007 Casefile: ‘Dr. No’
Welcome to the first of many episodes of the ‘007 Casefile’, a new series to help usher in the 50 Years of James Bond Celebrations that will be getting into gear closing to the release of Skyfall, his 23rd cinematic adventure (barring non-canon spoofs)! Here we’ll be examining each of the Bond films by the formulaic elements that carry across the series. As per logic we’ll be going chronologically…starting with the original Bond adventure Dr. No.
The Mission: When British agent John Strangeways is murdered in Jamaica by a trio of assassins posing as blind men, Double-0 Agent James Bond is sent in by MI6 to investigate his disappearance. Following the trail leads him to Crab Quay, home to a scientist aiming to disrupt the American missile program.
Gadgets: Bond is strangely without his trademark gadgets in this mission, although he does obtain his first Walther PPK.
Vehicle: Again, none.
Sidekicks: First appearance of CIA Agent Felix Leiter (played by Jack Lord) in what will become a long collaboration between the two. Quarrel begins as a charted sailor who later uses his knowledge of the case and strength to assist Bond.
The Girls: Sylvia Trench makes her first appearance in what was going to be a recurring role. Honey Ryder becomes a Hollywood icon walking out of the ocean, teaming up with Bond to infiltrate Dr. No’s base after they both become trapped on his island.
The Enemy: Dr. Julius No
Evil Plot: Having had his genius intellect ignored by forces in the West, Dr. No took up membership with criminal organization SPECTRE. Using his cover and base in Jamaica Dr. No was using radio jamming beams to disrupt the US missile program by sending the missiles off course. This resulted in massive delays and expenses for the US and allowed No to recover the missiles from the ocean to sell them to Soviets.
Distinguishing Features: Having had his hands cut off after stealing from a Triad gang Dr. No replaced this with crude bionic hands. They have immense strength but lack agility.
Secret Liar: Having privately purchased an island in Crab Quay and frightened off the locals Dr. No build an extensive underground and under water base that appears as a mining facility on the surface. This liar is an equipped atomic energy facility and missile silo. Inside is an elaborate and expensive living area surrounded by windows that magnify the surrounding sea life. The base is also protected by an armored vehicle designed to look like a dragon.
Henchmen: Aside from the general mob of lackeys and thugs within the base, Dr. No has much of the local population scared. Shortly after Bond arrives in Jamaica he is under constant threat of attack. His main contact on the mainland is Professor Dent, and geologist who attempts to kill Bond by placing a tarantula in his hotel room.
Facts About the Movie
Politically Incorrect Behaviour: After finding out his date was leading him into a trap, Bond sleeps with her before having her arrested.
Notable Firsts: This’ll be a long list, being the first entry…the gun-sights intro, the Maurice Bender opening credits, the line “Bond…James Bond”, the recipe for the martini, ending with Bond and the girl in a life raft at the end of the film, gentlemanly villains…
Random Trivia: In order to make Dr. No distinctive the producers through around a couple of ideas…including making him a hyper-intelligent monkey.
Goya’s ‘The Duke of Wellington’ painting was stolen during the filming of the movie. The producers turned it into an in-joke by placing the painting in Dr. No’s lair to imply that he was behind the theft.
Julie Christie was originally considered for the role of Honey Ryder but the producers wanted someone more voluptuous. After Ursala Andress made her debut in the role (heavily tanned and redubbed to appear more Jamaican) bikini sales soured around the world.
Check in later for our full review of Dr. No!