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Dr. No
60th Anniversary 1962-2022


Commander Jamaica - Dr. No at 60

Shooting of the scenes in Doctor No’s apartment began on March 13, 1962 where the first of the series’ many ‘in-jokes’ was filmed. As James Bond and Honey join Doctor No for dinner, Bond passes a portrait of The Duke of Wellington by Francisco de Goya, and does a subtle double-take when he realises the significance of the work of art. The real-life painting had famously been stolen from the National Gallery on August 12, 1961, and was still missing. The implication that Doctor No was behind the robbery had a great audience reaction when the film was first released in 1962. The circumstances behind the theft were later dramatized in the 2021 comedy-drama film The Duke.

Ian Fleming and Sean Connery on the reactor room set on E Stage at Pinewood Studios
Ursula Andress menaced by crabs Dr. No (1962) deleted scene

The climactic scenes in Doctor No’s reactor room set were filmed on ‘E’ Stage at Pinewood Studios over four days from March 21, 1962. Ian Fleming also visited the set during the filming on ‘E’ Stage. Another scene filmed, but not used in the final edit, was a sequence taken directly from Ian Fleming’s source novel, involving Honey Ryder being tied up and menaced by giant King crabs. Spider crabs were caught and transported from Cornwall to Pinewood packed in ice, and then decanted into oil drums filled with fresh water - with salt added! By the next morning the majority of the crabs were dead, as it’s not possible to salinate freshwater in this way. The scene was aborted, although several stills showing Andress surrounded by the crabs have survived. Andress left the production after her final scene filmed on April 3, 1962 – a close up of the kiss with Sean Connery in the boat at the end of the film that had begun in Jamaica two months earlier.

Sean Connery and Bob Simmons then spent two days filming with the live tarantula. A Perspex sheet protected the actor, with the stunt performer bravely allowing the venomous arachnid to crawl across his body, with a little encouragement from nervous crew members. Bob Simmons repeated the scene in EON Productions next film Call Me Bwana (1963), this time doubling for Bob Hope. The comedy film spoofed the Dr. No spider scene (pictured below), and the film itself was cross-promoted in From Russia With Love (1963) – with a huge film poster seen on the exterior of assassin Krilencu’s hideout as he emerges from a secret window behind Anita Ekberg’s mouth on the poster.

Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962) | Bob Simmons spoofs the spider scene in Call Me Bwana (1963)

ABOVE: (left) Sean Connery with the model spider made by the props department for publicity purposes, and later sold in auction at CHRISTIE'S for £2,990 on September 17, 1998. (right) Stuntman Bob Simmons repeated the spider scene in EON Productions next film, Call Me Bwana (1963), this time doubling for Bob Hope.

Judith Leeds Grand Theatre 1962

“All the World's A Stage...”
Before Dr. No was released and the role of James Bond catapulted him to international stardom, Sean Connery was still a jobbing actor. As soon as Connery had finished filming he returned to the stage to appear in the world premiere production of Judith. The play was written in 1931 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, and set in ancient Palestine where an Assyrian army is attacking a Jewish community. The Assyrians are led by Holofernes, played by Sean Connery, with Ruth Meyers (1936-) as the title character. Judith was adapted by English poet and playwright Christopher Fry (1907-2005) - best known for his verse dramas, especially The Lady's Not For Burning (1949). Judith premiered at the Leeds Grand Theatre on Monday June 4, 1962, playing for one week and then transferred to Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket in London's West End for a four-week run. Opening in London on Wednesday June 20, 1962, Judith was critically well-received, with Connery particularly singled out and praised for his performance. As a relatively short play Judith was performed twice-nightly. Also in the cast were Barry Foster [mis-spelled Harry on the Leeds poster - pictured left] (1931-2002) and Vivien Merchant (1929-1982) [also mis-spelled], who would both later appear in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972). Within a year of the production of Judith, Sean Connery would star in the 1964 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Marnie, filmed in America between the shooting of From Russia With Love (1963) and Goldfinger (1964). A decade after appearing together on stage in Judith, Sean Connery and Vivien Merchant would be reunited to play husband and wife in Sidney Lumet's The Offence (1972) - this gritty drama gave Connery what was arguably his best on-screen performance as police Detective-Sergeant Johnson, who kills suspected child molester Kenneth Baxter (Ian Bannen) whilst under interrogation. Judith would be Sean Connery's final role on stage.

Also in the cast of Judith was English actor Peter Bayliss (1922-2002) who would later play Russian Commissar Benz in From Russia With Love (1963) - sharing a scene with Sean Connery and Pedro Armendariz aboard the Orient Express. Another young actor appearing in Judith was Michael Culver (1938-2024), who would appear in small roles (uncredited) in From Russia With Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965).

Judith Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket 1962

Judith Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket 1962

After reviewing a rough cut of Dr. No, director Terence Young ordered several pick-ups, reaction shots and inserts that were then filmed on April 26, 1962. Also on the final day of shooting, the model of Crab Key was blown up in the Pinewood Paddock Tank at a cost of £1,000. During post-production editor Peter Hunt also oversaw the re-voicing of many of the vocal performances in the film. As a consequence of her heavy Swiss/German accent, Ursula Andress was totally re-voiced by Monica ‘Nikki’ van der Zyl, who also provided the voice of Eunice Gayson. EON Productions progress reports reveal the names of the other artistes used for the post-synching sessions in April 1962. Terence Young’s daughter Juliet Nissen (1936-2004) re-voiced Dolores Keator (Strangways’ secretary Mary), and Marguerite LeWars, who played the un-named freelance Girl Photographer.

Juliet Nissen (1936-2004)

Other smaller roles were re-dubbed by Robert Rietty, who along with Nikki van der Zyl would return to the series in subsequent films, finally appearing onscreen himself in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). Trinidadian born stage and screen actor Frank Singuineau (1913-1992), who appeared uncredited as the waiter in Bond’s hotel room, and serves the series’ first vodka martini (shaken not stirred!), also provided voices for other small roles in Dr. No, including the three blind beggars in the opening of the film. British supporting actor Harry Locke provided the voice for General Potter (credited as Col. Burton in the film) and Decontamination and Reactor Room voices, as did Maxwell Shaw (1929-1985) [who appeared uncredited in the film as 2nd Radio Operator] who also re-voiced other actors including one the Crab Key guards. The contracts of most of the principal artistes cast in Dr. No permitted the substitution of another person or persons for the voice of the artiste on the sound tracks of the film. As much of the film was shot on location in Jamaica, it was not cost-effective to have these artistes flown over to London for the post-synching sessions, and explains why so many performances were so expertly re-voiced.

Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder

Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench Dolores Keator as Mary

Marguerite LeWars as Girl Photographer

Ursula Andress
as Honey Ryder
Voiced by Nikki van der Zyl
Eunice Gayson
as Sylvia Trench
Voiced by Nikki van der Zyl
Dolores Keator as Mary
Voiced by Juliet Nissen
Marguerite LeWars
as Girl Photographer
Voiced by Juliet Nissen

Timothy Moxon as Strangways

William Foster-Davis as Superintendent Duff Keith Binns as 1st Dog Handler

Milton Reid as Doctor No's bodyguard

Timothy Moxon
as Strangways [uncredited]
Voiced by Robert Rietty
William Foster-Davis
as Superintendent Duff
Voiced by Robert Rietty
Keith Binns
as 1st Dog Handler [uncredited]
Voiced by Robert Rietty
Milton Reid
as Doctor No's bodyguard [uncredited]
Voiced by Robert Rietty

Maxwell Shaw as 2nd Radio Operator

Adrian Robinson as Hearse Driver Louis Blaazer as Pleydell-Smith

Decontamination & Rector Room voices: Maxwell Shaw, Robert Rietti and Harry Locke

Maxwell Shaw
as 2nd Radio Operator
Adrian Robinson
as Hearse Driver [uncredited]
Voiced by Maxwell Shaw
Louis Blaazer
as Pleydell-Smith
Voiced by Maxwell Shaw
Decontamination & Rector Room voices:
Maxwell Shaw, Robert Rietty and Harry Locke

Frank Singuineau as Waiter Bond's hotel

Reginald Carter as Mr. Jones Lester Prendergast as Puss-Feller Kes Chin as 1st Dragon’ tank guard
Frank Singuineau
as waiter Bond's hotel
Reginald Carter
as Mr. Jones
Voiced by Frank Singuineau
Lester Prendergast
as Puss-Feller
Voiced by Frank Singuineau
Kes Chin
as 1st ‘Dragon’ Tank guard
Voiced by Frank Singuineau

Monica ‘Nikki’ van der Zyl

Robert Rietti (1923-2015) as Chef de Jeu [uncredited] in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) Harry Locke (1912-1987) Lt. Colonel E. R. Burton as General Potter
Monica ‘Nikki’ van der Zyl
Robert Rietty (1923-2015)
as Chef de Jeu [uncredited]
in On Her Majesty's
Secret Service
Harry Locke (1912-1987)
British supporting player
Lt. Colonel E. R. Burton
as General Potter
Voiced by Harry Locke

It also became apparent during the sound editing stage that Monty Norman had not provided a satisfactory theme for the character of James Bond. Co-producer Harry Saltzman had suggested putting ‘Under The Mango Tree’ as the title music, but others felt the film needed a more contemporary non-Jamaican theme, and it was proposed that popular band leader and arranger John Barry be brought in to provide a new piece. Using very little of Monty Norman’s original “Bad Sign, Good Sign” from an unproduced musical based on V.S. Naipaul’s acclaimed novel A House For Mr. Biswas, Barry was given a very short amount of time to come up with what ultimately became ‘The James Bond Theme’. Recorded for the first time at Cine-Tele Sound (CTS) Studios in Bayswater on Thursday June 21, 1962, John Barry’s arrangement of ‘The James Bond Theme’ has since become one of the most famous and instantly recognisable pieces of music ever conceived and recorded. Editor Peter Hunt was so happy with the end result that he chose to use fragments of the theme on the soundtrack throughout the film, much to the surprise and chagrin of John Barry, who believed his arrangement was only going to be used over the main titles. Barry received £200 for his first contribution to the James Bond film series, with guitarist Vic Flick being paid £7/10 shillings for his work.

Diana Coupland (1928-2006) with her husband composer Monty Norman (1928-2022) and actor John Kitzmiller [Quarrel in Dr. No] (1913-1965) at London Airport as they prepare to fly to Jamaica for the filming of Dr. No.| John Barry

ABOVE (left) Sunday January 14, 1962 - Actress & singer Diana Coupland (1928-2006) with her husband composer Monty Norman (1928-2022) and actor John Kitzmiller [Quarrel in Dr. No] (1913-1965) at London Airport as they prepare to fly to Jamaica for the filming of Dr. No. (right) Band leader and composer John Barry (1933-2010) who would memorably arrange and perform (with his band The John Barry Seven) ‘The James Bond Theme’ heard throughout Dr. No (1962). Diana Coupland recorded the version of ‘Under The Mango Tree’ heard on a record in Miss Taro's bungalow as James Bond (Sean Connery) waits for Professor Dent (Anthony Dawson). Although Monty Norman would compose the orchestral score for Dr. No, it was John Barry who went on to score 11 subsequent James Bond film soundtracks.

Although Monty Norman was very satisfied with John Barry’s definitive arrangement, he was less happy with Maurice Binder’s choice to truncate and re-edit the piece for the main titles of Dr. No. The first sound actually heard in the title before James Bond fires his gun (Bob Simmons in the gun barrel sequence), is a fifteen-second fragment of ‘Atoms in Space’ by electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram (1925-2008). A second Oram piece was used as a sound effect by dubbing editor Norman Wanstall, as Bond (Sean Connery) is moving through the ventilation shafts and control room of Doctor No’s lair. The remainder of the orchestral score was recorded the following week on June 25-26, 1962; this time at Denham Film Studios with Burt Rhodes orchestrating Monty Norman’s cues, and Eric Rogers conducting the orchestra. John Barry's own version of ‘The James Bond Theme’ was recorded on July 23, 1962, once again with ‘The John Barry Seven’ member Vic Flick on guitar. The re-recording runs slightly longer than the film version and has a different orchestration. John Barry released his version as a single on November 1, 1962, which spent 11 weeks in the UK charts peaking at number 13 - his most successful single in two years.

Sean Connery and Ursula Andress publicity stills Dr. No (1962)



Read more about Dr. No in 007 MAGAZINE OMNIBUS #7