Dr. No

Observations from Dr. No, which I just viewed for the Xth time.  Some observations are my own, and some I grabbed from various places like IMDB.

Joseph Wiseman played the title character Dr. Julius No.  I recall the news of his death recently, on Oct 19, 2009.  Although he was a very prolific TV and film actor whose career spanned five decades, I’ve never seen him in anything else.  Well, I might have seen him in small appearances in Magnum P.I. or The Equalizer or The A-Team or even MacGuyver in the 1980s, but I wouldn’t have known it.

Sean Connery wears a toupée in this and all the other Bond movies he’s in.

I knew that Gert Fröbe’s voice was dubbed for his character Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger, but what I didn’t know was that two Bond Girls’ voices were dubbed (Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder and Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench) by the same voice artist (Nikki Van der Zyl) in Dr. No.  In fact, many villains in the early Bond movies (Blofeld in From Russia With Love, Goldfinger in Goldfinger, Largo in Thunderball, Tanaka in You Only Live Twice) and other leading ladies (Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova in From Russia With Love and Claudine Auger as Domino in Thunderball) had their voices dubbed.  Why so much with the dubbing?  Why not find actors whose voices were more suitable, or just go with a heavier accent if they speak English well enough?

Major Boothroyd presents Bond with a Walther PPK to replace his Beretta.  This is the only time Boothroyd (You know him a “Q”) was not played by Desmond Llewellen until his death (auto accident) in 1999 after The World is Not Enough.

A noteworthy feature of the Bond movies is that in each one, there is an opening scene that plays out before the opening credits (sometimes having nothing to do with the rest of the film).  Dr. No is the only film in which there is no such pre-credits opening scene.

In Summary: Dr. No is the original.  Sean Connery is the ultimate Bond (though Daniel-Craig-Bond could no doubt beat up Sean-Connery-Bond).  The plot is classic spy fare: the larger-than-life, quirky villain is bent on world domination, and his overconfidence and underestimation of the triumph of Good over Evil becomes his downfall.  Likely because it was made in 1962 on a relatively low-budget, it’s not over-produced: dialogue and intrigue take precedence over explosions and effects.


Bond: I admire your courage, Miss…?
Sylvia Trench: Trench. Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mr…?
Bond: Bond. James Bond.

Sylvia Trench: When did you say you had to leave?
: Immediately
Sylvia Trench: [starts kissing him]
Bond: almost immediately

Honey: [startled at Bond’s voice on the beach, where she thought she was alone] Who’s that?
Bond: It’s all right. I’m not supposed to be here either. I take it you’re not. Are you alone?
Honey: What are you doing here? Looking for shells?
Bond: No, I’m just looking.
Honey: Stay where you are.
Bond: I promise I won’t steal your shells.
Honey: I promise you you won’t either. Stay where you are! [she wields her knife]

3 Replies to “Dr. No”

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