So, I've decided to watch the James Bond films in order and comment about them. I will be limiting myself to the movies featuring the only two actors that I feel portrayed Bond properly--i.e. Sean Connery and Roger Moore--and ignoring anything else that calls itself a Bond movie (with the possible exception of the 1967 Casino Royale). To begin with, 1962's Dr. No. A quick synopsis courtesy of The James Bond Films:

Dr. No intends to destroy a U.S. moon rocket from his nuclear-powered base on an island near Jamaica.

Now for my thoughts on the movie:

* First appearance of Bond shooting the camera with blood pouring down from the top--No Bond theme until after the shot, and Bond is wearing a fedora. I like fedoras, but Bond just doesn't seem a fedora type of guy.

* I like the danciing silhouettes during the opening titles.

* I love the styling of old cars.

* Silencers made guns really quiet back then.

* Bond and Baccarat...they go together like peanut butter and chocolate, or rum and cola.

* Lois Maxwell looks quite lovely as Moneypenny, and her flirtation with Bond seems more playful than his other interactions with women...very likeable.

* Hmm...not sure how close this movie is in time to the Cuban missile crisis, but I know the timing is close.

* I never knew Bond used a Beretta before the Walther.

* No Q...no gadgets either.

* I should like to return to my hotel finding a beautiful woman wearing my pajamas and practicing putting in my room, although I can also see how that would be off-putting as well.

* Jack Lord is supposed to be in Hawaii, not Jamaica.

* The fighting in this movie seems almost to be a parody of itself--however, I'm sure that's more to do with 50 years of similar movies since then.

* The police commissioner in Kingston, Jamaica is a white man...doesn't sound quite right to me. A-Ha! Jamaica had not declared it's indepence from Great Britain in 1962.

* He doesn't say "shaken, not stirred" but that is how he orders his vodka martini.

* Why is the bartender East Indian? Eh, likely the British connection again.

* Lots of product placement for Red Stripe. Hooray Beer!

* I guess rasslin' alligators doesn't quite prepare you for Bond, James Bond.

* Very Marvel comics...the good guys fight, then team up.

* So...all the natives have American accents...

* Disembodied voices are so cool and scary sometimes.

* The way women hunger after Bond is quite funny.

* Backup vodka is always a good idea when you're a superspy.

* You know, if I woke up in the middle of the night and found a huge tarantula on my back, my first instinct would likely be to roll over and attempt to smush it.

* I love how the orchestra is in sync with him smashing the spider with his shoe.

* Ruh-Roh! The pretty eavesdropping secretary is a bad girl!

* And that's what you get for being a bad guy in a big ugly car.

* Bond womanizes...of course, she's likely to be dead by the end of their date.

* He was nice...he only had her arrested.

* Quarrel is a dead man...I know it.

* Ursula Andress...yes, please!

* Oh sure, the old "breathing through a hollow reed underwater" trick.

* Yup, 1962, black guy, red shirt...Quarrel just got it.

* Okay, superspy 101...do not drink or eat anything the enemy offers you.

* Umm...yeah...Ursula...yeah...

* With names like Sister Lily and Sister Rose, they'd better be sinister.

* He sends Honey off to be ... mistreated. That's the Bond I'm familiar with.

* Ooohhh, S.P.E.C.T.R.E.!

* Sure, electrify the grating, but don't take away his rubber-soled shoes. Good move.

* A gruesome, but fitting end for Dr. No.

* And of course, Bond is the mack...

Reasonably fun, I suppose, but a very uneven movie. There are a lot of unanswered questions, and key points of the plot make as much sense as the Adam West Batman! series. Still, if you don't take it too seriously, it's not bad.

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Great review on Goldfinger Randy. It was almost like re watching the movie.

 "Do you expect me to talk Goldfinger?" "No Mr Bond, I expect you to die."

One of the all time great hero/villain exchanges of all time.

If James Bond had started life in comic books, how many times do you think Goldfinger and/or Oddjob would have returned to plague Bond? They are at the top of the 007 rogues gallery.

I figure by now Oddjob would be a cyborg. Also, I think Blofeld would have transplanted his brain into the cat.

doc photo said:


If James Bond had started life in comic books, how many times do you think Goldfinger and/or Oddjob would have returned to plague Bond? They are at the top of the 007 rogues gallery.

"I think Blofeld would have transplanted his brain into the cat."

Why not a chihuahua?  (What, you think I'm making this up???)

I must object.

As much as I like Goldfinder, and absolutely love the theme and orchestration, I cannot abide by the plot turning on the point of Bond "turning" Pussy Galore.  First, he raped her in the barn.  Second, HE RAPED HER.  Third, after she says, "No, I'm not interested," HE RAPES HER!

This is unforgivable in any era.

And it's in Thunderball that the writers quoted the critics, putting the lines into the mouth of the female assasin, "Oh, but I forgot about the male ego. The great James Bond, who only has to make love to turn the woman to the side of good and the angels.  Well, it won't work with me. I like being evil."

I didn't realize it at first, but they are talking directly about the poor turning point of "Goldfinger".

In the book, Miss Galore was a lesbian.  She & Tilly became an item (as Tilly didn't get killed until the aftermath of the raid on Ft. Knox).  So when Miss Galore says, "You can turn off the charm, I'm imune", that's why.  At the end of the book, Bond winds up with her.  I forget if if was in any dialogue or not, but the point came across this way.  "I thought she only liked women."  "I never met a MAN before."

So in Ian Fleming's universe... lesbians-- BAD.  Straight women-- GOOD.

Then again, I understand Fleming began writing novels as a way to take his mind off his impending marriage.  Apparently he never really loved his wife, I believe it was some kind of arranged marriage.  Apparently it made him deeply resent most women in general... except for those he could conjure up in his racy sexist mysogenist fantasies. (Of course, if I take the film THE SECRET LIFE OF IAN FLEMING as being in any way based on the truth, he did love a woman once... but she was killed during the war.  Which, if true, may have been the inspiration for what happened to Tracy in OHMSS.)

Actually, I just re-read the final three chapters of Goldfinger only about 3 weeks ago.  And I was looking for the explanation that you cite.  Yes, she was supposed to be lesbian.  And it's when Tilly get's killed by Oddjob's hat while pulling away from Bond, ("I want to go with Pussy. I'll be safe with her."), that's when Bond thought he understood all about Tilly Masterson.

And in the concluding page or two of Goldfinger, Pussy and James are sitting back in the tail of the plane, fully loaded with gold in the hold, waiting for the plane to ditch next to Weather Station Zebra (or something off the coast of Newfoundland) when he asks her, and she replies....  (I paraphrase, liberally)...

"I'm from Kentucky. You know the old joke, what's a Virgin...she's someone who could outrun her brothers? Well, in my case it was my Uncle, and I couldn't out run him.  And so I never much cared for it, and turned away from men. Until I met a REAL man, like you James..."

The next thing they know, the plane skips over one wave and into the second, breaking in two and throwing them into the ocean. The plane sinks with the pilot and crew, and Bond and Pussy are the only survivors.  His mouth decends on hers, ruthlessly!

 

I swear, that's how it ends...

If you want to enjoy the Bond books and/or movies, you have to recognize that Fleming wasn't a man of our time. As I recall, all his Germans and Russians are bad guys. He has Bond question whether Goldfinger is Jewish. He has to justify the concept (in LIVE AND LET DIE) of a "negro" supercriminal. I recall the phrase "what her body is for" in one of the books. When he tried to write THE SPY WHO LOVED ME from a woman's point of view it was pathetic.

The phrase "it is what it is" seems to apply.

Goldfinger is a real name; there are pages on several Goldfingers at Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia's page on the Bond villain it's a German-Jewish name. I've not read the book; the bit with Bond's question is probably there to help exclude an antisemitic implication that would otherwise be present. Fleming reportedly named the character after the architect Ernő Goldfinger.

 

Gert Fröbe couldn't speak English. According to Wikipedia he was dubbed for Goldfinger by an actor named Michael Collins. If Richard will pardon me, I don't think Fröbe was a director. Fröbe's other parts include comedic roles in Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Monte Carlo or Bust. He also appeared in three 1960s Dr Mabuse films, which can be found at Internet Archive. The first of these, Die 1000 Augen des Dr Mabuse (Eng. The Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse), was director Fritz Lang's final film. The Internet Archive version has no subtitles, I fear.

 

Regarding Fleming's depiction of Germans, there's an interesting exception. "Octopussy" (spoiler warning) involves the murder many years before of an Austrian mountaineer called Hannes Oberhauser, who Bond says was "something of a father to me at a time when I happened to need one". Implicitly this was before the war, as his murder took place just after it.

Interesting that Frobe was dubbed. I thought he spoke his lines phonetically. I took a statement I once read about him being a director as true without checking it out. Without digging out my copy of the book, I assume the first name "Auric" was used there. In my earlier post I was questioning the first name. I know in the book M says Goldfinger is not his real name. Not sure if he changed it legally. I know that Goldfinger is a real name.

Luke Blanchard said:

Goldfinger is a real name; there are pages on several Goldfingers at Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia's page on the Bond villain it's a German-Jewish name. I've not read the book; the bit with Bond's question is probably there to help exclude an antisemitic implication that would otherwise be present. Fleming reportedly named the character after the architect Ernő Goldfinger.

 

Gert Fröbe couldn't speak English. According to Wikipedia he was dubbed for Goldfinger by an actor named Michael Collins. If Richard will pardon me, I don't think Fröbe was a director. Fröbe's other parts include comedic roles in Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Monte Carlo or Bust. He also appeared in three 1960s Dr Mabuse films, which can be found at Internet Archive. The first of these, Die 1000 Augen des Dr Mabuse (Eng. The Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse), was director Fritz Lang's final film. The Internet Archive version has no subtitles, I fear.

 

Regarding Fleming's depiction of Germans, there's an interesting exception. "Octopussy" (spoiler warning) involves the murder many years before of an Austrian mountaineer called Hannes Oberhauser, who Bond says was "something of a father to me at a time when I happened to need one". Implicitly this was before the war, as his murder took place just after it.

They dubbed a lot of actors in those films.  I think it helped them keep the budgets down to get so many foreign actors, but after awhile the amount of dubbing becomes ridiculous.

For example, in DR. NO, I think the policeman who greets Bond at Government House was dubbed by Robert Rietty-- the perrennial voice-man.  Ursula Andress was also dubbed. 

In FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, Tatiana (Daniela Biahcni) was dubbed, as was Blofeld.  (This is a really strange point; apparently, Blofeld was played onscreen by Anthony Dawson, who'd played Professor Dent in DR. NO.  But for the deep voice, they got Eric Pohlmann who has a huge part in THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER.  When I saw him on THE SAINT and DANGER MAN, he reminded me of "Victor Buono's more serious brother".  I wonder why they didn't just get HIM to play Blofeld onscreen?

In THUNDERBALL, Emilio Largo (Adolpho Celi) was dubbed by Robert Rietty, and I understand Domino (Claudine Auger) was also dubbed.  By the way, if you go to the IMDB, they claim Blofeld was dubbed by Eric Polhmann again, but don't believe it.  That's Joesph Wiseman's voice in this one!!!  It's TOO cold-blooded to possible be Pohlmann.

In YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba) was dubbed by Robert Rietty (except for one shot where you actually heard his real voice-- crazy).  This makes me wonder, WHY did they make such a big deal about Mie Hama allegedly having trouble with the English language?  Rumor has it they thought about replacing her, until they found out if they did she might ave comitted suicide over it (or was this just some kind of made-up publicity gimmick, as suicide was such a big part of the book's plot?), and so instead, they swapped roles and gave her the one with less dialogue.  But WHY not just dub her if it was an issue?  After all, she was dubbed when she appeared, the same year, in KING KONG ESCAPES.

In OHMSS, Draco (Gabriele Ferzetti) was dubbed by David DeKyser, and while in disguise as "Hilary Bray", George Lazenby was dubbed by George Baker (go figure).

Randy Jackson said:

* I never knew Bond used a Beretta before the Walther.

Stephen Hunter, former film critic for The Washington Post, and before that, film critic for The Baltimore Sun, is also a gun expert. He took military sniper training as research for his series of suspense novels, one of which was made into the movie Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg. Anyway, Hunter has written more than once that the Walther is a horrible choice of gun; it looks cool but is hard to work and it's short-barrelled and thus has little accuracy. See here: "James Bond’s PPK Gun is Only Good for Its Looks"


Randy Jackson said:

Tonight's film is Goldfinger

 

* You know, it might be nice just once to meet 008.  Is he--or she--as effective as say Agent 99?  One wonders.

Actually, there was a movie based on that conceit ... I saw it a long, long time ago, The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, featuring the adventures of Charles Vine. Basically, Charles Vine was the guy MI-6 would send when James Bond was busy. It was more of a spoof in the Our Man Flint vein than a serious spy movie.

IMDB says there were two sequels that I'd never heard of before, Where the Bullets Fly and O.K. Yevtushenko.

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