Trivia - Dr. No
Monty Norman was paid a 'pittance' for his work
creating perhaps the single most memorable theme tune in cinema
history. It was adapted from a show-tune, "Good Sign, Bad
Sign" composed by Norman and taken from an aborted musical, "The
House of Mr. Biswas". John Barry (who would go on to write
11 James Bond scores) arranged
and orchestrated Norman's theme to produce the now-famous signature
Among the directors also considered to helm "Dr. No" were Bryan Forbes, Guy Green and Guy Hamilton, who would eventually join the series in 1964 with "Goldfinger". Ultimately it would be Terence Young who was put in charge of the first Bond outing.
The character of Sylvia Trench, whom Bond first meets in the casino scene, was supposed to become a recurring character, her romantic intentions continually foiled by Bond's missions. She was to going to feature in the first six Bond movies, becoming the lead Bond Girl in the sixth. She reappeared in "From Russia With Love"  and she is the only Bond girl to appear in two films (as the same character) but this regular Bond girl was dropped from the series after that.
Director Terence Young borrowed a delicate series of revealing shots, from the William Dieterle film, "Juarez"  starring Paul Muni, in order to capture the chem de fur game between Bond and Trench. The sequences uses a series of close-ups of the character without revealing the face, cross-cutting with the other characters in the scene and the gambling table.
This is the only James Bond film to date, to not feature a pre-title action sequence.
James Bond and Honey Ryder meet at Laughing Waters Beach on the Laughing Water Estate. This was owned by Mrs. Minnie Simpson in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica. Mrs. Simpson had been a fan of the Ian Fleming James Bond novels.
"Dr. No" was suggested to be the first film produced by EON productions by United Artists. In fact, some say it was a proviso for Broccoli and Saltzman getting funding from UA at all. The plot and locations is the most technically simple of Ian Fleming's full-length novels and it would be easy to secure the rights to shoot on location in Jamaica.
Lois Maxwell was originally considered for the part of Bond's 'regular' mistress, Sylvia Trench. Instead she was asked to take on the part of M's personal secretary Miss. Moneypenny. Maxwell would survive as part of the James Bond family, playing the prudent but lovable office-lady until the 1985 production "A View To A Kill".
Maurice Binder designed the gun barrel sequence (wherein Bond strides across the screen, turns and fires a gun at the audience) at the last minute, by pointing a pinhole camera through a real gun barrel. The figure seen in the iconic gun-barrel was played not by Sean Connery but by stuntman Bob Simmons. The same sequence would be used again at the head of both "From Russia With Love"  and "Goldfinger" . In a sense, this means that Simmons was the first person to appear as Bond on the big-screen.
To get a feel for the clothes, director Terence Young asked Sean Connery to sleep in his fine suit which was purchased at Turnbull and Asser Tailors and made especially for James Bond.
In the novel, the character Puss-Feller is said to have that name because of wrestling an octopus. In the film, it's said he wrestles alligators, which renders the name meaningless.
Ursula Andress was apparently paid $6000 for doing the picture. She had a salary of $1000 per week for six weeks work.
James Bond penman, Ian Fleming suggested that his distant cousin, Christopher Lee, play his villain, Dr. No. Lee would eventually join the James Bond family, appearing opposite Roger Moore as Scaramanga in "The Man with the Golden Gun" . Fleming also asked Noel Coward to play the part of Dr. No. Coward turned down the part by replying with a telegram that read, "Dr. No? No! No! No!" One of Coward's objections was having to wear metal hands.
Vehicles featured included the swamp vehicle Dragon Tank at Crab Key; a marine blue 1961 Sunbeam Alpine Series 5 Sports Tourer convertible II Tiger rental car which James Bond drives whilst being tailed by a pre-war Packard LaSalle hearse; Bond rides in a taxi driven by Mr. Jones which is a black 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible; a motorboat; Mk II Ford consul taxi; Quarrel's boat; an Austin A55 Cambridge and a Ford Zephyr.
A lengthy scene was cut from the climax of the film, leading to a moment that now simply doesn't make much sense. As it stands, Ryder is taken away by some of No's thugs and Bond later finds her strapped to the ground in a cave. It doesn't really make any sense - what's she doing there? No had hinted that his men would use her for their own amusement, so why didn't they take her somewhere more comfortable? The excised scene explains all - the 'amusement' the men derive from poor Ryder is to stake her out as bait for a horde of hungry land crabs who were to be found crawling over her when Bond arrived. Unfortunately, the crabs all inconsiderately died before the scene was completed, though stills exist showing how the scene might have looked. In the released version, Ryder is under threat from drowning instead.
Another cut scene featured Honey Ryder waiting in her room in the finale, armed with a bottle of booze. When Bond arrives, she collapses into his arms and Bond catches both her and the bottle. With a manly dash, he pops the cork from the bottle with his teeth, takes a good belt, throws the bottle away and sweeps Ryder into his arms, carrying her to safety.
Yet another sequence extracted from the final cut had No forcing Bond to radio Felix Leiter, telling him that he had discovered nothing of any interest on Crab Key in return for a less painful death for both Bond and Ryder.
The killing of Dent was originally filmed in a slightly different way. Some members of the production team were a little worried about the way that Bond cold-bloodedly guns the man down and arranged for a new sequence to be shot in which Dent fires at Bond and misses - Bond then kills him in self-defence. Terence Young, wisely, opted for the cold-blooded approach.
An early draft bizarrely featured Dr. No as the villain's pet monkey! The proposed bad guy, Buchfeld was to be the proud owner of a capuchin named Lee Ying which Bond would come to realise was also known as Dr. No, the 'man' he's been chasing.
Sean Connery was invited to screen test for the first James Bond film after Dana Broccoli (Cubby's wife) in "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" .
Max von Sydow turned down the part of Dr. No in order to play Jesus Christ in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" . Sydow would play opposite Connery's James Bond in "Never Say Never Again" .
The painting in Dr. No's base that Bond looks at with some surprise is Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington. The painting had been stolen in 1960 amid a blaze of publicity and has never been recovered.
The Japanese wing of United Artists were all set to release the film as "We Don't Want a Doctor", and they even had posters printed bearing that title. Thankfully, someone pointed out their misunderstanding of the title at the last minute.
Ursula Andress' Swiss accent didn't meet with the producers' approval, so her voice was dubbed by Nikki Van der Zyl. Andress' singing voice was dubbed by Diana Coupland and Canadian Joseph Wiseman, who played Dr. No himself, was also dubbed.
Despite their initial reservations, when United Artists saw the quality of "Dr. No" and what a potential hit they hand on their hands, they publicised the film more aggressively. For example, employing 'Bond girls' to hand out complementary copies of Fleming's novel, in a new movie tie-in edition outside cinemas.
Dr. No is clearly a man who believes in forward thinking. He's gone to the time, trouble and expense of fitting up a sign that flashes "ABANDON AREA", just in case it all goes "pear-shaped" and everyone has to... abandon area.
Much is made of the fact that Bond's gun, a Beretta, is being replaced by the trademark Walther PPK. Yet when he kills Dent, he actually using a Browning 1910 .32, a gun which is much easier to fit with a silencer than the Walther. But on Crab Key, Bond takes a different gun with him: when he fires at No's mechanical dragon on the island, the weapon appears to be a Colt .45!
This is the first film to involve SPECTRE in its plot, but the only one not to show (in one form or another) something of SPECTRE's villainous number one: Ernst Stravro Blofeld.
Professor Dent shot "Bond" (actually pillows in bed) six times. After some plot point explanation by Bond, Dent lurches for his gun, but it's empty, hence the Bond line, "That's a Smith and Wesson, and you've had your six." As a kind of payback coda, Bond shoots Dent once, and Dent flips off the bed onto the floor. Bond then fires five more rounds into Dent's back. Censors scaled this back to two total shots, with just one to the back. Reportedly a second version of the scene was filmed, but not in the final film, showing Dent firing off one last bullet before being shot down by Bond. This actually explains why Dent is shown firing a seven-shooter, rather than a six-shooter.
The white bikini worn by Ursula Andress in the movie was sold at Christie's Auctions in London on 14 February 2001 for £35,000. It was purchased by Robert Earl of Planet Hollywood and with commission and tax fees, the total was actually around £41,000. Before the auction, the bikini had been estimated to fetch £40,000.
MI6 agent in Jamaica, John Strangways (as played by Tim Moxon) is shot at the beginning by the "Three Blind Mice," one of whom is played by Moxon's dentist.
The film was made on a budget of £1 million, of which £20,000 was in the capable hands of Production Designer, Ken Adam. Based on his work for this film, Adam was headhunted by Stanley Kubrick to work on "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" .
The brand of silencer on James Bond's Walther PPK gun was a Brausch.
When Dr. No's goons appear along the beach to kill Bond, Quarrel and Honey, the sequence had to be re-shot when the noise of the "gunfire" attracted the attention of a group of off-duty US Naval officers who arrived on the set to see what was happening.
At one point it was planned that Honey Ryder should re-appear in "Live and Let Die" , though that never happened.
Two American sitcoms have used the title "Dr. No" for their episodes; in Valerie it was a straight "Dr. No", while Different Drummer had the slightly modified "Dr. No?"