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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

Dr. No (1962)

Plot Summary: Intelligence officer James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to investigate the disappearance of a station chief in Kingston, Jamaica in connection with a rocket toppling investigation already underway.


Bond ends up teaming with a local fisherman named Quarrel (John Kitzmiller) and his CIA counterpart, Felix Leiter (Jack Lord). They soon realize that the mysterious Crab Key and its owner, Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) will hold all the keys.


After Bond and Quarrel make their way to Crab Key, they stumble across an unwilling partner in Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), and are soon captured by Dr. No only for him to confess his plan to destroy the U.S. Space Program. Bond must make a daring escape to stop Dr. No and SPECTRE.


Cast:

  • Sean Connery as James Bond

  • Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder

    • Andress' spoken dialogue was dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl, and her singing voice was dubbed by Diana Coupland. Both were uncredited.

  • Joseph Wiseman as Dr. Julius No

  • Jack Lord as Felix Leiter

  • Bernard Lee as M

  • John Kitzmiller as Quarrel

  • Anthony Dawson as Professor R.J. Dent

  • Zena Marshall as Miss Taro

  • Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench

    • Gayson's voice was dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl

  • Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny

  • Peter Burton as Major Boothroyd, the head of Q-Branch. This was Burton's only appearance as Q.

*Recognition:

  • In 1999, it was ranked 41 on the BFI top 100 British films list compiled by the British Film Institute.

  • The 2005 American Film Institute's '100 Years' series also recognised the character of James Bond himself in the film as the third greatest film hero.

  • Bond was also placed at number eleven on a similar list by Empire.

  • And Premiere also listed Bond as the fifth greatest movie character of all time.

  • Following the release of Dr. No, the quote "Bond ... James Bond", became a catch phrase that entered the lexicon of Western popular culture: writers Cork and Scivally said of the introduction in Dr. No that the "signature introduction would become the most famous and loved film line ever".

  • In 2001, it was voted as the "best-loved one-liner in cinema" by British cinema goers.

  • In 2005, it was honoured as the 22nd greatest quotation in cinema history by the American Film Institute as part of their 100 Years Series.

  • Dr. No was the first of 25 James Bond films produced by Eon, which have grossed just over $5 billion in box office returns alone, making the series one of the highest-grossing ever.

  • It is estimated that since Dr. No, a quarter of the world's population have seen at least one Bond film.

  • Dr. No also launched a successful genre of "secret agent" films that flourished in the 1960s. The UK Film Distributors' Association have stated that the importance of Dr. No to the British film industry cannot be overstated, as it, and the subsequent Bond series of films, "form the backbone of the industry".

  • The film influenced ladies' fashion, with the bikini worn by Ursula Andress proving to be a huge hit: "not only sent sales of two-piece swimwear skyrocketing, it also made Andress an international celebrity". Andress herself acknowledged that the "bikini made me into a success. As a result of starring in Dr. No as the first Bond girl I was given the freedom to take my pick of future roles and to become financially independent".

  • It has been claimed that the use of the swimwear in Dr. No led to "the biggest impact on the history of the bikini".

Did You Know:

  • Contrary to popular belief, Sir Sean Connery was not wearing a hairpiece in his first two outings as James Bond. Although he was already balding by the time Dr. No was in production, he still had a decent amount of hair and the filmmakers used varying techniques to make the most of what was left. By the time of Goldfinger (1964), Connery's hair was too thin and so various toupees were used for his last Bond outings.

  • Maurice Binder designed the gun barrel opening at the last minute, by pointing a pinhole camera through a real gun barrel. The actor in the sequence is not Sir Sean Connery, but stuntman Bob Simmons. Connery didn't film the sequence until Thunderball (1965).

  • This was chosen to be the inaugural movie in the James Bond film franchise as the plot of the source novel was the most straightforward. It had only one major location (Jamaica) and only one big special effects set piece.

  • Sir Sean Connery was morbidly afraid of spiders. The shot of the spider in his bed was done with a sheet of glass between him and the spider, which can be seen in one shot in the movie. When this didn't look realistic enough, additional close-up scenes were re-shot with stuntman Bob Simmons. Simmons reported that the tarantula crawling over Bond was the scariest stunt he had ever performed. According to Steven Jay Rubin's 1981 book "The James Bond Films", this tarantula was named "Rosie".

  • A Francisco de Goya painting of the Duke of Wellington, stolen in August 1961 from London's National Gallery, is found on an easel next to the stairs in Dr. No's dining area, which is why Bond stops to notice it as he passes it while going up the stairs. It was recovered in 1965. When this movie first came out, British audiences laughed upon seeing the Goya, knowing it had been stolen. According to director Terence Young, the idea for the stolen painting prop came from the film's Irish co-screenwriter Johanna Harwood.

  • After viewing this movie, James Bond creator Ian Fleming reportedly described it as being, "Dreadful. Simply dreadful."

  • It is long standing misconception that John Barry wrote "The James Bond Theme". It actually originated from a song, "Good Sign, Bad Sign" composed by Monty Norman, from an aborted musical, "The House of Mr. Biswas". Barry arranged and orchestrated Norman's theme to produce the theme as it is known throughout the world.

  • Ian Fleming didn't originally like the casting of Sean Connery as James Bond. Bond was English and Connery was Scottish, Bond was from an upper-class background and Connery came from a working-class background, Bond was refined and educated and Connery was too rugged. After seeing this movie, Fleming softened and decided that Connery was perfectly cast. In the novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", Bond was revealed to have Scottish ancestry and Bond's girlfriend Theresa "Tracy" Vicenzo was described with Ursula Andress' details.

  • The first scene Sean Connery filmed as James Bond is the sequence in the Kingston Airport where he passes a female photographer and holds his hat up in front of his face. The filming date was January 16, 1962.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: Smooth British Spy travels to Exotic Location and Saves Western Geo-Politics from a Mad-Man.


Best Performance: Sean Connery (James Bond)

Best Secondary Performance: Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli (Producers)/Ursula Andress (Honey Rider)

Most Charismatic Award: Sean Connery (James Bond)/John Kitzmiller (Quarrel)/Jack Lord (Felix Leiter)

Best Scene:

  • Cards at the Club

  • Meeting Honey

  • Airport

  • Car Chase

  • Getting the Drop on Dent

  • Bond Defeats the Tarantula

  • Dr. No

  • Final Battle and Escape

Favorite Scene: Cards at the Club/Meeting Honey

Most Indelible Moment: Bond, James Bond


In Memorium:

  • N/A

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Dr. No: The Americans are fools. I offered my services, they refused. So did the East. Now they can both pay for their mistake.

James Bond: World domination. The same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they're Naploeon. Or God.


James Bond: Tell me Miss Trench, do you play any other games?


Bond: So tell me, does the toppling of American missiles really compensate for having no hands?


M: If you carry a double-O number, it means you're licensed to kill, not get killed.


Waiter: One medium-dry vodka martini, mixed like you said, Sir, not stirred...


Sylvia Trench: When did you say you had to leave?

James Bond: Immediately... almost immediately.


[Bond outruns a hearse full of henchmen (the "Three Blind Mice") through a construction site on a hill, causing the hearse to careen off the road and explode]

Construction worker: How did it happen?

James Bond: I think they were on their way to a funeral.


Dr. No: I'm a member of SPECTRE.

James Bond: [confused] SPECTRE?

Dr. No: SPECTRE. SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion. The four great cornerstones of power headed by the greatest brains in the world.

James Bond: Correction. Criminal brains!

Dr. No: The successful criminal brain is always superior. It has to be!


James Bond: I admire your courage, Miss...?

Sylvia Trench: Trench. Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mister...?

James Bond: Bond. James Bond.


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 10

Impact/Significance: 8

Novelty: 7

Classic-ness: 7.25

Rewatchability: 9

Audience Score: 8.5 (88% Google, 82% RT)

Total: 49.75


Remaining Questions:

  • The CIA and Felix Leiter couldn't have found Crab Key themselves?

  • Why did the 3 Blind Mice need to pretend they were blind all across Kingston in order to carry out the hit?

  • Did we just pass over Quarrel's death too quickly?

  • What was the need for drugging the coffee when Honey and Bond first arrive?

  • Wouldn't Bond be radioactive just from being around the water with the about to meltdown reactor?

  • How do Honey and Bond get home if they let go of their tow?

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