By Marc S. Sanders
Sean Connery introduced the iconic James Bond, Agent 007, with a license to kill the way he should be (sorry Woody Allen); handsome, highly intelligent and perceptive, quick with fighting techniques and even faster with a beautiful woman.
However, one hero who gets overlooked is director Terence Young who must receive credit for changing the movie landscape. In 1962, sets like Dr. No’s Crab Key fortress were not often conceived in movies. Dr. No is a mysterious villain with limitless resources who serves a Dom Perignon ‘55 while revealing his sinister intent to Mr. Bond. To make him even more unnerving he is bestowed with a handicap of black steel hands to intimidate the hero. This is a scary villain.
Terence Young deserves much credit for a lot of this imagery. It would change how we see action/ adventure films for the latter half of the 20th century and thereafter. Bond’s first cinematic mission set a standard in adventure formula. Set up the threat or mystery, assign the hero to the job, cross him with an ally or two, give him a damsel in distress, interfere him with one bad guy after another. Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, Riggs & Murtaugh, Batman and even The Goonies follow this path time and again.
Dr. No doesn’t look so sophisticated a film these days in its cinematography and effects (a car chase consists of going around the same curve 3 times), but it’s storytelling still holds up and even managed to get my 10 year old daughter interested. That’s proof of its staying power.