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!
UPDATE: And more will soon be here. Spectre is due out this winter 2015. Now that the long running lawsuit between Kevin McClory and the producers has been resolved, the evil organization Spectre is back…and who knows…there may be even a Blofeld in the future.
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 2013, his latest Tom Logan Mystery, “A Murder Amongst Angels” was published and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. A new Tom Logan novel has been completed and is scheduled to be released in 2015. 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.
Tony Piazza is a member of three prestigious writer’s organizations: Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the SLO NightWriters.
My earlier bestselling novels, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” and “Anything Short of Murder” now joins “A Murder Amongst Angels” on Amazon’s Kindle at a new, low price of $2.99. Now you can have hours of adventure, thrills, mystery, and romance for the price of a cup of coffee- and just as stimulating! Look for it on Amazon. Print versions have also been reduced.
Also: The new Tom Logan mystery thriller, A Murder Amongst Angels .
Find them all on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. Also available for $2.99 on Kindle.
Nan Weber says
I have been watching all the Bond movies for the past few weeks (not the anniversary editon, just “deal” ones I can across) so I have really enjoyed your discussion.
Thank you so much, Nan. I was there from the beginning and although there have been many actors that have portrayed 007 since…my all-time favorite is Sean Connery. I really appreciate you reading and commenting.
Good to hear a fascinating story – full of passion for film – from an original and down-to-earth voice.
Ta very much!
Thank you, Martin. I really appreciate the comment. I’m very fortunate to have these memories that I can share with everyone.
Richard Skillman says
Tony, the CinemaRetro DR NO issue is a fantastic work and I appreciate your sharing your Wiseman meeting. Jamaica is a film location our film club has gone back to on multiple occasions. I look forward to your Bullitt read- one of my favorite films..
Thank you so much, Richard. I don’t normally recommend many books or articles, but this was really good. I appreciate you writing.
James Ostmann says
Mr. Wiseman certainly aged well, got better looking as years went by. I am a huge fan of the Fleming novels and the earlier films, tho I have to say I think the Daniel Craig films have been well done. Went onto Goldeneye years ago with a local guy who said, “is no problem, man.” I guess, at least until the two German Shepherds came at us. This was ’73 and ILF’s housekeeper was still keeping watch over the place. Nice to see Chris Blackwell turn it into a five star resort. His mother Blanche and ILF were close friends.
So am I, James. I’ve read all the Fleming novels…many times over, and books written about him. Even visited Jamaica. Mr. Wiseman was a very talented actor, and a private man in many ways. It was a thrill to work with him, I appreciate you reading and commenting.
James Ostmann says
Just would like to recommend to Bond fans who love the movies – read the novels. I have all of them in paperback form. Fleming was an amazing, talented writer. I recall starting Thunderball one night, when I had an exam the next day. Blew off studying and just kept reading.
I agree James. I also have the 1960s paperbacks. Fleming was one of my favorite writers, and I’ve read and re-read them all. If you’ve read my “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon,” you’d undoubtedly recognize his influence in it. I think that’s why it was so much fun to write. The over the top villains, the fantastic, but plausible plot, plenty of action, and a travel log description of places, foods, customs, and people the protagonist meets along the way. PS I also enjoyed “Thunderball” as a novel. It also is one of my favorites. Thanks for commenting.
James Ostmann says
Just for fun I wrote a short story entitled “Again, Jamaica” in it James Bond is retired and is enjoying life in the south of France. When some nefarious types try to kill him he returns to London and meets with “M” and a new adventure begins. Best regards, James.
James Ostmann says
There used to be a bookstore on upper Wisconsin Ave. in DC. There was a book signing for a biography of ILF. Written by Andrew Lycett. I went up, met the guy and bought the book. A great read.
Sounds like a great read…I’m talking about your short story. The other is too. I have it on my bookshelf, and I also highly recommend Goldeneye: Where Bond was Born” by Matthew Parker.It’s brand new, and I really enjoyed reading it.