Classic Review – Dr. No (1962)

Title – Dr. No (1962)

Director – Terrence Young (Thunderball)

Cast – Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman

Plot – British government agent James Bond (Connery) is sent to Jamaica and its exotic islands to help solve the mystery of a fellow agent who has gone missing and to find out more about the mysterious Dr. No (Wiseman).

“That’s a Smith & Wesson and you’ve had your six”

Review by Eddie on 04/03/2021

There’s a lot of love for the modern day James Bond, moving on from the silliness and playfulness that laid at the heart of the series in the years before Casino Royale hit, but there’s unquestionably a place and even an argument for the fact that the likes of Dr. No are really what Britain’s most famous secret agent are all about.

Premiering to so-so reviews and somewhat mid-tier box office receipts, 1962’s first big screen Bond wasn’t an overnight success but Terrence Young’s adaptation of Ian Fleming’s popular book series has lived a long and prosperous life since as audience members from around the globe found themselves attracted to the sun-drenched locales, the beautiful woman and the devilishly charming agent that was bought to life by a now iconic Sean Connery.

It’s not to say that time has not wearied this cocktail of murder, mystery, fine cars and even finer drinks with some of Dr. No’s aspects feeling poorly dated in today’s climate and its treatment of females is fairly suspect but when you let yourself be taken away on a far-fetched journey that delivers the hammy goodness of Connery chewing scenery like the best of them and Joseph Wiseman creating an iconic villain to boot, Dr. No provides viewers with one of Bond’s most memorable and well-delivered outings.

In light of Connery’s recent passing there doesn’t feel to be a better film to revisit when considering his endless screen presence when given the right role and while the likes of Daniel Craig, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan have all had various impacts on the long-lasting success of the character, you’d be hard pressed to argue that Connery isn’t the true one and only Bond, a role that feels as though he was born to play.

Watching Connery emerge throughout as a cool-headed operative not deterred by the woman seeking his company, the assassins sent to prematurely end his life or the nefarious Dr. No spiking his coffee is an absolute cinematic pleasure and he delivers a performance here that is deserving of its reputation as one of the key cinematic performances of the era as he gave life to a character that has spanned generations and made an everlasting impact on pop culture.

Final Say – 

Silly in parts and misguided in others, Dr. No has it’s share of issues but they’re not enough to derail what is the perfect example of what a 007 film should be; over the top, fun and full of attitude, the perfect antidote to the more po-faced and serious Bonds of the modern era.

4 blind men out of 5 

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