Meet Dr. No and SPECTRE
In Dr. No’s lair, Dr. No confronts Bond. His lair is exquisitely detailed and furnished with the finest things. A huge aquarium, artwork everywhere, rich, ornate carved wooden furnishings, silver candelabra, crystal goblets – the best of the best. And we learn of SPECTRE for the first time – and we will hear about this evil organization in many EON Production Bond films to come. Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion. so here, we meet Dr. No and SPECTRE and understand a lot more of their background.
The West and East refused his services . . . so he is out to show them how short-sighted they were. He lost both hands in a radiation accident (in the film). In the book, the Tongs who he stole gold from cut off his hands. In either case, he has metal hands that are very powerful. There is a great dialogue between Bond and Dr. No in this clip – pay attention to all the words – they have all been carefully crafted to deliver Dr. No’s message – the West and East will pay for not taking his services. And Dr. No never fails . . . Joseph Wiseman plays Dr. No magnificently and convincingly.
The Duke of Wellington is Dr. No’s “Guest”
As Dr. No walks away from Bond after telling his henchmen to “soften him up” he walks past the back of a portrait on an easel – to his left as he walks past. In a previous scene, when Bond is walking up those same steps to sit at the dining table, he stops for a moment to look at the portrait. It is the Duke of Wellington. Simple right?
No. In actuality, this portrait was stolen from the National Gallery in London in August of 1961, before filming began in January 1962 for Dr. No, and was still missing when they filmed this scene. Brilliantly, EON Productions worked this real fact into the movie – here, Dr. No has the portrait! In real life, it was recovered in 1965, as the culprit who was in possession of the stolen portrait had been sending letters demanding that $140,000 pounds be donated to charities and that the person who stole it should not be prosecuted.
Eventually, the culprit gave up and sent a letter to the newspaper, the Daily Mirror, along with a left-luggage ticket from New Station in Birmingham. When police when to there, they found the missing portrait, but unframed. The portrait was brought to London and returned to the National Gallery.
And in a recent visit to London, we saw Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington safely hanging on the wall, in full view of all, at the National Gallery! So, when you head to the National Gallery in London, go see the Duke – but also visit Room 34, where Daniel Craig as Bond meets his new, young Quartermaster in Skyfall, sitting on a bench in the gallery room, facing Turners “Fighting Temeraire” painting on the wall. We sat in the same location (but they used different benches in the movie) that Bond and Q sat in Skyfall! Cool. Again, fun to be at the actual filming locations and in the same space as the actors! And the National Gallery is fabulous. Go there!