Sean Connery is morbidly afraid of spiders. The shot of the spider in his bed was originally done with a sheet of glass between him and the spider, but when this didn't look realistic enough, the scene was re-shot with stuntman Bob Simmons. Simmons reported that the tarantula crawling over Bond was the scariest stunt he had ever performed. According to Steven Jay Rubin's 1981 book "The James Bond Films", this tarantula was named Rosie.
Sean Connery was originally rejected as James Bond by United Artists. The studio cabled producer Harry Saltzman of this information. However, UA later rescinded this decision and agreed with the producers' casting choice.
Sean Connery wears a toupee in all the James Bond movies.
Sean Connery won the role of James Bond after producer Albert R. Broccoli attended a screening of Darby O'Gill and the Little People. He was particularly impressed with the fist fight Connery has with a village bully at the climax of the film. Broccoli later had his wife Dana Broccoli see the film and confirm his sex appeal. Still, for publicity purposes there was a contest to find the perfect man to play James Bond. Six finalists were chosen and screen-tested by Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and Ian Fleming. The winner was a 28-year-old model called Peter Anthony who looked the part but completely lacked the acting technique to play it.
Ursula Andress was apparently paid $6000 for doing the picture. She had a salary of $1000 per week for six weeks work.
Ursula Andress' dialog was looped by voice artist Nikki Van der Zyl. It was her task to recreate Andress' voice but give it only a mild accent. Andress' singing voice was dubbed by Diana Coupland. Both Andress and Eunice Gayson were dubbed by the same actress. Gayson's real voice can be heard on the theatrical trailers for the film, included on the DVD release.
Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli, the original producers of the James Bond films, cast Sean Connery because they liked how he was a big, tough-looking man who nonetheless moved gracefully ("like a cat").
Ian Fleming didn't originally like the casting of Sean Connery as James Bond. Bond was English and Connery was Scottish, Bond was upper-class and Connery was working-class, Bond was refined and educated and Connery was too rugged. After seeing the film, Fleming softened and decided that Connery was perfectly cast. In the novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," Bond was revealed to have Scottish ancestry and Bond's girlfriend Tracy Vicenzo was described with Ursula Andress' details. Ironically, in the movie version of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond and Tracy are played by George Lazenby and Diana Rigg who do not fit these descriptions.
Ian Fleming wrote the story of Dr. No in 1956 for an episode of a never-produced TV series, "James Gunn Secret Agent". The working titles were "Commander Jamaica" and "The Wound Man." Fleming later expanded the story treatment into the sixth James Bond novel, basing Doctor No on Sax Rohmer's Doctor Fu Manchu.
John Stears was asked to help with the miniatures. He only a budget of £1000 for the effect of the destruction of Dr. No's Fortress. In the next Bond outing Stears took over as Special Effects Supervisor
Ken Adam's sets so impressed Stanley Kubrick that he hired him the following year to be production designer on Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
Marguerite LeWars, who plays Freelance, was working as a flight attendant when Terence Young approached her with the age-old line "Would you like to be in movies?" Lewars' brother-in-law Reggie Carter played Jones the chauffeur, the first villain encountered by James Bond in this series.
Maurice Binder designed the gun barrel opening at the last minute, by pointing a pinhole camera through a real gun barrel. The actor in the sequence is not Connery, but stuntman Bob Simmons. Connery didn't film the sequence himself until Thunderball.
A Goya painting of the Duke of Wellington, stolen in 1961, is found on an easel next to the stairs in Dr. No's dining area, which is why Bond stops to notice it as he passes it while going up the stairs. It was recovered in 1965.
A script developed by producer Kevin McClory, screenwriter Jack Whittingham and novelist Ian Fleming, reportedly titled "James Bond, Secret Agent" was originally going to be the first James Bond movie, but Fleming caused legal problems before any production could begin by writing and publishing what he thought of as 'the book to the movie' without consulting the others. This novel was published in 1961, titled "Thunderball" by Fleming, and resulted in legal action by McClory. This legal action tied up rights to the script and story, and made McClory's participation problematic, so Dr. No wound up being chosen instead. The Thunderball plot was eventually used for the fourth Bond movie. Subsequent editions of the novel "Thunderball" carry a credit for McClory and Whittingham, and McClory eventually saw the original concept more or less produced under the title Never Say Never Again.
According to Inside 'Dr. No', the introduction of the James Bond character utilizes a technique which is a homage to the 1939 William Dieterle film, Juarez starring Paul Muni. This technique is performed using a series of close-ups of the character without revealing the face, cross-cutting with the other characters in the scene and the gambling table. Finally, the face of the person is revealed, stating his name, "Bond, James Bond."
According to the film's CD Soundtrack sleeve notes, the James Bond theme debuted in the UK charts on 1st November 1962 where it peaked at No. #13. It entered the US charts on 27 July 1963 where it went to No. #82. Two pieces of music heard in the film are not included on the film's soundtrack. These are the electronic sound effects music at the very beginning of the film and the suspenseful music from the tarantula sequence.
After the film's release in Italy, the Vatican issued a special communiqué expressing its disapproval at the film's moral standpoint.
After viewing the film, "James Bond" creator Ian Fleming reportedly described it as being, "Dreadful. Simply dreadful."
After viewing the film, James Bond creator Ian Fleming reportedly described it as being, "Dreadful. Simply dreadful."