Alex Holden (alex_holden) wrote,
Alex Holden

Bond 1: Dr No

I'm planning to (re)watch one or two James Bond movies a month as research for BC:2007 and, mostly for my own benefit, will be writing a few brief notes about each one.

Bond Movie no. 1: Dr No, released 1962. My Dad says he has fond memories of watching it in the cinema when it first came out. He must have been about 14 at the time.

!!Spoiler Warning!!

The following is just a series of random observations, not a proper review or synopsis.

Parts of the opening sequence (silhouettes dancing to music) remind me of Apple's iPod ads.
Bond's introduction: he is playing a high-stakes card game (and winning) against a classy, sophisticated, beautiful woman. He asks her name and she replies "Trench, Sylvia Trench" and asks his name in return. He replies "Bond, James Bond" while lighting a cigarette. She later sneaks into his room and seduces him before he leaves on his assignment.
M (smoking a pipe) takes Bond's "Damn Beretta" pistol away from him and insists he take a more powerful gun, saying the Beretta jammed on his last mission and put him in hospital for six months.
Car chases were fairly tame compared to the later movies.
Ridiculous assassination attempt involving a poisonous spider placed in Bond's bed at night.
Bond goes to the house of a woman he already knows to be working for Dr No, and seduces her (she lets him because she wants to stall him while she waits for an assassin to arrive and kill him). Then he calls for a police car to come and take her away, telling her he is calling for a taxi for himself, then seduces her a second time (slyly checking his watch to see how long he has) while waiting for the police car to arrive.
After the assassin eventually turns up, tries to kill Bond, and fails (he fires several times at the bed but Bond is actually waiting behind the door), they talk for a while, then he allows the assassin to grab his gun and fire it at him. When it clicks on empty, Bond says "that's a Smith and Wesson and you've had your six," and shoots him.
Ursula Andress as Honey Rider is gorgeous but has very little relevance to the plot.
Fire breathing dragon is actually a modified armoured car with a flame-thrower on the front.
Dr No invites Honey and Bond to dinner and tells them about his childhood, involvement with SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counterintelligence Terrorism Revenge Extortion), the loss of his hands, etc. He is a mad nuclear scientist who stole a large sum of money from a Chinese crime syndicate. He has used the money to build a nuclear power station on a small Caribbean island and plans to use it to destroy a Mercury capsule destined to travel around the Moon. I think this is in revenge for them refusing to employ him as a nuclear scientist due to his dodgy background, but that part seems a bit unclear.
Bond escapes from his prison cell through a conveniently large air conditioning duct and foils No's plan by triggering the reactor to melt down and pushing him into the reactor's cooling tank.
The film ends with Honey and Bond alone on a small boat (you can guess what happens next).
No sign of Q, and consequently very little in the way of special gadgets (a very clunky looking Geiger counter is about as far as it goes).

Overall, strong disbelief suspenders were needed in parts, but it was still great fun to watch 44 years after it was made.
Tags: james bond, movies

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