- Sean Connery as James Bond
- Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder
- Joseph Wiseman as Dr. Julius No
- Jack Lord as Felix Leiter
- Bernard Lee as M
- Anthony Dawson as Professor Dent
- John Kitzmiller as Quarrel
- Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny
In 1962, one film started one of the most successful franchises in movie history. That movie was Dr. No and the series was of course the James Bond movies. A sleek, action-packed and influential film, Dr. No ushered audiences into the exciting world of one of cinema’s most enduring icons, the one and only Bond…..James Bond.Making a star out of Sean Connery as the suave and sophisticated spy and boasting a multitude of iconic images, Dr. No is a spy movie that still holds up as a great way to start the long-running series.
James Bond, also known as 007, is sent by MI6 to Jamaica in order to investigate the disappearance of Strangways, another agent who was looking into a CIA claim that something in the area is disrupting the launching of rockets. Bond teams up with CIA agent Felix Leiter and a local boatman Quarrel, in order to unravel the mysterious disappearance of Strangways. It seems that the evidence points to the reclusive Dr. No, a scientist who owns the nearby island of Crab Key, which many people are scared to enter because of alleged superstitions involving a dragon. Whilst tangling with deadly tarantulas, shifting loyalties and assassins, Bond begins to unearth the sinister plans of the Doctor. Also aiding him in this is Honey Ryder, a beautiful diving girl with her own agenda for taking part in bringing down Dr. No. Prepare for exciting, action and the introduction to James Bond as Dr. No delivers an amazing spy film that is still as watchable as it has ever been.
Director Terence Young brings the action filled world of 007 to excellent life with amazing vigour with car chases, a maniacal villain and a gorgeous Bond Girl. As I mentioned earlier, it is a film with no shortage of iconic moments; the opening gun barrel sequence, the famous main theme tune, Honey Ryder’s sexy emergence from the surf and many others.Although not as gadget laden as many of his later adventures, we still see Bond as a suave agent with a ruthless streak that can survive on his own wits. As the first man to essay the role, Sean Connery is nothing short of amazing. He embodies the sophisticated edge to Bond but imbues him with a humour and serious side that make him one of the most iconic to play the role. The moment he utters the immortal lines “Bond…..James Bond” is still an excellent introduction to this enduring character. Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder is suitably sexy and appealing, her famous entrance in which she rises Venus like from the ocean clad in a white bikini has lost none of its erotic impact and still ranks as one of the sexiest moments in the series. Joseph Wiseman is a creepy presence as the eponymous villain, hell-bent on revenge against those who have doubted him. In supporting roles, Jack Lord and John Kitzmiller make for likable allies in this Bond adventure. As the villain’s henchman, Anthony Dawson is excellently menacing and his scene when Bond questions him whilst calmly playing cards is a thrilling and suspenseful moment. Bernard Lee is the stern M, head of MI6 and Lois Maxwell is the pining secretary Miss Moneypenny. Both would become staples of the films and Lee and Maxwell acquit themselves admirably.
Making stunning use of the Jamaican location, boasting an excellent score and many other positives, it is hard to fault Dr. No. Yes some of it may look a bit dated now, but without this we wouldn’t have the Bond series. An influential and iconic movie that deserves every ounce of credit thrown its way.