Day 29 – James Bond – Dr No.

I think I am one of the few girls taking part in Blog Along Bond. Then again from the tweet I received the other day it’s possible that at the moment I am the only girl taking part. So what is it that I like about Bond, because surely as the only girl I should be launching into some feminist diatribe about how Bond completely uses girls to get ahead of the game and things like that. Well okay maybe he does do that, and as a teenager who was all for women’s rights etc I would have been shouting about feminism but having studied Screenwriting at uni and feminism at College, I’ve got a different of opinion now.

Anyho so what is Blog Along Bond. Well there are 22 months from now until the release of the 23rd James Bond Film is released at the cinema, so the idea is we watch and review the other 22 films before getting to the new one. (You can also read Rob’s explanation here on his blog aka The Incredible Suit.

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The film is based ont he 1958 book by Ian Fleming. Original James was going to be played by Cary Grant (who appeared in a couple of Alfred Hitchcock films) but wouldn’t commit to more than one film. The story is based mainly in Jamaica, although some of the scenes are in London. The story starts with John Strangways, the British Intelligence Station Chief in Jamaica is ambushed and killed by three assassins, the same assassins then go to his home/office and kill his secretary (I thought she was his wife!). They leave with a file about Doctor No. When Strangways fails to check in with British Intelligence they raise the alarm and send James Bond after him with orders to investigate Strangways disappearance.

Bond arrives in Jamaica and the story then follows how he stumbles on Doctor No’s lair and his plot to mess with a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral and somewhere along the line is that iconic scene with Ursula Andress coming out of the water. In that way that James Bond films go, he discovers the plot and then nearly dies but comes back to save the day. Him and the Bond Girl leave off into the sunset.

Something I noticed (and I think others did) Was that at the end of From Russia With Love there is a title card that says along the lines of “James Bond returns in…..” whereas this doesn’t show at the end of Dr. No as if they weren’t sure it would be a hit and whether a sequel would follow it.

On the other hand, Dr. No introduces a lot of ideas that now appear throughout the other films. The opening sequence of the “Bond Girls”, the James Bond theme (The original tune was composed by Monty Norman but as time changed each film had it’s only slightly different incarnation), the gun barrel sequence, the Martini drink (“Shaken not Stirred” – which interestingly enough Bond himself doesn’t voice this until Goldfinger (1964), it’s voiced by other characters throughout the other films.)

Something else I noticed was that although there are gadgets in the film it’s not as big a focus as it becomes in later films.

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