Bond v0.1 - Doctor No
This is where it all began - Connery, Sean Connery, as the immortalised James Bond. Everybody knows the character, everybody knows the series, but I fear all too few of the younger generations know where it all began.
I grew up on a healthy diet of Connery flavoured Bond, with a side serving of Moore. Good times. I survived the Dalton phase, but lost my keen interest when Brosnan took the helm. It wasn’t so much the actor, but the cheesiness and my inability to suspend my disbelief far enough - invisible cars? Gimme a break. So when the blonde Bond came along, harking back to the orginal flavour of the “real” Bond - I was once again hooked. So while chatting with friends about how good some of the new and old Bond films are, we lightly suggested a full watch-through, from No to Quantum. Little did I realise that even at the cracking pace of one a week, it’d be mid next year before we got to the current crop!
So here I am, sleep deprived and a little excited after watching the birth of a legend. Yes, Dr. No is the first foray onto the big screen for Ian Flemming’s most famous character, and boy things have changed over the years! This 1962 movie really is old school - from the noticable lack of background music, to the terrible car chase scenes, and the distinct lack of real acting - yet it all works, and works well. Watching it now, it really does remind me of how far cinema has come. Some of the things they do, the techniques they use, and just the concepts explored seem so “done”. But it’s the timing that makes it all work - these spy movie staples that are so dated today, would have been fresh and innovative back then! On top of that, it really was during one of the peaks of the Cold War. The space race was really gearing itself up with satelites and astronauts being the talk of the modern world.
This dated, tired and poorly executed film (by todays standards) is in its own way, brilliant. Compared to the more mainstream Bond films, it’s just not a Bond film at all. Its dark, it’s quiet and it’s more a detective story than anything else we see in this series as it grows. It is also a great foundation for the series to build from.
Credit to Ursula - Honey Rider - Andress… wow! Just spectacular - as iconic as Connery’s doormat chest hair! This is the brilliance of the sixties. Special mention to Felix Lighters super stylish sunglasses - almost worth a watch just to see them! Very Dame Edna!
James Bond will return in From Russia With Love… Next week :)