Dr. No (1962) Movie Review: Ba da ba daaaaaaaa buh bah daaaaa!

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: each time someone smokes onscreen (different times)

Take a Drink: for Calypso music

James Bond clichés: (Good for any Bond drinking game)

Take a Drink: when a Bond girl is revealed

Do a Shot: when one of Bond’s girls/friends are killed

Take a Drink: Bond receives new technology

Take a Drink: for double entendre

Do a Shot: Bond escapes an overly exotic, easily escapable death

Do a Shot: each time Bond orders and/or drinks a Vodka Martini

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Oberst Von Berauscht (A Toast) –

When assassins kill the British intelligence station chief and his secretary in Jamaica, British Secret Service MI6 assigns agent James Bond to investigate. Bond reveals that the murdered agent was investigating the activities of a Chinese millionaire who owns an island off the coast of mainland Jamaica called Crab Key.  The millionaire’s name: Dr. No.

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As in “No, in the 1960s they didn’t hire Chinese actors to play Chinese people…”

A Toast

Dr. No was the first in the franchise that to date has produced 23 films, with a 24th due for release later this year.  Watching it now, so many years after it was released, it is easy to see how this could light a fire under 1960s audiences. Actor Sean Connery was the perfect choice to play writer Ian Fleming’s spy, as he brings to the role a suave self-assuredness and a well-mannered, but rigid demeanor which makes him both dangerous and attractive.

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Murder tastes good, like a Cigarette should…

Dr. No broke new grounds in numerous aspects of cinema, sexuality being a particular focus, with the film’s lead character unabashedly bedding no less than three beautiful women. Eunice Gayson plays the first Bond girl ever, the curiously named “Sylvia Trench”, Zena Marshall plays “Miss Taro”, a double-agent, finally and most famously; Actress/Model Ursula Andress plays the character “Honey Ryder”, whose Bikini sent men to their knees and women to the department stores.

The popular view of Bond films today sees them as globetrotting adventure with fancy gadgets, expensive special effects, and intense sexuality. Surprising as it might be, this first entry in the Bond series only really contains one of those three elements.

I'll give you three guesses...
I’ll give you three guesses…

Filmed for just over a million dollars, the film had to squeeze as much production value out of the film as it could on a relative shoestring.  Of all the Bond novels, Dr. No was chosen for the fact that the majority of the film is set in one location; Jamaica. This worked to the advantage of early 60s audiences, as the island nation had been a vacation option for only the super-rich until fairly recently.  The novelty of setting and shooting the film in Jamaica ended up being better than a tourism commercial, as the movie went on to become massively successful in the box office, and create in audiences the craving for more adventures.

Through the character Dr. No, the series gave birth to the larger than life villains who would raise the stakes.  Prior to the Bond franchise, with the exception of War movies, action films rarely presented the lead character(s) with a world-threatening mission.  Dr. No’s plot to disrupt satellite launches into space as part of a plot to increase the rift between East and West during the height of the Cold War upped the danger to a global scale.  Action cinema would never look back.

Dr. No would soon be eclipsed in the spotlight by bigger, more ambitious films, but arguably this first mission of the Bond series is one of the most tightly directed, entertaining entries.

Verdict

While certainly not as polished as future entries, Dr. No is a skillful, economic espionage thriller that established the Spy genre in earnest, and laid the groundwork for the longest-running feature film franchise.

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About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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