JUAREZ (1939)

Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

Film on the life of Mexican revolutionary Benito Juarez (Paul Muni). Director William Dieterle’s unusual introduction of the main character was so memorable to Dr. No director Terence Young that he borrowed it for his introduction of 007 (Sean Connery) in the first Bond feature.

In the earlier film, Muni plays the whole first scene with his back to the camera, and then turns around when someone asks him his name. “Juarez,” he sneers. For Dr. No, Young blocked James Bond’s introduction in the Les Ambassadeurs gambling club in London the same way. His camera faces Sean Connery’s back until the precisely worked-out moment when Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson) addresses him, and Bond is seen for the first time in a cloud of cigarette smoke, announcing himself as “Bond . . . James Bond.”


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