"Enter Mr. Bond ... "
Distributed by MGM/UA Home Video
The movie that launched EON Productions' James Bond series began way back in 1962. Don't worry about it's age, this adventure still packs a punch with the introduction of our brave hero and those legendary words "Bond. James Bond".
Basically this is a detective story with none of the customary-to-follow gadgets. 007 is sent to Jamaica by M to investigate the disappearance of the service's local representative Strangways. This leads to a confrontation with the first of the big screen villains, Dr. No played by Joseph Wiseman.
Made on a very small budget ( $900,000 ) at the time and typified by the back projection in the car-chase scene. Scot Sean Connery, then an unknown quantity, sets the standards for the other guys to follow. It is interesting to watch during the scenes with no accompanying music how the actor holds your attention. When used Monty Norman's score captures the island's spirit and adds to Bond's presence. He is aided by John Barry & his orchestra for the now legendary theme. Of course the memory of Ursula Andress' white bikini clad arrival on the beach will always be a movie landmark. If this doesn't get you to the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica nothing will !! Alas on my visit many years ago, none of the local bands sang "Underneath the mango tree ... "
Watch out for Jack tv's Hawaii-Five-0 Lord as the first of many Felix Leiters. Meanwhile Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny and Bernard Lee as M make their debuts, alas no Desmond Q Llewelyn as Major Boothroyd, his part is played by Peter Burton.Despite its age it's still a must see to understand where the EON franchise began all those years ago.
In 2006 MGM Home Entertainment released the James Bond Ultimate Edition 2-Disc DVD set of each of the 20 movies. The format remains the same with disc one having the digitally restored movie and disc two with the extras - Declassified: MI6 Vault, 007 Mission Control, Mission Dossier, Ministry of Propaganda & Image Database. Each menu has a Bond lookalike silhouette, shooting girls, casino chips & cards and gun barrels incorporating photos & music from the movie.
A regular feature tucked away in 007 Mission Control with movie snips is a section called Exotic Locations narrated by Maud Octopussy Adams about the filming locations & their history. Also comes with an eight page booklet with info & photos.
For this disc movie audio commentary comes from director Terence Young & cast quotes. Being the first movie you see the restoration process at its best with vast improvements to colour & imagery. Due to the time of the movie there were not that many original documentaries about so we get a b&w one about guns introduced by Connery outside GF's Fort Knox set plus another b&w 1963 featurette. Further documentaries include: the history of Bond premieres narrated by Producer Michael G Wilson, the making of the movie and about influential director Young. So another must for Bond fans !