Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fleming on the set of DR. NO

I came across this picture of author Ian Fleming on the set of the first big screen adaptation of one of his James Bond books and was reminded of how much I like that film. Not the best of the series but far from bad. I wrote a review a few years ago of a early DVD release for which I went back to re-read the novel to compare it to the film. Here's what I penned then--

"The plot, locations, characters and flavor of Fleming's book is kept almost intact with only a few additions and deletions made that push the story into more cinematic areas. The changes made to the book are mostly cosmetic — the mined resource of Crab Key was guano, not bauxite; a deadly caterpillar native to Jamaica was used in an attempt to kill Bond, not a tarantula; Quarrel was an old cohort of Bond's specifically requested for this mission; Dr. No was not a member of SPECTRE but a (self-professed) maniac out to dominate the world; there was no messing about with radioactive power. Of course, a few moments from the book were best lost in the translation, including 007's battle to the death with a giant squid (!) and Dr. No's ignominious end beneath a huge pile of bird crap. Some changes were done to curtail nudity (damn those censors!) and speed the story along, while keeping the budget manageable, but a few of them are a bit odd. I'm still not sure why there was a need to include CIA man Felix Leiter here, when he serves absolutely no purpose. But overall this is a very good adaptation of the book, one that keeps a good deal of the tone and intent in place while introducing us to a character for the ages."

The entire review can be found here.

1 comment:

Shep. Burman said...

Thats a cool pic, thanks for sharing your thoughts on Dr. No. I think it hasn't aged that well but its a solid first entry in such a long-going franchise.