Secret Service agent James Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to Jamaica to investigate the murder of one of his colleagues. It transpires that the island is being used as a base for the terrorist organisation SPECTRE, who, under the guidance of the despotic Dr No (Joseph Wiseman), have developed technology to divert rockets launched from Cape Canaveral. The first big-screen outing for 007 features original Bond Girl Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in memorably revealing swimwear.
Released in 1962, this first James Bond movie remains one of the best and serves as an entertaining reminder that the Bond series began (in keeping with Ian Fleming's novels) with a surprising lack of gadgetry and big-budget fireworks. Sean Connery was just 32 years old when he won the role of Agent 007. In his first adventure James Bond is called to Jamaica where a colleague and secretary have been mysteriously killed. With an American CIA agent (Jack Lord, pre-Hawaii Five-O), they discover that the nefarious Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) is scheming to blackmail the US government with a device capable of deflecting and destroying US rockets launched from Cape Canaveral. Of course, Bond takes time off from his exploits to enjoy the company of a few gorgeous women, including the bikini-clad Ursula Andress. She gloriously kicks off the long-standing tradition of Bond women who know how to please their favourite secret agent. A sexist anachronism? Maybe, but this is Bond at his purest, kicking off a series of movies that shows no sign of slowing down. --Jeff Shannon
On the DVD:
- Inside Dr. No (PG)
- Terence Young: Bond Vivant
- Audio commentary featuring director Terence Young and members of the cast and crew
- 1963 Dr No "featurette"
- Dr. No gallery of pictures
- Radio advertising
- Trailers for Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger
- Goldfinger and Dr. No TV advertising
James Bond," remarks several interviewees of the late Terence Young, the suave, globetrotting, hard-living director who played a major role in defining the look, humour and tailoring of the Bond movies, making the extras on this DVD something of a cinematic festschrift
to his talents. Since this was the first film in the franchise, the "making of" featurette goes into some detail about the Ian Fleming novels and how Sean Connery came to be cast, and made-over, by Young. The featurette also has excerpts from one Young's last interviews, spliced together with observations from his daughter, Ursula Andress (Honey Rider) and many of the other actors, production-designer Ken Adam, composer Monty Norman and host of other talents who took part in the making of the film. Many of their quotes are integrated into the commentary track. Also included is an amusing black and white doc from 1963 narrated by a podgy guy with specs who appears to be cousin of Harry Enfield's Mr. Cholmondley-Warner. --Leslie Felperin