Dr. No (1962)

British government agent 007 James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to Jamaica to find out the whereabouts of a missing colleague and why there is a disruption in the American space program.

Director: Terence Young

Cast: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Bernard Lee, Joseph Wiseman, Jack Lord, Zena Marshall

MPAA Rating: PG for action violence

Fun Fact: After viewing the film James Bond creator Ian Fleming said that he thought that the film was dreadful.

I will be one to admit that in all my years of loving movies that I could never get into James Bond films. When I was growing up, I thought of the ones that I had seen to be too boring and bland for my tastes. Little did I know that these movies had more to them then I thought they did. If I had taken it in more seriously then I would probably enjoy them a bit more than I used to. So, in anticipation of the now delayed No Time To Die coming out in November, I thought it would be fun to start at the beginning and work my way to the newest one.

I am glad to say that my so gamble of giving the series another shot was the right decision. Dr. No is a fantastic film and I enjoyed every minute of it. Now when we think of James Bond in the last few years, we think of some action-packed movies that do not let up for a second. The interesting thing about Dr. No is that it is a slower paced film. We get interesting setup that introduces us to the world-famous lead character played by Sean Connery. We all know that Sean Connery is a legend in the film world, and this is the one role that really shot him into stardom. Connery is an absolute joy in this role. He is charming and when he has to get down with the dirty work, he pulls it off just as well. I believe that this character is a secret agent and I cannot get enough of it.

Connery has great chemistry with the other performers. The main chemistry is with Ursula Andress who plays the now famous Bond lady. The well written script by Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood brings the characters to life from Ian Fleming’s novel. I have never read a James Bond novel so I would not know how similar the story structure is. From this script we get well written dialogue and it shows in the performances. I love all of the interactions between these characters. Sean Connery had a line that I thought was hilarious. It was a great one-liner. Every scene had me invested and the story’s slow build had me excited to see who the villain is. I give the film’s credit that the main villain is not shown until much later in the film. It brough a certain suspense that kept me invested to see the final reward.

Technically this film is beautiful. Shot on location in Jamaica, the sets and buildings are fantastic. The landscape is beautiful and exotic and the natural lighting from the outside really shows. I love 60’s culture in the way of appearance of clothing and furniture. It is interesting that the furniture pieces were built smaller to make Bond look bigger. Those moments that you find in movies make it more fun to watch. The action scenes are well shot and edited for consistency. The cinematography is focused, and we can clearly see what is going on. Even for a movie made in the 60’s the special effects are done well. There are a couple of scenes that feature explosions and they look great. The camera is at a wide angle so we can see everything. I cannot forget the famous theme song and other music that would be pop culture phenomenon’s as the series would continue. When I heard the main theme for the first time, I was ready to sit down and focus on what was about to be played in front of me.

Overall, Dr. No got me interested in James Bond. It is unfortunate that I never really got into this character as someone that loves classic film. Now that I have a new perspective of the character, I am ready to see where the series goes from here. Dr. No was the step in the right direction. While it is not the fastest paced movie, it devotes the time to introduce the characters through an excellently written script that gives us the legendary character that millions love. When the time for action is called upon, it delivers, and it is exciting. The camera work is focused, and we see everything clearly. The locations are beautiful, and it is a gorgeous film to look at. You cannot forget the famous theme music and title cards that would make the series as famous as it is. The chemistry is great between the cast and Sean Connery takes the cake in the lead. The gimmicks that the character is known for are not quite there yet, but it was nice to see the secret agent use his wit to solve problems.

Verdict: Hit

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