When EON began production of a little indie film known as Dr No in 1961, the James Bond character was not yet the legendary cinematic spy that he is today. Sean Connery had only been in a handful of films at the time and was keen to make his mark as 007 in the first large-scale adaptation of Ian Fleming’s hero. The odds were stacked against Dr No, however, as the 1962 movie had an extremely small budget, coming in just under $1 million.
SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH SEAN CONNERY AS JAMES BOND IN DR NO
Production designer Ken Adams described shooting the film in 2005, saying: “It was a disaster to tell you the truth because we had so little money.” (Via The Guardian)
Ultimately, the film turned out fantastically with its great script and some instantly recognisable moments.
Dr No even welcomed Bond to the big screen in one of the best-known introductions of all time.
The moment shows Bond at a casino table lighting a cigarette while saying: “Bond, James Bond.”
This dialogue wasn’t in the original script, however.
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The original script for Dr No had Bond introducing himself to Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson) by saying: “I am James Bond.”
Connery reportedly didn’t think this line was strong enough, so decided to go off-script and change things up a little by saying: “Bond, James Bond.”
What’s more, he reportedly experimented with a few takes to get it right, before adding the pause while lighting a cigarette, becoming an on-screen legend in the process. (Via ScreenRant)
Dr No was an extreme success, making just over $60 million at the box office – large numbers for the time.
Connery went on to play the dashing super-spy five more times for EON, concluding a decade later in 1971 on Diamonds Are Forever.
Dr No was particularly memorable for Connery, however, as he reportedly engaged in an affair with the first-ever Bond girl on set, Ursula Andress.
Andress played Honey Ryder, a local shell diver who inevitably gets involved with Bond and his secret agent hijinks.
Connery eventually got married to his first wife Diane Cilento in 1962, with whom he stayed with until 1973.
The Scottish actor died last year on October 31, 2020.
After his death, Andress spoke about working with the quintessential James Bond star.
Andress said: “He was a great man, today men like that just don’t exist, they are all too narcissistic, too taken with themselves. Today finding someone like Sean is very difficult, He was a great friend and a fabulous actor.
“He had a sense of humour that I liked a lot. The last time I saw him was in Switzerland. Sean had a house near me in Gstaad. We spent many evenings together and he would invite me everywhere, Monte Carlo, London, New York, from when we met until now we always remained friends. Friends, friends.
“We lived some beautiful moments and I will always have fabulous memories. For me Sean is not dead, he will always be alive, with me forever.”
James Bond Dr No is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video
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