Wednesday, 2 July 2014

3 Guys, 1 Spy: Dr. No

If you’re a James Bond fan, you should look up the James Bonding podcast by Matt Mira and Matt Gourley. They are watching all the films, talking about them with a different guest each time and with the exception of the Goldfinger episode where two militant feminists ripped the film to bits, the podcast has been hilarious.

It inspired me to gather together two partners in crime and watch all the films, one a month or so, preceding each with a bit of background and a smattering of movie facts.

And so we began with Dr. No. 
Rich’s job was to tell us what was happening in the world in 1962 and he did us proud, regaling us with snippets about the space race, Vietnam and foreign and domestic relations. Nick gave us some facts about the film itself while I concentrated on the music.

Dr. No wasn’t Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, but the first to be filmed. Bond is sent to Jamaica (hence the Calypso version of Three Blind Mice over the title credits) to investigate the disappearance of a British agent which leads him to go up against Dr Julius No - a Penguin-handed evil mastermind plotting to disrupt the American space program.
Critical reaction to the film on its release was apparently mixed, but it has since become regarded as one of the series’ best.

Introducing many of the staples that have become synonymous with the series - M, Moneypenny, "Bond, James Bond" - Dr. No really does hold up. It is easy to see why this film launched one of the longest running series in history as well as many imitators.

It shows its age at times “Quarrel - fetch my shoes” and for me, the villain arrives so late in the proceedings that he lacks the impact others will have on the series. Nevertheless, the film presents an effortlessly cool world that we remain obsessed with over 50 years on.

James Bond and us 3 guys will return in From Russia with Love, and next time I'm going to record the facts shared about the film so I can give more detail here. I’ll leave you with one more bit of homework we completed - linking Sean Connery to Kevin Bacon!

Sean Connery was in Entrapment with Catherine Zeta Jones.
Catherine Zeta Jones starred in Ocean’s Twelve alongside Brad Pitt.
Brad Pitt was in An Interview with a Vampire with Tom Cruise.
And Tom Cruise starred in A Few Good Men with……….Kevin Bacon.