Happy Birthday Dr. No

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the release of the first James Bond movie, Dr No. Although it was the 1st movie, it was the sixth of Fleming’s series, beginning with Casino Royale.

I am not going too much into the movie as such ,but more into some of the unknow aspects of Dr. No.

Ursula Andress’ dialogue was dubbed by voice artist Nikki Van der Zyl, who later dubbed her again in The Blue Max (1966), She (1965), and Casino Royale (1967). It was her task to re-create Andress’ voice, but give it only a mild accent. Andress’ singing voice is sometimes credited to Diana Coupland, but this was also Nikki. This confusion mainly arises because Ms. Coupland’s recording of the song was included on the original 1962 soundtrack album release for this movie. Andress and Eunice Gayson were dubbed by the same actress. Gayson’s real voice can be heard in the theatrical trailers for this movie, included on the DVD release.

Sean Connery was fitted with a toupee for this film. He had started losing his hair when he was 17, and be began wearing a hairpiece in films in 1958. From “Goldfinger” onwards he wore a full wig. In this film he wore a dry toupee, and a wet toupee for when he was in the water.

Sean Connery won the role of James Bond after producer Albert R. Broccoli attended a screening of Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959). He was particularly impressed with the fist fight Connery has with a village bully at the climax of the movie. Broccoli later had his wife Dana Broccoli see the movie and confirm his sex appeal. Still, for publicity purposes, there was a contest to find the perfect man to play James Bond. Six finalists were chosen and screentested by Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, and Ian Fleming. The winner was a 28 year old model named Peter Anthony who looked the part, but completely lacked the acting technique to play it.

Ian Fleming’s top choice for the villainous role of Dr. No was Christopher Lee, who happened to be his cousin. Lee would eventually play a Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun.

The producers’ first choice for the role of James Bond was Cary Grant. However, Grant turned down the role because many considered him to be too old and he was hesitant to sign a contract for three movies. Plus, the salary he could command was equal to Dr. No’s entire budget. In 2019, Cary Grant’s daughter Jennifer Grant revealed that her father later regretted turning down the role of Bond.

Dr. No doesn’t appear until nearly 90 minutes into the movie.




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