Filmsite Movie Review
Dr. No (1962)
Pages: (1) (2) (3)
Plot Synopsis (continued)

When he returns to his luxurious apartment, he is surprised to find that Sylvia Trench has broken in and gained entry - and is playing a game of sexy golf. He upsets her golf putting practice when he bursts in, gun in hand. She is dressed only in Bond's pajama top and high-heeled shoes, encouraging a quick tryst:

Bond: Tell me, do you always dress this way for golf?
Sylvia: I changed into something more comfortable. Oh, I hope I did the right thing.
Bond: You did the right thing, but you picked the wrong moment. I have to leave immediately.
Sylvia (disappointed): Oh that's too bad. Just as things were getting interesting again. (She approaches seductively for a kiss) When did you say you had to leave?
Bond: Immediately. (They kiss again and he relents) Almost immediately.

No sooner has he landed in Kingston, Jamaica does Bond become the instant target of numerous assassins and attempts on his life. A beautiful female photographer (Margaret LeWars) attempts to take his picture, but she is unsuccessful. Still at the airport, he phones the Government House where he is to stay, and learns that no car has been sent for him, although a suspicious-looking driver has already arranged for his transportation at the curb. Preparing for the inevitable conflict, he tells his contact at Gov't House: "Forgive me if I'm a few minutes late."

On his chauffeured ride from the Kingston airport, Bond forces the driver Mr. Jones (Reggie Carter) to elude a car pursuing him [Bond learns later that Quarrel is driving the pursuit car and Leiter is a passenger] in a wild car chase, and then sticks a gun in the driver's back. After a short scuffle in which Bond overpowers the chauffeur in an unsuccessful murder attempt, Jones commits suicide with a poison capsule. Bond arrives at Government House with Jones sitting propped up dead in the back seat. With his droll sense of humor, Bond tells the guard at the door:

Sergeant, make sure he doesn't get away.

Bond is angered that "the news of his arrival leaked." He learns that the others playing bridge at the Queens Club immediately before Strangways' murder included:

  • Prof. Dent (Anthony Dawson) - a "metallurgist who runs a test laboratory, respected, clean bill"
  • Potter - an "old general, ex Indian Army, been here for ages"

At Strangways' bungalow, Bond studies a paid invoice/receipt for "professional services" ("for geological analysis") from Professor Dent's Laboratories. In a fishing photograph, Strangways is pictured with a big-game fish and "a local fisherman," [later identified as Quarrel] the man who drove the car that tailed Bond's car from the airport.

At his Government House accommodations, Bond is served his favorite drink preference - the first reference in a Bond film to his required concoction:

Servant: One medium dry vodka Martini - mixed like you said, sir, and not stirred.

Before he leaves, he insures that no one will search his room without his knowledge. He sprinkles a powdery substance on his attache case, and places a hair over his closet doors.

Bond meets with Quarrel (John Kitzmuller), a Cayman Islander charter fisherman at the harbor, where Strangways would regularly charter a fishing boat around the nearby Caribbean offshore islands - to fish and/or to collect mineral samples. In a sea-front bar owned by Puss Feller (Lester Pendergast), Quarrel and Puss gang up on Bond when CIA agent Felix Leiter intervenes and Bond learns that Quarrel and Puss Feller actually work for him. Leiter explains to Bond how they are "fighting the same war": "I spotted you at the airport, but when I saw you drive off with the opposition, I figured I must be wrong. This is Quarrel - he's been helping me." Later that evening at the same bar/restaurant during a dance party, Leiter and Quarrel inform Bond about developments in the case:

Leiter: Cape Canaveral is screaming, because with this moon rocket launching schedule, they don't want anything to go wrong...
Bond: I suppose you cased the joint...
Leiter: Strangways and Quarrel checked the off-shore islands.
Bond: You found nothing?
Quarrel: Not a thing.
Bond: Where did you look?
Quarrel: Just about most everywhere. Fire Island, Crab Key, Morgan's Reef.
Bond: Checked them all thoroughly?
Quarrel: All except Crab Key. We didn't have no right to go there.

Bond notices while they converse that the woman who attempted to take his picture at the airport makes another try. Quarrel grabs her and tries to make her talk by twisting her arm behind her back, while Bond interrogates her about her job. She refuses to talk, claims she works for a living for the Daily Gleaner, but then changes her story - she works "freelance." Then, she retaliates by breaking a glass flashbulb in her other free hand and scraping it across the side of Quarrel's face. Quarrel suggests that she will not talk: "You want me to break her arm?"

After the photographer's film is destroyed and she is free to go, Bond learns more about Crab Key, the remote island off the coast of Jamaica: "It belongs to a Chinese character. He won't allow anyone to land. I had our naval reconnaissance planes take a look. They found nothing but a bauxite mine. Low-scan CH-radar set up. But there's nothing illegal about that." Quarrel is deathly afraid of Crab Key: "Friends of mine went out there once after seashells. Only trouble, they never came back again."However, under cover of night to avoid detection, Quarrel describes how Strangways would be taken out to Crab Key to gather samples - bits of rock, sand, and water. Little is known about the Chinese gentleman who owns Crab Key except his name --- "Dr. No."

As Bond returns to his Government House lodgings by taxi later that night, the 'three blind men' are awaiting him to assassinate him, but do not have a clear shot.

The next day, Bond pays a visit to Professor R. J. Dent's labs, run by the chemist who analyzed Strangway's mineral samples. Bond questions the oily-haired, suspicious-looking local geologist about the rock samples which agent Strangways had brought to him. Dent explains that they were only low-grade iron pyrites, not the kind of rock found on Crab Key Island ("not geologically possible"), and that after testing, they were destroyed.

Following their brief conversation, Dent rushes to dockside and requests a ride on a boat to Crab Key. Dent is greeted by armed guards on Crab Key, presumably a bauxite processing plant, and brought by other Chinese guards (dressed in Red Army-like uniforms) to a high-ceilinged, futuristic-looking room, filled with ominous shadows and empty of all furniture except a single chair positioned under a huge circular skylight. Dent remains standing nervously by the door, until a loud, magnified voice (of Dr. No) commands:

Dr. No: Sit down. (Dent obeys) Why have you disobeyed my strictest rule and come in daylight?
Dent: I had to. Bond came to see me this morning.
Dr. No: Yes I know. I gave orders that he should be killed. Why is he still alive?
Dent: Our attempts failed.
Dr. No: Your attempts failed. I do not like failure. You are not going to fail me again, Professor.
Dent: No. I came to warn you.
Dr. No: Warn me?
Dent: Tell you. Bond has discovered those rock samples of Strangways came from Crab Key. He's not a fool. He's sure to come out here.
Dr. No: I hope not. If he does, I shall hold you responsible. I make myself clear?
Dent: Yes, quite clear.

Finally, the voice orders that Dent approach a table, until now unseen, on the other side of the room. A small cage on top of the table contains a large tarantula spider:

You'll see what is in the cage. Pick it up. (Dent hesitates) Pick it up. (Dent holds it at arm's length and hurriedly carries it from the room) TONIGHT!

When Bond returns to his bedroom, he realizes that both his briefcase and closet have been searched.

In one of the film's most memorable scenes, an attempt is made on 007's life. The tarantula, which has been placed in his bed, crawls up under the sheets, appearing first as a large, moving lump. Then when it emerges into the open, it crawls onto his arm and shoulder. He sweats out the large insect's agonizingly slow crawl up his body. He waits for it to momentarily rest on his pillow, then dives off the bed, grabs his shoe, and pounds the spider to death. Traumatized, he staggers into the bathroom and shuts the door - he is nauseated by the experience.

The next day at the Government House, Bond is informed by British diplomat Playbell-Smith (Louis Blaazar) and his sexy secretary Miss Taro (Zena Marshall) that the Crab Key and Dr. No files that Strangways had checked out are now strangely missing. He is also given a medium-sized square package sent from Britain. As he leaves, he catches Miss Taro listening at the keyhole and because he decides she bears closer investigation, he suggests that she show him around the island that afternoon.

The package contains a geiger counter, which Bond uses to check Quarrel's boat. At the exact spot on the boat where the rock samples gathered by Strangways from Crab Key were lying, the geiger counter shows signs of radioactivity - "yet Professor Dent told me they were worthless chunks of iron-ore." Leiter remarks: "He's either a bad professor or a poor liar." Bond is determined to find out which. Quarrel is also superstitious about a dragon on Crab Key (Leiter: "Native superstition, started by Dr. No, probably"), but he promises to take Bond out to the island under cover of darkness.

Meanwhile, Bond is enticed to drive up into the mountains to Miss Taro's bungalow [she is one of Dr. No's spies] and pick her up for a dinner date. During the drive up to her place, a large black hearse attempts to force him off the steep mountain road en route. The hearse's occupants/assassins veer to avoid road construction machines, plunge to their own deaths off the cliff edge, and the car explodes. With understatement, Bond comments on the fiery wreckage: "I think they were on their way to a funeral."

Fresh from her bath, the treacherous femme fatale Miss Taro is speechless and surprised to see him arriving safely at her door, after having set him up to die: "I just didn't expect you here so soon." They playfully engage in suggestive banter:

Miss Taro: I'll just go and put some clothes on.
Bond: Ah, don't go to any trouble, on my account. (He kisses her)
Miss Taro (taken aback): Oh please!
Bond: Oh forgive me. I thought I was invited up here to admire the view.

After they make love (off-screen) in her bedroom, she tells Bond that she will cook him a Chinese dinner there, in an attempt to keep him at the bungalow - for another assassination attempt. She cooly paints her nails and tries to persuade him to remain:

Bond: I'm hungry. Let's go out and eat.
Miss Taro: I'll make you a Chinese dinner here.
Bond: No. I'm feeling Italian and musical. Let's go to the mountain grill.
Miss Taro: I'd rather stay here. It's more fun - alone.
Bond: Yes, but I don't want you getting dishpan-hands.
Miss Taro: I like cooking.
Bond: Forget it. May I use your phone?

Bond orders a car "to 2171 Magenta Drive." On the car's arrival out front, Miss Taro is decidedly upset when she realizes the 'taxi' (to the restaurant) holds the local police instead. He pushes her into the car:

Book her, Superintendent, will you? And uh, be careful of her nail varnish.

She responds by spitting in his face as the car drives off. With Miss Taro taken care of, Bond returns inside the bungalow and prepares for the expected assassin. He pours two drinks, turns on the phonograph, and places pillows in Miss Taro's bed to give the appearance of sleeping figures. Then he sits down, gun in hand, to patiently wait and play solitaire.

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