On Dr. No's 60th Anniversary, James Bond Screenwriters Recall What Made The Sean Connery Film So Special

Sean Connery cooly aims his gun in his hotel room in Dr. No.
(Image credit: Danjaq, LLC and MGM)

As the 60th anniversary of the James Bond movies gave its fans something to celebrate last week, many notable figures within the franchise have tipped their hats to what’s made those films a continued success. Without Dr. No successfully kicking off Sean Connery’s 007 run, we may have never seen a franchise built out of that first cinematic endeavor. No one would know that better than the writing duo of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who know what makes Bond special.

The James Bond writers, who've been part of the franchise since The World is Not Enough, recently spilled the beans at a BFI event (via Deadline) held in honor of this milestone anniversary. Robert Wade, in particular, weighed in on just what separated Terence Young’s 1962 spy thriller from the cinematic franchise at large, citing one key aspect as a start: 

There are other really basic things, like the editing. It’s hard now to remember how revolutionary the editing was: it completely changed how a certain kind of film was made.

As much as author Ian Fleming made an imprint on the world with his stories of espionage and deceit, the features adapted from the James Bond books helped change the world of cinema. As Robert Wade mentioned above, factors like the editing of Dr. No put the flick in a separate class of adventures. That legacy has only evolved through six decades of production, as 007 is always on the move to keep up with the politics and filmmaking of a given time period.

Just like Bond’s Walther PPK, the movie delivered thrills and excitement like a brick through the plate glass window of cinema. That tradition continues, especially through the pulse-pounding series of big-screen installments that make up the Daniel Craig's run of James Bond movies. Expounding on that claim, Robert Wade further explained how editing pulled together the following rich elements that would eventually become series hallmarks: 

If you look at Dr. No now – the colors, the cutting, the cinematography, the locations and of course the wonderful music – it still leaps off the screen at you.

Opinions on who makes for an ideal James Bond have always varied wildly throughout the fandom, and will continue to do so. What doesn’t change is that when it comes to the best 007 installments, it doesn’t matter when they were made, so long as they were made right. It’s a conversation we wouldn’t be having if Sean Connery's Dr. No stage fright hadn't been banished and in the process, allowed the movie to set the table so brilliantly 60 years ago. 

Dr. No, and the rest of the James Bond movie canon, are currently streaming in one convenient place. Yes, that includes No Time To Die, Spectre, and even the sometimes hard to stream For Your Eyes Only.  While you don’t need a tropical lair to watch 007 in action, you should definitely have a Prime Video subscription, as that’s where the action is. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.