Wednesday, 7 October 2015

007 - Dr. No
















Sean Connery's Bond stays interesting thanks to his relationship with violence. He willingly places himself in dangerous situations as if to test, or maybe even flaunt, his ability to turn the tables and do harm. There's a kind of savagery to the portrayal, helped along by the physical agitation Peter Hunt invests in his helter-skelter editing.

Whilst in London, director Terence Young shoots Bond in open, airy rooms. They're beautifully dressed but obviously sets. You get a sense of the parlour games to come, with Bond as the know-it-all detective breezing through soured social situations and righting wrongs. This assumption dies once Bond lands in Jamaica. Met by a nervous chauffeur, Bond gets on the phone to radio in with his superiors. No car was sent. Young holds on Bond's face, dark eyes fixed on his anxious quarry, a slight smile creeping up the corner of his mouth.

Bond's case arrives as a nonsensical waste of time - a radio operator in the colonies has run off with his new secretary. Dashed bad show. On site, the bolt upright Bond prowls around tanned officials with middle-aged spreads. He's louder than them, determined to take up as much physical space as possible. Bond's enemies start out as local lads with pistols before graduating to a mad scientist with metal hands. None register as particularly taxing for the lethal secret agent. Dr. No then is about the joy of overwhelming force, Bond as the house brick sent to smash an insect.

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