33. Dr. No

As my father was a huge fan of the James Bond films during my very early youth, I can remember bits and pieces of a few of them but can’t quite remember an entire film (atleast until The Living Daylights), so I figured I’d start at the beginning with the very first in this famed franchise.

After a fellow secret agent is gunned down in Jamaica, Agent 007 (Sean Connery) is summoned to the scene to investigate.  He makes the trip from London and immediately notices he is being followed.  Eventually he makes his way to a private island where the criminal mastermind Dr. No has built a lair where he plots to attack U.S. Space Missions.  Once Bond arrives to the island, a stunning blonde named Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) divinely walks out of the water before they are attacked by Dr. No’s henchmen.  They are eventually captured and Bond must save himself along with his new flavor of the day and maybe somehow manage to derail Dr. No’s evil plans.

The film was made on a small budget (14,000 pounds according to Wikipedia) so the special effects are almost laughable.   A tank which some of the characters mistake for an actual DRAGON is completely crass and unbelievable-as well as when Bond easily escapes his holding cell through a 3 foot wide air vent.

While this film carries many flaws with it, it is inevitably amusing and entertaining.  Sean Connery is the quintessential James Bond with bulletproof machismo and biting humor. He sets a great standard for the rest of the actors that would follow in his path.

Ursula Andress also rocks the screen with overwhelming sex appeal and blood boiling allure.  Her grand entrance from the ocean is worth the price of admission alone and is easily one of the most memorable scenes I have ever seen in a film.

As a pioneer in spy films and the first entrant into the Bond franchise, Dr. No is quite an important piece of film that inspired many knock offs, spoofs, and arguably an entire genre in itself.  Far from perfect, but a touchstone of 60’s pop art.

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Categories: 100 Films

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