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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Interesting - if Lazenby had stuck around he most likely would have become more comfortable in the role and we may have come to accept him as Bond rather than as a stand in for Connery. Last year I watched On Her Majesty's Secret Service from start to finish for the very first time - it was much better than I expected.

Recently read The Man With the Golden Touch: How The Bond Films Conquered The World by Sinclair McKay and would highly recommend it to any Bond fan. Mckay is a 007 fan boy and is extremely knowledgeable about the movies and novels and the people involved. He writes in a casual style that makes you feel as if you are sharing a conversation, albeit a one sided one, with a fellow Bond aficionado.

resurrected photo res.gif

I've noted a time or two before that every time there's a new James Bond movie, somebody will write a piece on the theme "Is James Bond Still Relevant in the Post-Cold War Era?"

Well, CBR decided not to wait until the next Bond movie is out: "It’s Time for the Bond Franchise to End"

I would not want to see them kill off Bond, however I wouldn't mind this next film being the last Bond film set in the current day. If they are going to re-boot the series with a new actor as 007, why not do them as period pieces set in the late Fifties/early Sixties? That would eliminate the problem of technology making the secret agent obsolete and place Bond back into the Cold War setting as originally conceived.

I like that idea.

I'd like to see that. They could adhere closer to the original books, which I think would help the stories as period pieces.

I wonder how many movie tickets the Bond movies sell in Russia? The movie-makers are going to consider the effect on the world-wide sales. China probably wouldn't have a problem with it as long as they don't negatively refer to Communism, and China is a big market.

The producers could get around that just as they have in the past by having SPECTRE, an international criminal organization, being the source of the challenges facing Her Majesty's Secret Service. Even Rosa Krebs, in the film version of From Russia With Love, was shown to be a double agent working for SPECTRE within the SMERSH organization.



Richard Willis said:

I wonder how many movie tickets the Bond movies sell in Russia? The movie-makers are going to consider the effect on the world-wide sales. China probably wouldn't have a problem with it as long as they don't negatively refer to Communism, and China is a big market.

Not if they did the original books. Having Rosa Klebb and Red Grant working for SPECTRE instead of The SMERSH section of the NKVD/KGB was a cheat and implied that the Russia was our frenemy. That wasn't true then and still isn't. 

doc photo said:

The producers could get around that just as they have in the past by having SPECTRE, an international criminal organization, being the source of the challenges facing Her Majesty's Secret Service. Even Rosa Krebs, in the film version of From Russia With Love, was shown to be a double agent working for SPECTRE within the SMERSH organization.



Richard Willis said:

I wonder how many movie tickets the Bond movies sell in Russia? The movie-makers are going to consider the effect on the world-wide sales. China probably wouldn't have a problem with it as long as they don't negatively refer to Communism, and China is a big market.

A recent anime called Moriarty the Patriot had an interesting take on Bond. The anime is about the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty from Moriarty's perspective. 

At a certain point, Irene Adler has to fake her own death. As she needs a new identity, she comes up with one -- Bonde, James Bonde. There's even a Q. So the conceit is that Adler is the first Bond of probably many.

It could be quite interesting to see new Bond films done as period pieces, with different actors in the role. 

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