As part of the 60th anniversary of the James Bond franchise debut in cinemas, all 25 official Bond movies are returning to UK cinemas this year in 4K from April until October 2022.
All the Bond films are being shown chronologically throughout the year in Vue and Odeon cinemas starting with Dr No which opened on April 15 and concluding with No Time To Die in September, ahead of Global James Bond Day on October 5.
I went to see Dr No at the cinema, marking my first time viewing the film in a movie theatre. It’s a mixed bag crowd at this showing, proving the mass appeal of Bond even today. There are solo viewers, families and film fans of all ages who have come to see their favourite secret spy in dazzling 4K.
It’s rather fabulous to see the retro gun barrel sequence on a huge screen and hear the iconic “Dum de-de dum dum, dum-dum- dum” Bond theme tune on high-quality surround sound speakers.
As the film starts, what we’re all really waiting for in that darkened cinema, is that first glimpse of a suave Sir Sean Connery as the immaculately dressed British spy.
His smooth “Bond … James Bond” has to be one of the greatest cinematic introductions to a character of all time. The scene is pretty much perfection as well, with a smoky casino set up and an enigmatic woman in red for Bond to flirt with.
Sir Sean has undeniable star quality and charm in Dr. No and it’s easy to see how he became a beloved Bond actor with his effortlessly cool persona and dry one-liners. This is a man at ease in a dinner jacket.
Another iconic movie moment is when we meet ultimate Bond Girl Honey Ryder [played superbly by Ursula Andress], for the first time when she saunters out of the sea and meets a bowled over Bond.
Bond: “I promise I won’t steal your shells.”
Honey: “I promise you you won’t, either. Stay where you are!”
As the film progresses with dreamy Jamaican beach backdrops, a rather flamboyant and diabolical villain, and an exotic hidden lair, it’s got all the classic Bond elements that we have come to know and love.
It’s pure fantastical escapism with a touch of 007 hedonism that has defined the character and launched a decades long franchise.
Seeing it on the big screen today, you can only imagine how a 1960s audience might have felt watching a secret spy run amok in the Caribbean. They must have been blown away.
The first of the Bond re-releases appear to have been a success as Bond fans have taken to social media to discuss their reactions.
Host of the Really 007 Podcast, Tom Pickup, said: “The very sense that you’re watching a film that is still just as loved 60 years on, and on the big screen as intended, took our breath away.’
“The locations, sets, photography and music all grab your attention, but Connery is the real star – a genuine screen presence that would turn this film into a franchise.”
The 007Files tweeted: “Bond on the big screen is a must, no matter the movie! But seeing #DrNo for the first time, you can truly see why the audience was in awe. Vivid colours, exotic locales, with huge sets, all brought together by Connery who didn’t play Bond, he was Bond from the second he appears.”
Gary K’s Film & TV said on Twitter: “It was like watching the film anew. The colours were so vibrant, throwaway scenes (e.g. Honey & Bond in Dr. No’s copper walled elevator) looked dazzling. For a film originally released in mono, the surround sound impressed! Only in the cinema can you appreciate all of the detail.”
All 25 official Bond movies will be screened in UK and Irish cinemas until October 2022. Check your local cinema for times and to book.