MI6 Community Bondathon

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  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,420
    Hear hear Darth. I like DN's stripped down ethos: so bare and lean, which is blessed relief to the sometimes bloated series the Bonds could become . And the chemistry and interaction between the MI6 regulars, well you could be watching the third or fourth film in the series, and not the first.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,443
    Loving all the DN praise I'm seeing! It's one of the best.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    There is so much in Dr. No that already set the bar very high and people like Ken Adam, Maurice Binder, Richard Maibaum, Terence Young, Peter Hunt, Cubby, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell and of course Sean Connery were already on top of their game providing their best work possible to make for an unforgettable experience.

    Monty Norman deserves special praise. Is there another theme that is similarly iconic, instantly recognisable, has stood the test of time and has lived on that long?
    Sure, there is Star Wars, Indiana Jones, the Star Trek themes etc. but James Bond is the best of them all for sure.

    For now that's enough, as we will discuss the film in detail in the forthcoming days.

    What I will do for each movie is provide the links to Switzerland. Cinematic James Bond and Switzerland have a long tradition and it already started with the first film Dr. No

    James Bond and Switzerland Part I: Dr. No
    Ursula Andress was born in 1936 in Ostermundigen, in the Swiss canton of Berne.
    She helped define the Bond girl as an icon of cinema. To this day she is still viewed as the ultimate Bond girl by many. The way she is walking out of the sea has written cinematic history and must be one of the most recognisable scenes ever.
    She became a worldwide phenomenon after Dr. No even if her complete performance was overdubbed by a voiceover artist, as her Swiss/German accent was too strong.
    A shame really that her seductive deep voice wasn't heard in Bond, but I guess her accent would have hurt her otherwise impeccable appearance.
    A quote from Ursula: It's a mystery. All I did was wear this bikini in Dr. No (1962) - not even a small one - and whoosh! Overnight, I made it.
    And another one: What I look for in a man isn't printable! I wouldn't want to shatter my cool Swiss image.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    edited October 2016 Posts: 10,588
    Dr. No tends to be overlooked by Bond fans and casual moviegoers alike compared to benchmark-setting films like Goldfinger. Personally I too, am thrilled with the love it gets on here. It's an exceptional romp with style, gravitas, and danger, with virtually zero flaws. Which is why it's bizarre to me that I tend to revisit it less than the aforementioned Goldfinger.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    edited October 2016 Posts: 10,588
    Also, it's worth noting that nobody involved in this project contemplated the amount of success the film would receive and the legacy it would leave behind. Like Jason said, every person involved in the making of this film gave their A game and simply focused on making a brilliant espionage thriller and a worthy adaptation of Fleming's novel, without fathoming how successful it would become.
  • Posts: 1,386
    I just watched DN and came to post my gut reaction to it. I guess all I can really say at this time is that while I still like the movie and noticed new things to like about it, it is also very much never a Bond film that I ever feel a desire to pop in and watch by itself. I always find that while I am watching it I always really want to move on to another one. This time through I finally pinpointed why that is & found some specific things that I really love about this film and had taken for granted in the past. I'll elaborate on all of this throughout the upcoming week and look forward to reading all your perspectives and reactions to the film as well. I am glad that the film gets so much love, but would be lying if I didn't admit that I was kind of disappointed with it this time through.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 8,026
    Quickly catching up as I meant to jump in here a few days ago but lost track of time between work and training.

    My ranking:
    1. From Russia With Love
    2. Casino Royale
    3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    4. Goldfinger
    5. GoldenEye
    6. The Living Daylights
    7. Thunderball
    8. Skyfall
    9. The Spy Who Loved Me
    10. Live and Let Die
    11. You Only Live Twice
    12. Tomorrow Never Dies
    13. Dr. No
    14. The World Is Not Enough
    15. Quantum of Solace
    16. Spectre
    17. Licence To Kill
    18. For Your Eyes Only
    19. The Man With The Golden Gun
    20. Octopussy
    21. Die Another Day
    22. A View To A Kill
    23. Moonraker
    24. Diamonds Are Forever

    I also put DR.NO into the player last night. I had seen it from the halfway point for the first time in a couple of years about two weeks ago on TV so it was nice to watch it the whole way through again. It's a very stylish little thriller with an impeccably cool Connery performance at the heart of it all. It obviously lacks certain production values in certain areas due to the smaller budget but thankfully the magnificent use of location scenery that the series would go on to become famous for is right there to make up for it.

    A good start.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,443
    @josiah, looking forward to seeing what it is exactly that you aren't crazy about regarding DN.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Popping in Dr. No now. Watch this space for earth-shattering revelations and commentary in a few hours' time.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Dr. No

    What more could be said about this particular Bond film that hasn't already been mentioned? No matter how much it marvels us every time we put it in, I think perhaps the biggest shock to the system it has to deliver is when you realize that a group of talented folks came together for the first time in 1962, and against all odds delivered a final product and behemoth of direction, action, set design, cinematography, music and style that made it impossible to image that the crew hadn't been working with one another for decades, their teamwork was so fluid and on the ball. If I was shown Dr. No blindly, I'd never guess it was the first Bond film. So much of what we love the franchise for, the danger, the intrigue, the style, the eloquence, the glamour, the grace...it's all on screen in plentiful form here, right from the very beginning of Bond's historic takeover of the big screen.

    The thing of it is that Dr. No has no right to be as good as it is. We've got a Scotsman with barely a name to himself playing an Englishman in a role he has to deliver with no less than 100% of his greatest effort, a team who were forced to work with a budget that equates to scraps when you consider the budgets of the films these days, and if one element waned, if just a few areas of the film didn't meet expectation and the film failed to recoup investments, everything we know of Bond on screen here and now would have been in the can.

    But, by some miracle, that disastrous outcome didn't happen. That amateur Scotsman I was talking about? Turns out he actually proved from the very beginning why he was destined for the part, and in just his debut picture alone, he'd already set the blueprint other actors would follow for 50 years onwards. That scrap budget? Turns out that with a little ingenuity, talents like Terence Young and Ken Adam problem solved and pulled some of the greatest cinematic sequences and film sets out of their nether regions, and somehow didn't resort to magic to do it.

    Perhaps one of Dr. No's greatest appeals is that it was the first one through the door, the lone crusader on the prairie of the cinemascape. There was no such thing as a James Bond franchise in early 1962, not even in March of that year when filming was over and post-production was in full effect. I think what makes Dr. No so special then, amongst the endless reasons, is that the filmmakers didn't have to worry about topping the last set of films that had come before it. There was no From Russia with Love or Goldfinger to beat out in ambition or thrills, so instead, they simply focused all their energies on making a solid film for audiences, and nothing more. And somehow, out of that manic production with unpredictable challenges, crazy luck, ingenious problem solving, reluctant casting and a collective ignorance on the part of everyone as to what history they were creating, the James Bond franchise was born.

    To quote Ms. Trench in one of the film's opening scenes, "I admire your courage..."
  • JohnHammond73JohnHammond73 Lancashire, UK
    edited October 2016 Posts: 4,151
    Well, as it's Sunday, it's time to start a new (possibly new) ranking of the movies. As Dr No is the first movie watched it's obviously, going to start with the number 1 spot.

    I will say, however, that it finished at number 9 in my previous ranking, so a solid Top Ten movie. I'll be surprised if it's not still in my top 10 at the end of this Bondathon.

    1. Dr No


    Previous rankng:

    1. The Spy Who Loved Me
    2. On Her Majestys Secret Service
    3. Casino Royale
    4. From Russia With Love
    5. Skyfall
    6. Goldfinger
    7. Octopussy
    8. Spectre
    9. Dr No
    10. The Living Daylights
    11. Goldeneye
    12. Live And Let Die
    13. Licence To Kill
    14. A View To A Kill
    15. For Your Eyes Only
    16. Moonraker
    17. Thunderball
    18. Quantum Of Solace
    19. Diamonds Are Forever
    20. Tomorrow Never Dies
    21. You Only Live Twice
    22. The Man With The Golden Gun
    23. Die Another Day
    24. The World Is Not Enough
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Is there any point in ranking one film?
  • JohnHammond73JohnHammond73 Lancashire, UK
    Posts: 4,151
    Probably not, but for the sake of completism and to see the ranking as it goes on, I thought why not. Plus, I thought I'd mention how I thought it would rank, compared to my last one. As I said, can't see it exiting my top ten.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    You have the exact same ranking.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,443
    Where does DN typically rank for you guys, and do you think it'll rank any higher/lower after this Bondathon? It hit the second spot for me last time, and while I'm 100% sure it won't go any higher, I don't see it dropping in rank, either.
  • JohnHammond73JohnHammond73 Lancashire, UK
    Posts: 4,151
    It's an easy Top 10 for me, currently number 9. Great first outing for 007. With all the other movies to come, I'm confident it will still be up there.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited October 2016 Posts: 23,883
    Dr No

    I hadn't seen this one since earlier this year and so decided to partake, even though I was concerned that it might be overkill. No need to worry. Connery saw to that from his legendary opening scene and onwards throughout its short (for a Bond film) running time of 110 minutes. I have commented many times on this classic, and rather than repeat myself I will just mention what stood out this time.

    As others have duly noted, this film is beautiful to look at on blu ray, and that's what really caught my attention on this viewing. The colours are extremely vivid and saturated (I love that in a Bond film) and Lowry's restoration work renders Jamaica incredibly crisp (one can see leaves and hair follicles quite clearly in some instances). The fact that it mostly takes place in one location adds to the holiday feeling, which is again something I really enjoy in some of Connery's films.

    Connery, as we all know, owns the role from the instance he appears on screen. That first scene with Eunice Grayson's classy Trench is a textbook definition of supremely confident 'cool' which I have yet to see duplicated in a film. You can't teach that kind of acting. It must come from within. One either has it or one doesn't, and Connery naturally exudes it from every pore.

    Some of the dated commentary towards employees and people of colour did stand out this time around . Namely: "Fetch my shoes" and the dismissive "Johnny what have you done with it?". It doesn't bother me, but I noticed it.

    I also picked up on a piece of sublime stuntman/woman replacement that I hadn't noticed before. Towards the end of the film there is one long tracking shot where Connery and Andress are running on the pier and then climb down a set of stairs onto the boat to escape. There is a small part where they pass behind a set of barrels and that is where they are expertly replaced by the stuntman/woman. I have to confess that I was admiring the lady's physique and her dexterity at unmooring the boat, and that's what made me realize that a switch had been made, and so I went back to find it.

    Additionally, I noticed several similarities with QoS in this film. Apart from the striking colours, there is the opening Aston car chase, which is similar to the Sunbeam Alpine chase in DN, just more visceral. Also, the short, stripped down and like a bullet mission focused running time is a feature of both films.

    This was an excellent experience, although I found the latter half of the film on Crab Key dragged on a bit on this viewing. Not enough to knock DN out of my top 10, but perhaps enough to knock it down below GE to #7 in my Bond rankings. Still a benchmark film imho.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 10,588
    #12 for me.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,443
    @Birdleson, do you see it possibly overtaking TSWLM this time or no? Both are fantastic.
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,420
    It's No. 4 for atm. Can't see it being dislodged this Bondathon, unless either LTK or Spy climb up my rankings. Superb film, the only drawback is the countdown sequence - I find it awfully dull. That's it.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    Jason Bond's Community Bondathon ranking:

    1 DN

    It was a tough decision I must say.

    Objectively it belongs in any Top 10.
    Personally I have it on spot 18 in my official 2016 ranking. But don't think too much of it, it just happens there are 17 films that I like a little bit more.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,443
    @BondJasonBond006, that's how I am with, say, AVTAK - it ranked 16th for me last time, but it's only because I enjoy the preceding 15 just a bit more.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    Some statistics:

    Honey appears after 62 minutes into the film.
    Dr No appears after 90 minutes into the film.

    Incredible, isn't it? And it all works perfectly.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 10,588
    Some statistics:

    Honey appears after 62 minutes into the film.
    Dr No appears after 90 minutes into the film.

    Incredible, isn't it? And it all works perfectly.

    Yet people constantly moan about how Blofeld appears 90 minutes into SPECTRE.
  • Posts: 1,386
    I had DN at #8 on my list, but after this viewing I suspect it will change to around #12 or so on my list --in the upper half but not a top 10 film for me.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    edited October 2016 Posts: 3,675
    Some statistics:

    Honey appears after 62 minutes into the film.
    Dr No appears after 90 minutes into the film.

    Incredible, isn't it? And it all works perfectly.

    You're back at it. Why am I here?
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Bondathon Ranking (2016-2017)

    1.) Dr. No


    In my pre-Bondathon ranking, Dr. No owns the fourth spot just behind CR, FRWL and TB, followed by QoS at #5. I honestly don't see that fluctuating that much, and it may even take over TB this time around, as that film is so similar to DN (a perfect mystery and thriller mix fixed in largely one location), just amped up to an even more ambitious degree. I am always wrestling between whether DN or TB deserve the second place spot in the best of the Connery era behind FRWL, so this is never a surprise.

    What will always remain is the feeling that Connery's early films do things that no other Bond films have managed to since. They've always been the most special to me in the whole catalogue. That is why the next three weeks after this point will probably be my favorite of this entire event, until we get to the Craig films once we're into 2017. These movies are the biggest reason why I'm here.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    edited October 2016 Posts: 7,568
    Dr No - The Cast

    There are probably two key scenes that cement Connery as Bond. One is the introduction scene in Les Ambassadeurs. Connery was apparently very nervous about this scene, but you wouldn't know it. He wears the beautiful dinner jacket with the shawl lapel as if born in it. He carries himself as well as any male actor in cinema history (and this is so important). He looks cool, dangerous, classy.

    The second scene is the dinner with Dr No where they trade barbs and the very black humour of the film comes through. Connery delivers the put downs so superbly it's difficult to imagine that this is his first major leading role.

    And yet he isn't perfect. (I've never said that before!)

    His Glaswegian accent comes prominently through on a couple of occasions ("I'm a very nervous passenger") which is ok if it was consistent.
    In the same sequence he pushes his hat back on his head which is more Mickey Spillane than Ian Fleming, and out of sinc with the Bond he had given us to that point.

    Lastly, in the scene where he, Quarrel and Leiter sit in Puss'Fella's bar his urgent slightly aggressive questioning is again out of character. It's a trait you don't see again in Connery's time as Bond.

    But he is magnificent, and the gently way he protects Honey (who is out of her depth, which Bond recognises) is quite moving.

    Ursula Andress is absolutely beautiful as Honey. She set the template for Bond girls, as much as Connery did for Bond. Even when she runs she runs in a beautiful way.

    Joseph Wiseman has little time to make his mark, but he does. Wiseman cleverly exposes Dr No as nothing more than a spoilt brat who does what he does simply because none of the World's Governments would take him seriously. His look of pouty indignation is wonderful. Bond sees the weakness and exposes it leading to the inevitable 'softening up' of Bond.
    It's a terrific turn, and I could have watched that dinner sequence all evening. I never tire of it.

    Secondary villains come and go - Three blind mice, Professor Dent, Miss Taro (veee-ery sexiful), the camera girl and the driver - all of them come a cropper when they cross Bond.

    Bond's support are M, Moneypenny (how good is that crackling dialogue in their scene?), Felix and 'armourer' played by Peter Burton, pre Desmond Llewellyn.

    Also Sylvia earmarked as a regular without it quite working out and poor Quarrel who falls foul of Crab Key's dragon.

    It's a very good cast, well acted (apart from the construction worker who speaks to Bond when the hearse goes over the cliff. He had four words to speak and it was clear he was a local given his big break).

    Now to disypher my notes to write about the 'elements' of the Bond film...
  • Bit late but here are my current rankings

    1) Licence To Kill
    2) The Living Daylights
    3) Spectre
    4) Goldeneye
    5) On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    6) The Spy Who Loved Me
    7) From Russia With Love
    8) The World Is Not Enough
    9) Octopussy
    10) Skyfall
    11) Goldfinger
    12) You Only Live Twice
    13) Casino Royale
    14) Thunderball
    15) Die Another Day
    16) Tomorrow Never Dies
    17) Live And Let Die
    18) Dr No
    19) For Your Eyes Only
    20) A View To A Kill
    21) Moonraker
    22) Diamonds Are Forever
    23) The Man With The Golden Gun
    24) Quantum Of Solace

    I'll watch DN tomorrow night. Should be interesting as I've never been a big fan. It's a film that I admire a lot but never really enjoy, which is why I've done the unthinkable and actually put DAD above it in my rankings (I'm looking forward to explaining my stance on that one).
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    Bit late but here are my current rankings

    1) Licence To Kill
    2) The Living Daylights
    3) Spectre
    4) Goldeneye
    5) On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    OMG you are perfect. Will you marry me?
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