Dr. No – James Bond January

Dr. No Movie Review Poster

Bond:

This is the first James Bond movie and has what many say is the best James Bond, Sean Connery.  He is hairy, smokes, and loves the ladies.  He fills in all the cliches that I have come to know about Bond.  He likes his Martini shaken not stirred.  He has sex with 2 women during the course of the movie with a third implied at the end.  He loves his Beretta handgun over the Walter PPK.  He plays Baccarat and is a smart, crafty and classy spy.  This to me seems like the bar is set during the first movie.  Overtime we might see some changes, but I think almost everything is going to get compared to Bond from Dr. No and he is quite good.

Women: 

There are 3 women in Dr. No, a opening girl, a bad girl and a good girl.  This seems to be the format that I have come to know seeing the newer movies and it seems like this trend started right at the beginning.  Ursula Andress is the one in the poster (The Good Girl).  A silly shell hunter named Honey Ryder, who is at the wrong place at the wrong time.  She is not a strong female character and is not much more than a pretty face, a disappointment in my opinion.  The second (The Opening Girl) was a confident, forward woman played by Eunice Grayson, who I thought fit much better into the type of woman James Bond would like.  The third woman (The Bad Girl) was an agent of SPECTRE and not the smartest woman.  This seductress failed at her mission, and didn't impress me too much. 

Villan and Threat:

Again Dr. No sets the bar where I think all other Bond films are measured against, and Dr. No the villain is the reason why.  An Asian atomic genius with a hand disability wants to destroy the U.S. Space Program.   He knows James Bond's every move and is cold and calculating.  He has motive and his anger makes sense and is explained well enough.  He punishes his own men with poison spiders.  This is a threat and villain that I think is worthy of a James Bond movie.  Dr. No also introduces SPECTRE, a group? of terrorists and others evil doers.  At this time all we hear is that they are mentioned.

Gadgets:

There is no special car, or special gadgets for James Bond in Dr. No.  This was a disappointment.  There was a cyanide cigarette and a fire breathing tank that the bad guys used, but Mr. Bond only gets his Walter PPK and his charm.  I didn't know that there were some James Bond movies that didn't have gadgets.  I will tell you when they are first seen in future reviews.  

Overall:

I think even without the gadgets this movie is a gold standard James Bond movie.  It delivered most of what is expected and did so in a way that didn't seem silly, or like it was jumping the shark.  The lack of cool spy toys was a bit of a let down, but not enough for me to write this movie off as a bad representation of Jame Bond.  I think Dr. No is a wonderful start to a series that has almost spanned 50 years.  It is easy to see why it has lasted so long.

  • Great start to the “Bondathon” and I love that poster!

    Though Dr. No doesn’t feature John Barry’s music or a whole lot of eye-opening gadgets it does showcase the talents of Mr Virility himself, Sean Connery.

    Good luck with the rest of the series. I’ll be pitching in with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and perhaps one of Rog’s early outings.

    • Right on, glad to hear it. I just watched Roger Moore’s first last night and I was VERY disappointed.


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