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 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 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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As I stated initially, I was only planning on doing the Connery/Moore films, and I'm done with those (save for Never Say Never Again, but I have little interest in that one).  Please feel free to continue if you so choose.

Henry R. Kujawa said:

HEY, you can't stop now!  2 of the BEST films in the entire series are up next!!!

But Randy...."Never Say Never Again" IS "Thunderball"!!!!!   LOL!


I've long observed that many of the elements that went into OCTOPUSSY were recycled (in very different form) from GOLDFINGER.  Both films start with Bond sneaking into some place to blow it up, and end with him desperately trying to STOP a bomb from going off!  (Poetic justice?)  Both involve main villains who partner up with secondary villains who are women, who in turn have entire organizations of women working FOR THEM.  And Bond winds up with the woman baddie at the end.  Further, you have henchmen with deadly sharp-edged rotating weapons (top hat, yo-yo). Bond is a prisoner for a good part of both films.  The end of the film has Bond fighting aboard an airplane, which winds up crashing.  Gobinda falls to his death while Kamal Khan goes down in the plane-- which is EXACTLY what happened to Oddjob & Goldfinger in the novel GOLDFINGER.  All this-- it CAN'T just be coincidence!  While Kevin McClory was involved in a THUNDERBALL remake, Albert Broccoli & co. were doing a GOLDFINGER remake.

Of course, there's also genuine Ian Fleming in the film, too.  The scene where Bond beats Kamal Khan at backgammon, as Khan writes Bond a check, he says, threateningly, "Spend the money-- QUICKLY!"  This comes straight from the novel MOONRAKER.  The card game in that book inspired the golf game in the later book GOLDFINGER.  The scene at Southby's Auction House come straight from the short story THE PROPERTY OF A LADY.  The entire backstory of "Octopussy" (whose real name we never learn) IS the short story OCTOPUSSY.  And the "00" agent scrambling to escape from East Berlin is a (brief) tip-of-the-hat to THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS.

I agreed with whatever critic it was at the time who said OCTOPUSSY was somewhat schizoid for a movie.  After FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, they wanted to do another film in that style, only "bigger", like the more spectacular Bond films.  Which would have been great.  But, while the humor was toned all the way down in FYEO, there were too many instances on OP where they let it go over-the-top again.  "Having trouble keeping it up, Q?"  "SSSSSit!!"  The "Tarzan" yell.  Bond dressed as a clown. 

One scene that always annoys the HELL out of me is... an atomic bomb is about to go off, thousands of lives are at risk, the fate of the free world is hanging in the balance, but Roger-freakin'-Moore lets some WOMAN beat him into a telephone booth, and the best he can think of is to (GASP) steal her car.  Which set half the German police on his trail before he even gets to the army base.  What an IDIOT!!!!  What a WIMP!!!!!

There's a scene in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS which shows, right off, that they weren't gonna do that kind of crap anymore.  Bond has just risked life & limb to stop an enemy assassin, and parachutes straight down onto the back of some woman's yacht.  And she's on the phone.  He YANKS it out her hand, speaks into the receiver, "She'll have to call you back!", then starts dialing.  YES.  The "real" James Bond had FINALLY returned to the movies!  What a shock.

I saw that film in theatres 4 TIMES.  Still the record for me with Bond films.

Henry R. Kujawa said:

My intro to Christopher Walken. He plays one of the scariest villains in the series.

Are you saying you just recently experienced Christopher Walken, or when you originally saw the movie? He was in Tim Burton's BATMAN RETURNS (Catwoman kills him), Burton's SLEEPY HOLLOW (the Headless Horseman) and also played Gabriel in the PROPHECY movies. He can always be relied upon to turn in scary, crazy performances.

I saw all the Bond movies when they first came out, starting with GOLDEN GUN and running up to QUANTUM OF SOLACE.  The earlier ones I saw on TV, each when they first debuted, and many, many times after, although around 1980 or so I did manage to see a double-feature of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and GOLDFINGER as a tiny place that, for awhile, specialized in very short runs of old movies.

Just about the same time that A VIEW TO A KILL hit theatres, the place I worked hired a guy who was one nasty SOB.  He was that terrible combination of arrogant-as-hell and incompetent, fostered by the fact that the department head was his friend, so he figured he could get away with anything, with impunity.  When you hear that 75% of the people in an entire factory HATE the bastard's guts, you know there must be a problem.  Every time I'd see AVTAK, Christopher Walken would remind me of this bastard I knew in real life.  To this day, if that guy I knew walked in front of my car, I'd STEP ON THE GAS.  He took a personal dislike to ME, and spent 3 entire years trying to have me fired.  Years and years later, I finally figured out why.  See, he was incompetent-- and he KNEW it-- and he was afraid for his job.  And he KNEW that I knew he was incompetent.  So, in his monstrously STUPID mind, he saw me as a "threat".  What an A**H***.

My favorite Christopher Walken movie is probably BLAST FROM THE PAST, because he plays a NICE guy in it for a change.

For what it's worth, I came across a "supercut" of James Bond.


"Watch '50 Years of James Bond: The Movie' a Supercut Chronicling t...


The editor pieced together five-minute sections from all the movies from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace, in order -- that is, minutes 1-5 of Dr. No, minutes 6-10 of From Russia With Love, etc. -- to create a Bond movie that, supposedly, still hangs together as it has all the tropes of the series. (I say "supposedly" because I have yet to watch it all myself.)

Here's another, shorter one, piecing together bits of several chase scenes: "James Bond Supercut Puts Every Bond Actor Into One Orgasmic Car Ch...

Did anybody see the tribute to James Bond movies during the Oscar presentation last night?  I missed it.

But I did see Adelle's great performance of the theme song to "Skyfall".

A possible "missing link" in the James Bond history may be VENDETTA FOR THE SAINT.

It was one of the best of the later novels (credited to Leslie Charteris but ghost-written by someone else), and was later turned into one of the best of the later Roger Moore stories (and possibly the best of the 2-parters).

Here's the thing. The novel was written the same year as the novel ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. Both involve a crook operating under a false name, an organized crime gang, the hero being captured and held prisoner in a mountain-top stronghold, said hero having to ESCAPE from said stronghold halfway thru the story, and then having to come back with reinforcements to take down the baddies. Even wilder, both stories were adapted to film the SAME year as well! It makes me wonder, was there something in the air that inspired both Ian Fleming and Charteris' ghost-writer, or is it possible one book may have been at least partly inspired by the other?

And meanwhile, the climax, where the hero has to scale a mountain to reach the villain's stronghold, BEFORE the reinforcements arrive, also turned up in the 1981 film FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

As an aside, the villain Simon Templar goes after in VENDETTA was played by Ian Hendry-- the original star of THE AVENGERS.  With that face & voice, it seems to me he was better-suited playing baddies.

George Pastell appears in one of his rare "good guy" roles-- as the head of the special Anti-Mafia task force.

It was more an excuse to show beautiful women in not much.

Other than that is was average.

Kirk G said:

Did anybody see the tribute to James Bond movies during the Oscar presentation last night?  I missed it.

But I did see Adelle's great performance of the theme song to "Skyfall".

I haven't been following this discussion closely, but over the weekend I ran across an article Taking stock of Bond: Ranking the 007 flicks in Charlotte's Creative Loafing (an alternative weekly). Discuss!

There's one more critical scene with Rosa Klebb that never made it into the film.

After she finishes briefing Tatiana of her assignment, Klebb disappears into the back room and emerges in a black neglegess..neglezeh..neglesis...oh hell, baby doll see-through nightgown...and Tatiana, repulsed, stands up and flees the room.  I thought that was a critical scene to drive home the point of Klebb's "orientation"...

(For years, I always thought of Barbara Streisand wearing that double handed outfit from "The Owl and the Pussycat" whenever that scene comes up...   I guess I saw the ads for THAT movie about the same time I saw From Russia With Love at the drive-in...or maybe the promo for THAT movie was shown right before FRWL did.)

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