Bonding with Bond, Day 1: Dr. No

One intrepid RT editor is watching all of the James Bond films in order.

by | October 21, 2008 | Comments

Everyone’s seen at least two or three James Bond films, right? That’s certainly a reasonable assumption for most, but when it recently came up in office discussions that I had never seen a single one of them, save for the recent “remake” of Casino Royale, I was roundly ridiculed by the other members of the RT staff. To rectify this tragic oversight, I’ve taken on the task of watching every Bond film in chronological order, leading up to the release of Quantum of Solace. Feel free to follow me on my journey of discovery as I explore the world of cinema’s greatest spy.


Dr. No (1962) 95%


James Bond Looking Dapper

The first thing that struck me about Dr. No was 007’s attire. Naturally, I’m familiar with the image of his silhouette as seen through the barrel of an anonymous gun, creeping across the screen slowly before facing the camera and firing a single shot. What I didn’t expect was that Bond would be sporting a fedora during this famous intro. It made me wonder if I just never knew he liked hats, or if the accessory had been later supplanted by other personal effects, like acid-spewing watches, pen lasers, and decoder rings.

I was, of course, rather anticipating the first Bond appearance, and when it happened, I was rewarded handsomely. He’s seated at a card table opposite a hottie in a red dress and winning hand after hand of baccarat when the woman asks him his name. The camera cuts to his face for the first time as he lights a cigarette and responds, “Bond. James Bond,” cuing his theme music in the background. He ends up winning a ton of cash at the table and bedding the aforementioned hottie, of course, and all before he even sets out on his adventure.


Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder

I have one thing written in my notes here, and it became my mantra throughout the movie: “smooth MF.” Bond transforms typically mundane activities like closing a door or hanging his hat into a ballet of sex and champagne, and I was effectively man-putty in his hands. He’s so smooth, in fact, that I was almost able to disregard his gloriously unruly eyebrows, which seem to stretch into his sideburns. The first time he meets Honey Ryder on a Jamaican beach, for example, she freaks out and draws her knife on him, but he casually reassures her, “My intentions are honorable,” and soon enough they’re frolicking down the coastline together. I can’t say I blame her.

Speaking of Honey Ryder, I’m still not settled on whether this first official “Bond girl” was merely free-spirited and simple or Forrest Gump with a killer body. Frankly, I think her character was more a veiled critique on homeschooling — she learned everything she knows from a set of encyclopedias, and she believes in dragons. But hey, she’s hot, and she spends most of her screen time either in a bikini or drenched in seawater, and that’s really what being a Bond girl is all about, right?


Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No

Let’s talk about Dr. No himself. It surprisingly hadn’t occurred to me before, but I saw elements of Mike Myers’s Dr. Evil in the character, what with the distinctly industrial underground lair, the nuclear subplot, and the retro-modern pseudo-Chinese formalwear. Upon bringing this up with my fellow RTers, I was told that Dr. Evil also borrowed from a later Bond villain, Blofeld, from On Her Majesty’s Secret Sevice, so I have something to look forward to. I have to say I liked Dr. No; he’s classy and articulate, but menacing. His mechanical hands are powerful enough to crush solid metal, but delicate enough to handle a cigarette. And he somehow figured out a way to cleanse the body of radiation with a hot shower. That’s worth something.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie much more than I anticipated. I don’t think Dr. No was a milestone in technical brilliance, nor do I think it was attempting to be, but it was fun and, at times, unintentionally hilarious. I got more out of Bond’s one-liners, his shameless womanizing, and his Jamaican sidekick Quarrel yelling “Look! What’s that!” every five minutes than I did out of the spy intrigue central to the story. It seemed more of a showcase to display how much of a badass James Bond was, and in that regard, Dr. No delivered on all counts. I foresee my perception of the character changing over the next few weeks, and I’m officially excited to see what other shenanigans he’ll be up to in the next installment.

Check back tomorrow for my reaction to the next bond film, 1963’s From Russia With Love.


Other Articles:

Tag Cloud

composers independent Mindy Kaling stand-up comedy series miniseries cars MSNBC cooking free movies Nat Geo Valentine's Day finale History zero dark thirty blockbuster LGBT Mary poppins nature Stephen King sitcom NYCC GoT Emmys aliens Pet Sematary Sneak Peek game of thrones SDCC Pirates Lionsgate spanish language crime Holiday FXX The CW festivals Turner Classic Movies spy thriller Arrowverse RT21 ABC revenge toy story X-Men anthology children's TV Song of Ice and Fire Tomatazos Apple Nominations Warner Bros. biography BBC streaming TIFF Marvel Television docudrama boxoffice Pride Month Nickelodeon Pixar adventure zombie The Witch Reality Competition Comics on TV Sci-Fi Disney+ Disney Plus halloween Drama 2015 El Rey Photos USA Network indie Emmy Nominations spain Rock Trivia sequel LGBTQ Apple TV Plus Musicals richard e. Grant mockumentary Black Mirror Certified Fresh natural history Horror DC Comics Grammys Columbia Pictures Food Network Comedy Adult Swim dc Star Trek Winners TV Land Apple TV+ USA AMC Freeform National Geographic 2018 American Society of Cinematographers crossover video Opinion canceled TV shows DC Universe TCA dramedy Election Martial Arts Amazon Prime cancelled TV shows Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Creative Arts Emmys spinoff psychological thriller Esquire Extras Sundance foreign Lifetime discovery Marvel Studios breaking bad Netflix werewolf Star Wars crime thriller Comic Book hist Disney Plus Chernobyl Year in Review YA HBO adaptation 21st Century Fox elevated horror Rocketman Trophy Talk GIFs comiccon Kids & Family space doctor who Shondaland TV Tumblr police drama romantic comedy Television Academy cops SXSW Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Western Set visit Turner Best and Worst Cannes Trailer Shudder Character Guide Masterpiece Marvel true crime cancelled television Polls and Games 2016 social media Peacock jamie lee curtis Fox News talk show game show dceu HBO Max New York Comic Con award winner cats robots Summer DirecTV Action technology Mystery DC streaming service CNN Showtime diversity Universal Winter TV travel Spike Paramount Network based on movie Pop harry potter cults Hallmark CBS All Access Ovation Cartoon Network cancelled TV series Comedy Central CBS Epix christmas movies Tarantino period drama Writers Guild of America E3 Amazon TruTV Lucasfilm politics Christmas MTV PBS Spectrum Originals 2019 A24 animated canceled psycho TCA 2017 quibi Dark Horse Comics spider-man Women's History Month Cosplay 71st Emmy Awards Musical TNT kids Film Festival Fantasy Mary Tyler Moore political drama Rom-Com ITV Video Games GLAAD Walt Disney Pictures 24 frames dragons Disney Channel blaxploitation Premiere Dates Amazon Prime Video Crackle Spring TV Film singing competition A&E ghosts crime drama Teen renewed TV shows unscripted Red Carpet facebook Fall TV cartoon BBC America Superheroe Logo First Look Box Office Holidays slashers Superheroes Oscars television ABC Family Countdown Ellie Kemper Hulu Toys Netflix Christmas movies 45 TLC mutant Bravo SundanceTV green book Interview south america disaster Watching Series PaleyFest E! Reality rotten movies we love Britbox war cinemax CMT batman Starz Animation anime teaser serial killer The Purge Biopics Mary Poppins Returns comic FOX WarnerMedia The Walking Dead TV renewals sports President APB ratings historical drama Quiz BET Disney witnail Brie Larson YouTube Premium Thanksgiving See It Skip It 007 IFC Films Syfy 20th Century Fox Awards latino Heroines Ghostbusters Vudu Country justice league romance movies Binge Guide medical drama golden globes OWN DGA hispanic Paramount Calendar supernatural VH1 book theme song ESPN 2017 Music zombies cancelled San Diego Comic-Con First Reviews VICE binge WGN thriller NBC transformers comics Schedule Elton John Sony Pictures screenings CW Seed YouTube TCM Hallmark Christmas movies RT History Infographic science fiction Super Bowl Disney streaming service Acorn TV joker Lifetime Christmas movies Sundance Now YouTube Red TBS Crunchyroll The Arrangement MCU IFC tv talk Family what to watch versus Classic Film Rocky Captain marvel casting Awards Tour FX Marathons vampires Anna Paquin Podcast strong female leads Mudbound