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The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship
Dr No (DVD)
Sean Connery
I was a bit too young to see this film when first released; Goldfinger was the first Bond that i saw in first-run, but i remedied that omission as soon as possible after being introduced to the Bond series, catching a double-feature of Dr No and From Russia With Love.

I had begun reading the Bond books even before seeing Goldfinger, and so i knew the original story of Dr No; in some ways, this is one of the more-accurately adapted books of the series (one thing did worry me, though -- the death of a character who also appeared fairly importantly in a book earlier in the series; how were they going to deal with that if they ever filmed the other book?).

Though most of the films open with Big Beat or rock themesongs, this one (appropriately enough) opens with a neat little calypso, and one might say that "modest-but-appropriate" describes virtually the entire film -- none of the huge stunts and elaborately-choreographed action scenes that have become the norm in the series, few if any gadgets -- not even a rocket-launcher mounted in his car! -- and a not-too-far-from-reality air about the whole production.

USAn audiences' previous main (only?) exposure to Sean Connery had been as Michael, the new gamekeeper/romantic lead in Disney's "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" [in which (to quote the old MASH joke) he only had one eyebrow. "Over which eye?" "Both"]. If anyone recalled that previous role, this film must have been an interesting contrast.

Well-acted and -cast, nicely filmed (on what, by comparison with later films, must have been almost a poverty-row budget), this was quite a nice introduction to the character and the series.

((Incidentally, there was a US comic-book adaptation of this film, published by National/DC; i remember it but didn't read it...))