YMMV / Dr. No

The film:

  • And You Thought It Would Fail: The protagonist was an unknown, the book series did not have much recognition, United Artists gave a miniscule budget and for the US release begun in the Midwest prior to the big cities fearing it wouldn't find much of an audience. It had a decent run, leading to a even more revered sequel, and finally a third movie where Bond became a cultural landmark.
  • Awesome Music / Ear Worm: "Three blind mice, in a row, three blind mice, there they go....
    • The music from this film is credited with kicking off the reggae/ska music scene in Great Britain. The film's location manager, seen dancing in the scene at the club, would go on to found reggae powerhouse Island Records.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Dr. No himself. After some grappling, he goes down in one punch.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • A minor but rather jarring moment from the otherwise quite good film. When the script reads, "That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six!", it's probably a good idea to make sure the man Bond is saying this to is holding a revolver. Not a Colt M1911, one of the most recognisable semi-automatic pistols ever made and which almost everyone knows has a seven round magazine. And on top of this, Smith and Wesson didn't even manufacture a 1911 variant at the time. Even more perplexing is that Smith and Wesson revolvers were used later in the film, making it questionable why the props department chose to use a 1911 in the first place.
      • Then again Or that he knew it was a Colt 1911 and James was tricking the assassin into thinking he had lowered his guard.
    • Tarantula bites are painful, but hardly lethal. (For that matter, even black widow bites aren't as lethal as Honey Rider makes out.)
  • Damsel Scrappy: Honey's incredible naivete and ignorance (she seriously believes the tank is a dragon?!) is not endearing, nor is her incredibly dumb way of trying to prove to Bond it could be a dragon.
    • Note that Quarrel also thought it was a dragon, so she wasn't alone in that. They also thought the same in the book.
    • In the book Honey has the physical body and urges of a fully-grown woman but the mentality and naivety of a child. This is also combined by the fact that she never went to school, raised herself after being orphaned at a very young age and had little to no regular human contact. The problem with the film is that they keep in the key scenes from the book such as the battle with the tank, but leave out the context as to why an adult would be so easily fooled by such a pathetic forgery.
    • Also, the Dragon in the film was a flame throwing armored car painted with some eyes and teeth, which didn't make it look very convincing. The book had the group being attacked by a truly massive tank-for starters, it had airplane tyres and it had huge fins and a neck and head to make it look like a dragon, with flames coming out of the head's mouth.
  • Fair for Its Day: Quarrel was seen as a very progressive Black character at the time the film came out, as he is a competent and loyal informant for the CIA who accompanies Bond in Storming the Castle. He still has loads of fans today, but modern viewers have been known to be put off by his being more fearful than Bond and the scene where Bonds tells him to carry his shoes.
  • Fan Nickname: Ursula Andress as "Ursula Undress" due to her famous bikini scene.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: the radiation suit Dr. No wears in the reactor scene. Almost literal since he dies wearing it.
  • Idiot Plot: James Bond's sabotage of the reactor would have been short-lived if Dr. No had even one armed guard in the control room with them note , or if all the rad-suited workers had rushed Bond en masse instead of fleeing and leaving Dr. No to fight him alone note . It is also hard to credit that a nuclear reactor could be designed with so few safeguards that all that is necessary to blow it up is turning one dial too far to the right.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Dr No. A brilliant Mad Scientist and expert in nuclear physics who successfully embezzled millions of dollars from the Tongs before graduating to the Nebulous Evil Organisation SPECTRE and becoming their first operative to fight Bond (and die, but thats a Foregone Conclusion). The archetypal Bond villain who enjoys fine dining, has an army of ruthless killers at his beck and call (and scares the hell out of all of them), personally designs a magnified aquarium decades ahead of its time, and is Genre Savvy enough to electrify the Air-Vent Passageway in the heroes' cell. Claims to have "never fail(ed)", thinks the East and West are "points of the compass, each as stupid as the other", and can crush ornaments with his metal hands. And for all that he is only on-screen for about 20 minutes max.
  • Narm: The clear plastic suit Dr. No wears at the end of the film looked hilarious long before Austin Powers parodied it.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Honey's entrance from the sea in her bikini.
    • Dr. No's introduction and his dialogue with Bond during their dinner.
    • "You've had your six."
    • Bond waking up to find a spider in his bed.
  • Special Effects Failure: In the words of David Morgan-Mar, "I couldn't reproduce the obvious sheet of glass between James and the spider that you can see in the film."
    • It's made up for a bit by the closeup shots of the spider crawling on the bare flesh of stuntman Bob Simmons.
    • Ursula Andress wears an obvious flesh-colored towel in an attempt to increase the fanservice in her decontamination
    • Bond's desk driving in the chase sequence is painfully obvious.
  • Vindicated by History: Received mixed reviews from critics upon its original premiere, but is now considered one of best spy films ever made and one of the best Bond films. On Rotten Tomatoes, for one, it even has a higher rating than Goldfinger.
  • What Could Have Been: Sylvia Trench. Her role was meant to be a full blown Running Gag with Bond always being called away on a mission when he's about to sleep with her, but it was dropped after two films.

The novel

  • Magnificent Bastard: As in the film, Dr. No. In the past, he double-crossed his own Tong by stealing their money and still keeping it hidden. Then, he made a fortune before and during WW2 by simply buying up and selling rare stamps for millions of dollars. Now, he makes millions of dollars in a legal guano mining scheme while having a truly huge network of spies, a competent private army, a massive flame throwing armored car and a giant squid to guard all of it. He's also got a truly colossal underground Supervillain Lair where he causes American missiles to crash for the USSR's benefit so their designs can be copied. Yet, Dr. No manages to double-cross the Russians as well by secretly sending the radio transmissions to Communist China to get even more money, without SMERSH's knowledge. All of this and he only appears in the second half of the book.
  • Vindicated by History: Dr. No was the first of Fleming's novels to receive heavy criticism, mainly for lacking the realism of the previous books and having fantastical elements instead. Nowadays, it's one of the most popular and beloved novels in the series, thanks to sharing a lot of elements with the movies.