Cinema Retro produced a fiftieth anniversary salute to James Bond in their release of the amazing magazine “Movie Classics,” which dedicates all of its 148 pages to the first Bond film “Dr No.”
It’s a marvelous read, filled with fun information and detailed facts which more or less follow the chronology of the film from novel to its’ premier – and beyond. There are interviews with the surviving actors, including an exclusive with URSULA ANDRESS (Honey Ryder), and a look at Jamaica as it was in the film and how the locations look today. Loaded with rare photographs both publicity and behind the scenes- this is a must for all Bond fans!
Ursula Andress iconic entrance (like The Birth of Venus by Botticelli) in “Dr No”
Did you know NOEL COWARD (a neighbor and friend of IAN FLEMING in Jamaica) was asked to play the role of Dr No.? His answer was “No, no, no!”
Connery & Coward in Jamaica during author’s visit to Dr. No location
Did you know that in the first screenplay for Dr No written by RICHARD MAIBAUM and WOLF MANKOWITZ was rejected by CUBBY BROCCOLI because they’d made the villain Dr. No, a monkey?
I had a connection with “Dr. No”- albeit a minor one. During the 1970s, when I was working on the crew of “The Streets of San Francisco” we did an episode called “Jury’s Out.” On that show amongst the many guest stars was the actor JOSEPH WISEMAN.
Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No
Mr Wiseman (of course) had the distinction of being 007’s first adversary- Dr No and I couldn’t let that occasion (working with a Bond title character) pass without some documentation. So, I brought my camera on location- something I usually avoided because my agent frowned on it- and on the first day of shooting cornered Mr. Wiseman asking if I may take his picture?
Joseph Wiseman in character
I found him to be a very serious, private man who avoided fans and especially publicity. A dedicated professional, who preferred concentrating on his character instead of his image. He did put me off on my first request, telling me to try later. I did. In fact I tried for three days (usually uncharacteristic of me- which attests to my determination as a true Bond fan), but finally he relented- and the photo below is proof.
Joseph Wiseman as taken by me on The Streets of San Francisco (1974)*
I’m extremely glad that I stuck to it, because now looking back on James Bond’s 50th Anniversary I have a priceless (to me) memento recalling my own meeting with 007’s first villain- the cold and calculating, Dr No!
Happy 50th! JAMES BOND WILL RETURN
* Note- a little over ten years after his role as Dr. No
NOTE: For more of my experiences with 007 see:
Broccoli and Moore (Piazza archives)
Being on location with ROGER MOORE and a View to A Kill.
Also: There are two other Bond villains I worked with that will be the subject of a future story…Hint. One was a Blofeld!
Congratulations to the producers of Skyfall. It has been a great success- which for us fans, means more 007 in the future. Who could ask for more!
Tony Piazza is author of the 1930s Hollywood murder mystery novel, “Anything Short of Murder,” which had its roots on the TCM fan website. His second novel, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” was next released early 2012, and in July of this year, his latest Tom Logan Mystery, “A Murder Amongst Angels” was published and is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. He was an actor/extra during the 1970s and worked with such legends as Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Karl Malden. His non-fiction e-book “Bullitt Points” is an in depth look at the making of “Bullitt” from a person who was there. Look for it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites, or at the link posted below. All profits go to the Boys Republic charity: www.bullittpoints.com.
Also: The new Tom Logan mystery thriller, A Murder Amongst Angels is now available!
Find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. Also available for $2.99 on Kindle.