Fox and MGM have teamed to create a library of fully-restored and digitally enhanced versions of the James Bond movies. Originally released in 1962, "Dr. No" was the first Bond movie. Under the tutelage of director Terrance Young, Sean Connery established author Ian Fleming's debonair spy in movie history as the prototype for modern secret agents. Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of another agent who was killed. Teaming with CIA Agent Felix Leiter (Jack Lord), they learn that a Chinese scientist named Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) has been responsible for interfering with rocket launches from Cape Canaveral in Florida. With another launch imminent, Bond must stop this madman.
My father took me to see this movie when it was re-released a year later in a double-feature with the second Bond movie, "From Russia With Love". Having watched it dozens of times on television in the intervening years, the Blu-ray version is so incredibly lush and detailed that it was like seeing an entirely different movie. The disc includes a documentary on the restoration process, which lets you really appreciate the effort required to bring this 40 year-old movie up to modern technical standards. But even more valuable is the documentary on the origins of Bond in the movies which tells the story of producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli and how they struggled for years to get this movie made. The list of actors who were considered for the role of James Bond certainly made me giggle. But I laughed out loud when it turns out that they decided on Sean Connery after seeing him in the Disney movie "Darby O'Gill and The Little People"! A fun family film, to be sure, but the absurdity of the contrast in roles couldn't be more extreme. There's a fabulous history of the Bond movies here, as told by many of the principals, including Sean Connery and the lovely Ursula Andress.
If you're a Bond fan, you simply have no choice but to add this to your movie collection.
Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our October, 2008 issue.
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