STORY OF THE SHOT

Empire (Australasia) - - Re.view - WORDS IAN FREER

URSULA ANDRESS HAS

never un­der­stood the love for her iconic en­trance in Dr. No. “I was just stand­ing there do­ing my thing with shells by the sea and I couldn’t be­lieve it ap­pealed so much. That’s the fan­tas­tic open­ing? That was luck.” Honey Ry­der (Andress) emerg­ing from the water, watched by Bond (Sean Con­nery), is sig­nif­i­cant on more than one count: in the first 007 film, it ce­mented not only the no­tion of the ‘Bond girl’ but the feel of the se­ries it­self: im­pos­si­bly glam­orous, slightly cheeky and sexy in a PG way.

Pro­ducer Cubby Broc­coli was look­ing for “an un­known with a new face who wouldn’t de­mand an out­ra­geous salary”, ef­fec­tively the cri­te­ria ap­plied to his Bond. He cast the 25-year-old Andress af­ter see­ing a pic­ture of her in the of­fice of Fox head Dar­ryl F. Zanuck. Ian Flem­ing’s novel de­scribes Ry­der, a shell scav­enger, ris­ing from the sea prac­ti­cally naked “like Bot­ti­celli’s Venus”. Cen­sor­ship pre­vented nu­dity, so Andress sported a white bikini (it sold for $65,000 in

2001), a white web­bing army belt and lit­tle else.

“Honey Ry­der was a na­tive girl and I was sup­posed to be very tanned,” re­called Andress. “I was just snow white. I had to stand naked in a room and get made up. Every other sec­ond, some­body was knock­ing on the door, ‘Break­fast!’ When we were fin­ished there were about 20 trays of break­fast be­cause ev­ery­body wanted to watch me get painted from top to bot­tom.”

The shot was cap­tured on 6 Fe­bru­ary 1962 at the pri­vately owned Laugh­ing Wa­ters Beach in Ocho Rios, St Ann, Ja­maica, near Flem­ing’s home, Gold­en­eye. It was wit­nessed by the au­thor and his wife Ann, who were out for a stroll with poet Stephen Spen­der and journo Peter Quen­nell, and were forced to dive to the ground to avoid the cam­era. The song Honey and Bond sing, Un­der­neath The Mango Tree, was writ­ten by the film’s com­poser Monty Nor­man and sparked a war be­tween the two co-stars. “Sean and I fought a bit try­ing to get the record player to learn how to sing the song,” said Andress. “He used to steal it away from me and I would steal it back. He sings much bet­ter than I do. I can’t carry a tune.” In the end, Andress’ thick Swiss speak­ing and sing­ing voice was re­placed by that of Ger­man ac­tress Nikki van der Zyl.

The mo­ment has carved out its own niche in pop cul­ture, and has even been riffed on twice more in the Bond se­ries: first in Die An­other Day with Halle Berry and then in Casino Royale when Daniel Craig emerged from the sea clad in shorts so tight you could al­most see his Q Branch. “I didn’t re­alise the reper­cus­sions of it,” Craig has said. “I had no idea I would be haunted by it for the rest of my life.” He should talk to Andress. Per­haps they could form a sup­port group.

DR. NO IS OUT NOW ON DVD, BLU-RAY AND DOWN­LOAD.

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