Dr. No Launched a 23-Movie Franchise, but Can the Original Bond Flick Hold Up After Fifty Years?
11.08.12 by Mandy
After fifty year's worth of movie adaptations, James Bond has become an iconic character, but some of the 23 movies in the 007 canon are bound to be better than others. With Skyfall opening this week we thought we'd take a look at the Bond movie that started it all to see if Dr. No holds up.
The Verdict: Yes. Just like Sean Connery's perennial appeal, Dr. No holds up.
Exciting, fun, good-looking, funny, sexy, and action packed, this original Bond movie is everything a fan could want from the franchise. While some movies later in the series go overboard on camp, this finds the right balance of plausible and over-the-top elements. For anyone who needs an introduction to the Bond franchise, it doesn't get much better than Dr. No to explain what the whole series is all about.
Here at Reelz we’ve developed a formula to determine the Longevity Index for a movie and it (pseudo-) scientifically finds whether or not a movie will hold up after several years.
P=8.5 The movie, like all Bond pictures, takes off at a sprint and never really slows down. The plot twists and turns are relatively fluid and easy to follow, and include everything a 007 flick should.
U=72 Dr. No
S=4 Nobody watches a Bond movie to hear amazing prose or to see carefully rendered, complete and complicated characters. Like most James Bond movies, we can really only give this script a 4, even with James' witty banter and one liners.
T=6 For topical content, a story that centers around a "moon rocket" sounds fairly quaint in the 21st century. Also, portraying alcoholism as a funny little quirk doesn't do anything to make the movie feel more modern.
D=1 It's obvious that Dr. No was made many years ago, but it's so stylish and iconic it doesn't have a dated feel at all. Really, there's hardly a suit, dress, bikini, knife belt, car, lip color, light fixture, or piece of furniture we wouldn't want to own today.
is about espionage and sex and gambling and nuclear reactors and explosions. While these might not be the biggest most important artistic themes, they are things that are universally understood.
Dr. No's LI = 129. That score says that this movie is well worth another viewing.
Image and trailer courtesy MGM.