Three Blind Mice and the Death of Strangways – In the title sequence, with the exotic setting in Jamaica, we are immediately intrigued with the opening scene, with the words Dr. No flashing on and off the screen in green, purple, red, blue, and the transition to the colorful silhouettes of dancing women with island music playing. It’s very 60s but at the time was very cool!
Then we see three blind men walking the streets in Jamaica, and we don’t know what to make of them. The tune “Three Blind Mice” is playing while we see them walking, which makes us think we should pay attention because maybe these three blind men are important. We just assume they are part of the scene, background figures, but yet there they are. And the camera spends a lot of time on them, following them as they “blindly” make their way down streets and finally to the Queen’s Club (Private Members Only).
Perhaps they are members of this private club? Ah, can’t be as they are all carrying their tin cups for people to drop coins into for them. This is the club where Strangways plays cards each evening, then leaves at about 6 pm so he can do his reporting into MI6 with his secretary at his place. Then he could return to cards. Strangways is dressed is a white, linen suit, and the surroundings are peaceful, tranquil, elegant and high-society. Makes us wish we had lives like that. So nice!
Three Blind Mice Not So Blind – The Death of Strangways
These three blind men play a critical role in the entire Dr. No story, as they are responsible for two very key deaths in the plotline and are the reason James Bond ends up in Jamaica. Here is the set-up for the death of Strangways, the MI6 operative in Jamaica.
So in the film, we see Strangways excusing himself, as he always does at 6 PM, and exiting. So this is routine, but we don’t know if the three blind men outside the club are routine. Strangways is walking towards his car and must pass the three blind men.
He takes some coins out and throws them in the cup of the first blind mice with the red hat on, then proceeds to open the door of his car. When he turns and opens his car door, we find out a great deal about these three men. All three of them turn and shoot Strangways with pistols equipped with silencers. No one else is around to see them. Then they grab his body and throw it in a hearse which speeds around the corner driven by an accomplice.
We will see this hearse again!
Mary Trueblood, Strangways Secretary
In the next scene of this clip, you see the Strangways mailbox. Then the same three men break in, kill Strangways’ secretary, rummage through his files and take the folders entitled, “Crab Key” and “Dr. No.”
The second clip we selected here goes into more detail of the secretary murder. Keep in mind, Strangways is the MI6 operative in Jamaica and has been investigating Dr. No. Bond now is being called in to investigate the Strangways and secretary murders, and to see if there is some connection between these, Dr. No, and the interference with American missile launches.
Here you get a better view of Strangways place and more details of the secretary, Mary Trueblood, murder. We will see Strangways house again as Bond investigates this location later in the film. Here, his secretary is setting up his call, by saying “W6N W6N calling G7W.” G7W is in London.
Then the three blind men strike again and murder her, carrying her body off after retrieving the Crab Key and Dr. No files. At the 55 second mark, you will see a framed photograph behind one of the three blind men in the background, on a shelf. This will prove to be an invaluable lead when Bond investigates this location. One that will lead him to Quarrel, who plays a major role in the film.
As an aside, the secretary, Mary Trueblood, is played by a local Jamaican, Delores Keator, who actually owned the building they used to shoot these scenes.
The Three Blind Mice Set the Table for Rest of Movie
Three Blind Mice and the Death of Strangways sets us up nicely. As we see instantly, Dr. No is going to be a captivating film, with murder, intrigue and mystery.
These clips set up the rest of the movie, as now Bond must investigate. Strangways, though dead, will play an important roll in the film as Bond tries to put the pieces together. We will see similar scenarios in Live and Let Die, where Bond must investigate the murder of three agents. And again, we see agents killed in The Living Daylights in Gibraltar, View to A Kill, Octopussy, and in more Bond movies to come. We will see similar scenarios in Mission: Impossible, and even the Bourne series.
Three Blind Mice and the Death of Strangways is well shot, well acted and is intriguing to the viewer.
This opening scene with the three blind mice walking was shot on Harbour Street in downtown Kingston, Jamaica. Where Strangways is killed at Queen’s Club is now Liguanea Club at 80 Knutsford Blvd in Kingston, Jamaica.