James Bond in Review: Dr.No Finale

Tired of being a “Clay pigeon”, Bond decides to step up his investigation by heading to Crab Key-which is unfortunately well-guarded. After laying low for the night, the two wake up to meet Honey Ryder, this film’s “good” Bond girl (apart from Sylvia, that is) and of course we get this classic scene, as Honey emerges from the water with bikini, dagger, and valuable shells, singing “underneath the mango tree”.

 

 

We also get to see Bond singing a bit of “Underneath the mango tree” himself. Prior to Bond, Sean actually appeared in the musical film “Darby O’ Gill and the little people” so he’s using a slight bit of that experience here:

Their small talk is cut short when they’re chased by Dr.No’s guards, and in turn forced to go further into the island. Bond learns more of the mysterious “Dragon” that reportedly haunts the Island, which both Quarrel and Ryder believe but Bond doesn’t. Despite believing in Dragons, Honey tells Bond that she’s got encyclopedic knowledge of at least terms up to T. She also recounts to Bond a tale of how she slowly killed a man with the venom of a black widow spider (an actually lethal Spider, unlike the one Bond stomped earlier) and the two flirt a bit as well, but they’re once again interrupted by No’s men.

 

 

Bond and the two hide underwater using makeshift snorkels, and Bond is forced to kill one of the guards to avoid detection, which horrifies Honey Ryder-who had just told him the black widow story.

Ending up at a swamp by night, Bond and two meet the “Dragon” which, unfortunately, kills Quarrel with it’s “Breath” (It’s in fact a fancily decorated tank with a flamethrower) and is impervious to Bond’s bullets.

Bond and Honey are captured, and have to be de-contaminated due to the radiation emanating from Dr.No’s HQ.  After being treated harshly by Dr.No’s radiation-suit clad men, there’s then treated with mock kindness in a “hotel”, although Bond’s not disarmed by their charm but still being cautious, advising Honey that the place is probably bugged. However, he’s not able to spot the drug in his tea.

They then are invited to Dr.No’s “underground lair”. (After No does a little “hands”-on inspection of them). Although Dr.No was done on a limited budget, the production design of the room is very cool, with a magnified fish tank (“Minnows pretending their whales” as Bond puts it). In fact, when Dr.No arrives, he tells them the cost of the film itself…

 

“One million Dollars, Mr. Bond”.

 

There’s also a funny joke here, although it’s a bit outdated. Here, we see Bond take a double-take at a painting  This painting was actually stolen in the early 60’s-It’s a Goya of the Duke of Wellington; but it was returned by the time of “Thunderball” in 1965. Still, it’s kind of funny if you know the story, and it means that in addition to sabotaging rockets and murdering British agents, Dr.No is also an art thief!

Here we get the first Bond/villain showdown and monologue. Here, Dr.No lays down his past-his work for criminal organizations, the loss of his hands etc. and his plans to topple rockets with radiation, something Strangeways was looking into, and why he was killed. He also reveals that he’s a member of SPECTRE. There’s a brief halt here as Bond says Honey away, but almost turns violent when No threatens her, nearly breaking a bottle of champagne and using a kitchen knife as a weapon. Wiseman, who plays No, like many Bond villains after him, has pretty much the right mix of class and silent menace, which most Bond villains would follow, with a few exceptions like Renard and Whitaker. Heck, even Jaws sort of has a touch of it, as he tends to take good care of his suit.

 

Their conversation continues, and No mentions that he respects Bond’s intelligence and thinks he might be a good SPECTRE agent, but Bond’s having none of this.

Bond: World domination. Same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they’re Napoleon or God.
Dr. No: You persist in trying to provoke me, Mr. Bond. I could have had you killed in the swamp.
Bond: And why didn’t you?
Dr. No: I thought you less stupid. Usually when a man gets in my way (crushes statue with metal hands) but you are different. You cost me time, money, effort. You damage my organization and my pride. I was curious to see what kind of a man you were. I thought there might even be a place for you with SPECTRE.
Bond: Well, I’m flattered. I’d prefer the Revenge Department. Of course, my first job would be finding the man who killed Strangways and Quarrel.
Dr. No: Unfortunately, I misjudged you. You are just a stupid policeman…..whose luck has run out.

Bond is beat up and imprisoned in a less leisurely “room” than the last one, but is able to barely escape through the drain pipes (This is described in more graphic detail in the novel) and disguise himself as one of Dr.No’s engineers, and finds his way to the radiation room where an operation to topple another rocket is underway.

This room is another interesting Ken Adam design, although it’s a bit simpler than his later works.

 

Bond is able to sneak in and overload the radiation, causing the reactor to go critical and mess up the Crab key facility.  Bond gets into a bit of blows with Dr.No, but is able to get the advantage when Dr.No’s metal hands can’t get a handle on the platform-and he falls into his own boiling radioactive pool. It’s a somewhat less humiliating fate than his one in the book-getting squished by his stock of bird poop. Yes, that’s what really happens.

 

Bond rescues a shackled Honey as well. It’s worth noting that this scene-which mainly seems to be Honey struggling against a possible drowning by high tide-was originally going to have her menaced by Crabs. However, the Crabs died on the way to the set and stunk it up so bad that they had to be removed. The two escape on a boat as No’s mine also collapses.

And then we have our ending, with the two at sea but with Felix finding them soon, but Bond and her decide to delay their rescue to do some canoodling.

 

James Bond will Return in “From Russia With Love”.

 

Felix Leiter will return in “Goldfinger”  although he certainly isn’t Jack Lord anymore…

 

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