second we see Angelo in the plane, but cut out everything else. I included the scene where he gets his oxygen mask and where Bond pulls it off.
Enjoy this special “Angelo and his oxygen mask cut”!
My thoughts on this scene:
Well, this is my favorite scene of the whole movie! I don’t know how many times I watched these magic 50 seconds where Angelo starts to pull on his harness, gets his air hose cut, and drowns in the end. The gassing of the crew was already a highlight but this scene tops that!
He straps himself in the harness. He puts the oxygen mask in place and re-connects his air hose to his own supply and gasses the crew. I would be already very horny by then…. He lands the plane on the water, trashes around his tight harness. Water fills the plane, but his oxygen mask still supplies him with life-giving oxygen. And then he starts pushing on the release and pulling on the harness. The straps grind over his crotch. Largo shows up in his rubber wetsuit. By then I would have already a big erection. Largo pulls on his air hose and cuts it! He is betrayed by the frogman that should have rescued him. The way he struggles in his harness at the end, pulling on it forcibly….
If I would be the pilot in that situation…. I would… explode in my suit now (if I haven’t before already). That scene is so sexy! It combines bondage elements (the harness), drowning peril (air hose cut), and a sexy rubber wetsuit (Largo). And the surprising element of betrayal from Largo. The pilot thinks he will use his knife to cut him free…but instead, he cuts his air hose …. adding even more thrill to it.
I bought an oxygen mask exactly like Angelos with that RAF soft helmet. And I got a harness with a 5 point “release”.
One of my favorite fantasies is to replay that scene in a swimming pool (without casualties). Breathing from that mask, being trapped in the harness…
Interesting aspects, weird stuff, and mistakes in this scene:
Wow, where to start? After watching this scene 5 million times I noticed quite a lot…
1) The cockpit changes a lot from an “in the air” to an “underwater” version
The underwater model of the Vulcan was much simpler than the one they used for the “in the air” shots. They didn’t have a real Vulcan of course, so they needed to improvise.
2) The pilot changes his watch underwater!
They used two different stuntmen/divers underwater (not Paul Stassino, the actor). Guess the stuntman should have agreed to wear the same watch 😉
3) The dead pilot moves around the cockpit….
Interesting how the dead pilot strapped himself out of his seat. 😉
If you look closely you see a metallic shine/glance on the right picture. Right there would be the oxygen mask of the pilot. But it’s not a dead puppet now, it’s another stunt diver how uses a normal scuba regulator (the metallic glance). They couldn’t show that off course….so he changed to a new position where the scuba regulator can’t be seen too easily. (will show the stunt divers in the cockpit later on a picture)
4) The life vest of Angelo is alive! 😉
Well, of course, shooting such a scene underwater is complicated. So rather small mistakes like that can happen. But it would have been cool if the life vest wouldn’t have blocked our view at any time.
5) Angelos air hose is alive too…
Angelo seems to have placed his oxygen container in his suit. The air hose is leading from his flight suit to his oxygen mask. After Largo lets it go, it floats higher. Seconds after the air streams out of Angelos suit. It seems they placed the hose there for the next shot.
6) Largo (aka his underwater double) is really breathless….or excited 😉
Just check how often Largo exhales…oh man! He is really excited or out of breath. 🙂
Well, I would be too, if I had his dive gear on and would have the opportunity to cut the air hose of a trapped pilot…..
7) How much oxygen can Angelo have in that small oxygen container?
We see Angelo re-connect his air hose from the internal supply of the plane to his own oxygen container. And he seems to breathe from it all the way since he took over the plane to the bottom of the sea. It’s not really clear how long he is flying around before he sinks the plane…but by the way, how small that container looks, there should be only air for several minutes. Perhaps it would be sufficient for the underwater phase. Of course, it may be possible to turn off that supply once he descended deep enough with the plane. No need to breathe on the oxygen mask at a low flight level…. Hmh, hard to tell…
But after his air hose is cut it only takes a few seconds for his oxygen to run out…..there wasn’t much left.
8) Why did Largo behave like that?
a) In the book from Fleming the pilot gets to the surface and is stabbed there….(very uncool 🙁 ).
b) In the screenplay, Largo cuts his air hose, watching him drown, and takes the detonators afterward.
c) In the movie, Largo cuts his air hose, takes the detonators, and just swims away, while Angelo is struggling frantically to get out of his harness.
d) Another option would have been to just watch the pilot from a safe distance…and see how long it takes until he runs out of oxygen.
e) Or he could have cut his air hose, taken the detonators, swim at a safe distance, and watched him drown.
Why does Largo cuts his air hose and is getting close like that afterward? The pilot could have ripped off his mask and/or pulled out his regulator….it was dangerous. Even if he is in a much better position than the pilot. He has a scuba mask, much more oxygen, and isn’t strapped to a jammed harness. If I would have directed the movie I would have chosen option b). Option d) would be….interesting too, even there wouldn’t be an air hose cut.
Swimming away while the pilot is still alive…hmh, that’s weird. He misses a lot of fun that way.
*UPDATE* April 12, 2018: The evil censors!
I read the comment on the Largo VS Angelo-scene from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) (they read the script):
“The killing of Angelo by Largo is very cold-blooded and should be as short as possible.
We would not want to see any satisfaction in Largo over what he is doing.”
That explains a lot! The scene is pretty short, Angelo drowns in just 25 seconds.
But that second sentence….very interesting! How do they expect that Largo would show his satisfaction? He is in scuba gear, wearing a scuba mask and a regulator. How should we see that he enjoys what he is doing? Do they expect to see in the movie, that he would while watching him drown, starts to grope his growing bulge under his rubber wetsuit? 😉
That way he could show his satisfaction 😉
Or do they expect to see him smiling devilishly behind the regulator while watching Angelo drown? No one would see that behind that regulator…
However in the movie, Largo swims away and that should symbolize to the BBFC that he doesn’t care much about Angelo’s fate…
9) Why was the Harness jammed? Was it sabotaged?
That’s another very interesting question. Check out this video from Mark Stise, he asked the question in a video and delivered different possibilities. And read the comments afterward!
By the way: Mark Stise posts videos about Thunderball from time to time, so you should subscribe to his channel 😉
Well, I mentioned different theories about that in the comments of that video. But, well, more or less you can only guess.
In end I would say that it was jammed by accident, SPECTRE could have killed him easily in different ways. He was doomed from the moment he blackmailed SPECTRE….
10) What else could Angelo have done to prevent his drowning?
I thought about that and came up with this:
a) He could have tried to get out of the harness while the plane wasn’t sunk to the bottom already. Right after the landing, he should have tried to get out of the harness. I don’t know how long the plane would have stayed afloat, but he wouldn’t be underwater, he would see much more and could breathe air without his oxygen mask
b) He should have been better prepared. Angelo should have taken a (small) knife with him. His flight suit has a lot of pockets. With a knife, he could escape a faulty harness and would have something to defend himself.
….to be continued
So, enough from me for now! What do you think about this scene?
What do you think about different aspects of it?
And feel welcome to comment on the 10 aspects I mentioned!
Leave your comments below!