Dr. No Title Sequence – Dr. No, EON Productions first James Bond film based on Ian Fleming’s sixth James Bond 007 novel gets a big YES from movie-goers at the time of release in 1962. It has been a staple of Bond films ever since. Dr. No is Dr. Yes for spy movie fans, and new spy movie fans who are focused on Bourne and Mission: Impossible and more recent Bond films with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, would enjoy going back to the first James Bond film, Dr. No, to which, we think, they will also say Yes!
A Quick Dr. No Movie Summary:
- There’s a disappearance of a British agent and his secretary in Jamaica
- Bond is sent to investigate
- Discovers Dr. No and plan to interfere with American missile launches
- We learn of SPECTRE for the first time and of the ensuing events
When released in 1962, the US and Soviet Union were in the cold war. Each country suspicious and in fear that the other might develop more nuclear weapons than the other, attain nuclear superiority and strike first.
So this is what was really happening in the world, and selecting Dr. No as the first Fleming novel to turn into a film – dealing with American missile launches, was topical. Fear of inter-continental ballistic missile raining down on your hometown was a real fear. The US was behind in the space race, as the Soviets continued to be steps ahead.
But great distances between the countries offered some solace. Ian Fleming’s “Dr. No” novel was written in 1958 (a year after the Soviet Union launched the first satellite into space, Sputnik). The movie began shooting in January 1962 –a mere 10 months before The Cuban Missile Crisis (October 16 – 28 1962). That crisis was about bringing Soviet missiles with warheads to Cuba – just 90 miles from the US coast. Keep in mind, Dr. No was released in the UK on October 5, 1962 – less than two weeks before the Cuban Missile Crisis, and in the US in May 1963.
So the real world served as a backdrop to fuel the interest in the film, Dr. No, because nuclear war, missile development and deployment, and the ability to attack with missiles were top-of-mind.
The Title Sequence Clip
The title sequence, created by Maurice Binder, who passed away in 1991, is one of the staples of James Bond 007 EON Production movies. This brilliant title sequence is known and recognized throughout the world.
In the first several Bond films, the man in the gun barrel whop turns and faces the audiences and fires is not the actor who plays James Bond, but a stunt guy, Bob Simmons. We also hear the iconic Monty Norman James Bond music for the first time here, in Dr. No.
As you watch the title sequence, you will also see the double dots or circles appear for the first time. We look at those as either bullet holes, which they will be in future movies like EON Production’s Casino Royale, or look at them as the 00 in 007.
This sequence also shows the almost psychedelic nature of the presentation, with flashing circles and flashing Dr. No in many colors – very 1960s, but still very cool. We hear some odd opening music screeches, then the iconic Bond music, then we move to the colorful silhouettes as the music moves to island music, to get us ready for Jamaica. As it transitions into the three blind men walking down a Kingston Jamaica street, the well-known music of “Three Blind Mice” is playing. The roots of this tune go back to King Henry VIII and Queen Mary I, who became known as “Bloody Mary,” and the persecution of protestants. The three main leaders of the Church of England, Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer – the architects of the movement under Henry VIII – were burned at the stake by Bloody Mary. So, the history of violence in the tune foreshadows the role these three blind mice will play in Dr. No, and their flaming end when the hearse they are in chasing Bond crashes off a cliff and burns. Three Blind Mice. Wow.
Great start in this Dr. No Title Sequence to James Bond brought to the big screen!