Then and Now; This Week - Spectre

edited October 2016 in Bond Movies Posts: 3,396
Then and Now

Community Reflections -

Dr No
Then -
Now - 6


In this thread, gentle readers, we are going to share our first experience of seeing a Bond movie, be it in the cinema, VHS or DVD, our reactions to it, and our thoughts now.

I look back on the first time I saw each particular Bond film, and my reaction, now.

Dr No

Then –
Like the majority of the classic Bond movies, pre-GoldenEye, I think I watched this one on ITV's “007 Heaven” marathon, which they used to have every year, until the digital revolution started. It was roughly 1997. I was convinced that I didn't like the newer Bond, despite not having seen either GoldenEye or Tomorrow Never Dies!

From the first time I watched Dr No, I loved it. The film had an air of seduction about it, and Sean Connery's performance was simply masterful and magnetic. I didn't have any problems with Dr No's supposed lack of pace. Nor did I find it boring – two common complaints it has faced.

When I started collecting Bond movies on VHS, Dr No and From Russia With Love were the third and fourth ones added to my burgeoning collection. The first two were The World Is Not Enough and A View To A Kill. Strange bedfellows one might say. The World Is Not Enough had just been released on VHS, and in the days of “Buy Bond, Get Bond Free” offers in the supermarket, my mum decided to get both The World Is Not Enough and A View To A Kill. I think the only reason she chose this film – its not the most iconic or memorable – is because she loves Duran Duran. Seeing Dr No again confirmed how much I enjoy this film.

Now –
Dr No is so full of iconic scenes. I still get a thrill over “this is Connery's introduction”, or “this is M's first briefing”. Although it’s the first film, the character interactions of Bond, M, and Moneypenny are perfectly judged and realised. One could be watching the third or fourth entry into the series, not the first. Seeing how bloated the series could become, Dr No is remarkably bare and streamlined, and it has been a mainstay in my top ten Bond films ever since.

Give a vote, do you enjoy Dr No "Then" or "Now"!!!

Then - 0
Now - 1



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Comments

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 13,950
    @royale65

    I love the idea for this thread! But mightn't it be more interesting for you to host this at a rate of one movie every few days? You can then refresh the discussion with a new movie every now and then and it's easier for us to read a post about one film rather than a post about all films? :) Also, you could keep track of which movies are generally liked better 'now' versus 'then'. :)

    Just a thought. ;-)
  • Posts: 3,396
    All done @DarthDimi. :)

    Any ideas about how do to "Then reflections" and "now reflections"?
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    edited June 2015 Posts: 13,950
    I'm leaving all of this in your expert hands, @royale65! You always provide nice games like this. Maybe others have an idea? I myself would just go with a binary system. E.g. I like DN better now than then, i.e. then: 0, now: 1. What say you? :)

    I will provide my own thoughts tonight. :-)

    Thanks in advance, friend! :-) I'm curious about the results, especially DAD and QOS...
  • Posts: 3,396
    Expert hands, ha!

    Right you are... ;-)
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited June 2015 Posts: 2,594
    My first remembers realy started with Tomorrow Never Dies. You mabey can start with Tomorrow Never Dies and back to Dr No. Giving Twine - Skyfall some rest. Inspecialy i am curious ''new'' people experience. In other words: People who have seen this movie in cinema as first Bond movie and there real start begins with Twine. Another good reasen for not starting with Twine and DAD is that Twine was kind of last offline Bond movie. Of course iam also curious to people first experience with Goldeneye as there real start whyle there have seen LTK in cinema already.

    The only thing i can tell you is that i start in 1992 with LTK on Video 2000, GE was my first Bond in 1995 in the cinema and bought in 1996 with buying the VHS/Video'sIt take whyle before i discover the order, it is possible i have seen FYEO after Spy. I always take LTK and 90's as basic. Possible i started with Roger Moore movies. . I remember i get nightmares then from Incredible Hulk episodes somewhere at the end of the 80's when i was 8-9 years old. In 2013 i bought complete series and iam almoost finished with season 3. Last episode i have seen on this moment be Janus episode playing in my birth year 1980 (Goldeneye is from 1995.) with very Daniel Craig releated chacter development. I think it is great show and what i like moost is ''grow'' with strange enough later tv series like The A-team Knight Rider and Airwolf. With some of episodes of first and second season of The Incredible Hulk i must think about Yolt or The Man With The Golden Gun, MacGyver i must think about Bond too.

    When i saw QOS in cinema i thaught it was realy refreshing and must think about Dr No.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    edited June 2015 Posts: 9,832
    I really like this idea, @royale65. :)
    I think going thru the films in order they came out (therefore, yes - start with Dr. No) makes sense. And give us a few days to think about it and comment.

    So focusing on Dr. No, for me ...
    Then -
    I cannot remember which year I first saw it, but it would have been in the 70's I think. Not in a theater, but on TV. I had already read the novel years prior, and I'd by then been hooked on Sean and adapted happily to Roger. first impressions: I do remember loving Sean and Ursula together, the stunning location, and felt it was a great introduction to Bond. I felt the casino intro "Bond. James Bond" was utterly perfect. I enjoyed it a lot, it really held my interest. Later, I had it on VHS, and I enjoyed watching it over and over again. The main thing I took away from it was that Sean was rock solid, the completely perfect choice for Bond. And that Ursula still looked amazing, every time we saw her, in a bikini or dressed in anything ... in a way that my friends and I could never quite achieve (ha!). Both Sean and Ursula had a real magnetism that was there on screen. So although by then (70's and 80's) I was used to big budget, super gadgets, madmen who wanted to own or destroy the world, fantastical villains, and (alas) at times over the top humor - I never sold Dr. No short. Although it had a mad major villain in the infamous Dr. No (menacingly underplayed), it shared none of those other "huge" qualities of the films that followed it. Dr. No was a fine beginning and has always been one of my favorites.

    Now -
    I actually appreciate it more over time because of the origins, the iconic parts, the overall atmosphere. It feels really refreshing for me to go back and view Dr. No (and From Russia with Love, also) to get back to the roots of this film series, to be re-grounded in the whole feeling of the beginning of something truly great and unique. :) Liked it always, but "now" gets an even stronger vote from me.

    Then - 0
    Now - 1
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 5,366
    I hate to say it but I was completely underwhelmed the first time I watched Dr. No.
    It was the 80's and I was just a young little pachaz. I had just started to get into the series and was on a quest to see all of the films. So I came across Dr. No at the video rental place (remember those) and begged my parents to rent it for me as it was one of the last ones I had yet to see. At the time, I had no idea that it was the first film. So imagine my disappointment with the lack of spectacle, action, humor (my idea of it then) and over the top characters. Even the music which had always seemed to draw me in seemed off.

    So, long story short, I didn't like it and never saw it again until I was a teenager. That's when I first fell in love with it. Now, it just keeps getting better and better with each and every viewing. It obviously helps to have an adult's perspective and a deeper understanding of the character. Out of all the blu-rays, Dr. No was my favorite to watch on the initial viewing. My how times have changed! The restoration job they did was fantastic.

    Then - 0
    Now - 1
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 13,950
    Dr.No

    Before Then
    DR was the first Bond movie I ever saw. I was about 6 and had some fun playing in the living room while my mother zapped through the TV channels and stumbled upon DN. She went, "oh, it's James Bond!" and I was instantly hooked! Something about the whole package of Connery, playing the cards, lighting a cigarette, wearing a tux, carrying a holstered gun, made so much sense to me, it's almost like Bond fandom was in my DNA. And then the Bond Theme... That moment right there marked my future as a Bond and film fanatic. But I was too young then to remember more about that day now.

    Then
    Since I was born 20 years after the release of DN, I had to turn to VHS. Several years after my first encounter with DN, as described above, I taped the film and then sat down to watch it. By then I had seen half the Bonds multiple times, but had carried with me only the vague memory of watching DN as barely more than a toddler. I suppose my memory had become somewhat idealized, so when I saw DN on VHS for the first time in years, I didn't know what to think. No PTS, anything but a John Barry score, ... I felt seriously let-down.

    Between Then and Now
    Despite my mild disappointment, I kept watching DN and soon discovered that I actually quite liked the film. Learning to appreciate a film in far more departments than merely the superficial ones even a child pays attention to, I began to see the power of DN.

    Now
    DN is one of my favourite Bond films. I enjoy it even more because of the things I considered weak "Then". Its honest simplicity and unfulfilled potential combined with Connery's rough performance and the incomplete formula are now the primary reasons for my love for DN. Add to that the great power of Joseph Wiseman's performance and the magnetic beauty of Ursula Andress, the exotic flavours and the risqué elements - it were the early 60s! - and you have an amazing cocktail of quality things not quite 'there' yet but certainly already firmly on its way. ;-)

    Then: 0
    Now: 1
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CA
    edited January 2016 Posts: 19,033
    Doctor No

    Then -
    My first time seeing DR. NO was around 1965, I believe, I was almost 3, in a drive-in double-feature with GOLDFINGER. It is my earliest movie memory. I actually have more vivid recollections of GF from that experience. What I have remembered about DN from that specific time is Bond and Honey being scrubbed for radiation and my mother telling me that Dr. No was missing his hands. I thought that she meant that the gloves were empty and I didn't understand how he was using them.

    Now - I have seen it several times in the past year. It's one of those Bond films that seems to get better each time I watch it, currently teetering between the 5 and 6 spots in my rankings. Great film.

    Then - 0
    Now - 1
  • Posts: 3,396
    Marvelous!

    I know there is a bit of overlap with SirHenry's Original Thread, mind, so thank you to all the participants of that great thread, popping in here.

    Simply marvelous to all! I really hope this thread will take off in time.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 13,950
    I share @royale65's enthusiasm, folks! I'm also glad to see some praise for DN. Like @4EverBonded, I enjoy the overall atmosphere of DN. It's a film that puts a smile on my face and fills my heart with joy.
  • BennyBenny And I'm wearing a red shirt !
    edited June 2015 Posts: 6,782
    Very good idea for a thread. Me like @royale65.

    Dr.No
    Then
    I didn't see Dr.No until the mid to late 80's. At the time I was more of a Roger Moore fan. It was about the time that I'd seen all the Moore Bonds up to date, and was discovering the film of Connery. In no particular order. I recall feeling the film was enjoyable. But no action to speak of, no PTS...No formula that I had really got to know from the later film. But it was still good. More grown up, simpler yet dangerous. A mediocre entry at first.

    Now
    Dr.No now is like a wine that gets better with age. Every time I watch it I find myself enjoying it more. It's an absolutely brilliant film. Connery was just terrific, the locations were beautiful (and still are), the women were stunning. Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean. Wow! The villains were some of the best of the series. Dent and Dr.No together as a villainous team. Great stuff.
    Terence Young made such a great film, it's part of the reason we're awaiting Bond 24 now!
    FRWL used to be a hard film to beat out of the Connery films. But in my current ranking, I think Dr.No would give it a good run for it's money.

    Then - 0
    Now - 1
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 9,832
    Well said, everybody. Dr. No is exactly the kind of film that gets better over time, viewed as an adult, and with the whole history of Bond films on its sturdy, original shoulders. :)
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Vampire State Building
    edited June 2015 Posts: 22,927
    Count me in the now category.

    I first saw this on the big screen in 1987. I was in the navy, and based outside Bergen. A cinema there ran a "Bondathon" to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series. I had seen most of the films by then except a few of the very early ones.

    I actually thought it was a bit boring compared to some other entries, despite some lovely scenes with the Doctor himself and Dent.

    In 2007 I started collecting the films on dvd, except the abysmal Brosnan films, as I only owned an old VHS copy of my favourite OHMSS at the time. I was blown away by everything. How could I have been so wrong in the past? One of my absolute favourites now.
  • Posts: 3,396
    There seems to be a pattern with Dr No. Marvelous!
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Vampire State Building
    Posts: 22,927
    Dr Now all the way.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Euro Disney, Paris. Twitter: @Dragonpol.
    Posts: 10,766
    Dr Now all the way.

    Brilliant, @Thunderfinger! :))
  • GoldenballGoldenball United States
    Posts: 74
    My Dad took me and my friend to a double bill of Dr. No and From Russia With Love right after we saw Goldfinger, all this being around 1964 - I was twelve years old. I was hooked, like so many of my friends, on the "spy craze" in movies and on TV. Around this time we were getting Secret Agent and The Saint and The Avengers from overseas, there were "special edition" magazines on Bond, trading cards, and models of the Aston Martin, all of it I had to have.

    Today, Dr. No almost seems like a fairy tale, and like many fairy tales from the past, it has a strong streak of violence that turned me on. Not to violence, per se, but you'd have to be living under a rock not to realize that graphic violence in films went up a notch when Bond, so coolly, shot Dr. Dent. The bar had been raised by the Brits in their cinematic quest for realism. It wasn't bloody but you did see Dent move from the impact of the bullet. It was a moment in Cinema History I'll always cherish because I was there, and awed by it.
  • This is indeed a thread with a natural attraction for the participants in SirHenry's. Please allow me to join in...

    While I'd become aware of the Bond phenomenon a few years earlier, with the theme to Goldfinger blasting out of every transistor radio in the country and articles on the making of Thunderball on the cover of every magazine from Life to Scientific American...it wasn't until late in TB's initial release that that the 12 year old me actually got into a theatre to see a real James Bond movie. At that time, it took a marathon showing of THREE Bond films to entice me into persuading my parents to give me the money and transport me to & from the theatre. Those three movies, in the order in which they were shown on that fateful day: Thunderball, Dr. No, and Goldfinger. At the time, it seemed obvious to me that GF and TB were made with substantially more generous budgets than was available for DN. Nonetheless, I'd have been at a loss to critique the series any further than that...and perhaps to note that GF and TB had radio friendly theme songs to promote their respective films, while DN's "Three Blind Mice" didn't quite hit the mark in that regard. Oh, and I also noticed that the film seemed unnaturally sped up during some of the action in TB. If pressed, I'd have evalutated GF as my favorite of the three, with DN in second and TB as third. But hey, they were ALL great! They were Bond...what more need be said?

    Perhaps it's just my need to be a little different, but I have to give a (very slight) edge to the DN of the past. After all, it's hard to match the energy of THREE Bond films in your first true exposure to the series! As much as I enjoy being able to slip on a DVD and rewatch any given Bond film at a moment's notice...an ability I never would have expected to possess during my lifetime if quizzed on the possibilities of the future fifty years ago...I'm afraid I'll never be able to recapture the excitement I felt on that long ago Saturday afternoon!
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CA
    Posts: 19,033
    As much as I enjoy being able to slip on a DVD and rewatch any given Bond film at a moment's notice...an ability I never would have expected to possess during my lifetime if quizzed on the possibilities of the future fifty years ago...I'm afraid I'll never be able to recapture the excitement I felt on that long ago Saturday afternoon!

    That is absolutely true. The last time I really had that feeling was with TSWLM in 1977.

  • BennyBenny And I'm wearing a red shirt !
    Posts: 6,782
    *Bump*

    Any time you wish to continue this wonderful thread @royale65 I'm sure I'm not the only one waiting for FRWL to move things along.
  • Posts: 3,396
    Right you are @Benny. I think ten days is enough on Dr No.

    Anyone else want to chip with their memories of Dr No?
  • Posts: 3,396
    Thanks for all your memories. It is a landslide outcome for Dr No, with the now category winning by 6 - 0. It appears that Dr No is a film that improves with age.

    Right, on to our next film -

    From Russia With Love

    Then –
    I managed to miss From Russia With Love each time it was shown on the “007 Heaven series”. So seeing From Russia With Love was at the forefront of my mind when I bought it, along with Dr No. It was vying, even at this early stage of my fandom, with The World Is Not Enough, which I had just seen in the cinema, unleashing my passion for Bond, for the top spot.

    Now -
    To me, From Russia With Love is the finest Bond film. I thought that when I first watched it and that still holds true today, some fifteen years after.

    Now - 1
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CA
    edited January 2016 Posts: 19,033
    FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

    Then - FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE was the only one of the original Connery's that I did not see at a very young age at the drive-in during the '60s (or, in the case of DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, 1971). I didn't catch it until it was first aired on ABC sometime in the mid-70s. I remember liking it quite a bit (I was probably in 8th or 9th grade), particularly Robert Shaw as Grant, but I don't think it was anywhere near one of my favorites that first time. I believe that I read the book first.

    Now - Over the ensuing decades FRWL has become pretty well cemented in my number 2 spot. I have probably seen it too many times to appreciate it anymore, but it still stays in that exhaled position. An almost perfect Bond film.

    Now - 2
  • bondjamesbondjames Some men are coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first.
    edited June 2015 Posts: 17,814
    From Russia with Love

    I heard a lot of great things about this film from my parents. Both of them were huge fans of this and insisted I was wrong as a kid to love the then current incumbent (Moore) as much as I did. Connery was the true Bond, they insisted & FRWL was the holy grail of Bond films. Moore was merely a Saint.

    Then -
    Truly a disappointment. I couldn't even watch the whole thing. Boring.....I thought. Where was the cool stunt in the pretitles. Where were the fancy cars, the amazing gadgets etc. etc. Moreover, this Connery guy seemed like a brute. A thug. Not what I was expecting at all. How could my parents be so wrong?

    Now -
    As you can imagine, I love it now. My favourite Bond film. Romantic, lush, beautiful score, lovely location work and never quite equaled, although often imitated, it is the gold standard as far as I'm concerned. Almost a perfect thriller (save for the boat chase/helicopter part at the end which I've never really got into)

    Then - 0 (if there was minus, I'd give it that)
    Now - 1 (if there was a way to score it higher, i'd do it)
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CA
    edited June 2015 Posts: 19,033
    @bondjames , I believe that we are tallying votes. So yours should be:

    Now - 3
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CA
    Posts: 19,033
    or:

    Then - 0
    Now - 3
  • bondjamesbondjames Some men are coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first.
    Posts: 17,814
    Birdleson wrote: »
    @bondjames , I believe that we are tallying votes. So yours should be:

    Now - 3

    Cheers @Birdleson. My mistake.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Vampire State Building
    Posts: 22,927
    Same as for DR NO. Saw it in the cinema in 87 at the age of 20 and found it a bit boring except certain scenes. I even dozed off (rough night) and was awoken by the fire alarm going off. Nobody left the theatre, so people must have enjoyed it. (false alarm)

    Bought it on dvd in 2008 and was ashamed of my younger self. A truly perfect Bond film.

    Then-0
    Now-4
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 5,366
    I'm not exactly sure when I watched FRWL for the first time. It was one of those films that I caught in bits and pieces throughout the years. It was way too "boring" to hold my interest as a little boy. I remember watching some of it as a teenager and being impressed by the train scene but was not captivated by it as a whole. Something seemed off with it. It wasn't until I read the novel sometime in my mid twenties that I finally found an appreciation for it. FRWL was the last of Fleming's novels that I had read. That's another story though, as I read all of the novels out of order. However, despite my new found appreciation of the film it made me hate the ending. They destroyed Fleming's cliffhanger! I can understand why that decision was made at the time but I feel we lost a great opportunity there. Anyway, I'm rambling. I love FRWL now. It might just be the greatest Bond film of all time.

    Then - 0
    Now - 5
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