|Terence Young Director||previously directed Too Hot to Handle|
Dr. No is the 1st official James Bond movie. 007, played by Sean Connery, investigates the murder of a British Secret Service agent in Jamaica, which eventually leads him to Dr. No, agent of SPECTRE.
This is the only movie where James Bond actually sings.3 More Trivia
I admire your courage... Miss?
Trench... Silvia Trench, and I admire your luck, Mr?
8 More Quotes
Bond... James Bond.
|Sean Connery||James Bond|
|Ursula Andress||Honey Ryder|
|Joseph Wiseman||Dr. Julius No|
|Jack Lord||Felix Leiter|
|Anthony Dawson||Professor R.J. Dent|
|Zena Marshall||Miss Taro|
|Eunice Gayson||Sylvia Trench|
|See Full Credits|
In 1962 Dr. No was released to the English public. Based on the popular Ian Fleming novels of the time, Dr. No introduced the character of James Bond to the masses in this first entry into the legacy of a nearly half century old franchise and pop culture icon.
Creator Ian Fleming wrote his first James Bond novel Casino Royale in 1952. He always believed that his James Bond novels would make great films and jumped on the opportunity when producer Harry Saltzman offered to buy the rights. Shortly thereafter Albert R. Broccoli joined in on the production as an equal partner, beginning an over forty year old franchise.
In the sunny vistas of Jamaica, three blind men make their way across town. With their cups in hand they find themselves at a country club where John Strangways regularly plays cards with several friends. Strangways excuses himself from the game and heads back to report in to Mi6, but before he can reach the car, the three “blind” men pull out guns and assassinate Strangways. Quickly, they grab his body and dump it into an arriving escape car. At Strangways’ house, his secretary begins to radio back to London. Before she can the three blind men, now dressed in black, break in to the house and murder the secretary as well. They go through the files in the house and steal a document labeled Dr. No.
A Mi6 agent has been sent to find agent James Bond. The waiter at the Le Cercle tells the agent that he will relay the message. In the casino room, Ms. Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson) is playing Baccarat against a faceless opponent who continues to win against her. After losing a major hand, the faceless opponent introduces himself as Bond, James Bond (Sean Connery). After the game, Bond and Ms. Trench discuss their ‘morning plans.’
Bond reports to Mi6 and after he flirts with Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell), M (Bernard Lee) tells Bond about the situation in Jamaica. It seems that Strangways has completely disappeared for the past three hours. Strangways had been helping the CIA to discover the source of radio jamming that had been troubling the American rocket program. Before Bond leaves, Commander Boothroyd replaces Bond’s Beretta with a Walther PPK. 007 is resistant to the new change in standard equipment but takes it anyway.
Back at his apartment, Bond tells a half-naked Ms. Trench that he can’t stay and has to leave for Jamaica that night.
When 007 arrives at the airport a mysterious young girl takes his photograph and CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) observes Bond’s movements. While being driven to the embassy Bond notices that he is being followed and tells his driver to speed up and try to lose them. The driver does as he is told and when the line of sight is broken he pulls into some brush. Bond correctly accuses the driver of trying to kill him. When the driver tries to overpower 007, he finds himself outmatched and swallows some cyanide to avoid questioning.
Bond drives himself to the embassy and brushes up on the movements of Strangways. He continues on to Strangways’ house where he discovers that Strangways had several mineral samples. After checking into his hotel 007 visits the country club where Strangways played bridge and questioned his friends. There Bond meets Professor Dent (Anthony Dawson) who secretly works for Dr. No. They tell him that Strangways was a big game fisher and usually went out with a man named Quarrel (John Kitzmiller).
Bond finds Quarrel at the docks. Quarrel is initially resistant to Bond’s questions, but he eventually gives in and says that they can to speak in a more secure location. They go to a bar where Quarrel and the bartender try ambushing Bond but are overpowered. Bond discovers that they actually work for Felix Lieter and were unsure of Bond’s true motives. At a party Felix and Bond discuss that Strangways’ activities: that he had been searching for the radio jamming signal near a private island owned by Dr. No and that some of the rock samples collected had a faint radioactive signature on them. As they talk, the photographer from the airport appears and tries to take Bond’s photo. When questioned, she says nothing, even with the threat of having her arm broken.
The next day 007 visits Prof. Dent about the rock samples asking him for any help. Directly after that meeting, Dent travels to Dr. No’s heavily staffed island where, speaking through an intercom, Dr. No instructs Dent to kill Bond with a poisonous spider. That night the spider is let loose in Bond’s hotel room; however, Bond kills it in time.
Bond checks in at the embassy and meets Miss Taro (Zena Marshall) the embassy secretary. After some flirting, Bond sets up a date for the evening. Before 007 sets off, he checks in with Quarrel and Felix to confirm the boat is being readied for their trip to Dr. No’s island later that night.
On his way to Taro’s, a mysterious car tries to run Bond off the road. In the battle, Bond runs the enemy car off a cliff and continues to Taro’s small hut, suspicious of who knew, other than Taro, that he was heading to her place.
An hour or so passes and Bond sends Taro to the embassy after accusing her of working with whoever is trying to kill him. Fairly certain someone was sent to check up on Taro, 007 plays solitaire as he waits in the dark for him. Prof. Dent enters the hut ready to kill the supposedly sleeping Bond. After Dent uses up his bullets, 007 turns on the lights and ambushes Dent. During the interrogation Dent tries again to kill Bond but fails. Bond shoots him in cold blood.
007 goes to the boat docks to meet Quarrel and Felix for their trip to Dr. No’s island. Felix stays behind in order to report in and send in the cavalry if needed. On the beach of Dr. No’s island Bond grabs some sleep. He awakens in the morning by the singing of Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), who is collecting sea shells on the island. Her boat is detected by Dr. No’s radar, so the two of them and Quarrel escape from the attack boats into the jungle.
Over the next day, the three of them run from Dr. No’s henchmen until finally a tank painted like a dragon corners them in a swamp. Quarrel is killed and 007 and Honey are taken hostage. They are whisked away to Dr. No’s compound and scrubbed down to prevent any radiation poisoning.
After a nice night locked into their beautifully furnished cell, the two of them are brought to meet Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman). Over dinner Dr. No states that he works for a criminal organization called SPECTRE. Dr. No’s aim is revenge on both the eastern and western powers but SPECTRE’s mission is to disrupt an experimental rocket launch by America and thereby create political tensions between the two powers.
Dr. No locks Bond away and tends to his atomic powered radio jammer for the American rocket launch. As soon as 007 is capable, he sneaks through an air vent and makes his way to the main control room which also houses the atomic core. Before the launch takes place Bond sabotages the reactor causing it to overheat. Dr. No’s staff begins to evacuate as No himself engages in a fist fit with 007 resulting with No dropping into the boiling nuclear core.
Quickly Bond searches for Honey and the two of them escape the exploding the complex. Felix and the navy find Bond and Honey safely floating away from the island, in no hurry to be rescued.
In 1952, Ian Fleming wrote the first James Bond novel “Casino Royale” to great reviews that caused CBS to pick up the rights to create a TV show. Unfortunately CBS was making the show for American audience and renamed James Bond to Jimmy Bond. The show was not a success on any standard; however, the novels continue to meet unprecedented success.
In 1958 Albert R. Broccoli, also known as Cubby, was an already very successful film producer and one half of the production company Warwick Films. Broccoli saw great potential in Fleming’s books and convinced his business partner, Irving Allen, to consider producing the films. Unfortunately, family issues kept Broccoli from the first meeting with Fleming and left Allen to talk with the author alone. The meeting was disastrous when Allen told Fleming that his novels weren’t even good enough for television.
Two years later Harry Saltzman left his previous employer and began looking for a new project in the film industry. He immediately optioned the Bond novels from Fleming with a salary of fifty thousand dollars for six months’ time to get a film off the ground. A massive sum at the time.
Unknown to Saltzman, the president of United Artists, David Picker, was also trying to buy the rights to James Bond. Picker tried to pitch the idea with Alfred Hitchcock to direct but was shut down when he discovered the rights had already been purchased.
After splitting with Irving Allen and Warwick Films, Broccoli once again started searching for new film projects. His first project was a film based off the Arabian Nights with Wolf Mankowitz to write but the project was not running smoothly. Finally, Broccoli decided not to do it in favor of his dream project, a James Bond film. After this was explained to Mankowitz, he told Broccoli that he personally knew Saltzman, who had just acquired the rights. The very next day a meeting between Broccoli and Saltzman was arranged.
The meeting was a godsend for Saltzman. The option was running up and he had nothing in the works to get the first Bond film made. Initially Broccoli asked to buy the rights from Saltzman who declined because he wanted to be a full partner in the project. The two producers went to United Artists and pitched the idea to its board and David Picker. Everyone in that room was eager to make a deal and within an hour United Artists, Broccoli, and Saltzman set out to make the first James Bond film.
To handle this massive undertaking, Broccoli and Saltzman created two companies. One would handle the film rights, Danjaq S.A., and the other would actually produce the films, Eon Film Productions. At the time it was rumored Eon was the acronym for Everything or Nothing since each producer was betting everything on the success of this project.
Initially the idea was to make the first Bond book “Casino Royale” but the rights were tied up with CBS due to the TV show. The next best candidate seemed to be Dr. No due to its simple story and audience acceptance. Both Wolf Mankowitz and Richard Maibaum were hired together to start on the script with the order to keep close to the story of the original novel. Soon after Wolf dropped out and, fearing that Dr. No would be a complete disaster, had his name removed from the credits.
When looking for a director, the producers considered many options within the guidelines that he should be British and have a distinct style. Guy Green, Guy Hamilton, and Ken Hughes all turned down the job, leaving Terence Young the task of bringing the first James Bond film to the screen.
With the writers in place and a director chosen all they needed now was an actor to play James Bond. For some time they screened a lot of actors. Director Young wanted Richard Johnson to play the part but Johnson didn’t go over well with the producers. At one point even Cary Grant, who was the best man at Broccoli’s wedding, was considered. However, Grant said he would only do one film which would them looking for another Bond all over again. Roger Moore, who would eventually become James Bond, was also considered but was currently working on television and was unavailable.
It was a friend of Saltzman’s, Ben Fish, who was working on the film On the Fiddle, who suggested the casting of Sean Connery. With the suggestion in mind, Broccoli watches Connery’s most recent film, Darby O’Gill and the Little People. At the end of the film Broccoli asked his wife what she thought and she agreed Connery was fantastic. However, the producers of United Artists were not initially convinced and so Connery was brought in to meet them. After that meeting Connery was cast as James Bond.
Even though Connery had lots of acting experience he was far from a leading man. Terence Young worked closely with Connery to make him into a leading man. Many people who knew Young at the time considered him to have many personality traits of Bond. This was extremely helpful when Young began to teach Connery how to act like the super spy. There were many other meetings about the creation of James Bond. All the way down to his cuff links, how he would store his cigarettes, what watch would he wear, how his suit was tailored and how the holster of his gun would fit underneath the suit. Connery’s dress shirts were made by Turnbull & Asser. They designed his shirts to have a double cuff fitted with buttons with the idea that Bond could put the shirt on and off with ease. With the brand new suit in hand, Connery felt uncomfortable in the tailored clothes. In response, Young made Connery sleep in the suit. The next day Connery was amazed how comfortable the suit still felt after a night’s worth of sleep.
Naturally the producers wanted to shoot the film in Jamaica because it was the actual location of the novel Dr. No. Ian Fleming spent a lot of time in Jamaica and was asked to suggest someone to help them scout locations for the film. Chris Blackwell was hand-picked by Fleming and showed the crew, with whom he became good friends, the most exotic spots on the island.
As location scouting continued, the rest of the cast had filled out. For the role of Dr. No, Fleming suggested a good friend of his, Noel Coward. Fleming sent a telegram to United Artists on behalf of his friend but was immediately shot down. Instead the studio went with a noted New York actor Joseph Wiseman.
The rest of the film had to be cast with two separate considerations. One was for the current film, Dr. No, and the rest of the roles, like Moneypenny and M, had to be cast with forethought because these would be reoccurring characters for subsequent films. Lois Maxwell was offered the role of Moneypenny or the ‘glamour girl’ Sylvia Trench. Maxwell did not view herself as the kind of person that would play a ‘glamour girl’ so she decided to go with Moneypenny.
Two weeks from actually shooting the film the filmmakers had yet to find their leading lady to play the part of Honey Ryder. While going through some photos Saltzman finds a picture taken by John Derek of his wife, Ursula Andress. Without a single meeting and with very little discussion, Saltzman and Broccoli offer the role to Andress without ever seeing her even act. With the script in hand, Andress, her husband, and some friends read the script together. Afterwards John Derek told her wife that she should do it and it would be “fun and easy.” She immediately flies to Jamaica.
For music London Composer Marty Norman was hired. At first he told the producers he would think about it but when told that shooting was going to take place over twelve weeks in Jamaica and that he could bring his wife Norman immediately agreed. In Jamaica, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires were already a famous band and were recruited by Terence Young and Marty Norman to create a song for the dance scene.
In January 1962, the crew arrived at Jamaica and began filming the first Bond film on the sixteenth. The first scene in the morning was scene 39 where Bond arrives at the airport and passes the girl photographer.
Marguerite Lewars was the current Miss Jamaica and was hired to play the girl photographer. After nine takes, Lewars was able to finally calm down and properly use the camera for the shot. Just before noon the first filmed shot of Dr. No and the Bond franchise was finished.
On January 18th, Bob Simmons choreographed the fight scene between Bond and the chauffeur, the first of nearly a hundred. Simmons would eventual come to help produce the Bond films.
January 22nd: Filming moves on to the dance party scene in which Byron Lee and the Dragonaires provide the music and, due to their fame, the extras for the film. Filming the scene proves to slightly more difficult since Lewars continues to forget her lines. During a break, Connery supported Lewars and gave her enough self confidence to finish the scenes in front of the cameras.
On the 26th of January Young films Connery’s arrival at Kings’ house. Young encourages Connery to ad-lib dark humor with regards to the dead body instead of using the scripted line. The new line goes over very well and Young begins to inject the dark humor into the rest of the script.
Finally, Ursula Andress arrived on set, nervous about taking the part. The first scene Andress and Connery shot together was actually the last scene in the film. They worked very well together and began a long lasting friendship.
On February 8th, Terence Young and Ursula Andress film one of the most iconic shots of the Bond franchise and cinema history to this date. After arriving from Greece, Andress’ skin was snow white and wasn’t fitting for the character of a native girl like Honey Ryder. Andress received tanning make up from head to toe to solve this problem. In a previous shot another hiccup occurred: Andress was running and had cut her leg on some coral. It opened her leg up and had to be looked after by the medics. For the famous shot, the leg was covered in even more make up.
To make Dr. No’s “dragon” tank, a tractor was found and fitted with a tank skin, complete with a flame thrower, by the production design team. However, the swamps did not prove to be kind and the cast was eaten alive by mosquitoes and much caution had to be taken in order not to lose the tractor in the mud.
Some time after the 12th of February, Bunny Yeager was hired to take photos of Ursula Andress. Together they created some of most recognizable pictures of Ursula Andress outside of Dr. No itself.
With only three days left in Jamaica, Terence Young had to finish the finale of Dr. No. Thankfully, the main actors were in great shape and were able to handle all the smoke and hectic activity.
February 23rd, the team returned to London and began shooting at Pinewood Studios. There Ken Adams, the lead production designer, had been left to his own devices to create the interior sets of Dr. No. Adams was concerned that the filmmakers wouldn’t approve but they were stunned by the quality and style the sets imposed. The first room, where Dent talks with Dr. No, actually got applause from the crew during the daily rushes. It was J. M. Harwood, one of the writers, which suggested Dr. No’s personal quarters should duplicate a painting of the Goya portrait. The painting had been recently stolen, and this decor subtly suggested that it was in fact Dr. No who had stolen it. The biggest set was Dr. No’s control room which cost 100,000 dollars.
On March 2, 1962, the introduction of James Bond to audiences was filmed on set, which included one of the most famous lines in cinema, “Bond, James Bond.”
There was much controversy around the conclusion of the scene in which Bond confronts Prof. Dent at Miss Taro’s house. The point of contention was whether or not Bond should shoot an unarmed man. In the end they agreed to go with the much riskier decision.
Initially the character of Honey Ryder was to be tortured by crabs... anyways. The crabs had been frozen to survive the trip and wouldn’t move enough on set to register as being alive. It was a disaster and Adams quickly changed the set to create a flooding effect that was supposed to slowly drown the Honey Ryder character.
Editor Peter Hunt was hired to oversee the cutting together of Dr. No. A major contribution of Hunt was that he cut in the middle of movement, creating a jumping effect in the middle of action scenes, which is frowned upon by most editors.
All the way through production and post-production Marty Norman was still struggling with creating a main Bond theme for Dr. No. For the opening of the film Saltzman suggested putting the song “Under the Mango Tree.” This was shot down very quickly for simply being inappropriate to open the film.
At that same meeting Norman remembered a musical he wrote, A House for Mr. Biswas. One of the songs he wrote entitled “Good Sign Bad Sign” was the main inspiration for the Bond theme as we know it. John Barry was then brought in to conduct the theme song and add any other ideas he might have. Barry decided to bring in a guitar and put lots of echo and reverb on it, creating the main thrust of the song in the style of surf rock which was very stylish at the time. Everyone involved fell in love with the song to such a degree that Peter Hunt inserted the music in every place he saw an opportunity.
Graphic Designer Maurice Binder was also brought in to create the opening title sequence for Dr. No. Binder’s biggest contribution to the Bond franchise is the opening shot of nearly every Bond film since Dr. No, The Barrel Shot.
At the Piccadilly Theatre, Dr. No was released in England on October 6th, 1962 to immediate success. In 1963, the film had even more success in America. It gained twenty times its budget back, making it an unprecedented success across the globe.
|From Russia, with Love|
|The Ipcress File|
|You Only Live Twice|
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service|
|When Eight Bells Toll|
|Diamonds Are Forever|
|Live and Let Die|
|The Man with the Golden Gun|
|The Spy Who Loved Me|
|For Your Eyes Only|
|Never Say Never Again|
|A View to a Kill|
|The Living Daylights|
|Licence to Kill|
|Tomorrow Never Dies|
|See All »|