21 November 2014

James Bond - Dr. No

Dr. No 1962
  • Director: Terence Young
  • Based on the novels  by Ian Fleming
  • Cast: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman,  Jack Lord, Bernard Lee, Anthony Dawson, Zena Marshall, Eunice Gayson, Lois Maxwell
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Sean Connery  The Rock, First Knight, Murder on the Orient Express, Goldfinger, Marnie, From Russia with Love, The Longest Day and others of the early Bond films but I’m not sure which ones
    • The others: in various old films and TV series
  • Why? Curious. Hal and I saw several Bond films in a Bond festival in the early 70’s and enjoyed them. Sean Connery is the only Bond we have ever seen.  Friends have said later actors have been good too. And with Judi Dench they can’t be all bad.  So we bought the box...
  • Seen:  Once previously. Now November 14, 2014.
This will be fun. It’s been so long and so much film technology has happened since 1962. Not to mention the shift in villains and attitudes.  But this is James Bond! The music, Sean Connery, the 60’s, pre-Beatles. The real James Bond.
It’s so British. It’s so avant-garde.   That is, it was at the time. Today in the year 2014 – it’s so retro-cool!  Sean Connery is so....ooh... Sean Connery!  There can simply not be any other Double-O Seven.  Suave. Clever. Snide. In control.
Like a Shakespeare play that is just a bunch of quotes (no other comparison intended), this is just a bunch of Bond classics.  Mixed not stirred. Smart sexy professional, sometimes villainous, women.  Seriously classic cars. Exotic venues. No story to worry about. A strong dose of colonialist racism and almost amusing (almost! not quite) macho sexism.
But actually it’s boring and I doze off.  I wake up in the atomic power plant set up to do bad things.  If early viewers didn’t notice it was all made of cardboard and plastic I’m sure it looked very futuristic back then.
It’s all so silly but enjoyable in its way.  We have our Friday evening film choices made for the next twenty weeks or so.

2 * of 5


  1. Some years ago, as befits a fan of Sean Connery, I tried to see at least his Bond movies. Couldn't do it. I saw three (I think) before I decided that my time was much too precious to be wasted like this. Same thing happened with "Pirates of the Carribean". As a die-hard fan of pirates, I had high expectations. As it turned out, the movies were not at all about pirates but just another FX-stuffed fantasy. Great disappointments (the first two anyway, never found so sleepless a night as to see the rest).

    1. I'm starting to agree with you (about James Bond, not Pirates of the C - I love the first 3) but still I'm curious. Simply as film history I want to see how this character developed (or not) during the 70's and then the 80's and then the 90's and then the '10's and for heaven sake they're still making them! So I will probably continue to fall asleep while watching but be awake enough to see history (of sorts) in the making.