James Bond in Review: Dr.No Part III

Recovering from his spider-attack, Bond gets the first sort-of Bond gadget-a Geiger counter to determine whether the samples Strangeways took were in fact, radioactive-catching Professor Dent in yet another obvious lie.

He also spots Miss Taro doing some spying, and asks her on a bit of a date. On the way to said date, we get the first Bond car chase (I don’t really count the taxi running away from Felix earlier as much of a chase) as Bond is pursued by the Three Blind Mice in their hearse.. Although the special effects are very dated-it’s obvious that Connery and the car are in front of a screen in close-up shots, it’s still pretty decent and doesn’t involve any oil slicks, headlight missiles/guns, ejector seats etc. that pop up in almost every car chase since.

Bond’s able to defeat them, and that’s pretty much Bond’s first human kill in the movie I think, although it’s more of an accident since the Hearse is unable to duck under a crane (Which Bond’s Alphine is able to do because it’s smaller) and spins out of control. We also get one of Bond’s death jokes: “I think they were on their way to a funeral.”

Zena Marshall in Dr. No, Miss Taro in Dr. No

Bond (unexpectedly for her) arrives at her house, but he’s fully aware he’s being played (Like Professor Dent, Taro isn’t very good at lying), and, after a romantic interlude where we once again see Connery’s charm at play, calls for a “Taxi” which in fact arrests her. She isn’t too happy.

 

Bond next waits for the arrival of Professor Dent, and we see Bond preparing his trap in a similar fashion to how he prepared the hotel room earlier, setting up his trap (and his gun), as well as grabbing a cigarette and playing some cards while he waits. He even listens to the song “Underneath the Mango tree” which is pretty much one of the film’s main musical themes outside of the Bond theme itself (It doesn’t really feature any lyrics relevant to Bond or the plot like other Bond songs, but it helps set the film’s tropical atmosphere. It also was sung by British actress Diana Coupland, who was the wife of Dr.No’s composer, Monty Norman, at the time) Dent of course wastes all his ammo on Bond’s pillow decoy, and a somewhat relaxed Bond explains how he figured things out from the pretty obvious mistakes Dent’s made-and he’s about to make his last….

….as he pulls the gun he had earlier to try to take out Bond, but it’s empty.

Bond then explains why:

“That’s a Smith and Wesson-and you’ve had your six.”

Bond then coldly kills Dent (Including one shot in the back!)-establishing that while Bond might be a light character at times-cracking jokes and romancing women-he can be quite ruthless too, much like the Bond of the novels is. It’s something that’s sometimes inconsistent with the movie Bond-it can be argued that as the films went on, Connery’s Bond was lightened up even further (Reaching it’s nadir in “Diamonds are Forever”, which many feel is a Roger Moore film without Roger Moore) and Moore’s run was largely defined by comedy and gadgets (with a few exceptions) as was Brosnan. There have been attempts to get back to the colder Bond-Timothy Dalton’s two films, and Daniel Craig both featured a colder spy-although Dalton’s-particularly “Living Daylights” still largely followed the Bond formula, and Craig’s films largely have been getting back to it over time…..

 

In the next part,  Bond leaves Jamacia for Crab Key, and meets Honey Rider, the first major Bond girl….

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