Amph 60+ Years of James Bond 007

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ender Sai, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    This thread is mod-approved by @Rogue1-and-a-half

    Following the recent release of the excellent 23rd Bond film Skyfall, and drawing from a discussion held in the Amphitheater circa 2006/07 where the mods took turns in reviewing Bond films until the then-newest, Casino Royale, we will discuss the Bond films one by one.

    For the sake of observing the official continuity, the non-EON productions of Casino Royale (both) and Never Say Never Again will be covered after the EON series is finished. Additionally, this is not a review but rather a hosted discussion through the history. If possible, I'd recommend watching the film prior to the conversation.

    Let's kick off with the first film...

    1962. For 9 years now, Ian Lancaster Fleming had been pumping out novels (by the time Bond hit the big screen, Fleming had written 9 novels and 5 short stories about the character) and Bond had become a certified icon. Fleming had for years tried to get Bond filmed, and had even written a film treatment with Kevin McClory (who will feature later in our discussions) that he eventually released as Thunderball.

    Two producers - Canadian Harry Saltzman, and American Albert R "Cubby" Broccoli - secured the rights to the novels and started work on producing them into the film series we know and love. Originally, they wanted Cary Grant to play Bond but the actor would only commit to one film. Other choices were mooted, including Fleming's preference of David Niven (presumably based on his real life experiences as a commando) before Sean Connery was finally selected. Fleming was not amused at first and referred to Connery as an overgrown stunt man. None the less, he had the devil-may-care attitude and landed the role.

    From there, director Terence Young took Bond to his Saville Row tailor, his barber, and introduced Connery to the kind of refined life Bond lead. From there, the rest is history...

    Dr No

    [IMG]

    Plot

    When "Our Man in Kingston", Strangways, fails to check in during a routine radio mission, the SIS sends 00 agent James Bond to Jamaica to investigate. Bond soon discovers that Strangways was onto something big - a nearby island of Crab Key contained SPECTRE operative Dr No, who was using radio waves to throw US rockets off course.

    Background

    Dr No was the sixth of Ian Fleming's novels, and one of many to be set in whole or in part in Jamaica, where Fleming himself resided for large parts of the year at an estate known as Goldeneye. In these formative years, it's important not to separate the author from his work, since he imbued much of himself in the character. Originally, producers had wanted to film Thunderball first, but the legal dispute over rights and authorship impeded that choice. Given the low budget - $1mil - Dr No's lack of location changes made it an ideal choice to film.

    During the film, Connery wears the watch Ian Fleming gave his character - a Rolex Submariner. Given the constraints on the production budget, it's Cubby Broccoli's actual watch that Connery wears!

    Review:

    The film contains arguably the best Bond introduction in the franchise's history:

    [IMG]

    For a film that's 50 years old, it still stacks up well today. The advantage the producers had was that Bond, as a character, was established and well known so he's fleshed out and this means much of the film hangs on Connery's shoulders. For someone inexperienced, he does a remarkable job and seems at home in the role.

    Despite obvious effects with the tarantula scene, the film is nevertheless still reasonably grounded and lacks the fantastical elements of the later films (Dr No's lair notwithstanding). The next film is arguably even less fantastical, which is why these first two are more thrillers than anything else. Bond meeting officials at Government House, Bond meeting Strangway's people at the club - it's more detective novel than spy caper.

    The timing is similar to early seasons of Mad Men, and you can see that the fashion in that show is accurate given Connery's excellent tailored wardrobe:

    [IMG]

    Look at what Draper wears, and you'll the similarities.

    Overall I rather like Dr No. Relative to the rest of the series, it's wonderfully low key but it manages some real tension, some excellent action, and some cold brutality. Bond's disposing of Dent, who is effectively unarmed, is remorseless and deadly and completely in character. Honey Rider, despite missing her more tragic backstory, isn't an incompetent bimbo whom 007 needs to rescue at every turn, though he manages to patronise her for good measure with her belief int he dragon. Hawaii Five-O's Jack Lord is fairly bland as Leiter, starting a long tradition of forgettable actors in the role.

    Bond's signature Walther PPK is introduced here, replacing Bond's Beretta. A nice reference to the previous novel is made regarding the Beretta jamming (itat the end of FRWL, Bond's silencer makes his gun get caught, and he ends up poisoned by Rosa Klebb's shoe), though in the novels Bond's Beretta was a 418 in .25ACP not the M1934 .380ACP seen in the film.

    Bond

    Connery is not quite at his peak yet, that will come with his next 3 films, but there's a rawness to his performance which was never replicated elsewhere. The producers apparently felt he was sufficiently powerful looking whilst still having a kind of feline grace, and I'd agree with that assessment. He deals with the chauffeur with a ruthless pragmatism, as he does with Dent. He's still sufficiently suave with Sylvia Trench, Miss Taro and yet protective and tender with Honeychile Rider.

    Given the lower budget and lack of real star power, most of the work here falls to Connery. Robert Shaw and Lotte Lenya in FRWL help add some grativas to the film but here Connery's the star. We spend a lot of the film focussing solely on him as Bond, with no gadgets and tricks, just his fists and wits. Connery is faultless in that regard, really giving life to Fleming';s character. So impressed was Fleming that he added a Scottish background to Bond, which we saw explored more in Skyfall.

    How it fits in the series

    Obviously, this being where it all began we owe much of the franchise to traditions established here. Bond's Walther PPK is unchanged (excepting Octopussy) until 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies; and the gunbarrel opening is kept until Casino Royale where it appears in different format.

    Bond plays his first game of chemin-de-fer baccarat at the club in London. By my recollection, he will play this again in Thunderball; On Her Majesty's Secret Service; For Your Eyes Only, and GoldenEye.

    As it is shot out of sequence with the novel's chronology, there are elements in the film which didn't appear in the novel and affect the continuity. For example, Bond met Leiter in Casino Royale and Quarrel in Live and Let Die; the latter's death in Dr No meant when they filmed Dr No, they had to rather dubiously name someone "Quarrel Jr".(This isn't nearly as difficult as the OHMSS/YOLT filming, where in OHMSS Bond and Blofeld don't recognise one another).

    The Sylvia Trench character was slated to appear as a London-based girlfriend for Bond for all the films. She appears at the picnic next to Bond's Bentley in the next film, but is ditched after this.

    Anthony Dawson, who played Dent, would later appear in For Russia With Love as the voice of Blofeld.

    Lois Maxwell and Bernard Lee appear; Maxwell stays until 1985's A View To a Kill and Bernard Lee's last film was Moonraker, before his passing.

    In conclusion; Dr No is something of an oddity in that it doesn't have a lot of the established conventions of the series and it outside the classic Bond formula, which stayed largely intact until the 2006 reboot (notable exceptions notwithstanding). Yet, thanks largely to Connery and the strength of the source material (Dr No is one of the better books) it still feels familiar and undoubtedly a Bond story. Plus, that entrance from Ursula Andress... how could I forget that?

    Overall, I would give this 005/007 stars.

    Questions for reflection:

    1) After seeing Skyfall and where Bond is 50 years later, how do you feel about the film that started it all?
    2) Do you wish the films kept more of this gritty thriller style, or are you happy with the formula that was developed in Goldfinger and kept for years to come?
    3) Is this not the weakest of all Bond car chases? ;)
    4) Was this Connery's best, or just Connery's most threatening performance?
    Last edited by Ender_Sai, Dec 1, 2012
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Aww yeah, been waiting for this thread if only for what will invariably be my loud, obnoxious protestations to some of the Moore ratings.
    1. I've always liked Dr. No, though my attitude towards it has gone a bit downhill not really because of recent developments in the franchise and the like, but rather because I now know that Patrick McGoohan was offered the part and yowza would that've been amazing. I'm a pretty big fan of Danger Man and The Prisoner, though, and I wouldn't have gotten those if he hadn't turned the part down. So... I guess that means I still like Dr. No. My opinion of Skyfall being great doesn't really change that, so... yeah.
    2. Goldfinger is my favorite Bond film, even if I think You Only Live Twice is a razor-sharp close second, so I guess I prefer the latter formula. I like gadgets and tomfoolery, and am perfectly willing to go on record saying I would've watched the hell out of a Tiger Tanaka spin-off series. Hell, I like Goldfinger so much that that's the one book in the series I read. Um... no comment on that. Dr. No is still pretty fun, though, if only because I think the countdown sequence is a blast.
    3. I'd certainly be hard pressed to think of a weaker one.
    4. Just most threatening. I liked him more in... most of his other films. I think this is a better turn then he gave in Never Say Never Again, though. Also, is it just me, or is the wig more obvious in this one than it usually is?
    Last edited by Ramza, Dec 1, 2012
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I can't see McGoohan as 007. He just didn't look the part, in my view. But I will agree the wig isn't great here. I'd suggest though that Thunderball is the most problematic ones, due to the swimming scenes...

    And yes, you'll hate most of my Moore reviews :D
    Last edited by Ender_Sai, Dec 1, 2012
  4. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    This is a great film. As @Ender_Sai mentions it has the best Bond introduction, and the film also incidentally has my favourite Bond line in the entire series ("That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six."):



    The film is rather simplistic compared to what would come later, but I believe that is part of the charm. Consider when he's in his apartment and he puts a single hair across the cupboard so as to later check if someone has been in, and how he dabs some alcohol on his briefcase which will record any fingerprints. This Bond doesn't need fancy gadgets yet, just good old fashioned detective work to keep tabs on things. The film also enjoys some good humour - following the knowledge someone has been in his apartment, Bond goes to pour himself a drink ... then pauses, thinks the better of it, then goes to the cupboard and just grabs another bottle and pours a drink from that without missing a beat. Connery just sells it so well. [face_laugh]

    Connery is my favourite Bond, and this was a great beginning. I would rate From Russia With Love and Goldfinger over it, but it's still a great film.
    darthcaedus1138 and Havac like this.
  5. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I think one of the things Dr. No highlights is how little Bond is actually dependent on the "Bond formula" to work. There's a lot of fun to be had in gadgets and crazy lairs and big stunts, but up until No's lair, this is pretty much just straight espionage-detection thriller, that works on down-and-dirty drama and Bond's sophisticated, callous character. And it's magnificent. I'd watch fifty years of movies that were all based on that. It's interesting to consider that the next time Bond really "launched" again, it went with the same stripped-down-to-basics, espionage-and-character approach in Casino Royale. There's a lot to be said for establishing Bond and his environment first, and grounding them in seriousness, before introducing the more whimsical elements as a secondary concern. I don't want to say no to exploding pens and ejector seats, because Bond is about that fun, too. But I think the key to the quality of the films is the balance. In all the good Bond movies, they're grounded in Bond's character and in that thriller sensibility, with the "formula" elements coming in as a secondary concern. When the movies go bad, they focus on the formula -- gadgets and quips and wacky villains -- and the character and drama get lost, and they just become these sort of shallow exercises in inadvertent self-parody. I don't want to say that the films had to stay in this style, but they had to not lose the elements of this style that made the films work, and it's a big disappointment when they did.

    So, as you might have figured, I really love Dr. No. It's a classic style of film, with tremendous atmosphere. Bond is suave but menacing, and I think it's certainly close to Connery's best performance in the role. I'd have to put FRWL over it, but I might actually prefer it to Goldfinger. It's pretty close.

    Also, as long as you're mentioning Mad Men, it took a long time, but I'm glad we got to see Don reading a James Bond novel. It's a great fit for the character, and it reflects the real way Bond-mania took off in the sixties. Any interest in addressing public response to the films specifically, Ender?
  6. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    Well I might as well throw in my tuppence.

    I absolutely adored this movie. It was actually more down to earth, believable and gritty than I'd ever thought a James Bond movie would be. The 60's time period is magnificent and the setting is gorgeous and great for Bond's first adventure. I was impressed.

    Up to a point. The tarantula is ridiculous, and invalidates Dr. No incredibly. He tells the guy not to fail, yet gives him a nonlethal animal to try to kill Bond. Good going there man. We get to see so little of Dr. No, and what we do see of him is very little use to us. For example we know he has mechanical superstrength hands, but he barely uses them! It's a Chekhov's Gun that doesn't get fired, and it's a shame. Ursula Andress is beautiful and stunning and her coming out of the water is iconic and all that jazz, but she's completely unnecessary. She literally walks off the beach and into the movie and is suddenly a part of it. And the final battle was confusing (for me) to the point where I didn't know that Bond was fighting Dr. No at the end. I just thought it was a henchman, since he was wearing that ridiculous suit.

    All in all though, I'm willing to give the movie a very favorable pass. When we get to Goldfinger I'll elucidate as to why I don't dislike the movie, but don't particularly like it either, but this sits as my third favorite Connery Bond.
    SithLordDarthRichie likes this.
  7. DantheJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2009
    star 5
    If I could, I would like to interject a interesting bit of James Bond lore here:

    In the early 1960s, DC comics published a comics adaptation of Dr. No in their Showcase series:
    [IMG]

    From what I've seen and read online, it looks like it was done up Classics Illustrated style, despite the fact it was an adaptation of the film more than that of Ian Fleming's book. Also, because of this, DC Comics ended up with the American comic-book publishing rights to James Bond for ten years, but they promptly forgot this after doing the Dr. No comic!

    It's one of those "they were sitting on a gold mine all long and didn't knew about it" kind-of stories you hear about that must've made some poor publisher quote Homer Simpson.
  8. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Bondmania really hits with Goldfinger and Thunderball, so we'll touch on it then. It was with this at you had a bona-fide cultural phenomenon on your hands, rather than just wildly popular escapist fiction. At this stage, it's probably more relevant to discuss the novels because their impact was significant too; the world was still recovering from the war and the novels brought sophistication, exotic locales, and a worldly hero to the ordinary life. The films helped with that but Goldfinger really broke away from the Fleming popularity (let's not forget; these were not obscure novels in their day. Their popularity reached a level not seen with books until, really, the Potter franchise) so I'd touch on their impact there and leave the impact novel for a discussion of the novels (which we could gladly do after the films, as it'll be 60 years since Casino Royale was published)

    Yeah this is why the novel is almost required reading for this particular film. The filmmakers were relatively inexperienced with putting Bond on screen and the limited budget meant they had to change parts of the story substantially. The tarantula was originally a centipede; but put yourself in the mindset of a far less informed audience back then and they saw a giant spider which, in their minds, would have been far more terrifying than a centipede. Dr Julius No, the novels revealed, worked for the Triads and stole a substantial sum of money from them. As payback, they cut off his hands and shot him in the heart. No survived because he had a rare condition known as dextrocardia - his heart is on the right side of his body.

    I don't recall the hands lending him super strength in the books; they are merely a facet of all Fleming villains, which is a physical deformity or peculiarity.

    At the end of the book, Bond is forced through an obstacle course to test his limits. It culminates with a fight with a giant squid - Bond having fashion a spear along the way (i can't recall what from). He then drowns Dr No in a pile of guano (No operates a guano mine on Crab Key).

    Honey is significant to the plot of the film; her arrival so close to Bond's triggers the guards to come looking for them.
  9. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Dr. No is a very different film from what comes after it and not the kind of film that you'd necessarily think would launch a franchise as long lived as the James Bond franchise.

    I like the stripped down feeling of it. As others have said, it's more of a serious espionage/mystery thriller than most in the series and I enjoy it for that reason. The violence has a strange, snappy brutality to it. The opening murder scene has a vibrant vitality and watch the way that guy convulses when Connery shoots him. The percussive pop of the silencer is fantastic.

    But at the end of the day you do have to lay the success of the film at Connery's door. He inhabits the character completely. He wears the suits absolutely perfectly and carries himself with the pure cool of a man who knows who he is and what he can do. This is something very close to my favorite iteration of Bond; I love the more vulnerable Bond of some of Craig's films too, but the way Connery owns the screen with his perfect mixture of menace and charm simply IS James Bond. When the theme kicks in under his introduction at the baccarat table, you know you're watching perfection. The scene where he murders the Professor in his room is a perfect example. He's perfectly cavalier in the way he gets out the cigarette and lights it; he's carrying the scene. And then he's utterly focused and grim as he coolly assassinates the would be assassin. As much as I love the later films and some of the different takes on Bond that they offer, like Dalton's rage-driven maniac or Craig's tortured, fallible human, this scene is maybe the ne plus ultra of James Bond. This is who the character is at his essence and if you listen to the dialogue, it's fine, but it's the way Connery says the lines that makes them stick, the absolute truth of the way he moves and speaks. Given how bad some of his later films were, it's easy to forget just how simply and completely perfect he really was in those first few. Goldfinger is probably my favorite Connery film, but Dr. No probably wins the favorite Connery performance prize from me.

    One last comment: there are pretty Bond girls than Ursula Andress; there are better Bond girl characters than Honey Ryder; I'm not sure, however, that any other Bond girl has equaled the sheer sexual charge of tht beach scene. Yes, she's singing a stupid song. But that may still be the sexiest Bond girl body of the entire franchise. I mean, if we're going to get down in the gutter about it. In the bikini, that's pretty close to perfection itself.

    All in all, what's the verdict on Dr. No? Live or Let Die? Obviously, Live. It's an essential.
    Havac likes this.
  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Live, absolutely.

    I think everyone's touched on two key themes in Dr No - that it's a stripped back, more raw take on Bond without his gadgets and quips; and the Professor Dent scene.

    The former occurs at intervals in the films; and though in a minority they tend to be the films favoured by purists - Dr No; From Russia, With Love; On Her Majesty's Secret Service; For Your Eyes Only; Licence to Kill; and the Craig films.

    The latter is worth touching on. Bond killing in cold blood is a professional requirement. If he can't, then the 00- status is useless - a comment M makes in this film when issuing Bond his Walther.

    Fleming said it best when he wrote;

    "It was part of his profession to kill people. He had never liked doing it and when he had to kill he did it as well as he knew how and forgot about it. As a secret agent who held the rare double-O prefix—the licence to kill in the Secret Service—it was his duty to be as cool about death as a surgeon. If it happened, it happened. Regret was unprofessional—worse, it was a death-watch beetle in the soul."


    So, let's look at a few standout kills from the Bond films when Bond wasn't necessarily killing someone in self-defence, but when he had a clear upper hand. I would use two points of comparison with the Dent scene: Roger Moore kicking Locque's Mercedes off a cliff in FYEO; and Daniel Craig dispatching of Slade in QoS. In all three scenarios, Bond was attacked by someone who failed to capitalise on their advantage and thus, when their threat was neutralised, Bond terminated them. I could also throw in Clive in Licence to Kill, but I don't want to touch on Bond kills driven by emotion and Bond clearly did that on impulse, hence the drama that followed.

    Connery, it's worth noting, put five shots into Dent's body when it was on the ground. Censors baulked and only 2 shots were fired after the initial. That's cold. Very cold. Dent could just as easily have been taken into custody and interrogated to give up information. He also said that he might as well tell Bond who he was working for, since he wouldn't be alive to use the information - then picks up the empty gun. Bond didn't get the details and almost didn't care - he shot Dent anyway.

    Contrasting this with Locque, helpless on a cliff after losing traction on the D-Klasse Mercedes following a gun shot wound to the torso. At this point, he's wounded. His operation's taken a hit and his paymasters in the KGB, or even Kristatos, would not tolerate that failure. Bond, following the death of Lisl, isn't angry. He just coldly kicks the car off the cliff. Moore didn't want to do this and whilst agreeing it was in the spirit of the character, it just wasn't in the spirit of the Roger Moore James Bond. Bond and Colombo's men could have easily taken him in, but Bond made the decision, coldly and with calculation, to end him instead. Like Dent, the threat was gone; like Dent, he likely had valuable information to share. Like Dent, Bond disposed of him.

    Slade's similar to. Despite having surprise and a weapon to his advantage, he's beaten stupid and executed by a callously indifferent Bond. Slade, like the other two, holds information Bond would find useful but is executed before that can be gleaned. The main difference here is that whilst Connery's kill of Dent showed a calm maturity about it, Craig's is still playing a 007 not at that stage of his career so you can see how that indifference to death evolves, character wise.

    I would agree with Rogue too that Ursula Andress was the sexiest of all the Bond girls. I mean, did anyone else feel close to the same way when Halle Berry mirrored this scene in Die Another Day? Yeah, me either.
  11. corran2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    Rogue mentioned what I think is one of the essential Bond moments of the series here: shooting Professor Dent. It is a cold-blooded murder, and you see Bond exposed in that moment, you see JAMES BOND like you rarely do throughout the series. And a small tip of the hat to Joseph Wiseman, who I think plays Dr. No to almost utter perfection in just a few short scenes. Truly menacing.

    However, I do not adore this one as much as I used to, and while I see its importance to the series as a whole, I vastly prefer the next two films to this one, which I think comes off rather dry and slow at times.
  12. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Erm, everyone has mentioned the Dent scene? :p
  13. Darth_Kiryan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2009
    star 4
    I remember watching this movie years ago. I never liked it. In fact, i hated it compared to all the other bond movies at the time that i had seen.And having seen them all, this is the one that i barely remember.

    Maybe now, if i go back and watch it, i would have a better appreciation of it.
  14. TryWhistlingThis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 3
    Excellent idea for what will be a promising series of threads. As someone who has the boxset, I will follow this series closely. But, is it one film per week, fortnight, month etc...? My PS3 needs a repair so unless I watch it on my laptop, I might be a bit late to the party. When's FRWL? I might hold off, otherwise i'll watch it on the computer.
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Dr No is probably the hardest to discuss, because there's not a lot to it. FRWL onwards, however, has significant depth to sustain discussion. So, FRWL will be in a few days time, then it'll be one a week.
  16. TryWhistlingThis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 3
    Ok, i'll watch the first couple via laptop then.
  17. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    She practically wanders into the movie. There's absolutely no reason to take her along with them, and Bond should have immediately dismissed her. He's threatening not only his mission's safety, but also a total stranger's.
  18. George Roper Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    The best Bond line in the entire series is:

    Romanova: Thank you, but I think my mouth is too big.
    Bond: No, it's just the right size...for me, that is.

    Moore would have ruined it but Connery's delivery is perfection.
    Last edited by George Roper, Dec 2, 2012
  19. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Alright Ender -- I've never seen any of the old Bond films (Goldeneye was my first, when it was new) -- so I've decided that I ought to rectify that. I'll watch in release order.
  20. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    This was the very first Bond film I ever watched, and needless to say it still holds up. I love the stripped down feeling to it, and I like how Bond is vulnerable during some scenes such as when he is escaping from his prison cell and has to crawl through tubes of boiling water. That is sheer agony and pretty difficult to watch. The car chase scene is decent and fairly simplistic, but it has one of the best one-liners in the franchise following it:

    Worker: What happened?
    Bond: I think they were on their way to a funeral.

    Just the way he delivers that line is perfect.
  21. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    Dr. No is one of my favourites - I re-watched it a couple of weeks ago and it still holds up as far as I'm concerned.

    I think Connery is on top form here, presumably excited to be playing the character, and the beautiful Ursula Andress gets to play one of the more memorable Bond-girls. The fact that the Bond formula had not developed into the crutch it became makes this film a bit special - no gadgets (excepting perhaps the Geiger counter), no jokes with Q - the scene with the quartermaster and M, where Bond's character as an agent is established, is not the cosy chit-chat it was to become in later films... all make this film feel a bit exciting. And of course Bond is less super-hero than cold-blooded assassin.

    Some parts of it are a bit dated and clunky, but on the whole I still rate it as one of the better Bonds - I actually enjoy it more than FRWL - and would certainly be among the ten Bond films I would take to my hypothetical desert island if we're playing that game.
  22. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Good man. You will sometimes regret it (almost anything with Roger Moore), sometimes be so wonderfully rewarded (FRWL, OHMSS)...
  23. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    That's interesting. He's one part of the film that I feel is kind of flat. It's one way in which FRWL, at least in my opinion, vastly improves on Dr. No: having a genuinely menacing and memorable villain. No is memorable, I suppose. But I think it's not until next time that Bond really faces off against a truly great antagonist.

    Also, Ender, since you bring up Bond's coldest kills, I have to give credit to one of the few truly great Roger Moore moments, from The Spy Who Loved Me.



    It's one of the few times when Moore really does get to that same ultra-cold level that Connery sometimes did. The obvious implication of Bond's question is that he'll save the guy if he answers the question; that is, of course, never stated, it's just the implication and implications aren't always true, of course. But the way he literally brushes the guy off and then coolly straightens his tie . . . that's a moment that even a dedicated Moore hater like me can't help but get a chill over.
    Last edited by Rogue1-and-a-half, Dec 2, 2012
  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    The reason they introduced the quips was not because they had to give something for Roger Moore to do later on, but rather because the producers felt the need to temper the violence. Fleming's Bond never really drops one liners after a kill - it's a cinematic invention and only because of concerns of censorship. Somehow, and not always to his benefit, it's become part of Bond's character...
  25. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Are you referring to Donovan "Red" Grant?