Art of Film: 007 in "Dr No"

If you have never officially met the legendary and suave James Bond – via film, of course – or if your connection with him has been limited lately, now you've got a chance to associate with him up close and personal … in a library, of all places.  The first offering of the James Bond film franchise, "Dr. No" starring Sean Connery, will be shown at 6 p.m. June 23 in the Lincoln Parish Library Meeting Room. It is part of the Art of Film series, a collaboration of the library and the North Central Louisiana Arts Council.

Directed by Terence Young, the 1962 surprise hit introduces us to both a then-unknown Scottish actor and the long line of screen exploits by author Ian Fleming's Agent 007. The rapid-fire, tongue-in-cheek style set the tone for the 22 Bond movies that followed – a franchise that trails only "Harry Potter" and "Star Wars" at the box office. Connery was the first of six actors to play 007 in the series and is often said to have personified the character better than any other.

In "Dr. No," Bond – James Bond – is sent to Jamaica to investigate the brutal murders of two British Secret Service agents. Special Agent Bond, with a license to kill, survives abundant attempts on his life and soon learns of the enigmatic recluse Doctor No, who seems to be behind multiple unsavory happenings. After journeying to Doctor No's island, Bond finds himself enmeshed in a deadly plot.

Because of its low budget, this offering is more down-to-earth than subsequent Bond movies, with 007 being forced to use his wits more often than the now-well-known gadgets of later fare. Still, the ingredients that fill the remaining Bond films are already evident, including the Bond Babe – in this version Ursula Andress, whose emergence from the water in a bikini topped a list of 100 sexiest scenes of film history.

 Though "Dr. No" is tame when compared to later Bond productions and today's standards, some content makes it unsuitable for viewing by children.

 Upcoming films in the Art of Film series include:

  • July 28 – "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"
  • Aug. 25 – "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold"
  • Sept. 22 –  "Sita Sings the Blues"
  • Oct. 27 – "The Awful Truth"
  • Nov.  10 – "Charade"
  • Dec. 8 – "Jane Eyre."

Begun in 2007, the Art of Film is a free monthly film series that features notable movie classics in all genres. For more information or to make suggestions for the series, call Leigh Anne Chambers at 255-1450. In addition to the film, other offerings will include popcorn, treats and trivia.