Charmingly pretentious misfit based in the Middle West. Skilled taxidermist, crime fighter, and former Olsen Twin. Dislikes olives. Fluent in English, Pig Latin, and Esperanto. M.O.T. No trespassing.

  • January 28, 2013 12:22 pm

    007 Sundays - Dr. No (1962)

    Dr. No has the special distinction of being both the first Bond film ever made (this piece of rubbish does not count) and the first Bond film I ever saw (in its entirety, anyway; technically, the tank scene from Goldeneye precedes it). It’s also one of my favourite films of all time—a movie I’ll watch just about any time, any place, over and over again. 

    I can’t really explain why I love it so much, especially since I’m something of a Fleming purist and tend to get cross when the Bond adaptations are less than faithful (unlike many of the Bond films, I admittedly saw Dr. No before reading the book, and I often wonder if my feelings towards it would be different if the order of things had been reversed). Perhaps my attachment to Dr. No can be summed up in the (paraphrased) words of Gareth Mallory from Skyfall: I’m sentimental about it. 

    Anyhow, if you care to read on, my thoughts on this most recent viewing of the film can be found below the fold:

    • The soundscape playing during this particular gun barrel sequence sounds like something directly out of a 1960s commercial for do-it-yourself fallout shelters.
    • Is it just me, or should this title sequence (above) come with a seizure warning?
    • Apart from the famous James Bond theme itself, Dr. No has no unique title song. However, Calypso music plays a very central role in the film from the very beginning, especially Monty Norman’s ‘Underneath the Mango Tree' which is almost an unofficial secondary theme song.
    • Also, just so we’re clear: Monty Norman wrote the James Bond theme and the score for Dr. No. John Barry arranged the theme, and his orchestra recorded the piece for the film. Barry then went on to write the score for 11 Bond movies. Got it? Good.
    • Nothing reminds you of the fact that this was a low-budget flick quite like the weird jump cut edit in the scene where Strangways’ secretary is being shot.
    • Ahhh, London at night. We’ve certainly come a long way in nighttime filming techniques.
    • I have never been able to watch the Le Cercle scene without looking for Paul’s grandfather from A Hard Days Night. Never.
    • 'Bond. James Bond.' 
    • 'Tell me, Ms. Trench, do you play any other games?' Technically, Sylvia Trench is the first Bond Girl, but let's be honest: She's way beyond that. If anything, Bond is the first and only Trench Boy.
    • Hello, Miss Moneypenny! How are things at Universal Exports? And how is it nobody realises you’re Canadian?
    • I never noticed before that M has a painting of a ship over his fireplace—Skyfall, anybody?
    • This scene where M forces Bond to trade in his Beretta for the famous Walther PPK is interesting. It does happen in the book, however, Dr. No novel is the sixth James Bond novel in the series. So for me, Bond’s original gun will always be the Beretta.
    • Also, the gun jamming incident M is referring to? In the books, that mishap takes place at the very end of From Russia with Love—which happens to be the follow-up movie to Dr. No. Very confusing.
    • So James Bond is Britain’s best spy, but he’s handing out business cards with his home address on them? Problematic. Then again, maybe Sylvia Trench is just that good.
    • Jack Lord appears on screen just as the Bond theme begins to play. It’s okay, Jack. Soon you’ll have a theme of your very own.
    • 'One medium dry Vodka martini, mixed like you said, sir, but not stirred.' Mixed? MIXED?
    • I always forget how absolutely caustic Quarrel is to Bond when they first meet. 
    • Is it weird that the mountain of empty Red Stripe boxes Quarrel is sitting on reminds me of the house I lived in my last year of university?
    • Thanks to this extra gif I made, you can now watch the crazy dancing guy from the nightclub scene on a continuous loop. YOU’RE WELCOME.
    • In the novel, the photographer working for Dr. No is called Annabelle Chung, however, the name never made it into the film, so her character is simply listed as ‘Freelance’. 
    • 'You'll be sorry! You'll all be sorry, you rats!'
    • I’ve seen this movie dozens of times over the past 15 years, and yet, the tarantula scene never gets any less ghastly. *SHUDDER*
    • In 1962 you needed to rent a geiger counter the size of suitcase to detect radiation. Now, there’s probably an app for that.
    • If you say the word Magenta to me, I will immediately think of Miss Taro’s address. Every single time, without fail.
    • Just what is the driving orientation in 60s Jamaica? When the goon picks up Bond at the airport, the wheel is on the left side of the car. When Bond is chased by the hitmen in the mountains, his  Sunbeam Alpine is orientated for righthand driving. Pick a side, Jamaica.
    • Okay, not gonna lie: Bond smelling Miss Taro’s towel is kind of creepy.
    • This isn’t the last time we’ll see James Bond playing Solitaire…Live and Let Die joke! High five!
    • 'Well, I might as well tell you, since you won't live to use the information…' And thus begins a long tradition of villains completely underestimating James Bond's chances of survival.
    • I’m really not sure how I feel about the light blue trousers/light blue polo combination. Maybe if the polo wasn’t tucked in…
    • Hello, Honey Ryder! The first real, honest-to-goodness Bond Girl. When it comes to bikinis and daggers, nobody does it better!
    • 'Are you looking for shells?' 'No, I'm just looking.' Classic.
    • The bit with the reeds always reminds me of this scene from the Parent Trap, which, incidentally came out the year before in 1961.
    • Oh, poor, poor Quarrel. Suddenly that red shirt is all too prophetic
    • I love the wash-down sequence. The face Connery makes when he’s hit by the foamy spray cracks me up every single time.
    • Dr. No has provided Bond and Honey with separate, adjoining rooms. Because not even an evil, super-villain hellbent on world domination is completely without a sense of social propriety.
    • And the award for Best Decorated Mountain Lair by a madman goes to…Julius No! Seriously, that place is baller.
    • Mr. Detective: ‘I could so live there.’
    • I take back what I said about Bond sniffing the towel; Dr. No watching Bond sleep and peaking at his naked body under the covers is a million times creepier.
    • How much did the underwater aquarium cost? Apparently: ‘One Million Dollars!’ 
    • SPECTRE, the Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion. Learn it, know it, love it.
    • Apparently, Ian Fleming initially wanted to Noël Coward to play Dr. No. Because when I think of a half-Chinese, half-German guy with metal hands, I think Noël Coward.
    • 'Does the toppling of American missiles really compensate for having no hands?' OH SNAP.
    • After watching the escape scene, you really have to hand it to the makeup crew for keeping Connery’s rug in place. That thing must have been glued on tight.
    • Just how many people work on Crab Key? I mean, yeah, Dr. No is a terrorist, but he must be doing wonders for the local economy. Frankly, I’m surprised he wasn’t deemed ‘too big to fail’.
    • Somehow our heroes manage get the only boat outta dodge before the whole island explodes. There goes my plan to turn Dr. No’s secret lair into a boutique hotel.
    • Escape, run out of gas, get rescued, and have boat sex; James Bond’s perfect afternoon.

    And that’s a wrap for Dr. No. See you next week with some thoughts on From Russia, with Love.

    1. tj reblogged this from girl-detective and added:
      Btw if you missed Rachel’s write-up of Dr No, you really owe it to yourself to fix that. Full post here:...
    2. scarletxagent reblogged this from girl-detective
    3. randomnesswithgeraldineplz reblogged this from everythingbond and added:
      DR. NO
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    8. fancycwabs said: Why do you hate Peter Lorre?
    9. raiselm reblogged this from girl-detective and added:
      I know that I will try to join Girl-Detective for 007 Sundays as much as I can. When I can’t do so, I will anxiously...
    10. girl-detective posted this