The Bond Films – “Dr. No” (1962)

What’s it About?

James Bond’s investigation of a missing colleague in Jamaica leads him to the island of the mysterious Dr. No and a scheme to end the US space program.

The Bond Films: Dr No

By Vic

My first theatrical exposure to a genuine James Bond film was when I saw (I’m cringing right about now) MOONRAKER in 1979 (The film, however goofy and cavalier, still retains some charm and tongue in cheek appeal). What a way to cash in on Star Wars!  Well, Disney did it with “The Black Hole,” so why not UA? After the movie, I felt as if I had seen all they had in the cool, neat, little package that is James Bond so I shrugged my shoulders at Moonraker and said, “Meh” and moved on to my next flick. My Uncle and Grandfather had insisted that Bond had a very good run of films waaaaay back even before my time. I found it pretty incredulous, but hey, who was I to argue with my Grandfather and Uncle?  So this is what happened:

Right around the time I graduated high school I went down to Tower Records and Video near Soho, Manhattan and bought every Bond film to date up to Diamonds are Forever on Videocassette. When I got home I popped in “Dr. No” first and that was the beginning of a fruitful and long relationship with Sean Connery as the baddest spy to have ever walked this planet. “Dr. No” was amazing, but I was left wondering how they made “Moonraker.”  Dr. No was produced by Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman back in the early 1960s and it was after they saw Connery in “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” that they knew they had someone who could pull off their version of the hard- nosed, all business agent. But Connery brought more to the table than that. He had danger and threat lurking just behind those studly Scottish lips.

Swiss actress Ursula Andress, who was cast after being seen in a photograph just two weeks before shooting began, is my very first Bond girl. Who will ever live up to that walking out of the water onto the beach scene?  NO ONE!  And She can act, too!  I must, in all honestly,  say that Joseph Wiseman out-acts just about everyone in this film as the evil megalomaniac Dr. No who is involved in appropriate evil Cold War hi-jinks with that grand-poobah of evil global organizations S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

Wiseman is chilly, dangerous and very aloof and that makes him very evil and believable. This film is just all around a must see Bond film and a must-own for spy film enthusiasts. Connery is just stunning to behold as he swaggers and assassinates his way through this very economical spy thriller. Now if only I can sell off all those Bond videocassettes…

16 comments

  1. Excellent write up. I like the Bond flicks, but got to be in the right mood for them. I do enjoy the newer ones a lot though. Daniel Criag would be my favorite Bond he has that 79s tough guy vibe like McQueen and Bronson

  2. The old Bond films were the best! I collect movie poster postcards – postcards with the original movie poster reproductions on them – and recently finished my 60’s – 70’s bond collection. I’d like to collect actual posters but got no where to put them.

    • Thanks so much. I might do Never Say Never Again (even though its not an “official” Bond) or The Living Daylights. Glad you liked the review.

      • Why the hell wouldn’t I like it? 🙂 Id like to see your take on never say never again..but why is that an unofficial one, i thought that was casino royale ( the sixties version) this wont be in the upcoming boxset then?

  3. Never Say Never Again was not made by the producers of the “Official” Bond films at the time. Roger Moore was still playing Bond then. NSNA was basically a remake of Thunderball. It has something to do with Screenplay credit (on Thunderball I believe) or some hokey legal issue dating way back when. I’ll find out some more info on it and get back to you. Thanks! 😀

    • Thanks! I am a huge fan of the Bond films, myself. Always have been. “Dr No” is a great debut. My fave is Connery entry is Goldfinger.

      I’m glad you liked the review, it was fun to do. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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