Dr. No Intro Poster and Theme Song

Dr. No Intro Poster  - For Dr. No, this is one of the publicity posters used to promote the movie.  Also, you will hear the theme song music first associated with the EON Production James Bond films! EON created a masterpiece and a James Bond franchise that has thrived for decade.   And Dr. No is the first film they produced.

Our Dr. No Poster Analysis

By 1962 when the film version of Dr. No is released, Ian Fleming’s books featuring the cold war secret agent and Bon Vivant, James Bond were all the rage. The public was hot for a no holds barred film that would introduce a real flesh and blood Bond. The film poster for Dr. No features Bond as the dominant figure slightly off-center with a smoking gun in one hand and the signature sixties symbol of cool, a cigarette in the other, signifying a controlled relaxed man of action. The bright yellow background is like intense sunshine referring not only to the movie’s exotic tropical Jamaican locale, which is further depicted by the simple inset line drawing of palm trees, but also to the heat of passion promised by the four sexy female figures each in various stages of undress and striking provocative poses. The presumed title character of Dr. No is mysteriously cut in half and barely makes it on to the poster’s left edge. It is clear that he is not the hero of this film in spite of the name. Interestingly the evil Dr. No is dressed in white while Bond is in a very dark blue suit which belies the standard code of cinema that the good guy always wears white while the villain is traditionally in black. As such, this signals the upside down and unpredictable world of espionage where things are not always what they seem.  Therefore,  it is impossible to rely on your previous experiences. The bright red text shouts out what is possibly one the shortest movie titles of all time and announcing the all-important fact that this is THE FIRST JAMES BOND FILM!

Ian Fleming on the Poster

Note Ian Fleming’s name is also in red making the point that this is based on his already well-known books and setting the stage for his branding empire. There are few films particularly up to this time that feature the book author’s name. In most cases, you will be lucky to find a short line in the credits that says something like “Based on a book by…”  Saying that a movie is based on a book is a signal that this film has an added level of sophistication and worthiness. It might be action-adventure and it might be sexy but it is based on literature. This is an important distinction in this time of changing morality of the 1960s and the changing morality in film. It might also be argued in this case that it is based on what many considered a book in the realm of pulp fiction.   And so,  in that way promised to be a little edgier or forbidden. Men wanted to see sexy women on the big screen.   And women wanted to be the desired liberated and strong women Fleming portrayed.

The Women On the Poster

It’s important to note the women in this poster are not victims or being controlled in any way. The posture of the second figure from the right is a classic power pose.   She is using her sexuality to lure you towards her but she is not cowering or submissive. The next figure almost dead center is barely nude with her back toward you but very much aware of who is behind her and again is drawing you toward her and very much in control. The sexy two-piece white bikini worn by Ursula Andress will become the iconic symbol of the sexual revolution.  And was quite scandalous at this time. But again notice her hip thrust out indicates that she is in charge of her body and the situation. The poster designer Mitchell Hooks manages to give the budding film star, Sean Connery, prominence though he is still dominated by the author Fleming. Note he is billed as playing the part of “007” a man referred to as a number which was a symbol of the nascent computer age. Is the number seven lucky? Maybe so. It is important to keep in mind that for many theatergoers this was their first introduction to this man, James Bond.  And he will become an icon and a symbol of cold war espionage, as well as the symbol of the post-WWII “modern” male .  And, soon to be movie icon.

Thanks to our Colleague Reno Lovison

SpyMovieNavigator would like to thank our colleague, Reno Lovison, for this comprehensive poster analysis.   Reno does video production and podcasts on a variety of topics and can be found at renoweb.net. And we’d like to add a couple more notes:
  • Ian Fleming’s novels in 1962 were experiencing huge growth in popularity in the United States.  Why?  Because President Kennedy at that time included From Russia With Love as one of his favorite Top 10 novels! So interest in James Bond was high, and now, here comes No!
  • On another note, 1962 was just before the large explosion of the sexual revolution in the US and world.   Countries like Ireland had problems with this poster and required changes to be made – like putting a black dress on Honey Rider, and covering up the other Bond Girls on the poster one way or another.   There is a nice book entitled: James Bond Movie Posters – The Official 007 Collection by Tony Nourmand.   The edition we have goes from No to Die Another Day.

The Professor Dies – And You’ve Had Your Six

The Professor Dies – And You’ve Had Your Six

The Professor Dies – And You’ve Had Your Six  - In this important clip, we see the very tough and dark nature of James Bond – here, he is a cold-hearted killer as he tricks Professor Dent into thinking he, Bond, is asleep in the bed.  Or what does Dent think?   He doesn’t know Miss Taro has been extracted from the premises.  So does he care if he kills Bond and Taro?  We don’t know. But we must remember, Dent has already failed to kill Bond with the tarantula and Dr. No wants Bond dead.   With Miss Taro out of the picture, but unknown to Professor Dent, Professor Dent is coming to Taro’s house to kill Bond.  While Bond is waiting for Professor Dent’s arrival, he coolly waits, playing cards.   The scene is set – the bamboo room accents add to that exotic island feeling, Bond pours two drinks and removes his coat to put on the sofa with the drinks on the cocktail table – as if he and Miss Taro had been drinking together.   The lighting is just perfect as you see the cards, and the shadow of the ceiling fan rotating over the cards. He tosses the bedclothes on the floor, then assembles the pillows and sheets to make it appear someone was sleeping.  “Underneath the Mango Tree” is playing and “underneath the moonlit sky” is playing as he walks past the shutters with the moonlight beaming outside.  Again, Terence Young, the director, is keenly aware of the song’s lyrics and uses them to his advantage

“Underneath the moonlit sky Me honey and I Come sit hand in hand Underneath the moonlit sky Me honey and I Come make fairyland”

(By Monty Norman, sung by Diana Coupland)

And Bond is sitting hand in hand with his first love – his weapon and silencer, making “fairyland” – a whole different world than what most ordinary people are used to.  Here, we see Bond in HIS world – him as an assassin.

The Professor Arrives

Then he hears someone coming.   The Professor unloads his pistol into the figure in the bed and Bond yells, “Drop it, Professor.  And behind you.”  He drops the weapon onto the bedclothes on the floor.  Then we see Bond coolly waiting, confronting him, talking calmly.  He even sets his gun down and lights a cigarette  - while Dent tries to pull his gun back over to him by dragging his foot on the bedclothes.  He succeeds, picks up the gun and shoots Bond – but the pistol just clicks. Then Bond says coolly, “That’s a Smith and Wesson and you’ve had your six” and shoots Dent – unarmed Dent – then when he falls to the floor, Bond shoots him again,  killing him.  For Bond fans, this is the first EON Production Bond movie – and this is the first kill we see Bond make.  Bond as an assassin.   Fleming said once about the character of Bond, he is a blunt instrument of the government. We steer you back to a great article written by David Maccar all about “The Guns of James Bond: Sean Connery.”   In this scene, he claims Bond kills Dent using a suppressed RN Browning Model 1910n and not the Walther PPK! Of course, we will hear "Underneath the Mango Tree" again! Miss Taro’s house in the mountains in the film is in a fictitious place.   In real life, it was filmed at what is now the Couples Sans Souci resort in Ocho Rios (which used to be the Grand Lido Sans Souci Hotel, reportedly where the crew stayed while filming.

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