Friday, June 5, 2015


Since buying a Blu-ray disc player more than a year ago, one of my holy grails has been to collect all of the James Bond films to date in the Blu-ray format. This means buying movies I already own on DVD and I'm sure that at some point in the future, I'll replace the Blu-rays with whatever new technology comes along. Once I acquire a Bond Blu-ray, I sell the DVD copy of the film on eBay so that my collection remains in equilibrium. A new one comes in, an old one goes out. So far, I've purchased the first ten Bond films on Blu-ray: DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, LIVE AND LET DIE, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. I hope to continue adding more titles as funds become available.

Today, I opened up the Blu-ray of DR. NO and sat down and watched it. I was blown away! Boy, does this movie look beautiful in this format. There's a clarity and depth to the images I hadn't seen before, the colors are rich and vibrant and the amount of minute details visible in every frame is simply astonishing. I saw hand prints on copper plated doors I hadn't noticed before and I could even see the weave of the fabric in Bond's "Nehru" jacket. Amazing!

I didn't see DR. NO when it was first released in 1962. As regular readers of this blog know, my first Bond film was GOLDFINGER. As I recall, between the release of GOLDFINGER and THUNDERBALL, DR. NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE were re-released on a double bill and that's how I saw both of those films for the first time. I honestly don't know how many times I've seen DR. NO. either on television or in a movie theater. Suffice it to say it's a lot. But I never get tired of this perfect pulp adventure movie.

 I love everything about it from the Steve Ditkoesque room where Professor Dent is interrogated by an unseen Dr. No, to the guy on the gun boat with a bullhorn crying out "let's go" in an amplified voice, even though he's not holding the megaphone anywhere near his mouth. I love the "Bond Girls" on display here, Eunice Gayson as Sylvia Trench and the immortal Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder rising up out of the surf to become an indelible film icon. And of course, I love Sean Connery's portrayal of Bond, a ruthless, sardonic spy with a license to kill (which he does). The exotic locale is lush and beautiful, the Ken Adam sets spectacular, the music serviceable and the supporting players (including Jack Lord) are all good. The film follows the original Ian Fleming novel (which I've read several times) fairly closely although Bond must run a longer, deadlier gauntlet in the book to escape from Crab Key. It's a great, fun film and I'm sure I'll watch it again and again and again...

The Italian one-sheet pictured above hangs on one of the walls of my fabled man cave. I love the simplicity of the image and the likenesses of Connery and Andress are good. Here's a DR NO collectible that I don't have but hope to acquire some day

This is SHOWCASE #43, published by DC Comics in April, 1963. It's a reprint of the British comic book adaptation of the film but it's the first appearance of James Bond in an American comic book. It would be the only comic book adaptation of a Bond film until the 1980s when Marvel Comics adapted FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. The current Overstreet Price Guide lists SHOWCASE #43 as going for $1200 in NM- condition with a GD condition copy listed at $46.00. As you can see, this baby is not cheap. Who knows? Maybe someday I'll score a copy.

1 comment:

  1. I have friends of mine who resist getting a Blu-Ray saying that the picture quality can't be all that much better. They don't know what they're missing. I watch movies in Blu-Ray that I've seen a dozen times or more and I swear, it's like watching a brand new movie I've never seen before. And combine that with a 4K TV...Hoooooobaby.