Dr. No, the film that launched the ongoing James Bond franchise premiered in London 50 years ago this Friday, October 5 so this week’s Watercooler Musical Interlude is the opening title sequence from that very film. You’ll recognize the James Bond Theme credited to Monty Norman, arranged by John Barry and played by the John Barry Orchestra. That music finally dissolves into “Kingston Calypso” performed by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires.  John Barry of course would go on to score 12 Bond films through 1987 and his instantly recognizable sound was integral to the most successful and longest lasting film franchise of all time.

Dr. No seems quaint by today’s standards, but it must’ve seemed glamorous and exotic and sexy in 1962 when international jet travel was just coming into reach of the middle classes and attitudes about sex were loosening. What I like about it is how it features many of the Bond touchstones, but they hadn’t yet become cliche and Sean Connery (my favorite Bond) hadn’t yet grown bored with the role.

That’s all from me this week. Now it’s your turn. We’re shaking off the summer silly season and interesting movies are starting to light up movie screens. Has anyone seen anything worth talking about lately? Lay it on me.

6 Responses to “Yes, Dr. No”

  1. Fantastic interlude of course and a Barry classic! I much enjoyed listening to this again! Those who love Barry can avail themselves of two of his gretestscores just released by the Rolls Royce label Film Score Monthly. BODY HEAT and KING KONG (1976) Great stuff!

    Another moderate week at the movies for Lucille, Sammy and I (Broadway Bob was as usual with us for the Saturday night feature:

    Looper **** 1/2 (Saturday night) Union Square Cinemas

    Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970) **** (Friday night) Film Forum

    For Heaven’s Sake (1926) **** (Monday night) Harold Lloyd at Film Forum

    A surprisingly inventive futuristic thriller about outlawed time-travel, the aptly titled LOOPER does a more than respectable job in connected the dots in a myriad plot structure whose intricacy does nothing to dim the film’s exceptional emotional and intellectual heft. Directed by Rian Johnson, the film is set in Kansas in 2044 and features spirited performances by Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt and more than able support by Paul Dano, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels and the youngster Pierce Gagnon who gives an electrifying turn as the young boy. The computer generated images are often striking and the film has you thinking more and more the following day. I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the best American films of 2012, and I went in expecting very little. Go figure. Rather than go the spoilers route I will say no more and await the comments from others.

    Elio Petri’s Italian language 1970 film INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION brings together police activism and state violence in an explosive mix, and as it’s based on actual events it carries additional weight. FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE is not one of Lloyd’s absolute best but it’s wonderfully engaging and a repetitive set piece midway is a real gem.

  2. Introduced my wife to the 1993 neonoir Romeo is Bleeding. The film holds up remarkably well and has enough genre smarts and inventiveness to provide an engaging context for a wonderful Gary Oldman performance. He somehow humanizes, and eventually elicits pathos for, a guy the audience should revile as a bad egg. Lena Olin had fun with her maniacal and formidable villain and Annabella Sciorra makes the most of her limited screen time to project a nuanced character.

  3. Sam that’s great news about King Kong. It’s a terrific score and I have to say I’ve always been a fan of the movie. I saw it when I was like 7 years old and it has stuck with me. I realize it doesn’t hold a candle to the original, but even now I think there’s a lot to like about it. The score included.

    My introduction to Harold Lloyd as a kid was that old show (I assume it was syndicated) which locally I think was on Saturday Afternoons with the theme song (“Hooray for Harold Lloyd….”). I’m pretty sure they butchered the crap out of his films, but I didn’t know any better and I didn’t care. It was a decent way to open a little kid up to silent movies.

    Sartre, I haven’t seen Romeo Bleeding in probably 15 years. I’m on kind of a Gary Oldman kick since Tinker Tailor so I ought to check it out.

  4. Craig, I recall loving that Harold Lloyd show as a kid too.

    I think you’d enjoy revisiting RiB.

  5. The final week of the month had me watching Heleno, The Iron Lady, The Dictator, Dredd (the new film) and The Ides of March.

    Heleno: Good sports film even if it copies the Raging Bull format (minus the masterfulness of that film). Rodrigo Santoro’s acting as Heleno de Freitas was excellent. I hope he gets nominated for Best Actor, but that’s gonna be virtually impossible to see that happening.

    Iron Lady: Streep was great as expected, but I wished that Tilda Swinton won Best Actress at the Oscars instead of Meryl.

    The Dictator: Easier to watch than Brüno, but average at best. Loved the use of arabian music here, though.

    Dredd: I didn’t plan on seeing this. It was better than expected and it’s not the worst film I’ve seen this year, but not that good of a film. I didn’t watch it in 3D, but the film’s intended to watch in that format. Loved Olivia Thirlby’s character in the film.

    Ides of March: I liked it, but not as much as everyone else did. Gosling was solid near the end of the film, especially when he confronts Clooney and PSH.

  6. Rodrigo, Ides of March is one of those that got away from me last year. Was looking forward to it, had every intention of seeing it and… just never got around to it for one reason or another. Seems like maybe it was good but not essential?

    I liked Iron Lady better than I expected to, but mainly because of Streep. The movie itself was kind of a hot mess. I was sort of torn about Streep’s win. I thought it was justified, but even I have a little bit of Meryl fatigue and I was rooting for Michelle Williams.

    I keep hearing good things about Dredd. I sort of wrote it off because previous attempts to film it came out so horribly, but in retrospect that shouldn’t mean anything. I have no attachment to the comic, but it sounds like a different kind of hero than what we’ve been getting too much of lately and that can only be a good thing.

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