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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Charles Gray's best film is probably THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (released as THE DEVIL'S BRIDE in the US).  It stars Christopher Lee as the hero, and Gray is the leader of a Satanic cult.  One of Terence Fisher's very best films!

I used to feel the same way about just marking time until Connery returned, but frankly, I think George did very well with this film. I felt Connery would have been too old for Diana Rigg and convincing me that he (Connery had fallen in love, well, I don't believe it. Connery is just not that type  in my mind.  But pretty boy, young, dashing and brunnette Geroge, well, I felt they were setting him up for that final scene, right from the beginning.  

I thought he delivered it perfectly.

I could NEVER see Sean Connery infiltrating anything like Pitz Gloria as a boring genealogist   And I don't think the audience would have bought it either. That's why his line in Diamonds are Forever, "Good Lord, I just killed James Bond? Really?" never quite works with me...cause we all know better, and given the information that the Universal Exports cover has been blown in OHMSS, I would think anyone who was anyone, would now recognize the great James Bond.

doc photo said:

Just last year I sat down and watched On Her Majesty's Secret Service from start to finish for the first time ever. I had always avoided it because I thought of Lazenby as little more than a place marker until the producers could get Connery back. The film is one of the better outings and it may be the last one to adhere relatively close to the book. Had this one starred Connery I think it would be considered a classic Bond movie.

And speaking of classic Bond - just saw Skyfall this week - it is very good, right up there with the best of the early films.

.

Is it too late to add that Charles Grey is also Mr. Boring Narrator in that piece of trash, "Rocky Horror Picture Show?"

Nope--although not everyone considers it a piece of trash, of course.

Kirk G said:

Is it too late to add that Charles Grey is also Mr. Boring Narrator in that piece of trash, "Rocky Horror Picture Show?"

I ran across this short little two minute mystery when I was cleaing up the Comic Room Archives in my house. It comes from a third reprint volume of Ms. Tree and Mike Mist.  You'll enjoy the characters depicted.

If you're really nice to me, I just might type the solution a couple of entries lower, so that you won't have to invert your computer to cheat and read the solution. (You're on your honor here, Mr. Bond...)

Live and Let Die - From IMDb:

007 is sent to stop a diabolically brilliant heroin magnate armed with a complex organization and a reliable psychic tarot card reader.

Thoughts:

* New Bond, new era, fedora is gone.

* Nasty sonic attack through the UN headphones.

* New Orleans funeral.  Very stylish.

* A-ha!  A pre-emptive funeral.

* That's an abrupt change in tone.

* Hmm.  Now some sort of odd rite in the Caribbean.  Voodoo perhaps?

* Death by snake.

* Great theme song by Paul McCartney and Wings, albeit with lyrics that make little sense.

* Bond in bed with a beautiful woman.  Who could imagine that?

* You know it's a big deal when M comes to you.

* "Is that all it does?"  I don't think Q designed the Espresso Maker.

* Really, why did Moneypenny and M just show up at Bond's house? Why not just call him?  This scene is humorous, but it's also purposeless as well.

* Moneypenny being as efficient as ever.

* I just knew that magnetic watch would be put to good use.

* A Tarot reading. Unique.

* A side-mirror mounted dart gun.  Nifty. Takes on hell of an aim, however.

* The "Oh Cult Voodoo Shop". Please.

* Great shot of the platform shoes.

* Lovely old taxicab, and the driver is somewhat amusing as well.

* "You got a honky on your tail." I hate it when that happens.

* And everybody and their uncle has made him.

* Took his money and sent him through the secret door.

* Even in obvious danger, James can't help noticing a beautiful woman.

* Mechanical claw for a hand.  Very intimidating sometimes.

* Make that a powerful mechanical claw for a hand.

* "Waste him. Is that a good thing?"  I guess perhaps the slang wasn't as well known as it is now.

* She's intrigued...or she has gas.

* So, one of the men is on his side. Good to know that the CIA employed black operatives back then.

* "The genuine Felix Leiter. Illuminating." Awful pun, but I'm laughing.

* There seems to be a snake thing going on in this movie, but I could be mistaken.

* The old aerosol can flamethrower trick.

* Her 2nd mission.  The first was the man who was killed earlier.  That's got to fill James with tons of confidence.

* "I'm sure we'll be able to lick you into shape." No comment.

* She resists James' charm. Amazing.

* She certainly screams a lot for a secret agent.

* Really, James is brutal at the whole undercover thing.

* Did they really have to make the first inept agent a black woman?

* A-ha!  She's working for Kananga!

* Alas poor Rosie.  She was a lying, cheating deceitful woman, but she did fill a bikini nicely.

* Hang-gliding with a cigar?  Never seen that before.

* Oh, that tricky James Bond.

* I'm beginning to have a feeling that Solitaire won't survive this movie.

* James is continually underestimating his opponents.

* Stealing a bus.  That gives them reason to arrest Bond.

* Once again, underestimating his opponents.

* That was quite the disguise.

* Trespassers Will Be Eaten.  That's a warning for you.

* Standard death trap. Crocodiles.  How will he get out of this one?

* Sure, run across the backs of the crocs.  They'll have no problem with that.

* This is the first chase in a Bond film I can recall without the use of green screen.

* I wonder if this is where the "Dukes of Hazzard" got their ideas from.

* Nifty bit of theatrics.

* Okay, I think they're seriously overusing the theme as incidental music.

* Sharks!

* Well, shark at least.

* Kananga blown up like an Oompa Loompa.

* "What the hell can you two do on the train for 16 hours?" Do we have to spell it out for you Felix?

* So, we're supposed to believe that somehow Baron Samedi lived.

All in all, pretty much what I expect from a Roger Moore Bond film.  More of a big dumb movie full of explosions and chases as opposed to intrigue.  That doesn't mean it was bad.  Yaphet Kotto made an excellent villain, plus three fun sub-villains as well in whisper, Tee-Hee and Baron Samedi.  Additionally, there were lots of laughs for me in this film.  Not the best, but fun, and that's what I like about Bond films.

I will say, however, that thwarting a heroin operation is a little disappointing given the threats Connery faced as Bond.  with S.P.E.C.T.R.E. out of the picture, I guess the end of the world will be less of an issue, at least for now.

OK, as promised, here's the solution printed right side up for you.

 

 

 

 

Spoiler Alert:

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not kidding.....

 

 

 

 

 

It's coming up.....

 

 

 

 

 

Last Chance.....

 

 

 

 

 

You have to recall that each film is a product of it's times... first, CB radios were a big fad in the USA so this is the first instance that we see them reflected in a Bond movie...in the hands of the corrupt ghetto blacks... Yes, Bond was completely out of his element, and I think that's the point of the cue ball comment.

This movie was action packed, and as the first time we see the fat redhead Sheriff, he was as popular as the Sheriff in the recent "Smokey and the Bandit" movie.

I couldn't figure out what the point of having Baron Samedi and the elevator, the voodoo cult or any of the rest of the gimmicks was...how do they help the operation?

And NO, Baron Samedi did NOT survive...that was a symbloic end....as in "Death Rides the Train"... or "Death Rides the Rails"... or "Death Takes a Holiday"...

I agree that the Paul McCartney song was strong, it was ALL over the radio at the time...but we could never figure out what the lyrics meant except to tie in "Live and Let Die" into the song...about Bond.  At the time it came out, the abrupt shift in tempo was a signature effect for Paul....as in Uncle Albert/Admiral Hawsley.

As the debut for Roger Moore, it was important that this film go over well, and that's why I think they pulled out the stops regarding the cliques, the theme song and he gaggets and the several reveals in the movie.  All in all, it worked for what it was supposed to do..."re-establish James Bond as Roger Moore".  Remember, it had been several years since we'd seen Sean Connrey in "Diamonds Are Forever", which despite a good strong song, didn't go over all that well.  Sean was getting old and out of shape, as I recall....thinning on top, and just wasn't the action hero he might once have been considered.

Thanks, Kirk.

 

The bit where Mr Big's men follow Bond's car as it goes into Harlem is a reflection of the book, where he has an intelligence network of black people working in low-wage occupations.

 

Reportedly, the trainer suggested and performed the crocodile escape stunt. The crocodiles were anchored under the water.

 

I routinely can't understand the words of pop songs. (Where does the stuff about never having her heart come from in "Skyfall"? Hasn't she been singing about how much she loves him to that point?)

FYI, Live and Let Die came out in 1973, whereas Smokey and the Bandit was 1977.  If anything, the character was borrowed for Smokey and the Bandit.

Kirk G said:

This movie was action packed, and as the first time we see the fat redhead Sheriff, he was as popular as the Sheriff in the recent "Smokey and the Bandit" movie.

Clifton James (Sheriff J.W. Pepper) appeared in LIVE AND LET DIE, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, SILVER STREAK and SUPERMAN II.

Of course, they'd made fun of the police in the previous movie, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, but those were Las Vegas cops.  They also made fun of local cops in A VIEW TO A KILL (an almost-unforgivably stupid scene), and, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, but, in the latter, the scene, while filmed, was CUT before the movie ever reached theatres.  Good decision.

The Man With The Golden Gun - from IMDb:

Bond is led to believe that he is targeted by the world's most expensive assassin and must hunt him down to stop him.

Thoughts:

* Nifty house.  Nifty workout room.

* An ambush for Scaramanga!

* Is this some sort of riff on Clouseau and Kato?

* His gun is awfully noisy.  I guess that silencer isn't working so good.

* Yup, definitely a riff on Clouseau and Kato, except this time the servant hires hit men.

* Opening credits are fun. Is that Shirley Bassey I hear?

* No, not Shirley Bassey. Lulu. Some similarity in their voices.

* Cleverly camouflaged naked girl.

* Hmm...one wonders if these movies were considered "kiddie-fare" back then.

* "I mean, who would pay a million dollars to have me killed?""Jealous husbands. Outraged chefs. Humiliated tailors. The list is endless."

* Sadly, there's little chemistry between Bond and Moneypenny.

* So, it's off to Beirut to track a killer before he kills Bond.

* Not a lot of films using Beirut as a location.

* Attacked mid-seduction whilst swallowing a bullet?  That's a new one.

* Now it's off to Macau to see a man named Lazare about a golden bullet.

* Now to Hong Kong on the hydrofoil, as Bond chases a beautiful woman (really, when does he not chase a beautiful woman?)

* James relaxes far too easily around beautiful women, considering how frequently they attempt to kill him.

* I guess James was prophetic about it being a strip club, but I don't think Scaramanga's performing.

* There's something quite sinister about Nick Nack.

* That's one funky headquarters.  

* Nice digs for Hai Fat, if a bit gaudy.

* Chew Mee?  Riiiight.

* As always, James is one step behind his adversaries.

* "Take Mr. Bond to school."  I guess he missed one of his O-levels.

* Quite a nice bit of martial arts there.  Presumably, the school will kill Bond.

* Well, no face in that win.

* Karate! Not as good choreography though, as Bond should have been severely beaten.

* Oh sure James, let a couple of schoolgirls do your fighting for you.

* Now that was just mean, James. Give the boy his baht.

* Good ol' J.W. is along for the ride too.

* In the vernacular, the elephant just pwned J.W.

* Scaramanga is assembling his gun.  Goodbye Hai Fat.

* I think Goodnight is feeling the same frustrations as Moneypenny.

* J.W. is fun, but he does detract a little from the film.  Oh well.

* The famed car chase.

* The famed 360 degree car jump.  In an AMC Hornet, no less!

* One upped by the car transforming into an airplane. Another AMC.  I wonder if they helped bankroll the film...

* Odd...well, maybe not.  The sea plane has only one pontoon. Excuse me--it's a floatplane.

* "De plane, boss, de plane!"  Well, of course not, but I had to do it. :D

* That huge gun is a "harmless toy" to Scaramanga?

* Hmm...I'd forgotten the whole "solar power gun" angle. I guess the world is in a bit of jeopardy here.

* "There's a useful four letter word.  And you're full of it."

* Bond wins the duel, not that that's any surprise.  It's just odd that Scaramanga didn't notice his wax dummy of Bond didn't have all of it's fingers.

* A pretty girl in a bikini is going to be the death of Bond yet.

* They've escaped...or have they?

* Finally, James and Goodnight hook up.

* A mirrored ceiling.  How 1970's.

* There are some problems inherent in fighting a little person.

* Sigh, wasting all of that perfectly good liquor like that.  Shame on you, Nick Nack.

* Now with that distraction out of the way, James and Goodnight can hook up.

* "She's just coming, Sir." That's pretty doggone quick.

* Poor Nick Nack...well, I shouldn't say poor, he was a pretty nasty bit of work.

Back when I was a kid, this was one of the movies that really made me love Bond, and I can see the appeal.  Lots of humor, car crashes, explosions and cool stunts.  At the same time, there's enough menace in the air for the film to satisfy Bond fans more used to Connery. Christopher Lee and Hervé Villechaize made good villains, the plot really wasn't all over the place, and as I mentioned, there was more at stake here than it seemed.

The movie did have it's weaknesses, however.  While Sheriff Pepper made for good comic relief, his character really served zero purpose. Also, it would have been nice to see Goodnight showing just a bit more competence than she did.

Still, I did enjoy the film.  Like most Bond films, it's a tad overlong, but at the same time, it never really dragged.

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