BONDAY

DR. NO

Director Terence Young
Year 1962
Starring Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Joseph Wiseman, Jack Lord, Bernard Lee, Anthony Dawson, Lois Maxwell
Run Time 110min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

Imagine Cary Grant as James Bond. Or David Niven. They were two of the candidates originally considered for the role when producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli were casting DR. NO in the early 1960s.

In retrospect, Grant and Niven seem like absurd choices: Both actors had been in movies for 30 years at that point and would have been a tad too "distinguished" to be convincing. Instead, the then-little-known Sean Connery snagged the part and the rest, as we say, is history.

On January 16, 1962, Connery stepped into 007's shoes for the first time and the movie world would never be the same. DR. NO, the first Bond film, became the fifth most popular movie of 1962 in the U.K. It received a warm welcome from American moviegoers when it crossed the Atlantic in 1963; President Kennedy even requested a private screening of the picture at the White House.

What he got to see was Bond's memorable introduction, at a chemin de fer table, as well as the agent's first encounters with the ever-lovesick Moneypenny (lois Maxwell), the devilishly crafty designer M (Bernard Lee) and his initial brush with SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Revenge and Extortion). SPECTRE member Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) dwells in a private paradise on the island of Crab Key, where he is plotting to sabotage the American space program.

Also on Crab Key is the first of the Bond Girls, and she's a knockout: Honey Ryder, portrayed by Ursula Andress. The Swiss actress' accent was so heavy her lines eventually had to be dubbed, but moviegoers were more interested in her other charms, and that white bikini had fueled many a fantasy.

But Honey's allure is balanced by various perils for Bond, including creepy-crawly tarantulas and a "dragon" (and armored flame-thrower used by Dr. No to scare off intruders). 

For his first outing as Bond, Connery was paid 6,000 pounds (about $16,800 in 1962 money); by the time he starred in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, nine years later, he would be collecting a paycheck of $1.25 million.

Not bad for a performer who wasn't even sure he wanted the role and was slammed by some 1962 and 1963 critics as being woefully miscast (the reviewer for TIME called him ""great big hairy marshmallow who almost always manages to seem silly").

Surprisingly, Connery had his own doubts about being able to pull off the role.

"Before I got the part, I might have agreed with them," He told Playboy in a 1965 interview. "If you had asked any casting director who would be the sort of man to cast as Bond, an Etonbred Englishman, the last person into the box would have been me, a working-class Scotsman. And I didn't particularly have the face for it; at 16 I looked 30, although I was never really aware of age until I was in my 20s. When I was acting with Lana Turner I realized suddenly I was 28 -- and I'm even more aware of time and age now than I was then. But today my face is accepted as Bond, and that's how it should be."

It was the face that launched a franchise that would very shortly become a phenomenon. (James Sanford)


   

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