7) 1962’s Dr. No
Dr. No is easily the most important film on this list. Had director Terrence Young and star Sean Connery failed, there would have been no point in making any more movies. Eon Productions would have pulled the plug immediately, and 007 would be remembered as a decently popular literary character. Luckily, that didn’t happen. Not only did Dr. No work, it worked so well that many of its better elements have stuck. From Monty Norman’s ”James Bond Theme” to the “Bond…James Bond” line to the elaborate credits to the gun barrel view, many of the features most associated with James Bond’s legacy were created right here.

All of those reasons make Dr. No a fascinating watch in retrospect, but even without its historic legacy, the nuts and the bolts of the film hold up pretty well too. The basic plot follows 007 in Jamaica as he investigates radio interference during rocket launches and mysterious deaths. There’s also dragons, gambling, magnetized fish, Honey Ryder’s A+ bathing suit and my personal favorite Bond quip of all-time: “That’s a Smith & Wesson, and you’ve had your six.”

Cases could be made that Ryder should be introduced far sooner and that rock samples shouldn’t play a central role in the plot, but on the whole, any problems are of the stupidly picky variety.

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