Dr. No

dir. Terence Young

Dr. No

dir. Terence Young

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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Sean Connery became an instant star in the first big-screen Bond adventure, which sees 007 teaming with a beautiful beachcomber (Swedish bombshell Ursula Andress) to tackle an evil genius toppling American rockets from a mysterious Jamaican island.

Sent to Jamaica to investigate the remote-controlled "toppling" of American rockets by an unknown enemy, Bond (Sean Connery) nimbly navigates a nefarious network of spies, sirens and assassins, and traces the source of the radio emissions to the mysterious island of Crab Key. With the aid of pneumatic nature girl Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), Bond discovers the mastermind behind the scheme: Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman), an evil Asiatic genius out to destroy the US space program at the behest of a shadowy organization catchily known as the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion (or SPECTRE for short). Though not as outlandish or tongue-in-cheek as its successors, the very first Bond film brings a number of the series requisites/clichés — the signature theme music and opening gunsight logo, exotic locations, bevies of beauties, futuristic sets, colourful villains, offhand sadism and full-bore sexism — to the screen near fully formed. Emerging from the ocean in that famous shimmering white bikini, Swiss bombshell Andress became an instant erotic icon, while the rough-hewn Connery, slyly brutish intelligence simmering beneath debonair exterior, brought a refreshingly ruthless and amoral edge to 007 that set him decisively apart from other screen heroes.