Food & Adventures

Saturday 9 April 2016

Project Bond: Dr No

"Underneath the mango tree, me honey and me"

When you start a journey through the world of James Bond you must start at the beginning. Dr No, released in 1962, is the blueprint for all future Bond movies, from the silhouettes of dancing girls over the title sequence to the supervillain with a cool name, it all starts here. Something I did find odd though was that with all the iconic Bond themes there has been over the years the 1st one was a calypso/reggae version of Three Blind Mice?!

The movie starts with the classic gun barrel view of Bond before the title sequence starts. I assume the Three Blind Mice song was used as a segway into a shot of three blind beggars who we soon find out are actually assassins sent to kill a man called Strangways. Strangways works for the British government in Jamaica and is due to send a report back to London when he is shot dead by the assassins and his body taken away. The killers then go to Strangways office and kill Strangways' secretary. For a film usually shown on TV on a Sunday afternoon it starts off pretty brutally with 2 people murdered within a few minutes.

I don't know about you but whenever I think of James Bond I always think of Sean Connery and this is the perfect introduction to Mr...? "Bond, James Bond". Sparking up a tab while taking a break from dealing cards in a game of Bacarat (I think) Connery oozes 1960's cool. Bond is summoned to MI6 to be given his mission by M. M (played by Bernard Lee) tells Bond that Radio Waves have been disrupting US rocket launches and that a British Agent (Strangways) is missing. M doesn't like that Bond thinks he knows better than his superiors. M chastises Bond for still using his old Barretta when he should be using a newer gun, A Walther PPK. I love M's line when Bond is leaving and trying to sneak out his old gun "oh and 007, leave the Barretta" without even looking up from his paperwork.

Bond then heads to Jamaica and is picked up from airport by a chauffeur. Bond, correctly, suspects the driver is a shifty bugger and takes him for a ride before a car chase ensues and when the pair lose their pursuers Bond beats up his driver and starts to interrogate him before the driver commits suicide with the old cyanide in the fake cigarette trick.

Bond then goes off to speak to the last people to see Strangways alive. A government official, a retired army officer and a geology professor none of whom seem to know what Strangways was involved with or why he was killed, but he is pointed towards a local fisherman called Quarrel. Quarrel has been working with Bond's CIA counterpart Felix Leiter and they have worked out that the source of the radio waves have been coming from an island called Crab Quay which is owned by the mysterious Dr. No.

Bond and Quarrel head to Crab Quay where they meet Honey Rider in of of the most famous scenes in movie history. Ursula Andres is the quintessential Bond girl. There have been many good Bond girls but Honey Rider is, in my opinion, the best. The bikini clad Rider has been coming to Crab Quay to collect seashells (by the sea shore). The trio hide when one of Dr No's patrol boats come past and the guard on the boat warns them, in what can only be described as some of the hammiest acting I have ever seen, that they will be back to kill them. Honey Rider warns Bond about a 'dragon' on the island which turns out to be a vehicle with a flame thrower on it. The dragon claims Quarrels life and Bond and Honey Rider are taken prisoner.

Bond and Rider are taken to Dr No's compound where they are decontaminated and then taken to their room. Why is it that supervillains regularly give their prisoner nice cushy rooms and fresh clothes and then invite them for dinner? Anyway when Bond and Rider go for dinner we finally meet the titular Dr No.

Dr No is one of my favourite Bond villains. He is creepily calm, has cool metal hands that can crush stone and really pulls off a nehru jacket. During dinner Dr No explains that he offered his services to the western powers during the cold war but was rejected and that the east are just as stupid so he has joined SPECTRE a global organisation determined to take over the world and they plan to use radio waves to use both the east and wests nuclear weapons to destroy any opposition. Again it is a cliche for the villain to tell the hero all of his plans but this is the film that started all of these cliches. Dr No hoped that Bond would join SPECTRE but realises that Bond is the ultimate good guy and would never turn to evil.

After dinner Dr No goes off to use his radio wave weapon and Bond is sent back to his cell, this time a proper cell with electrified grates over the air vents but Bond being Bond he soon finds a way out and nicks a radiation suit from one of Dr No's workers. He sneaks into the control room and manages to overload the radioactive system and everyone evacuates the island. Bond and Dr No do battle and and the downfall of Dr No is his metal hands as he is unable to grip a metal ladder and ends up falling into a radioactive super heated pool and presumably dies.

Bond goes off to rescue Honey Rider and escape the island before it blows up. As they make their escape they are rescued by Felix Leiter and the Royal Navy. Bond and Rider cast themselves adrift from their rescuers to be alone in the lifeboat and get down to doing what Bond likes to get down to when he has just saved world.

Sean Connery plays bond in this film as the brutish womaniser that Bond is when he is at his best. But he also comes across as a bit of a dick especially in the scene where he seduces a secretary he suspects of working for Dr No. He beds her then arranges for her to be arrested and realises he has time to bed her again before handing her over to the police. He also shows Bond to be ruthless like in the scene where he captures and interrogates Professor Dent before shooting him in cold blood. Dr No is one of the best Bond movies, definitely top 5 and here's the trailer:

Look out for the next part of Project Bond in a few weeks when I'll be reviewing From Russia With Love.

Well, that's all for now




  1. this is still my favorite Bond movie.

  2. New-found appreciation for Dr. No after I saw it for the first time as an adult a couple weeks back. What was once one of the slowest is now one of the most developed, intriguing, and low-key. It's the only film where I feel like Bond's in any kind of real danger. And you're definitely right about Bond being a dick, oh my!

    1. This is one of the 1st bond films I saw as a kid and it was until I watched it again as an adult that I realised how truly badass Bond is in it.


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