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Dr. No »» Movie Review & Dossier

I admire your courage, Miss …

Trench. Sylvia Trench.
I admire your luck, Mr …

Bond. James Bond.

And with that iconic repartee at the baccarat table of Les Ambassadeurs Club, the cinematic James Bond was born.


Dr. No — Movie Rating


(out of 007 stars)

When the movie was released in 1962, Dr. No was unlike anything the moviegoing public had ever seen before. It was sharp, funny, action-packed, daring, bold, and had an epic ending. The Bond Girls were beautiful, the villains were vicious, the plot was fresh, the locations were stunning, and Sean Connery was perfect.

Six decades later, the movie still stands up … even if it has lost a bit of luster.

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The Beautiful, the Bad, and the Ugly

In Dr. No, there’s no shortage of beautiful women. For an entire generation, Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) rising out of the ocean in her white bikini was the ultimate sex symbol. Ms. Taro was the first Bond Girl to doublecross 007. And Sylvia Trench became the only Bond Girl to appear in two movies (until Dr. Madeline Swann in Bond 25).

Dr. No - James BondOne complaint I have with the movie is that it’s really slow – at least by modern standards. While I do appreciate how the pace leads to great character development, it’s also a bit tough to watch sometimes.

It’s also worth noting that Dr. No has one of the more racist scenes in the Bond series, when he orders Quarrel to “fetch my shoes.” This is particularly offensive because a) Quarrel has shown himself to be a very capable ally and an indispensable part Bond’s mission, and b) Quarrel is a black man.

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Dr. No Highlights

The tarantula scene

Perhaps the best scene in Dr. No was when Professor Dent placed a tarantula on a sleeping James Bond. When he awoke to find the spider crawling up his arm, you could actually see the fear on Sean Connery’s face as the it got closer to his neck.

The tension was increased by John Barry’s stunning score … and by the fact that it was a real spider crawling up Connery’s arm – with only a thin layer of glass between the actor and the tarantula.

Sean Connery's tarantula scene in Dr. No

The dinner scene with Dr. No

The back and forth between James Bond and Dr. No at the dinner table features some of the best dialog in the entire series. Highlights include:

Dr. No: “You’re just a stupid policeman whose luck has run out.”

. . .

Dr No: “I am a member of SPECTRE.”

Bond: “SPECTRE?”

Dr. No: “SPECTRE. Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion. The four great cornerstones of power. Headed by the greatest brains in the world.”

. . .

Bond: “Tell me, does the toppling of American missiles really make up for having no hands?”

I could go on and on with this list, but you should just watch the scene instead.


Bond kills Professor Dent in cold blood

While many of the later Bond movies featured a “softer 007,” James Bond was presented as a cold-blooded killer in Dr. No. This Flemingesque portrayal is exemplified when Professor Dent breaks into Bond’s hotel room to kill him. After wasting all his bullets on a decoy, Bond aims his gun at a defenseless Dent and says,

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

Seconds later, he shoots Dent. Then, when Dent is laying on the floor, he shoots him once again for good measure. Now, imagine Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan doing that!


Introducing M, Moneypenny, and Q

In what would become a staple of the Bond series, Agent 007 paid his first visit to Universal Exports. Aka, M’s office. First, the scene establishes the flirtatious relationship between Bond and Moneypenny.

Next, when Bond meets with M, we get the idea that the two of them have a long-standing relationship. M seems slightly annoyed by 007 – and it also seems that he is something of stern father figure to Bond.

Finally, we are introduced to Q.

Well, at least to the character who would become Q. Fun fact, the man who gives Bond his Walther PPK is called Major Boothroyd. In the next Bond movie, From Russia With Love, Desmond Llewelyn appears as Major Boothroyd. He’s not actually called Q until Goldfinger, but the character is the same.


The Original UnivEx Dr. No Review

The review you’ve just read was written in 2019. The first Universal Exports review for Dr. No was written 20 years earlier. It went something like this …

Dr. No Spanish Movie Poster“The one that started it all. Most of the elements were introduced here: Felix Leiter, M, Moneypenny, and Bond’s womanizing. The plot was simple and the movie was very low-key and down to earth; there were no Q gadgets to save the day, only Bond’s cunning and intuition. This made it a more realistic film and more like Fleming’s novels. Perhaps the best scene was when the tarantula was crawling up Bond’s arm. Enhanced by John Barry’s stunning score, you could actually see the fear on Bond’s face as the spider got closer and closer to his neck.

Another aspect of the film that was very well done was Bond’s killing of Professor Dent. Even after Dent was obviously dead, Bond still shot another slug into his back which shows his cold-blooded side. This kind of display is lost in future movies as Bond became more of a people’s secret agent. As for Connery, this was a very good start, even though he seemed a bit unsure of the character and its possibilities.”

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Visit the Dr. No Dossier

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Dr. No Synopsis 

In case you haven’t seen Dr. No (sorry for all the spoilers), here’s a plot summary:

Bond’s mission takes him to the steamy island of Jamaica, where mysterious energy waves are interfering with U.S. missile launches. As he unravels the astonishing truth, 007 must fight deadly assassins, sexy femmes fatales and even a poisonous tarantula.

With the help of crack CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jack Lord) and the beautiful Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), he searches for the headquarters of Dr. No, a fanatical scientist who is implementing an evil plan of world domination. Only James Bond, with his combination of wit, charm and skill, can confront the madman and save the human race from a horrible fate. 


First appearance of Major Boothroyd (Q)

First time Bond has a vodka martini

First time Bond’s apartment is seen

First time Bond uses the Walther PPK

First time Bond drives an American car

First mention of SPECTRE 

First time Bond shoots someone in cold blood (Professor Dent)

Bond’s first interracial romance (Ms. Taro)


The close-up shots of Sean Connery with the spider on him were filmed with a glass plate under the spider. 

Ursula Andress was offered the role after the producers saw a picture of her in a wet t-shirt contest. 

In the first draft, Dr. No was a monkey. 

Ian Fleming originally wanted Roger Moore to play Bond in Dr. No after Cary Grant said he would only play Bond once.

When 007 enters Dr. No’s dining room he stops to take a second look at a painting. The painting is Goya’s picture of the Duke of Wellington, which was stolen in real life week or two before filming began. 


Dr. No

UnivEx Rating:

October 7, 1962

Bond Actor:
Sean Connery

Terence Young


$1.1 Million

U.S. Boxoffice:
$16 Million

Worldwide Boxoffice:
$59.6 Million

Running Time:
111 Minutes

Bond’s Kill Count:

Bond’s Conquest Count:


Dr. No


The interruption of space ship launches

Anthony Dent, 3 Blind Mice

Bond Girls:
Sylvia Trench, Ms. Taro, Honey Ryder

Felix Leiter, Quarrel, Pussfella


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