Sunday 1 April 2012

How did the Gleaner cover Dr No?

The arrival of the James Bond team in a region is big news. It generates a lot of publicity, draws in the crowds, and, as we've already seen with the filming of Skyfall, brings economic benefits. This was true back in 1962 with the filming of the first Bond film, Dr No, as it is now. The Daily Gleaner, Jamaica's renowned newspaper, was well placed to record the reaction in Jamaica to the arrival of Eon Productions and the stars of Dr No, Sean Connery and Ursula Andress. Let's look at some of the coverage.

January 16, 1962
The Dr No team arrived in Jamaica on Sunday 14th January. Albert Broccoli was reported as saying that the crew would be in Jamaica for about five or six weeks, and that they'd be filming all over the island. What's more, the film would be a top feature. Sean Connery had already been in the island for about a week. He admitted that 'perhaps I have a little of James Bond in me'. Director Terence Young was to view local artists at the Copacabana Club the Wednesday evening (17th) for the cabaret scenes.

January 17, 1962
The Gleaner reported that cameras started rolling the day before (Tuesday 16 January). The first scenes to be shot were at the Palisadoes airport. It also stated that a number of roles had gone to Jamaicans, among them Miss Jamaica 1961, Marguerite LeWars, who played the photographer in the pay of Dr No.

January 31, 1962
Ursula Andress arrived in Jamaica on January 29. The piece reported that she was to play Honey, and was staying at the Courtleigh Manor Hotel in Kingston. The film crew was about to move to the north coast for filming.

February 7, 1962
The film crew arrived on the 6th January at St Ann's Bay in Ocho Rios on the north coast. It noted that Ian Fleming had a home in Jamaica.

February 8, 1962
The Gleaner published a report on the attempts by locals of the Ocho Rios area to obtain jobs on Dr No. Eon Productions was seeking about 100 people. The report doesn't state whether the work was for extras or production staff. The report notes that there was a sense of a local grievance; councillor Sydney James considered it unfair that most jobs had gone to Kingstonians.

February 27, 1962
A writ on behalf of musicians Carlos Malcolm and Ernest Ranglin was served by their representative, Hugh Levy Jr, on Eon Productions. Levy claimed that Malcolm had been engaged to compose music for the film and supervise the recordings, while Ranglin was employed to look after the arrangements. Levy was seeking to recover £1,064.

September 1963
The film was premièred in Jamaica at the Regal and Carib cinemas. Proceeds from the evening went to the Jamaican Youth Club's Council. The Gleaner's report also discussed Jamaica's importance as a destination for film-makers.

November 1, 1964
The Sunday Gleaner revealed that some cinemas in Kingston were still showing Dr No, and cinema goers were looking forward to Goldfinger. The report focused on the emergence of Bond spoofs and imitations.

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