Concluding our look at an early 1962 version of Dr. No’s script provided by Bond collector Gary Firuta.
The first James Bond movie required a top-notch James Bond villain. The screenwriters of Dr. No envisioned an entrance for the title character that was different than what audiences would eventually see.
The January script by Richard Maibaum, Wolf Mankowitz and Johanna Harwood species the scene is “POV” (point of view) of Dr. No.
According to the stage directions, “All we see of DR. NO is the edge of his desk, and a slight shadow cast from a reading lamp as he makes a slight movement. In short, we see this scene entirely from his eyeline.”
This, of course, is the scene in the finished film where Dr. No’s lackey, Professor Dent, rushes out to the villain’s headquarters in broad daylight to tell his superior how Agent 007 refuses to be killed. After Dr. No says, “Good afternoon….Professor,” the stage directions add this detail.
“He makes ‘Professor’ sound like an insult.”
From here on out, the dialogue is similar to the finished movie, until this stage direction:
“DR. NO learns forward, extending one hand, still in silouhette, toward a nearby table, from which he picks up small glass cage. As he holds it out towards DENT we see something black and furry moving inside it. DENT recoils involuntarily.”
At this point, Dr. No says, “Since your attempts at assassination have been so ineffectual….let’s try ‘natural causes’ this time.”
In real life, production manger Ken Adam came up with a set, that maximized his minimal resources. The striking set created a strong visual. Dr. No’s voice is heard, but the audience doesn’t even see a shadow. The tarantula Dr. No provides Dent seems to materialize out of nowhere.
Meanwhile, the writing team also was faced with adapting one of Ian Fleming’s most memorable passages, where Bond meets Honey(chile) Ryder.
The sun beats down on BOND as he sleeps. In the distance, as if in his dreams, he can hear a WOMAN SINGING.
146. BOND’S EYELINE. DAY
What he sees: HONEY, standing at the water’s edge, her back to him. She is naked except for a wisp os (sic) home-made bikini and a broad leather belt with an undersea knife in a sheath….Her skin is deep honey cooured (sic)….She stretches contentedly like a cat in the warm sun.
147. EXT. BOND’S EYELINE. DAY
BOND – appreciates what he see (sic), in a moment he takes up the calypso refrain.
At the end of the script, as in the finished film, Bond is in a boat with Honey that’s out of fuel. But before the pair can make out very much “we hear the throbbing of an approaching motor launch.” It’s Felix Leiter, of course, spoiling their fun.
I’ve brought the Marines….
(with a sly grin, as he helps HONEY up to her feet)
You picked a helluva time to come to the rescue.
James Bond will return….
Filed under: James Bond Films | Tagged: Dr. No, Dr. No's script, James Bond Films, Johanna Harwood, Joseph Wiseman, Ken Adam, Richard Maibaum, Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Wolf Mankowitz | Leave a comment »