(1962) dir. Terence Young
Kicking back on holiday in Mexico for me isn´t always about seeking out the beach or trying to cull the amount of culture that I can lay my hands on. Vacation is also about relaxing and chilling out. And when I stumbled on the showings of two James Bond flicks yesterday, the initial one, the initial Sean Connery film, Dr. No, and titillated by the fine opening sequence of colorful silhouettes dancing, I was drawn in. I often note here that I rarely watch broadcast television versions of films, but here is the latest exception. Shown on a channel called Golden, they only broke once for commercials and besides not being letter-boxed, was probably pretty good as far as these things go.
As I have also noted here briefly, I am not a dyed in the wool Bonds fan. But this movie is pretty much the stuff. Iconic moments, such as the initial introduction of the amazing Sean Connery, cigarette dangling laconically from his lips, utters the initial quotable quote: “Bond. James Bond.” and Connery himself, pure masculinity and suavity circa 1962 (and still) just exudes sexuality, machismo, and coolness. Is there anyone more suave and alluring? Doubtful.
The film has several peak moments as this and plays along pretty doggone fun throughout, though occasionally slower than one might be used to. Another key peak is the iconic guitar riff, James Barry’s “James Bond Theme”. That riff still just kicks ass and the musical score is fresh and fun. Still the film is all about Connery, all about masculinity, all about sexual roles and ideals, and the narrative is really the background to this lustful portrayal. Women are all just willing sex objects. Well, more than objects…they function physically as well. They are also interestingly intended to read as multicultural, too.
Connery though carries this film with his charisma. He is virility embodied in man, handsomely good-looking, aesthetically built, and clever and strong. He is Superman.
The sexual mores played out here are for the original Playboy generation. And while there is much to critique in it, one also continues to react to it with the same allure and awe that made these images enduring. I want to go back in time and swill vodka martinis with the guy and go for a roll in the hay with these sex toy dames (okay, I´m exaggerating for impact here, but you get my point.) This film is pure. Pure ideology. Pure snapshot of the period. And Connery…he is truly the man´s man, the ubermensch, el rey de cine.