Dr No (1962)

Over the years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve posted tributes to dozens of personalities: directors, actors and actresses, singers, music directors, lyricists, even a writer. This time, therefore, I’m being a little different: I’m posting a tribute to a fictitious character. Ian Fleming’s suave spy, James Bond. Because today is Global James Bond Day, in celebration of fifty years of James Bond, onscreen—because Mr Bond first appeared in Dr No, released in 1962.

Twenty-four Bond films have been made. Bond has been portrayed by seven actors. But this one, starring Sean Connery as the first 007, seemed the appropriate Bond film to watch and review for this occasion.

Dr No begins in sunny Jamaica, at the very colonial Queens Club. Here, a certain Mr Strangways, playing bridge with three other men—they form a regular quartet—takes his leave, saying he has an important meeting to attend. Strangways walks out of the club and to his car, parked under a tree. He’s just opened the door when three men attack him, shoot him (they use a silencer on the gun), and race off in a van with the corpse.

…and, in the very next scene, a woman tunes into a hidden radio [there’s obviously some sort of secret agent work going on here], and makes contact with whoever she’s trying to get in touch with. Before she can say anything worthwhile, however, she’s attacked too, and shot dead.

The scene finally shifts to halfway across the world, and we finally get to meet James Bond. And what an introduction.

The setting is the chic, fashionable Les Ambassadeurs, where a game of chemin de fer is in progress. The camera moves about the table, focussing on two main players: a beautiful woman in a red dress (Eunice Gayson).

And the man opposite. We see his hands as he upturns a series of winning cards. We hear his voice, as he interacts with others (especially the woman in the red dress) during the game. We even see his back—but we aren’t allowed to see his face. Not yet.

Then, when the game finally ends, the woman signs for a further thousand. The man—whose face we still haven’t seen—remarks (sarcastically), “I admire your courage, Miss—?” The woman, looking up from the paper she’s been signing, says “Trench. Sylvia Trench. And I admire your luck, Mr—?”

And the camera shows us the man (Sean Connery, in all his gloriously attractive insouciance) as he lights a cigarette and replies, “Bond. James Bond.”

Bond, being Bond, wastes no time. Before he leaves the Les Ambassadeurs, he’s already made arrangements to play golf with the beautiful Sylvia Trench the next day. It’s already well past midnight, though, and he’s received a summons from his boss, M, of MI6. Bond must report to M immediately.

But before we are introduced to M, we meet another Bond regular, Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) There’s a little bit of flirtation here, as Moneypenny teasingly complains that Bond doesn’t take her to dinner…

…and then Bond goes in to see what his boss has to say. M (Bernard Lee) has bad news: an MI6 operative, Strangways has been killed in Jamaica. His secretary too was killed, says M.
Though they don’t yet know the ins and outs of the affair, there is a whiff of what might lie at the bottom of it. Strangways had been investigating something for the Americans. They’d been complaining of ‘massive interference’ with their Cape Canaveral rocket launches: somebody has been using radio beams to throw the gyroscopic controls of the rockets off. The source of the radio beams seems to be somewhere near Jamaica.

Anyway, Bond is given his instructions: he’s to go out there to Jamaica, meet up with Strangway’s American counterpart Leiter (Jack Lord), and get to the bottom of it. He’s booked on a flight three hours from now. He’s kitted out with a new gun—M is derisive of the Beretta Bond likes to carry in his shoulder holster and has it replaced with a Walther PPK—and Bond sets off on his mission.

[After an unplanned—at least on his part—rendezvous with Sylvia Trench, who has taken the initiative to invite herself over to Bond’s place]. 

When he lands at Jamaica, things quickly begin to happen. First, a passing stranger tries to take a photo of Bond; then, a chauffeur standing outside the airport tells Bond that he’s come from Government House to collect Mr Bond.
Bond, being Bond, makes an excuse and slips back into the air terminal to make a phone call—to the Principal Secretary at Government House. Yes: of course Mr Bond is expected. And no, they haven’t sent a car for him.

Which allows Bond to get into the car fully prepared to discover why someone is posing as a government chauffeur.

Bond’s method is to force a confrontation soon after, questioning the man once they’re on a deserted stretch of scrub off the road. The man refuses to answer, and hoodwinks Bond by swallowing some poison that kills him off instantly.

At Government House, Bond meets Strangways’s boss, who was also one of the men that formed the bridge quartet at the Queen’s Club. Bond expresses an interest in the other two men who’re part of the quartet, and is assured that he will be introduced to them. Meanwhile, Bond requests that he be taken to Strangways’s house; perhaps a visit to his home may reveal some possible clues.

It does. On his tour around Strangways’s home, Bond finds a photograph of Strangways with a Jamaican. The officer who’s driven Bond to Strangways’s place says that the Jamaican is a boatman whom Strangway used to spend a lot of time with.

Among the other things Bond discovers in Strangways’s house is a receipt for some geological specimens submitted to a certain Professor Dent. The name is familiar, since Bond has already been told that Dent (Anthony Dawson) was one of the bridge quartet.

There’s a brief, but fairly inconclusive, meeting with both Dent and the other man whom Strangways and his boss had been playing with that fateful day. That over, Bond goes off to trace the Jamaican boatman whose photo he had seen in Strangways’s home. This is a man named Quarrel (John Kitzmuller), and he sure lives up to his name—he rather rudely shrugs Bond off.

…and when Bond follows Quarrel to a local eatery and bar, Quarrel and an accomplice attack Bond—only to have it emerge that they’re all on the same side, after all. Quarrel is part of the team, along with Leiter, the American agent whom Strangways had been working with. Leiter introduces himself to Bond, too, and they get to discussing the problem at hand.

That evening, still at the eatery, Quarrel and Bond again run into the girl who’d tried to photograph Bond at the airport. She tries it again, but our two heroes overpower her [she seems pretty dim-witted, and tries to bluster her way through]. They let her go after tearing up the photographic film from her camera, but Bond’s already beginning to wonder who is behind all this.

Over the next day, Bond’s investigations start showing up results. First, he finds that while he’s been away from his room at Government House, someone’s searched his cupboard and briefcase. At Government House, too—so who’s the mole?

Then, a visit to Professor Dent’s lab, with the receipt obtained from Strangways’s home, reveals that Strangways had submitted some rocks to Dent (who’s a geologist) to check for radioactivity. Negative, says Dent. The rocks aren’t around any more, either: Dent says he threw them away.

But it’s made Bond start thinking. Quarrel, when Bond questions him, says that Strangways and he had been using Quarrel’s boat to explore the islands around. They’d checked out just about every place in the vicinity, including the sinister island of Crab Key. Crab Key is home to a bauxite mine and is owned by the reclusive and very wealthy Dr No.

Quarrel’s affirmation that Strangways had gathered some rock samples from Crab Key makes Bond suspicious enough to send for a Geiger counter. Sure enough, that part of Quarrel’s boat where the rocks had been kept, still shows high radioactivity. What is going on at Crab Key—what is the mysterious Dr No up to? [Of course, since we already know about that interference with the Cape Canaveral rockets, it’s not much of a mystery]

What follows is standard Bond procedure: he literally leaps into the heart of danger, battling everything Dr No (Joseph Wiseman) has to throw at him, whether it’s a beautiful spy who’s out to seduce—and kill—Bond…

…or a crazy tank-like vehicle which patrols Crab Key at night, equipped with what seems like a flame thrower:

There is the Bond girl. In this case, Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), who dives for seashells, is all alone in the world, and whose knowledge is literally encyclopaedic (she says she’s learnt everything from an encyclopaedia—she began as a child, and has reached T). Bond [being Bond!] is less interested in her mind than in her body.

And so we go on. It’s typical Bond fare. Lots of action, lots of display of beautiful figure (Andress) and evil mind (Dr No, who—did I mention?—has no hands, just a pair of lethal artificial ‘hands’ made of some sort of very strong, black material). There’s Bond, fighting all of Dr No’s minions all by himself, and fighting against time, too—because the US is launching another rocket, this time to orbit the moon, and Dr No is getting ready to send that careening off its trajectory too.

Oddly, though I’ve watched most of the Bond films over the years, I’d never seen this one. When it finally ended, what stayed with me was not so much the fact that I’d just finished watching the very first Bond film, but how much this film influenced Hindi cinema. The plot devices, the gadgets, the villainy of the villains: everything I’ve seen in Hindi spy films (and other crime films, not necessarily spy ones) seems to have stemmed from Dr No.

There is, of course, the use of dangerous animals to attempt to kill the hero. In Dr No, a tarantula is unleashed on the hero.

In Aankhen (1968), Ramanand Sagar (possibly figuring a spider wasn’t scary enough) picked a tiger.

Then, there’s the flashing green/red light outside the office of a big cheese, to indicate whether he’s ready for company or not. In Dr No, the light is outside M’s office; in Hindi cinema, it seems to be just about everywhere you have a villain.

There are banks of screens, bright buttons, flashing lights, and [always] signs that light up and super-sensitive alarms. There are odd, rather clumsy costumes which look straight out of a spaceship, though not quite so streamlined…

… and yes, do Dr No’s ‘artificial hands’ remind you of someone in Hindi cinema?

What I liked about this film:

The James Bond theme. What a great piece of music, and so brilliantly reflecting the persona of Bond. It was composed by Monty Norman, with the arrangement by John Barry.

Sean Connery. Connery is, for me, the very best Bond there is. He’s smooth, elegant—and yet very believably big and tough. Perfect Bond.

What I didn’t like:

The sexism. Yes, I know that’s what Bond films are all about, but the mere reduction of the women in the film to pretty, rather brainless twits, really irritated me. Sylvia Trench, Miss Taro, the photographer and Honey Ryder herself are all very attractive, but singularly lacking in much else. For example, Honey Ryder, even though she’s supposed to be so well-travelled [not to mention very knowledgeable] doesn’t have the brains to realise that the fire-spewing tank on Crab Key is not a dragon.

The ineptness of the villain and his men, when it came down to brasstacks. Really, how reliable is a tarantula, left in a not-enclosed space, as a means of killing an enemy? And if you’re building a prison cell with an electrified wire mesh, shouldn’t you solder that wire mesh really tight and not make it so flimsy that it can be knocked right out of its mooring? Also, if I were a villain, I’d make sure that wire mesh or no wire mesh, no openings in a prison cell would be large enough to allow a fairly big man to climb out.

And what’s the point of that flame-throwing ‘dragon’ vehicle, anyway?

But, perhaps that’s just me, grown up on a diet of more sophisticated Bonds, faced with more ingenious villains. Perhaps these were really just the teething troubles one could expect of a first film.

Whatever; it’s Bond that matters, and Mr Connery was Bond to a T. See it just for him.

46 thoughts on “Dr No (1962)

  1. My favorite character – James Bond – played by my favorite James Bond actor – Sean Connery – I love it! Yes, the earlier James Bond movies did have some obvious omissions and were definitely sexist, but Sean Connery was so delicious that I tend to overlook them. Every now and then, we have these James Bond marathons on one channel or the other, and I am in 007 heaven, but the problem is that then they all seem to run into each other and I can’t remember which is which. Yes, Bollywood has copied so many of the scenes that sometimes I find myself asking hubby, Didn’t we see this in another movie, and the usual answer is, Yes, James Bond! I love the Jamaica in this and the reason I wanted to see Jamaica last year was because of all the scenes I remembered from various James Bond movies! Thanks, Madhu!


    • I have to admit I’ve never been much of a James Bond fan, even though I’ve seen most of the films. At one time, my father’s office library – which was in the same building where we lived – had a huge collection of English VHS tapes, including a lot of Bond flicks. So I watched most of these films when I was still pretty young. They’ve tended to blur into each other in my mind, so this was a sort of nostalgia trip for me. :-)

      I must also admit that the main reason I decided to review this Bond film for Global James Bond Day was Sean Connery. I first saw a young Sean Connery in Hitchcock’s Marnie and have been completely smitten ever since!


      • By the way, there is a Bond marathon going on in one of the local channels here, so we watched Moonraker last night! And of course, we wondered how one man had the money to send up six space vehicles, while we are being told here that each launch costs so many billions of dollars!


        • Moonraker is another one I don’t remember having seen. Which reminds me… I have Trip To Moon lying in my to-watch pile. If only I could summon up the courage (and patience) to watch it! :-)


          • Oh, Moonraker is a fun movie, with Jaws and his pint-sized girlfriend in the round glasses and two braids, and action moving from Venice and its gondolas to Rio and the Carnivale! Do see it if you get a chance!


  2. Bond was doing Moonraker by the time I got to see him, so for me Roger Moore was THE Bond.

    At one time I saw a whole lot of them. The last one I liked was Casino Royale with Daniel Craig. Not bad at all!


    • Somehow Daniel Craig (though I like him as an actor) doesn’t strike me as Bond; I guess there’s a certain elegance about Bond (in my mind, at least) that Craig – who’s more craggy than elegant – seems to lack. Still, I think Casino Royale was pretty good too. Let’s see what Skyfall is like. The music is finally, officially, out.


  3. Madhu, you and Bond?? Unthinkable! *Grin*

    For me, the definitive Bond was always Connery, even though by the time I began watching Bond, he had morphed into Roger Moore. However, I *read* the books first, and until RM came along, the films followed the books scrupulously.

    Agree with the sexism charge in the film, but not in the case of Honey, at least not in the book. She is naïve, not having really had any contact with anyone other than her alcoholic father. In the book, she is also disfigured. The scene where she comes out of the water? (White bikini, setting sun et al?) In the book, she is naked. When she sees Bond, she covers her lower part, and then, instead of covering her breasts, she covers her face. (She has a badly broken nose, the result of the overseer of her father’s estate beating her before he rapes her.)

    There is a tenderness to the interaction between her and James Bond, the relationship is not sexual *at all* at first. She is such an innocent despite her learning the encyclopedia by heart, that he realises she is a child (she is only supposed to be in her late teens or early twenties anyway). So it follows that she wouldn’t know that the tank is not a ‘dragon’. It is she who initiates the sexual relationship.

    The books always portrayed the women as independent, they usually have a career, they are not very ‘respectable’ by the norms of the day, and they clearly know their own mind. Unfortunately, the movies based on the books dispensed with such ‘unnecessary’ elements, preferring to typecast the women as purely sex objects – right up until the late eighties or so. (Disclaimer: I stopped watching Bond after the actual novels ran out, so I wouldn’t know how they are, now.)

    Sorry for the long comment; as you can see, James Bond books (and films) were a big thing, growing up. :)

    Thanks for the review, Madhu. You just reminded me I haven’t watched one of the older Bond movies in a long time!


    • Lots of things are unthinkable, Anu. Like me being stupid enough to even like Yeh Vaada Raha, plot holes and all! How disappointing can I get? ;-)

      I haven’t read the Bond books – all except Casino Royale, which I read when I was a kid, and have completely forgotten since then. So I can’t tell whether the women were meant to be mere sex objects or not. But in Dr No, at least, (the film, I’m not talking the book), Honey Ryder is very definitely just there for the sex appeal, nothing else.

      And that ‘dragon’ vehicle is so obviously not an animal. My personal opinion was that she probably wasn’t letting on that she had really bad eye sight. It doesn’t look like an animal, you see – it’s so blatantly something man-made. And you can be a child yet have the intelligence to be able to differentiate between an animal and a vehicle, even if it’s something you’re unfamiliar with.

      I actually think the newer Bond films are perhaps a little less sexist, with the women being often shown as more gritty and smart than the earlier Bond girls.


      • Agreed on the sexist nature of Bond films. Nevertheless, this was a great movie; even with all the masala-style plot holes :)
        Great review, and the linkage to Ajit-Shakal-YKB is truly marvellous.


        • Thank you, Samir! :-)

          And, really: I kept watching Dr No, and kept thinking: “Where did I see this last? Farz? Kismet? Kahin Din Kahin Raat? Aankhen” (Or a host of other 60s’ Hindi films)


      • I think there is a total difference between reading comprehension (on part of the director) and execution. :) Especially when it comes to the dragon. If I remember the book, it was supposed to be remarkably lifelike dragon. The budget probably didn’t allow for such well-made props. :)

        And I agree totally with the premise that the Bond girls (in films) were there for the sex appeal. I just meant that Ian Fleming didn’t write them that way! Glad to hear that today’s Bond girls are as gritty as their creator meant them to be.


        • Lots of things are unthinkable, Anu. Like me being stupid enough to even like Yeh Vaada Raha, plot holes and all! How disappointing can I get? ;-)

          I didn’t mean it as a slam, truly. I’m sorry. And oh, I didn’t think it was ‘stupid’ to like Yeh Vaada Raha. I quite liked it myself, despite its plot holes. Wouldn’t it be the supreme irony for me to complain about a film’s plot holes?? Me with my liking for Amitabh Bachchan potboilers??

          I just wondered if Yeh Vaada Raha could be the choice of a decade – even the slim-pickings of the eighties?


  4. Dr No holds a special charm for me, being the first Jams Bond film. I have seen recent Bond films too, did not notice that they have become more gender-correct. The babes were always for Bond’s dalliance, unless you take Judi Dench becoming M as an example.

    The artificial hands, I was also reminded of Enter The Dragon. Some motifs have become universal.

    Bond, James Bond – what an immortal introduction! Please permit me to submit a PJ, with apologies if you have already heard this one.

    A Hyderabadi was flying in a plane. James Bond was in the adjacent seat. The Hyderabadi, who did not know about his famous companion, struck up a conversastion and asked his name.

    ‘I am Bond, James Bond, and how about you’?.

    I am Rao

    Prasade Rao

    Bala Prasade Rao

    Eramalli Balaprasade Rao

    Sarvapalli Eramalli Bala Prasade Rao

    Narayanvelu Sarvapalli Eramalli Bala Prasade Rao

    Sadashiva Narayanvelu Sarvapalli Eramalli Bala Prasade Rao

    Laxminarayan Sadashiva Narayanvelu Sarvapalli Eramalli Bala Prasade Rao

    Hearing this Jame Bond fainted. Now whenever anyone asks his name, he simply says ‘James Bond’. :)

    My compliments for writing an excellent review. As usual your reviews enhance a film.


  5. I have preferred the Indian spy thrillers , most of the films of that genre released in late 60s-early 70s with Dharmendra at the forefront. Now I see Dara Singh also did a few. I even like ‘Farz’ and ‘Kismet’, those ‘bad’ spy films and not only their music. (just like the not so good noir films of 50s). The last spy film that I know in the last 30 years was Mithun’s ‘Suraksha’ which was more similar to a bond film then any of the previous Indian versions.That had a sequel it seems.(I blanked out Mithun’s films after that and Hum Paanch).
    Is ‘Shaan’ a Bond film too?
    Coming to the actual Bond films, I like Roger Moore’ s Bond the most as I watched his films before Sean Connery’s films and after those 2 , Timothy Dalton (License to Kill). I ‘don’t’ like Mission Impossible series with Tom Cruise, so the recent films (post 90s) of that genre are not my favourites.The overuse of CGI puts me off. I did like Indiana Jones 4 though.


    • I have to admit I haven’t seen any of the later Hindi spy films – just the 60s ones, and I (mostly) enjoyed them quite a bit. The music was of course fantastic (even in an otherwise horrid film like Kahin Din Kahin Raat), but also, despite not-always-great scripts, they were invariably fairly entertaining. I don’t remember watching any from the years since then… though of course Agent Vinod was released this year, and was supposedly good (I haven’t seen it).

      The overuse of CGI does go over the top at times, no? Especially when they slow everything down to the minutest of micro-seconds…


  6. A very good review of Bond and the film . Of all the Bonds only the three best excelled in the role. Sean Connery , Roger moor and Percy Brasnon . Looks wise and also action wise. You only live twice, gold finger, never say never again, the spy who loved me, tomorrow never dies are some the very best bond movies. Dev anand and Dharmendra excelled in the roles fashioned after Bond.
    Jewel thief,Johny mera naam , ankhe ,international crook are best examples.


    • Even though I’ve seen quite a few of the Bond films, I can’t recall which ones I liked best! They’ve all sort of blurred into one homogenous mass of car chases, fights, gadgets, and women. ;-) But I agree that Connery, Moore and Brosnan were the best Bonds. The ones in between were ‘time-pass’ guys, and Craig somehow just doesn’t fit the Bond persona for me.

      Except for International Crook (which I found awful), I like all the other spy/suspense films you’ve listed. Dharmendra and Dev Anand were really good at this style. Another one which falls into that category is Yakeen.


      • Yes, Johny Mera Naam! Dev = Roger Moore(He is older than Connery in real life which might surprise people), Didn’t Jewel Thief have a Faryal,Anju Mahendru,Helen etc. in bit roles all of them mostly sharing their screentime with Dev?


        • Yes, I did know that Roger Moore’s older than Sean Connery – because he (Moore) is supposed to have first appeared onscreen in the 1945 film Vacation from Marriage – which was the first film I reviewed on this blog:


          Moore apparently (I didn’t spot him) appears as a sailor in this, so he must’ve been at least in his twenties in 1945.

          Your observation about Jewel Thief is uncannily like mine, in my review of the film! This is what I wrote:

          There were some fine actresses here (including some of my favourites): Tanuja, Helen, Faryal, Anju Mahendru. But they’re wasted; all they do is prance around in slinky dresses and sit in Dev Anand’s lap or flirt with him. Other than contributing to the notion that Amar was a die-hard womaniser (or that Vinay is pretty much the same), they don’t do a thing. Was this an attempt to do a Hindi James Bond, I wonder?


          • I remember the scene which has Dev and Anju Mahendru alongside a pool , that would be straight from a Bond film.
            By that observation I meant that Dev did have this bond-like tendency to be around women other than the main female lead in many of his films.


  7. Madhu ji,
    Thanks for a tour of nostalgia.
    The early 60s were for the original Bond-James Bond,so naturally played by Sean Connery.He created a standard for the filmi Bond and no other actor could come up to his level-according to me.I have lost the count as to how many times I must have seen this First film.
    Thanks once again.I like your Blog -Dil se !
    -Arunkumar deshmukh


  8. (a) Firstly one should pick up any Bond film, and watch it, it would be same as watching all 24.
    (b) Madhulika, we watch Bond(s) for (1) style (2) cliched dialogue (3) Bond girls (4) Bond toys (I mean the the guns and cars) (5) Bond theme.
    (c) My fav: Goldfinger, Tomorrow never dies.[people ‘complain’ of a good story in TND!]
    (d) Lastly, I recommend everyone here one film: Faneros Praktor 000.


  9. “Firstly one should pick up any Bond film, and watch it, it would be same as watching all 24.

    Hehe. So true! As I’ve mentioned in some earlier comments, I’ve actually seen most of the Bond films, but in my mind they’ve all mostly coalesced into one unidentifiable blur of pretty similar plots, gadgets, girls, etc.

    I searched for Faneros Praktor 000 and found this:


    It sounds loads of fun (that’s why I like the Jean Dujardin OSS 117 series – funny spy films). Somebody does seem to have uploaded Faneros Praktor 000 on Google videos…


    …but with no subtitles. :-(


  10. Liking James Bond novels and films when one was young, and of course the novels were a rage, was considered smart. If someone preferred James Hadley Chase, that was smarter, and if Agatha Christies, it was Intellectual. Arthur Conan Doyle stood as a very distinctive choice.
    Bond was first to be screened on to films. The image of Sean Connery is so deeply etched in my mind, as young follower of those days, that I could never veer around to seeing other Bonds. Goldfinger and Dr No still have that charm that keeps me re-visiting, both as re-living “those days” and enjoying “good movies” of the yester years.. BBC TV serials of Holmes and Poirot were certainly set more nearer to the original stories.
    Among the entire heap, “The Spy Who Came In from Cold” – John Le Carre – – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059749/ – remains my most liked “spy” novel and a film.


    • Actually, of all of those, Bond was probably one of the newer entrants to the screen – Holmes, for instance, was depicted by Basil Rathbone (and with great success) back in the 1930s, and even earlier in other European cinema. I know some of the Agatha Christie’s works were made into films pretty early on, too – like And Then There Were None and Witness for the Prosecution.

      I have never got around to watching The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, though I remember reading the book as a teenager. I must check out the movie. Thanks for the recommendation!


  11. Thanks for sharing the music of skyfall. It is great and Adele sounds fantastic.

    Thanks also for sharing the video clip of OSS117. It sound hilarious. Its on my long list of movies to watch.

    For me personally, Pierce Brosnan was the best bond. But that’s my personal opinion. Sean Connery was good however I liked Sean Connery more in all his non James bond roles.

    I also loved your comparisons with Hindi cinema. You always manage to bring out something interesting in all your reviews. Thanks for that. ;)


    • OSS 117 – Cairo: Nest of Spies is the one I’ve seen so far (there’s also OSS 117: Lost in Rio). The Cairo one is great fun, and Jean Dujardin manages to look debonair and sleek, yet be a total moron. Hilarious! Do watch. Not exactly Bond, but a great spoof. :-)


  12. Dr. No is in no way my favourite Bond film. But it has historic value simply by virtue of being the very first James Bond film. As one can plainly see, it is not made on a very high budget since they were still testing the waters here. The next two films, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger, are the first true Bond films where he came into his own.

    About the wire mesh escape – that part is taken from the book but NOT the reasoning behind it. In the book, Dr. No WANTS Bond to escape from his cell in order to put him through an elaborate succession of various traps designed to test human endurance to pain – including extreme heat, extreme cold, tarantulas which all ends with him falling outside the fortress into a lake which contains a giant killer squid.

    I guess they thought all that stuff did not fit in their budget, or it was too fantastical or something. So, they kept the flimsy wire mesh but left all the other thrilling stuff out. It is also the reason I find the climax to be quite unsatisfying.


    • Ah. I see. I hadn’t known that about the deviation from the plot in the book – I actually don’t remember reading any Bond books, even though my parents had a couple of them when I was growing up, and my husband has some, too. I’ve never really enjoyed the Bond films – too sexist? – so didn’t bother to read.


  13. I might be in the minority, but I prefer Roger Moore’s portrayal over Sean Connery. Are maybe cause of my fascination with the 70s era in general. Connery was suave too, but the underrated Roger Moore scores is in how he doesn’t seem to take himself seriously. Connery if I recall, hated playing Bond and it showed in, but he too was charisma when necessary. Funny thing is, as the 60s became the 70s, we suddenly had Bond films with strong female characters. A rarity for a Bond film I must say.

    Btw, when I think about some of the plot loopholes, have a feeling this could deal with the low budget. After all, they were filming on a very tight budget if I can recall.


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