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''Bond...James Bond'' A Cold War Spy Film
hilaryswank201123 March 2019
Dir. Terence Young (1915-94)'s classical spy genre film 007 series is established by this film in 1962. It was not based on the first 007 novel Casino Royale (1953) written by Ian Fleming (1908-64). It's obviously a Cold War era's spy story that mainly depicts both MI6 and CIA as protagonists. The political stance is obvious that it opposes the Eastern bloc and serves the Western establishments. This film is single camera work as the most of European films in general. And the editor Peter R. Hunt's cutting is based on master shots and additional sets of reverse shots between characters involved in scenes. For example, at the beginning of the film in a "now-famous nightclub sequence featuring Sylvia Trench", editing was done in this way and the cutback between reverse shots and the master shot pretty discontinued. Besides this, the first assault scene at the begging of the film is remarkable that when John Strangways, the British MI6 Station Chief in Jamaica, and his secretary are ambushed and killed, we can see that quick cuts fit the rhythm of silencers firing. Of course, this was done by one camera due to reverse shots and cutaways are separable in shooting. In Perter Hunt's aesthetic view, quick / jumpy cutting with fast motions are technical solution to ease script flaws. Actually this is more sophisticated and cinematic than live time synchronisation of editing time with actions. Style is cutting off unnecessary parts from the process of organising a whole. Similar suggestion was done by Akira Kurosawa in 1990s about Japanese editorial tendency. His interview cited below: Peter Hunt was perhaps one of the most integral members of the James Bond team, using his vast skills as a film editor and director to help create a pace and style that helped to launch a phenomenon that still touches the world some two and a half decades after the film series began. He first joined up with Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, Terence Young and the rest of the 007 team for 1962's Dr. No, on which he served as editor. He repeated this task on From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball and You Only Live Twice. From there he segued to the position of director on the sixth film in the series, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, considered by many to be one of the best Bond films ever. Unfortunately, after that film he left the folds of Bondage, turning his directorial sights to other films. One can only hope that someday he will be persuaded to return to the series, and help further the series he helped to create. Our conversation begins with the director's assertion that the impact of James Bond was every bit as significant to the sixties as the Beatles. Q: My feeling has always been that what the Beatles did for music, James Bond did for film. A: Right, exactly, at that time. Of course everybody has forgotten that now, because we've all fallen into that idiom in the way of presenting films. We always cut films in the way I did Dr. No, but at that time that was something completely different to do. If you looked at any films made before 1961, even American films, they always have the guy walking down the steps, through the gates, getting into the car and driving away. We don't do any of that anymore laughs. The fellow says he's going, and he's there. Q: Cut to the chase. A: Exactly, which is what I did in Dr. No in order to make it move fast and push it along the whole time, while giving it a certain style. Now, of course, that style is standard for everything. It's very interesting, really, when I think back to it all. What's really funny is that the Beatles used to come to our showings. I knew them all. They were good kids, really. We had offices in London, and in the basement we had a theatre, and they were often guests. They also were great fans of James Bond. Q: One question I've always pondered, is Terence Young's statement in one of the Bond fanzines that Goldfinger was in serious production and editing trouble, when the decision was made to shoot Thunderball quickly, release it first, and then release Goldfinger about six months later. But Young supposedly made editing suggestions that saved Goldfinger. A: laughs I don't know anything about that, but I don't think that can be true, because Thunderball was going through litigation at that time. Remember, it belonged to Kevin McClory. That was one of the ones that didn't belong to Broccoli, Saltzman and United Artists at the time, because Fleming had written the book Thunderball from a screenplay which Kevin McClory claims and he won the case he and Jack Wittingham wrote, which was not a book, but because they could never get it lifted off as a film...Fleming had run out of ideas, or was running out of ideas, and said, "Oh, I might as well write and publish this as a book," and then of course McClory said, "You can't do that. You haven't even said that I contributed to it or Jack Whittingham did." They had a big court case, which I think was settled out of court, and then of course the screen rights became Kevin McClory's. If you look at the titles of Thunderball, Kevin McClory is the producer. After Goldfinger there was some talk where everyone debated whether they should do Thunderball or one of the others. Q: I had read that they were planning on doing On Her Majesty's Secret Service after Thunderball. A: Originally, yes, which I was going to do. I was promised the film after Thunderball, but they found themselves in a contractual mix-up with other directors on hand, and I got pushed out into the cold, because it was going to be my first film. Eventually, though, I did do it, because what they did...you see, On Her Majesty's Secret Service should have come before You Only Live Twice in the series of events that Fleming wrote. At the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service the wife is killed, and then in You Only Live Twice he is sent to Japan to extract revenge from Blofeld, and the series went on from there. But they did it the other way around and altered the ending of You Only Live Twice. At that time, in fact, I know they had branched out and had put several directors under contract to do other things for them, and they decided they wouldn't do the other things, and they found themselves either having to pay off these other directors or use them. So they were used in various ways for other things. For instance, Lewis Gilbert, whose editor I had been for many years, was signed to direct You Only Live Twice, which is how that came about. But Thunderball interested me insofar that until the court case was settled, they wouldn't touch it at all, and the case was still going on while we made Goldfinger, so I don't know what events he is talking about. Terence was extremely instrumental in the whole style of the films. He was extremely encouraging to me in our early style of Dr. No and From Russia With Love, and one cannot underestimate the personality of Terence that was interjected into the character of James Bond and Sean Connery's playing of it in the early films. There's no doubt about it, and he was the right man for the job at the time; a very good filmmaker. He's getting on a bit now, I suppose, like us all laughs. Q: Bond was so different for its time. As far as you're concerned, how did the whole thing come about? A: I was a top English film editor in those days. Harry Saltzman, who came across to England and the first film he made was Look Back in Anger, which starred Richard Burton, had been connected to theatre and various things during the early fifties. The war was over, and I was editing, and Harry had always wanted to use me. When he made a film he'd call me and say, "Come on, let's make a film together," and each time I was either in the middle of a film or about to do another film, so I had never been able to do it. But we kept on good terms, and it was Harry who got a hold of me when he was doing Dr. No. It happened that I wasn't do anything else at that time. I've known Terence since I was a boy; I'd been assistant on several films with him, and I'd always liked him. So all of that sort of slotted into place, and I found myself editing Dr. No. Now on Dr. No, of course, they had a lot of production problems; it was a very cheap production, completely unlike the amount of money they spend today. There were an enormous amount of challenges and problems. They had terrible weather in Jamaica, and they didn't shoot half of what they were supposed to shoot, so there was a great deal of ingenuity and creativity that went into the making of the film. That's really how Dr. No was born, as it were, and at that time, in fact, nobody gave much thought to the film. They just thought it was a cheap film being made at Pinewood, and it was only when it finally....all cutters, editors and people like that are cynical beings because they see the material so much, so often, but we thought Dr. No was marvelous fun, and we tried to make it more amusing wherever we could. Terence wasn't quite so sure about all of that. He thought we were setting him up with this film laughs. Anyway, he went along with it and various things that I suggested, because we had to get it moving as a film and make it all work. Out of necessity, the problems of production, Dr. No was born. I don't think that before it was run with an audience anyone knew what we had, and it was only when a large audience at the London Pavilion saw it that they fell about and enjoyed it, that it suddenly dawned on them what we had here. We had an entirely new type of film. You must remember that the climate of the audiences at the time was very "kitchen sink." It was all for actresses doing the washing up, and the housework, the sleazy back room about hard lives, which I guess the audience had become a bit bored with. Here was an absolute breath of fantasy, glamour, and they loved it. Like everything, it had a certain amount of luck when it came out, which is why I guess it took off.
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"That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six."
JFHunt16 October 2006
I recently embarked on a mission of my own. To watch all the Bond films in order. Believe me, it's not as easy as it sounds. Finding all of them is nearly impossible. Blockbuster's weak collection hardly does any justice, so I ended up buying most of my favorites.

I'm sorry to say, but to me Sean Connery is the only Bond. With the single exception being Craig in "Casino Royale". When I was growing up, I did enjoy Moore's villains, but now his portrayal seems almost goofy. Moore was just an old guy in a tight suit.

Connery seems to be the only actor that understands who or what Bond is. He is a well-paid assassin. But he is not simply a murderer. Not afraid to close fist punch a woman in the face or hold the door open for her. Later actors too often forgot that Bond is supposed to be graceful yet brutish. Approachable yet cold hearted.

"I admire your courage, Miss...? Sylvia Trench: I admire your luck, Mr...? Bond. James Bond." This could well be my favorite line in cinema history. Not the often lame interpretations, but during the opening scene at the card table. It still gives me chills.

I just wish they would get back to the basics. How many explosions and car chases does a person need to see. I thought he was a spy, they went and turned him into Rambo.
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Twenty installments later and what's better?
uds325 March 2002
Commenting on DR NO is a little like being asked to review 'Genesis" or "The Gospel According to Matthew." It IS what it is! Connery WAS Bond from the instant he appeared on screen and remember Ian Fleming, his creator was still alive at this stage. (Fleming in fact saw the first three Bonds but died before the release of THUNDERBALL)

DR NO set the standards, albeit with a limited budget, for the entire series. Action, pretty girls, one-liners and impossibly cashed-up enemies. My own father was a confirmed Bond addict (having worked in army intelligence during WW2) and had been greatly looking forward to the release of this film. Cruelly, he died just a couple of weeks before its premiere in London in 1962. I made up for it however by seeing it four days running. At the time, just about as exciting as films got, it was an enormous box office smash and vindicated the studio's decision to sign Connery. Fleming in fact had wanted Roger Moore for the role, who was then riding high with THE SAINT worldwide and was unavailable for filming. Connery, who's only claim to fame at the time was as a part time male model and bit-part actor, his biggest role having been as a truckie in HELL DRIVERS three years earlier.

Of course DR NO is dated now - its 40 years old! and deserves to be looked at from that standpoint The action sequences were raw in parts, pretty good in others. Sure the car chase scenes in Jamaica with the laughable back-projections are a cackfest now but none of this matters. The sets were imaginative, the fights good stuff, Ursula Andress enough for any young man's wet dream and Wiseman as DR No himself probably the best villain of them all, despite his very limited screentime. Very imaginative sets for the time and pyrotechnics to please.

When it came to my home-town I took several days off college and watched it with fellow students. This was way better than Latin and calculus!
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Simple but one of the best Bond movies ever!
Sharkey36030 December 2004
The James Bond franchise has so many films in its library, so many that one can get confused as to which film to watch, which story to pay attention to and which star to be seen.

And with the current trend of making action films (big budget special effects and tons of action) today, mystery, suspense and character-driven plots have all suffered badly in the 007 franchise.

As for the original Bond movie Dr. No, I can start by saying that its simplicity as well as Sean Connery make it one of the BEST BOND FLICKS ever! Why do I like Dr. No better than most other Bond flicks?: 1) There is no overload of explosions or special effects or action scenes. These elements never overwhelm the story telling.

2) The story is simple yet more detailed and more enjoyable to watch than that of other flicks like Man With The Golden Gun, Tomorrow Never Dies and Licence to Kill. In addition, Dr. No's story can be taken seriously.

3) Story is character-driven and the use of mystery and suspense is VERY refreshing after watching too many explosions and special effects happen on screen (Die Another Day anyone?).

4) Sean Connery's performance is no less amazing and his use of charm, coolness and cruelty truly defined James Bond. No matter how hard others tried, Connery will always be the king of Bonds.

5) Ursulla Andress, similar to Connery, is STILL the queen of all Bond Girls not only because of her hot look but also of her excellent portrayal of Honey Rider. On screen, Ursulla has both the appeal of a fighting lady, the helplessness of damsels and the beauty that satisfies viewers. If Bond were to marry again, Honey is number 1 for him.

6) Director Terence Young succeeded in keeping the pace right (mostly moving in medium-pace) which effectively balanced the presentation and prevented it from boring or exciting the viewer too much.. There are lots of details to pay attention to plus the characters are very well told.

7) Dr. No is definitely one of the best Bond villains, probably the best. Joseph Wiseman's performance as the half-German/half-Chinese villain is great to watch and like Connery he had coolness and cruelty on screen…note how cool Dr. No was when he resisted Bond's attempt to provoke him. To check things carefully, Bond and Dr. No are essentially as bad as each other. One works to kill and destroy like the other. The makeup work on Wiseman is excellently convincing. Performance-wise, Wiseman's Dr. No is better and more appealing than that of villains Gustav Graves, Stromberg, Largo and others.

8) Dr. No's production values, despite the movie's age, still stands up well until now. The interior sets are very well designed (Dr. No's chamber where Bond and Honey had dinner with him plus Bond's Jamaica hotel room) and has mostly good props (some props look dated though).

Dr. No is worth viewing not only as a classic spy movie but also as a historical art piece of motion pictures! No matter what nay-sayers say, Dr. No will always be the model Bond flick for all sequels to be compared with.

And let us not forget that 007 creator Ian Fleming himself was greatly involved with this movie's production. Dr. No has a plot that can be told clearly, be taken seriously and enjoyed from start to finish. And it has a cast of characters greatly delivered by the actors. Many other Bond films failed when compared to Dr. No on these categories.

Highly recommended viewing!
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Smashing Debut of 007 in Innovative Adventure...
cariart13 April 2004
DR. NO, the first of the "James Bond" film series, was a dazzling adventure that would change the 'look' of action films, forever. While the film's 'plot' would become 'Standard Bond' (a maniac attempts to 'heat up' the cold war by provoking America, in this instance, by crashing it's rockets), and reappear in many incarnations over the years, the story behind the first film is still fascinating.

From the completion of his first 007 novel, "Casino Royale", in 1952, 41-year old author Ian Fleming believed that movies and television would be the best 'forum' for James Bond. But deals usually fell through (one that didn't, resulting in an American TV adaptation of "Casino Royale", in 1954, was a flop), and failed screenplays would be rewritten into best-selling short stories and novels, instead. Not surprisingly, the novels impressed many film producers with their cinematic sweep and potential. Two of the producers, American Albert (Cubby) Broccoli, and Canadian Harry Saltzman, would become the key players in bringing DR. NO to the screen.

Saltzman had managed to obtain an option to most of Fleming's work, but the move left him too financially strapped to produce them. Broccoli had wanted to produce the Bond novels, himself, but didn't own the rights. When Saltzman refused to sell, but offered a partnership, instead, Eon Productions was created, and United Artists, impressed by both men's enthusiasm and vision, agreed to bankroll their proposed "Bond" series. DR. NO was chosen as the first to be filmed, and, after several directors (including future Bond legend Guy Hamilton) passed on the project, Terence Young, as smoothly elegant as 007, himself, signed.

Who would play James Bond? Fleming jokingly suggested 52-year old star David Niven (who would, in fact, later play Bond in the spoof, CASINO ROYALE). Broccoli wanted Roger Moore, 34, but he was under contract for "The Saint". Then, independently of each other, both Broccoli and Saltzman heard about Scottish actor Sean Connery, 31. After viewing DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE, Broccoli arranged an interview, was greatly impressed, and hired Connery, assigning director Young to teach the 'rough-edged' actor some style and sophistication. Connery was a quick learner, and soon was so impressive that even Ian Fleming would call him perfect, and would, in fact, incorporate elements of Connery into the Bond of the novels.

New York actor Joseph Wiseman was chosen as Dr. No, after Noel Coward refused the role ("Dr. No? No! No! No!"), and Fleming cousin, actor Christopher Lee, was unavailable. Future "Hawaii 5-0" star Jack Lord, a protégé of longtime Broccoli friend Gary Cooper, was cast as C.I.A. agent Felix Leiter, and Swiss bombshell Ursula Andress became Honey Ryder, Bond's first leading lady (her voice dubbed, because of her thick accent). With Bond 'regulars' "M" (Bernard Lee) and Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) in place, the Bond legend began.

A few bits of trivia: the 'gunbarrel' introduction, created by 'Opening Credits' designer Maurice Binder, featured stunt 'double' Bob Simmons, rather than Connery, as it was added after shooting was wrapped; Ken Adam's futuristic sets would not only become Bond highlights, but would influence 'real' interior design styles for a generation; and the film's score was by London theatrical composer Monty Norman, with John Barry's participation consisting of conducting the orchestra, and orchestrating Norman's "James Bond Theme"...which Barry did so well that he would become THE Bond composer for over twenty years!

DR. NO was a hit, particularly in Great Britain, and it received a HUGE boost in the U.S. when it was discovered President Kennedy was a 007 fan (FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE was chosen as the second film, in part, because it was a favorite novel of JFK). While the film lacked the 'overabundance' of gadgets and style elements of the later Bond entries, it was a remarkable debut!

And James Bond WOULD return...
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The Dr. is in.
TheBabblingFool1 January 2004
No matter whether or not you like this film in the end...if you don't get some feeling of joy the first time Sean Connery says "Bond. James Bond." at the card table, I feel sorry for you.

This Bond film has a lot less stuff going in it than most, but for what it's worth, and what it has inspired, it's a classic.

People who can't tolerate and appreciate older cinema from the 60's might laugh at the action scenes, set and costume design of the movie, but if one considers the year in which this was made, it's all rather exquisite. The film is also full of things that would be considered politically incorrect, and the way Bond and Moneypenny flirt in the office would ensue mass sexual harassment lawsuits in this day and age.

The film has an underused villain in Dr. No. Joseph Wiseman sets the standard on how Bond villains, and the majority of how other movie villains, act. One of the things that I love about Bond films is that you will see things that you will never see in other movies. I mean where else but a Bond film would a half Chinese, half German man with metal hands and a compulsive paranoia about radiation, with metal hands live on an island with a "dragon-mobile"?

Dr. No is a definite good start to the Bond series. Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder may only be there for eye candy...but she's great eye candy. Sean Connery is Bond, and pure enjoyment while in this role. So if you are looking for a classic enjoyable movie, this is just what the doctor ordered.
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Sean Connery is the perfect actor to bring Bond to life...
Nazi_Fighter_David24 February 2000
Warning: Spoilers
At the Chemin De fer, European Bacarat, Bond has his back to the camera and remains unrevealed until that precise moment when the very first Bond girl, Sylvia Trench portrayed by Eunice Gayson, uttered her first line of dialogue, "I admire your luck, Mr. ...?" and he is seen for the first time lighting his cigarette and announcing himself as "Bond. James Bond."

Bond has dark, rather cruel good looks and a slight scar down one cheek... Tall, handsome, well-dressed, exquisitely mannered, and enormously charismatic, Sean Connery had all the bravura of Ian Fleming's secret agent... He has powerful sex appeal, and is a real lady killer... He drinks a lot of Smirnoff vodka, but prefers Dom Pérignon'53...

Bond—licensed as 007 by his superiors to kill—is an embodiment of pure fantasy... He frequently travels under his own name, making no effort to hide his taste for luxury rivals, and his loves for sensual pleasure... He continually provokes his superiors, and ignores common sense and danger in his combat with villains...

Characterized as a cultivated gentleman and good officer who knows his wines, paintings and weaponry, Bond must often take a back seat to the super-spy hardware with which he is equipped... The technology exhibition play an important part in any Bond films...

With an essential Chinese look, Canadian actor Joseph Wiseman brought to life Dr. No—the first megalomaniac super villain of the atomic age…We first see his black steel hands when he pulls back the bed sheets covering a sleeping 007—Bond's code name… Wiseman looked the perfect combination of crippled scientist and criminal: From his heavily staffed underground base and using atomic energy, Dr. No—on behalf of the SPECTRE organization—was operating a device on the tropical island of Jamaica that massively interferes with the critical rocket launchings from Cape Canaveral...

The plot concerns a British agent, John Strangways, missing in Jamaica... Bond is sent to investigate… He discovered that Strangways was on the track of a certain Dr. No, owner of a mine on the nearby island of Crab Key… The locals avoided Crab Key, believing it haunted… Bond landed there, but instead of ghosts, came upon a girl named Honey on the beach… He was soon caught up in a deadly battle of wits with Dr. No, who planned to destroy the entire US space program…

Ursula Andress coming out of the water on Crab Key, dressed in a skimpy bikini, is the most famous introduction for a performer in screen history—paralleling Omar Sharif's arrival on camel in David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia," the same year…

Jack Lord was the first to portray CIA agent Felix Leiter...

Bernard Lee established himself as the perfect authority figure in the first eleven James Bond movies...

Anthony Dawson had the memorable role of Grace Kelly's attempted murderer in Hitchcock's 1954 thriller "Dial M For Murder." As the chief agent of 'Dr No,' this lean-faced Scottish character actor planned numerous assassination attempts to eliminate Bond...

Lois Maxwell is the tall, distinguished-looking woman who portrayed M's secretary, Miss Moneypenny, in 14 James Bond films...

Eunice Gayson is the extremely sexy brunette Sylvia Trench who seduces our hero...

Zena Marshall is the seductive Miss Taro, who appeared fresh from the bath, wrapped in a towel in the hallway of her Blue Mountain cottage... She is the quintessential enemy agent—voluptuous, deadly and expendable...

Peter Burton made his one and only appearance as armorer Major Boothroyd who replaced Bond's gun, the .25 Beretta by the Walther PPK... In following films, his character was renamed 'Q' and was given to Desmond Llewellyn, who made the role his own...

If you really like mystery spoof, this is your chance to see the first and best adaptation of an Ian Fleming spy fantasy, mixing sex, violence and campy humor against expensive sets and exotic locales...

"Dr. No" had great Calypso ballads: the romantic, "Underneath The Mango Tree", the animated "Jump Up Jamaica", and the calypso version of "Three Blind Mice" to introduce the three blind beggars...
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If Only All Bond Films Were This Good
Theo Robertson8 December 2002
Watching DR NO after all these years the first thing to strike me is how gritty it all is . The villains are cruel and not below shooting unarmed women in the back so who better to take them on than an equally cold hearted killer namely James Bond 007 . Bond must have shocked cinema audiences in the 1960s , no one described as a good guy in pre Bond cinema ever shot one of the bad guys in the back no matter what the provocation . John Wayne didn`t do it and neither did Errol Flynn but here we see Sean Connery doing it even though he didn`t have to .

And I`m making no distinction between Sean Connery and the character he plays , James Bond is Sean Connery . Try saying " James Bond " out loud . Done it ? Notice the slightly slurred Scottish brogue . Try it again . See it`s impossible not to say " Bond. Jamesh Bond " Let`s not forget Connery made Bond a cultural icon and Connery was at one point the world`s most famous and highest paid movie star .Not bad for a man who started off life in an Edinburgh tenement and whose first paid job was as a milk boy

One final thing I noticed about DR N0 is how tightly written and paced it is. Plot point is followed by murder attempt followed by plot point followed by murder attempt followed by plot point. At no time does any of this seem forced and at no time do we see 15-20 minutes padded out with a ridculous stunt sequence . If only all Bond films were as good as this or GOLDFINGER
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The first cinematic taste of James Bond, and boy does it taste good!!
barnabyrudge30 November 2004
Still going strong four decades later, it is sometimes hard to recall where the James Bond franchise began. Dr. No was released in 1962 with the relatively unknown Sean Connery in the leading role. The original Bond author, Ian Fleming, was still alive at the time and wasn't very pleased with the casting of Connery, though he soon warmed to the actor's interpretation of the role when he saw the film.

The big question is: how does Dr. No hold up over forty years on? Personally it has always been my favourite Bond movie and probably will never be surpassed. Even now, it is a step ahead of its counterparts. Connery never appeared in a better Bond flick (some were close), much less Lazenby, Moore, Dalton or Brosnan.

James Bond (Connery) of the British Secret Service is sent to Jamaica to investigate the death of an operative named Strangeway. He learns that Strangeway was looking into alarmingly high radiation readings generating from a nearby island called Crab Cay. Bond heads to the island and learns that it is a suspiciously heavily guarded place, patrolled by gunmen, dogs and armed boats, and none of the local islanders dare venture near because of rumours that a dragon also guards the area. Aided by a Jamaican agent called Quarrel (John Kitzmiller) and beautiful diver Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), Bond searches the island's interior for answers. He discovers that the island is run by the deadly Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman), a visionary megalomaniac who plans to disrupt the American space programme by sabotaging their shuttles from his secret island base, using gyroscopic interference to bring them down mid-flight.

As the series went on, it became less and less related to the Bond of Fleming's creation, and increasingly akin to a comic book. Part of the strength of Dr. No is that it is faithful to its source. I've read Dr. No, and it is such a good book that it didn't really need altering beyond all recognition in order to be filmable - so, it's nice to report that scripters Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood and Berkely Mather have adapted it accurately. The performances are excellent: Connery confident and masculine as Bond, Andress jaw-droppingly gorgeous as Honey, and Wiseman fabulously sinister as Dr. No. Terence Young directs with urgency, getting plenty of excitement as well as some lovely location photography into his film (hard to believe he would go on to make such inept bombs as Poppies Are Also Flowers, Bloodline, and Inchon). Dr. No is a milestone in cinema history. It is the film that gave us our first big-screen 007; it is the grand-daddy of all globe-trotting adventure flicks; and it is a classic action film in its own right to boot.
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Had It Not Succeeded We Might Be Goldfingerless
Lechuguilla6 April 2006
"Dr. No" is not my favorite James Bond film. But I'm glad it succeeded, because it led to subsequent 007 films that were really very entertaining, especially "Goldfinger". Everything about "Dr. No": the story, the music, the special effects, the dialogue, even the acting is so ... tentative. The film lacks the self-confident flair and cinematic flamboyance that characterize later 007 films from the 1960s. That is not a criticism, given that "Dr. No" was the first Bond film, and was low-budget. No one knew how the film would be received.

Through the years Sean Connery is the only actor who has done justice to the James Bond character, in my opinion. Although his acting in "Dr. No" is probative at best, he still manages to convey an aura of intelligent charisma. And that charisma would become less restrained in later films.

The visuals in "Dr. No" are very dated. What seemed futuristic in 1962 seems stodgy now. All that engineering design, those clunky computers, and that modernistic interior decor, all included to wow viewers then, seem, half a century later, quaint, obsolete, even archaic. The film's story, about an evil genius out to scuttle the U.S. missile program and dominate the world, likewise seems dated. I must admit, however, that Joseph Wiseman, as the villain, is well cast, with his passive face and those eyes that seldom blink.

That the James Bond character and his adventures have survived all these years demonstrates the enduring appeal of cinematic heroes who, like superman, embody all that is good and strong, in their successful efforts to conquer evil. I just wish that contemporary 007 films had the cinematic credibility of those 1960's Bond films: "You Only Live Twice", "From Russia With Love", "Thunderball", and of course "Goldfinger", all of which owe their existence to the success of "Dr. No".
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matija-trost10 April 2004
Ahhh...let's go back to the year 1962. What was going on than? Well, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her L.A. home, the Cuba crisis, racial integration in U.S. and yes, the first 007 was released in London. The legend was born.

They launch into the orbit until till than fairly unknown actor, and they hit the jackpot. Stalwart, confident, cool under pressure and witty. Sean Connery was all that and more. Beside him, was gorgeous and talented Honey Ryder (26-years old Ursula Andress) as the main "love bird" beside Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson) and villain Miss Taro (Zena Marshall). And as always trusty allies from Q (this time played by Peter Burton and only appeared for 10 seconds) to CIA and of course M. Thus, we can't forget his Jamaican friends Puss-Feller and Quarrel (a nice play from John Kitzmiller).

On the other hand we have interesting villains in this one. Though we have seen toughest and better opponents in other Bond movies, Dr. No have some class and helpful friends such as "funny" three blind assassins and Professor Dent (great scene by the way in the cabin).

So, is the first also the best in series? No, but it definitively ranks in top 5 Bond movies ever. It got best Bond actor (Sean Connery), great woman (Ursulla Andres) though we have seen better chemistry, superb jazzy score by Monty Norman with nice Jamaica sounds, witty bond humor ("i think that they were on the way to a funeral" or "make sure that he doesn't escape"), dreamy locations (Jamaica) and the component director who made the timeless classic. For this reasons, although not the best in the series, it still deserves a highest possible rate

10 out of 10.
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A good introduction to James Bond
asdodge12 December 2008
Dr. No begins the entire James Bond film saga, and yet barely fits any of the pre-conceived ideas of what a Bond Film is. What it does do is introduce the public to the basic tenets of who James Bond is and what he does and it does this very well.

We meet Bond playing his card game of choice (Chemin de Feur, a form of Bacarat) and as suave and confident as he will ever be. It is also in this first movie (though the book was much later in the Bond series) that Bond is assigned the Walther PPK from Q Branch by orders of M.

Bond is asked to investigate some problems in the Caribbean by the US (someone is messing with radar transmissions of US rockets in Florida) after a British agent in the area is killed. The investigations hint at a mysterious Dr. No (played brilliantly by Richard Wiseman) who owns a small island off the coast of Jamaica.

What is so great about this movie is that, though a Bond movie, it lacks many of the silly contrivances of the "Bond Formula" which would be introduced piecemeal through later films. Bond is a detective... an agent... not some super-human hero who can pull down evil empires with a button on his magic watch. He's cool, calculating, and even cold-blooded when he guns down a potential assassin who he has already disarmed (though, the scene inferred here has 2 filmed versions- one in which the assailant reacquires his gun- albeit it, with an empty chamber...) The interplay between Bond and Moneypenny are here from the get-go, as is the irascibility of M towards Bond (which Dame Judi Dench has brought back brilliantly in the Brosnan-Craig Bonds).

What's missing are the famous pre-titles sequences, although Maurice Binder's famous titles get a subtler beginning here (before they became the nude extravaganzas in later years). The requisite big-budget chase scenes are not here (though a car chase is offered), nor are the multi-continent gorgeous locales here... everything occurs in or near Jamaica.

The most famous element of Bond movies (outside of Bond) are the famous "Bond Girls." Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench comes first, then, the iconic and legendary scene- Ursula Andress (as Honey Rider). SPECTRE, the infamous crime organization, is also mentioned in this movie.

Again, this movie is not unlike many detective/spy movies of its era- it is the name "Bond" that makes it stand out. The fame that the Bond series later achieved was not here- the movie is solid and enjoyable but not "Casablanca" quality good. It is a 9/10 for Bond films because it is done well, fairly faithful to the book, and did not hide behind gadgets and gimmicks as later Bonds do. Bond here is an agent, who must be detective, lawman, and killer all rolled into one- and it does it well.

All in all, a fine movie, made on a shoe-string budget that accomplishes what it was meant to do- ably and properly introduce James Bond to an international audience.
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So this is where it all started...
Leofwine_draca5 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The first Bond film has a large fan following who consider it to be a great movie. Maybe I'm missing something, but this is a film which lacks a little in the way of pace and even budget. The latter is not always a hindrance but it certainly shows things up in the explosive finale which is obviously achieved by a miniature. The trouble is that the producers and scriptwriter were obviously still finding their feet with the new character and had not settled into the fun template of action/chases/romance/danger which the later episodes of the series would fall into. What we're left with is a film which is is very talky and in which the action slightly disappoints: a car chase is ruined by poor back projection, the fight scenes played for laughs instead of drama.

Things do pick up towards the end, with Bond's arrival on the secret island, but up until then we have to ensure the laconic pacing and smug countenance of Sean Connery. I know Connery is a lot of people's favourite Bond but personally I don't rate him as such - Roger Moore will be the one and only Bond for me. To be fair, Connery settles easily into the role with a minimum of awkwardness, but he's just not that believable as a top secret spy. At least he would get more settled in, in later years, before he became bored with the role and gave it up.

Glamour is lent by the Ursula Andress (complete in her memorable bikini) but this actress was never renowned for her acting ability, as evinced by her descent into Italian exploitation fare in the '70s with the likes of MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD. She's also on screen for a surprisingly short period of time. The rest of the cast is pretty good, from the underused Jack Lord as Felix Leiter to Joseph Wiseman as the hammy, metal-handed villain. Rather offensively Wiseman, a Westerner, is employed to play the supposedly Oriental villain a la Christopher Lee in the FU MANCHU series - were there no good Oriental actors around at that time or something?

Thankfully the film does have some good bits. The famous theme tune was never better than here, although it is played at odd moments and at other, exciting bits the soundtrack is surprisingly silent, which saps the film of some of its excitement. The (few) gadgets are nice, there's a cool fire-breathing dragon which toasts a guy and turns out to be an armoured vehicle, and the villain's lair is well-realised at the end of film. The only problem being that I was expecting something a little better-made; even the Italian rip-off of this movie, LIGHTNING BOLT, was more action-packed and entertaining. It deserves a status as being the first but was easily surpassed by later Bond entries in my opinion.
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From 1962 to 2019
mzjamm8 September 2019
Most people believe Sean Connery was the best BOND. Well, he set the style and he is the one people look to. Would the early style work today? I am curious about James Bond's back story. We got a hint with Daniel Craig's Bond. Maybe that isn't important to many people.
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The first Bond film...and not that good
preppy-36 September 2019
James Bond (Sean Connery) sets out to find a missing agent and discovers Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) who is trying to sabotage the American space program...or something (The movie is kind of vague on it). He also gets involved with gorgeous Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress).

The first Bond film. It has its moments. It has some good action sequences, it looks great and Connery is great. But the bad outnumbers the good. It's slow-moving, confusing and incredibly sexist. Also Andress is a beautiful woman but no actress. On the whole I was bored silly. Still it was a huge hit and started the Bond series. For that I give it a 6.
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Very good first attempt
dieseldemon8531 August 2019
This was the film that started it all. Dated now but ahead of its time in 62. Connery is good here along with the supporting cast. Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of a man named Strangways. Finding out Strangways was murdered,Bond uncovers a few other characters leading him to Dr.No who resides on a private island of a former mine,plans to launch a missle if a ransom isn't paid. This is also our introduction the the S.P.E.C.T.R.E organization. Worthwhile watch 7.
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Sensational but.
johnnytherealguy13 August 2019
A very good film but not the best James Bond.

This film is very good of course, but he might don't satisfy yourself as a James bond film. Not a lot of explosion and impressive scenes. Nothing in terms of " gadget". And fight scenes are very exagerate.

Despite this, Dr no is a film that when you are into it, you can't get your eyes away of the screen because Sean Connery Bond's interpretation is Sensational, because the film has a 60's style lot of charm and because of Bond's girls of course.

And all this stuff makes the film a Must Watch.
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The comic strip starts here, and oh what a fun ride it has been!
mark.waltz1 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
When the camera first raises its lens on Sean Connery, he simply says, "Bond, James Bond." Then there's that oh so familiar music; Later on, the martini, shaken not stirred. (Bruises the gin, we were taught in "Auntie Mame"). But then, there's the beautiful woman he agrees to meet for dinner later who somehow drops completely out of sight. Was she a victim of the Calypso "Three Blind Mice" we saw over the final seconds of the opening credits? After traipsing down a beautiful beach road, they suddenly opened fire on a secret agent and his brand new secretary in Jamaica, apparently for no reason, even after the secret agent put money in one of the man's cup. That brings Bond to Jamaica where he gets to meet the notorious title character, living flamboyantly on a forbidden tropical paradise island, the first of many mad men to want to take over the world, a premise deliciously copied by "General Hospital" in its over the top ratings heyday when Luke Spencer found himself on an equal beautiful tropical island trying to bring down a mad man with the same goal.

For those of you who look for "unacceptable" behavior by movie heroes of the past in today's p.c. society, you'll have a field day. He flirts with Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) but is non-committal, has a brief tryst ended with her being arrested for his attempted murder, and has a beautiful female photographer assaulted for taking his photo without her permission. So yes, he's a bit of a sexist pig, but he's a gorgeous one, and audiences were easy to look the other way. After all, it's Sean Connery at his best looking, so fit and trim, and that's what you get for the original Bond....James Bond. This is also one of the few times when you get to see Bond actually kill somebody in cold blood. Usually, their deaths are accidental or come thanks to one of the devices he gets from boss "M", a plot device which is not used in this film. But of course, there's the humor in these deaths, such as the fiery end for somebody following him which results in Connery telling a witness that the driver was obviously on their way to a funeral.

That gorgeous but dangerous island paradise is certainly striking to look at, and rumors of a dragon prove to be semi-true. If you are afraid of spiders, be warned; There's a very close call for Connery with a rather large tarantula that gets a little too close to that gorgeous face for comfort. We know now that Bond would be back so there's no worry of him being bitten, but still, seeing that thing crawling so close to his face does give me the heebie-geebie's. On the island, Connery encounters the first real "Bond" girl, Ursula Andress, oh so gorgeous, oh so curvy, oh so smart. There's a horrific end for the kindly boat captain who takes Bond out to the island of Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman). I wanted to see more of Jack Lord as an American agent who briefly aids Connery, sort of ironic considering his later heroic role on the exotic TV series "Hawaii Five-O".

Yes, this has all the clichés that would pop up in pretty much every Bond film made afterwards, but each one had their own style that made them so much fun, especially if you were lucky enough to see them on the big screen with a huge bag of popcorn. Bond villains, we can pray, do not exist, but it's always fun to see the build-up of their evil schemes and how Bond manages to take them down. Unlike later Bond films, this one just ended and did not give signals of a follow-up. No mention of another Bond movie appears in the final credits, although there is a final clinch with Connery and Andress that would be utilized in many of the future films, even with the others who followed Connery.
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Introducing James Bond
SimonJack23 August 2017
"Dr. No" is the first of what would become more than two dozen movies about British Secret Agent 007, James Bond. The special agent of Britain's MI-6 is the creation of Ian Fleming. Fleming was a journalist for Reuters and when World War II broke out, he was recruited for Britain's Naval Intelligence. After the war, he managed a newspaper office and took up writing his spy novels. He introduced the world to his famous James Bond in his first novel, Casino Royale in April 1953.

The Bond movie series has stretched over more than 50 years, as of the date of the last movie, "Spectre" in 2015. Half a dozen different actors have played Bond, but Sean Connery established his identity from the start. I haven't read any of Fleming's novels about Bond, nor books by authors who have continued the Bond series. But, It's interesting to note that each subsequent movie seems to get a little more detailed, complex and with associated gimmicks.

Compared to the last of the films, starring Daniel Craig, this first film seems mild. But it's a good thriller, nevertheless, and it introduces 007 to the world. Bond's humor gradually picks up in later novels and movies. But, in "Dr. No" we get a glimpse of it. After a hearse chasing Bond on a mountain road swerves to avoid hitting a construction vehicle, it plummets over the cliff and explodes as it rolls down the mountain. Bond gets out of his car and watches with a road worker. He comments, "I think they were on their way to a funeral." In another scene, he drives up to the British Consul with a dead hit man in the back seat. He gets out of the car, points at the passenger, and says to the guard standing nearby, "Sergeant, make sure he doesn't get away."

The film introduced Swiss actress Ursula Andress to movie audiences in her first role of any significance. Her performance here earned her a Golden Globe as the most promising female newcomer. Most of her 46 film and TV movies have been forgettable.
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Where it all started.
jakemorganyt28 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is the film that launched the James Bond series. And my god it launched it well.

First of all Sean Connery is easily best Bond in my opinion closely followed by Daniel Craig. This is highlighted in this film with his charm, wit and humor. Ursula Andress is a great Bond girl as well with good chemistry with Connery and also being very beautiful. As well as all these things the film is well for the majority of the film with solid direction.

However, the main problem with the film is near the end when Bond is escaping it is really stupid the way he escapes and makes the villain look quite dumb considering he as shown as scientific genius.

Overall, it is a great film and should be watched by everyone even though the ending is a bit disappointing it is a fun thrill ride everyone
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The Movie That Started It All
StuOz7 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The first James Bond movie is all about bad guy Dr No, played by Joseph Wiseman.

Sean Connery, sexy Ursula Andress, evil Joseph Wiseman, Jack Lord, a cool car chase, a killer spider, a killer tank, a mysterious tropical island, a hidden base, outstanding sets...who could not like this movie?

Let us not forget the music by Monty Norman and John Barry.

This and Goldfinger (1964) are my favourite of the Sean Connery Bond films but they are all good...this one is made extra special because it is the very first 007 flick.
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Great,Simple Start To One of The Most Iconic Franchises Ever
jordansepticeye9 August 2016
The best part about this movie is its simplicity,while other Bond movies go for big action set pieces and crazy villains,Dr. No focuses on the storyline.Dr. No has a pretty simple plot,it's basically just a mystery about finding out who killed a fellow MI6 agent and who Dr. No is.It has great suspense and a great villain who doesn't appear until the very last twenty minutes,usually that would count as a con,but that just adds to how intimidating he is,he also seems realistic,unlike most Bond villains.The action,while there isn't much of it,is pretty good when it's there,it's suspenseful and done well,although the action does feel too short.Sean Connery is great as Bond,saying some great lines.He even feels slightly darker than in other movies,shooting a man for fun after he already killed him.He also has great chemistry with the Bond Girls of the movie.All in all,this is a great start for the Bond films,although it has a few flaws,with pacing issues and a slight lack of action,cons aside,Dr. No is a fun movie,and a sign of bigger and better things to come.
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What are you doing here looking for shells!
kapelusznik1824 May 2016
****SPOILERS**** The first of some two dozen James Bond movies introduces us the the man himself-James Bond-played by the hairy chested and smooth-especially to beautiful women-talking Sean Connery who's called by his boss MI5 director M, Bernard Lee, in London to get off his a** in stopping both womanizing and gambling in the London casinos and check out a number of strange happening on the Caribbean island of Jamaica that has to do with an upcoming US space launch of a missile headed for the moon. Bond is followed on the island by a number of thugs working for Eurasian criminal mastermind the Chinese/German Doctor No,Joseph Wiseman, who plans to abort his as well as the US space mission before it even begins!

Nowhere as gimmickry as the later and far more expensive James Bond films but with a much better story and having by far the most gorgeous of all the later Bond Girls in it the once former Swiss sheep and goat harder Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder the film became a hit right out of the gate making back as much as 12 times it's original cost. Bond together with his Jamaican contact Quarrel, John Kitzmiller, met the beautiful and curvy Honey Ryder, while he was sleeping it off underneath a mango three on Crab Key Island, picking up sea shells as he was casing out the island as well as Honey and avoiding Dr. No's security patrols.

It soon turned that Bond & Honey were captured with poor Quarrel killed by one of Dr. No's, called the dragon, flame throwing tanks and brought to Dr. No's secret hid-out on the Key. It's then that Dr. No soon realized that Bond, whom he was very found of, wasn't going to turn traitor and join him in his mission of hijacking a US state of the art Mercury Missile and threatening to sell it to the USSR if the US doesn't give him 5 million dollars to return it!

***SPOILERS*** The explosive final has James Bond after being worked over by Dr. No's thugs escape and after slugging it out with Dr. No's security detail freeing Honey Ryder and setting off a chain reaction of explosions that sinks the entire Crab Key with everyone, including Dr. No, on it. Being alone with Honey on a rowboat in the Caribbean Sea without a paddle Bond is quite disappointed to be rescued by CIA chief Felix Leiter, Jack Lord, who had no idea what a wild & exotic time Bond was having at the time of his unwanted interruption. A smash hit at the time of its initial release in Britain in October 1962-it was released in the US 7 months later in May 1963-that was ironically some two weeks before the real Cuban Missile Crisis that could have very well lead to WW III with results far far worse then whatever the crazed and ego maniac Dr. No had in store for the world.
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Significant beginning of a franchise.
the amorphousmachine14 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I remember as a kid that this was one of my least favourite Bond movies, and was significant because it was the first instalment. Upon re-watching it, I appreciated it more, but 'Dr No' takes far too long to introduce the title character- played by Joseph Wiseman- as well as introducing the audience to Honey Ryder, played by the gorgeous Ursula Andress. The film does establish Sean Connery's stamp on the role of James Bond, as we get to see his roguish charm on display, and of course we have the iconic "My name is Bond, James Bond" casino scene at the beginning, as well as establishing the whole universe of James Bond 007.

My other gripe with this film is the Three Blind Mice assassins who disappear completely without any resolution. Anyway, 'Dr No' is definitely worth-watching, particularly because it was the first Bond movie.

*** out of *****!
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