The Making of Dr. No: A sixtieth Anniversary Retrospective


By the point Ian Fleming’s undercover agent James Bond gave the impression in his 6th novel in 1958’s Dr. No the nature was once reaching first rate ebook gross sales. Alternatively, the superspy wasn’t but a family title. An adaptation of the primary 007 novel was once broadcast on American tv in 1954 however had but to seem at the large display to a bigger, global target audience. In a couple of quick years, this could all exchange.

Commander Jamaica, Harry Salzman, and Cubby Broccoli

In June of 1956, Fleming started to collaborate with American tv manufacturer and Lehman Brother’s inheritor Henry Morgenthau III on a tv collection referred to as Commander Jamaica. The collection would characteristic a Bond-like persona referred to as James Gunn. When it didn’t transfer ahead, Fleming repurposed the plot for his subsequent 007 novel, Dr. No.

In 1960, Canadian theatre and picture manufacturer Harry Salzman learn Dr. No in addition to Goldfinger, which was once the following ebook in Ian Fleming’s 007 collection. Saltzman briefly turned into fascinated about turning Bond novels into characteristic movies. He briefly were given involved with Fleming who wasn’t keen on the films that Saltzman had produced in England up up to now.

Albert R. Broccoli, Sean Connery, Ian Fleming, and Harry Saltzman talk about ‘Dr. No’ (1962)

However, Fleming bought him the rights to the entire Bond books with the exception of for Thunderball, launched in 1961, and On line casino Royale, launched in 1953. Thunderball was once the topic of a criminal dispute over authorship. The display rights to On line casino Royale had already been bought to manufacturer Gregory Ratoff in 1955.

Saltzman bumped into bother early on as he was once not able to drag the monetary sources in combination to get James Bond in entrance of the digicam. Round this time, Albert R Broccoli, an American manufacturer, turned into fascinated about turning the James Bond novels into a film collection. Saltzman had no need to promote the rights. Alternatively, screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz, who was once pleasant with each males, arrange a gathering between the pair. It didn’t take lengthy for Saltzman and Broccoli to come to a decision to staff as much as convey 007 to the display.


Saltzman and Broccoli arrange two firms for his or her James Bond three way partnership. The primary was once referred to as Danjaq, a maintaining corporate answerable for the copyright and emblems to the characters, parts, and different subject matter associated with James Bond on display. The second one was once referred to as Eon Productions, which might if truth be told produce the films.

After being grew to become down by way of just about each studio in Hollywood, Saltzman and Broccoli had been in a position to make a take care of United Artists to in spite of everything make a Bond image. With Broccoli’s best selection of Thunderball off the desk, it was once made up our minds that they’d undertake Dr. No. With a meager $a million in financing equipped by way of United Artists, the lads knew they’d their paintings lower out for them.

Make-up artist John O’Gorman touches up actress Ursula Andress at the of ‘Dr. No’ (1962)

Screenplay and Director

With the monetary constraints soaring over them it proved tough to get a director for the undertaking. Their first selection was once American Western stalwart, Phil Karlson. Alternatively, his wage calls for had been too prime. Ultimately, they grew to become their consideration to an array of English administrators together with Man Inexperienced, Man Hamilton, Val Visitor, and Ken Hughes. They just weren’t . Ultimately, they settled on Irishman Terence Younger, with whom Broccoli had labored at Warwick Motion pictures years previous.

For the script, Wolf Mankowitz and Richard Maibaum had been employed. Within the first draft, they reimagined the titular persona of ‘Dr. No’ as a monkey. Person who was once worshipped as a god by way of the privative population of a far flung island. They made this alteration as a result of they felt the model from the unconventional was once too very similar to Fu Manchu. The film’s deliberate villain was once a delivery multi-millionaire referred to as ‘Buchwald’ who sought after to explode the Panama Canal.

The manufacturers had been unsatisfied with the script that was once delivered, and Mankowitz due to this fact left the undertaking previous to the of completion of a 2d draft. This draft had extra intently adopted Fleming’s novel. As soon as the script was once in excellent form, Johanna Harwood and Berkley Mather had been introduced in as script docs to punch up the discussion.

Sean Connery takes a sleep at the set of ‘Dr. No’ (1962) after ingesting a number of Crimson Stripe beers

Casting 007

Via a ways essentially the most time-consuming section in the case of casting was once the lead position of James Bond. The primary title that got here to thoughts for casting was once Cary Grant. Alternatively, his most likely prime wage and unwillingness to play the position for a couple of image eradicated him from attention nearly right away.

Different names that had been regarded as however in the long run rejected integrated David Niven, Patrick McGoohan, and Richard Johnson. Ian Fleming instructed Richard Todd and Edward Undertown for the position. Neither had been significantly regarded as. With those names excluded, the manufacturers grew to become to a competition of all issues to search out their 007. Of the six finalists Peter Anthony, a fashion, was once decided on.

Alternatively, the manufacturers quickly were given chilly ft after choosing him. Therefore, they made up our minds to screentest Scottish actor and previous Mr. Universe competitor, Sean Connery. Broccoli had observed Connery in Darby O’Gill and the Little Other people (1959) and had actually loved the fistfight Connery was once focused on on the movie’s climax.

Connery was once reluctant to audition for the position as a result of he too wasn’t fascinated about starring in more than one movies as the name of the game agent. Because of this, Connery confirmed up on the audition taking a look like a ragamuffin replete with unkempt hair and a crumpled swimsuit. Nonetheless, he inspired Saltzman and Broccoli together with his air of mystery, agility, and cavalier angle. They made up our minds to solid him as 007 nearly right away.

Ursula Andress in a fancy dress designed by way of Tess Welborn at the set of ‘Dr. No’ (1962)

Director Terence Younger took Connery underneath his wing nearly right away after he was once solid as James Bond. He additionally would take the longer term A-list Hollywood icon to his tailor in addition to to more than a few London hotspots, together with casinos and eating places. This was once to instruct Connery at the finer issues in existence. Issues which James Bond himself would experience.

“I by no means were given offered to Fleming till I used to be neatly into the film, however I do know he was once no longer that pleased with me as a call. He referred to as me, or informed any person, that I used to be an overdeveloped stunt guy.”

– Sean Connery

Bond writer Ian Fleming disagreed with the selection and was once vocal to the manufacturers about it. Alternatively, after seeing Connery’s efficiency in Dr. No satisfied Fleming he was once fallacious and he would no longer most effective settle for him within the position however envision him in it whilst writing the unconventional On Her Majesties Secret Provider.

Ian Fleming and Sean Connery at the set of ‘Dr. No’ (1962)

Routine Characters

The manufacturers of the James Bond franchise had first of all deliberate for a number of characters to be reoccurring. The purpose was once to have the similar actors portraying them for a number of James Bond movies. Of the 4 actors solid in Dr. No, most effective 3 of them gave the impression in no less than two movies within the collection.

For the position of James Bond’s every now and then female friend Sylvia Trench, Terence Younger championed Eunice Gayson for the position, which she in the long run gained. Younger had labored together with her up to now within the 1957 movie Zarak. Younger concept she had the suitable “glance” for the position. Even if she was once in the beginning meant to seem in six films, the nature most effective gave the impression in yet one more, From Russia With Love (1963).

Actress Lois Maxwell lobbied arduous for the position of secretary Omit Moneypenny. This was once essentially as a result of her husband had suffered a middle assault and he or she wanted the cash to enhance him and their circle of relatives. The position assured simply two days’ paintings at a day by day price of £100. Maxwell was once additionally required to put on her personal garments for the section. The actress would painting the position an extra 13 instances.

Bernard Lee was once solid as 007’s boss ‘M’ in the future sooner than filming started. Lee’s efficiency, in addition to that of Maxwell, had been perfect for Fleming who felt they had been each completely solid. Lee would reprise this position ten extra instances. His ultimate efficiency took place in 1979s Moonraker. He was once to seem within the subsequent installment, For Your Eyes Most effective (1981), however died of abdomen most cancers in November 1980, previous to his scenes being filmed.

Eunice Gayson and Sean Connery at the set of ‘Dr. No’ (1962)

Further Casting 

Jack Lord was once solid as CIA agent Felix Leiter. This was once a job wherein the manufacturers deliberate to have him again for long term installments. Alternatively, for the reason that actor wasn’t signed to a long-term contract, he demanded a pay lift to reprise the position in Goldfinger. Salzman and Broccoli refused, and the position was once recast.

The casting of the titular persona of Dr. No proved to be a problem. The primary selection of Salzman and Broccoli was once Max von Sydow, who grew to become it down. Fleming satisfied them to pursue his good friend Noel Coward for the position however he additionally wasn’t . The manufacturers settled on Robert Wiseman essentially as a result of Salzman preferred his efficiency in Detective Tale (1951).

In the meantime, Fleming, who was once unaware Wiseman have been solid, were given his step-cousin Christopher Lee within the position. Alternatively, because it was once already stuffed, Lee clearly didn’t get the section. Apparently, each Lee and von Sydow would ultimately cross directly to play the lead villain within the 007 films The Guy with the Golden Gun (1974) and By no means Say By no means Once more (1983), respectively.

Director Terence Younger is going over the script with Ursula Andress and Sean Connery at the set of ‘Dr. No’ (1962)

The First Bond Lady

For the casting of “Bond Lady” Honey Ryder, Julie Christie, Martine Beswick, and Gabriella Licudi had been all rejected for the position. It was once an element that proved tough to fill. An insignificant two weeks previous to filming started, Salzman and Broccoli noticed an image of Ursula Andress and presented her the position.

Even if hesitant to simply accept, she was once persuaded by way of her husband John Derek, in addition to by way of her good friend Kirk Douglas. The only factor the manufacturers weren’t loopy about was once her voice, which was once dubbed by way of voice actress Nikki van der Zyl. She would additionally dub a number of different “Bond Women” together with Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger and Claudine Auger in Thunderball (1965). Andress was once paid simply $6,000 for the position.


Artwork Route

Ken Adam, who knew each Salzman and Broccoli neatly, was once employed to place in combination the improbable set design for Dr. No. With funds constraints, Adam correctly used frugality and innovation. Examples of this had been the usage of cardboard artwork and a door coated in a leather-like plastic to brighten M’s place of work.

The Dr. No lab which was once designed by way of Ken Adam

Adam by no means learn the Dr. No novel, most effective the screenplay to place in combination his units for the film. He was once additionally given general freedom in his paintings as Salzman and Broccoli had been in Jamaica filming whilst he was once placing his units in combination at England’s Pinewood Studios.

“The funds for Dr. No was once underneath $1m for the entire image. My funds was once £14,500. I stuffed 3 phases at Pinewood stuffed with units whilst they had been filming in Jamaica. It wasn’t an actual aquarium in Dr. No’s rental. It was once a crisis to inform you the reality as a result of we had so little cash. We made up our minds to make use of a rear-projection display and get some inventory photos of fish. What we didn’t understand was once as a result of we didn’t have a lot cash the one inventory photos they may purchase was once of goldfish-sized fish, so we needed to blow up the scale and put a line within the discussion with Bond speaking concerning the magnification. I didn’t see any reason Dr. No shouldn’t have excellent style so we combined fresh furnishings and antiques. We concept it could be amusing for him to have some stolen artwork so we used Goya’s Portrait of the Duke of Wellington, which was once nonetheless lacking on the time. I were given dangle of a slide from the Nationwide Gallery…and I painted a Goya over the weekend. It was once beautiful excellent so that they used it for exposure functions however, similar to the true one, it were given stolen whilst it was once on show.”

– Ken Adam

James Bond
The ‘Dr. No’ laboratory set which was once designed by way of Ken Adam

“…in the event that they (Salzman and Broccoli) hadn’t preferred my paintings I might were in deep trouble. However because it was once Terence was once the primary one that stated it was once rather sensible…Then the manufacturers kind of reluctantly agreed. They most likely noticed I’m going to invite them for extra money. It actually began an excessively loose kind of debate by way of each member from the prop guy to the cameraman of the movie unit…Everyone got here up with concepts, some excellent, some no longer so excellent…”

– Ken Adam

Hair and Costumes

The fits worn by way of Sean Connery in Dr. No had been adapted by way of Anthony Sinclair, whilst his swimsuit shirts had been the made from Lanvin. Alternatively, they’re incessantly flawed for the shirts of Turnbull & Asser. Sinclair informed Connery that a super swimsuit will have to be capable of get up to an excessive amount of abuse, so he prompt Connery to sleep in one of the vital fits he made. Connery did and was once astonished to peer that the swimsuit appeared best possible the following morning. So far as Connery’s hair, he wore a toupee as he had in all his films since 1958.

Dress dressmaker Tess Welborn was once answerable for the remainder of the movie’s costumes. Via a ways essentially the most iconic paintings she did was once the white bikini that Ursula Andress wore. The bikini best was once made out of an underwire bra bought from Saks 5th Road in New York Town. Welborn coated it in cotton in an effort to get the glance this is observed within the film. Her accompanying belt was once a changed British Military webbing belt.


Filming on Dr. No lasted a complete of 58 days. It all started on January 16, 1962, in Jamaica sooner than transferring to Pinewood Studios on February 26. The general day of filming was once March 30, 1962.

  • The primary scene filmed that includes Sean Connery was once on the Kingston Airport on January 16, 1962.
  • Ursula Andress and Sean Connery fought over a report participant so they may apply the tune Honey and Bond sing in combination, “Beneath the Mango Tree.” In line with Andress, Connery was once a herbal singer and didn’t want the apply.
  • As a result of Sean Connery was once scared of spiders the scene the place the tarantula is in his mattress was once finished with a sheet of glass between them. To get the close-up photographs of the spider within the scene, stuntman Bob Simmons took Connery’s position.
  • Visible results skilled Maurice Binder designed the gun barrel opening by way of pointing a pinhole digicam via an actual gun barrel. Bob Simmons stood in for Sean Connery when taking pictures this photos.
  • Honey Ryder’s iconic front into the film was once filmed only a few yards from Fleming’s Goldeneye property in Jamaica.
James Bond
Ursula Andress poses in a dashing flow all the way through the filming of ‘Dr. No’ (1962) in Jamaica. Photograph by way of Bunny Yeager


The manufacturers decided on Monty Norman to jot down the ranking as a result of they loved his song within the play Belle, which Broccoli noticed in 1961. Norman wasn’t fascinated about running at the movie however agreed at the situation he may shuttle with the group to Jamaica at the manufacturing’s dime.

Norman composed the “James Bond theme,” which was once organized by way of John Barry. In 1962, after the preliminary liberate of Dr. No, the tune was once launched as a unmarried in Britain. The now-legendary theme ultimately reached quantity 13 at the charts.

Over the following years, there was a lot debate about which of the 2 males had composed this piece of iconic James Bond song. Therefore, a lawsuit in 2001 was once made up our minds in Norman’s choose in this now settled subject.

James Bond
Sean Connery at the set of ‘Dr. No’ (1962) whilst filming in Jamaica

Reception and Legacy

Previous to the discharge of Dr. No, a coarse lower was once proven to United Artist brass in addition to to Fleming. The latter concept it was once horrible and the previous was once satisfied because it had a small funds so the monetary losses could be small. Fleming, modified his song with the overall product, playing it significantly.

Dr. No held its premiere on the London Pavilion, on October 5, 1962. It opened 3 days later in the remainder of the United Kingdom on a complete of 168 monitors. The movie proved to be a good fortune, turning into the 5th highest-grossing film of the yr there. The global gross of over $6,000,000 had exceeded all monetary expectancies.

Seriously, Dr. No had its justifiable share of combined evaluations when it was once first of all launched. Alternatively, time has been sort to the movie over the following six many years. In 1999, Dr. No was once ranked 41 at the BFI best 100 British movies listing, compiled by way of the British Movie Institute. It was once additionally ranked 11 on a listing revealed by way of Empire mag.

James Bond
Ursula Andress and Sean Connery at the set of ‘Dr. No’ (1962)

James Bond is among the most well liked characters of the 20 th Century, however it began with Dr. No, which helped to catapult the nature past the literary realm and onto the silver display. After 60 years his recognition hasn’t waned one iota, particularly the films starring Sean Connery, who cemented his motion superstar standing with the position.

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