Review: Dr. No (1962)

DR NO COVER

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

007 Agent James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent off by his superior, M (Bernard Lee) to investigate the disappearance of one of their agents, John Strangways and his secretary in the tropics of Jamaica. Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) and James flirt shamelessly, but before we know it he is off.

DR NO

“You Limeys can be pretty touchy about trespassing.” – Leiter

Out in the unknown, during his investigation 007 finds out that the CIA is also looking to find out what the hell is going on with missing agents, tales of dragons on islands not far off the coast as well as files that have gone missing with Agent Strangways. He partners up with Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) of the CIA, and they find that Strangways was investigating the island with the dragon rumours, Crab Key Island. Bond establishes that the locals are terrified of the island, and that virtually nothing is known of the owner, Dr Julius No (Joseph Wiseman). A native of Jamaica, Quarrel (John Kitzmuller), is brought in to help the respective services in their desire to find out what is going on.

James Bond and Honey Ryder Dr No

“Have you any idea what they’ll do with us?” – Honey

007 journeys to the island when he learns of Dr No’s plans of toppling and disrupting an American NASA-launched rocket with a radio-beam weapon, and he meets Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress). Being hunted across the island and ultimately captured, Bond learns that Dr No is a coldblooded murderer who is very well protected, and needs to be stopped at all costs. Bond is taken to the underground lair of his latest nemesis and finds out that Dr No is a member of SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion) and aiming for world domination when meeting with him for dinner. Dr No is an ingenious scientist, feared and revered by both his friend and enemies alike, Bond is dealing with a whole new level of criminal.

Bond, James Bond Dr No

“Bond. James Bond.”

The time is here to step up and be the spy that MI6 has trained him to be. His 00 status is important as ever right now. Will Bond be able to stop Dr No’s evil plans and halt his desire for world domination in its tracks? Will he be able to make it off the island alive and get the girl, as well as do a huge favour for the American government?

A 7/10 for Dr No. Not a bad way to start an immensely successful franchise, that is for sure. Connery was a good Bond. I loved how the women in these old school films were not overly, anorexically skinny. It is very interesting to watch the films and see how much times have changed; everything from dress sense to smoking policies. I thoroughly enjoy Bond, though I feel that the more the franchise progressed, the better it got. Bond has a few really lame and cheesy lines in it, and I like that seeing as they are not the predominant lines. I must comment on the quality of the image and sound that I experienced from this new box set – it is phenomenal! Everything has been remastered, and it makes for a fantastic viewing experience. Not always the easiest film to follow, but not bad. The acting was also not completely disastrous for the era, and the camera work was fine. Typical Bond soundtrack, too! The villain was also interesting, being rich and a genius. What a way to start the Bond movies!

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20 thoughts on “Review: Dr. No (1962)

  1. keith7198 says:

    Here come the Bonds! I love it!

    May I embarrass myself once again? I haven’t seen this film. In fact there’s a huge void in my movie watching when it comes to older Bond. This one sounds pretty decent though.

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  2. Paul S says:

    I always enjoy watching Dr. No and it does stay fairly familiar to Ian Fleming’s novel, which you can’t say about a lot of the later films.
    The remastered movie sounds great. Nice retro artwork too!

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    • Zoë says:

      I must admit (my turn to be embarrassed) that I have yet to read them! I will definitely put it on my to-read list, though. I must just stop procrastinating is all!

      It is so great to watch them with cleaned up sound and image! The art is pretty cool!

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  3. ruth says:

    Nice review Zoë! I actually just saw this not too long ago, I’ve only seen parts of it when I was younger. I was laughing so hard at how cheesy everything is and what a ditz the Bond girl is (most of them were I guess in Connery era), but like you said, at least they look more womanly. On the bright side, Connery is such a beautiful man! Sorry to say but it’s funny to see how it went from him (and the also super gorgeous Dalton) to Craig, ahah.

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Ruth! Oh the cheese of the old Bonds is something of legend to me. However those Bond girls! Apparently more womanly looking didn’t equate to very independent! Just by the way, that cheese doesn’t ease up the more you watch until much later.

      Ah Dalton! Been watching Chuck recently and to see him as Alexei Volkoff cracks me up every time! Craig is not necessarily my cup of tea, but he is a fantastic 007!

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      • ruth says:

        I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Dalton. I blog about him a lot, he’s still my favorite Bond and my favorite Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre). Such a beautiful man and sooo talented. Craig is not much to look at (for me anyway) but he is a fantastic 007, I agree. I still think Bond should have dark hair though, so hopefully he would again after Craig.

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      • Zoë says:

        I am definitely checking your blog for more on him, he is amazing!

        Craig really brought a new dynamic tothe Bond films in my opinion. I wonder who will be Bond after? Maybe we luck out and get Henry Cavill, he is still eyeing the role out apparently for when Craig’s reign ends after Bond 25…

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    • Zoë says:

      Ah, Casino Royale will always have a special spot for me, and Goldfinger was a strong one. Just the end with all the troops “dropping” and what not… wow!

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