The Coolness of James Bond is Partly Due to Dr No Felix

Felix Leiter, who made his 007 debuts in the film Dr. No, maybe the unsung hero responsible for making James Bond the icon that he is today. James Bond, as written by Ian Fleming, was hardly the cool and composed persona he is often presented as on TV today.

He was an ordinary man thrust into exceptional circumstances who was often in desperate survival mode. It’s possible that Felix provided the spark that brought 007 to life on screen. The role of Felix Leiter was played by a number of different actors over the course of the series, but the opening film, Dr. No, features Jack Lord.

He helps Bond on his Jamaican trip by revealing details concerning Strangways’s death and Dr. No’s whereabouts. Even though Leiter only appears briefly in the film, he has a significant impact on Bond’s trip.

James Bond's Coolness May be Due in Part to Dr. No's Felix
James Bond’s Coolness May be Due in Part to Dr. No’s Felix

Dr. No’s Felix Leiter Is Cool In The Way James Bond Will Be

When James Bond first appears on screen in Dr. No, he is portrayed as a hard-hitting, serious, and even slightly worried man, especially in the first half of the film, before he meets his trusty friend Honey Ryder, one of the few allied Bond girls who does not betray 007.

But Jack Lord’s Felix Leiter is as calm as a cucumber. His words are as smooth as silk and disarm Bond, stopping him in his tracks. After Bond successfully defends himself from those he incorrectly identifies as his adversaries, he suddenly materialises behind the worried 007 and exclaims, “Hold it!

Okay, now take it easy. Gently. Let’s not get our hopes up. Leiter’s opening remarks may have hidden significance for the very nature of Bond, who is now being anything but kind in his work.

When Bond starts to “get aroused,” Leiter appears from behind him in an identical suit and tie, almost like a more level-headed, collected reflection of 007 himself. Bond’s own personality takes on the stoicism of Felix Leiter a few films later, when he has completely developed into James Bond.

Bond is Cooler in Goldfinger if Felix Mantock Inspired Connery

Even if he was more laid back than in Dr. No, Bond in From Russia With Love was still inherently serious and grounded, making the film a success on many fronts. Goldfinger’s new director, Guy Hamilton, succeeded Terrance Young because he believed that Bond films should be entertaining first and foremost.

This first-ever portrayal of Bond as cool, flippant, easy on the eyes, and even playfully naughty led to the creation of what is arguably the most iconic 007 film ever. Bond shows his playful side immediately in Goldfinger, slapping Bond girl Dink on the rear end right after the opening credits.

James Bond's Coolness May be Due in Part to Dr. No's Felix
James Bond’s Coolness May be Due in Part to Dr. No’s Felix

Later in the film, as James Bond is driving his Aston Martin through the Swiss Alps, he spots a gorgeous woman in her own automobile and thinks to himself, “Discipline, 007.

Discipline,” implying that his initial reaction is one of play. Despite his understanding that he has absorbed Jack Lord’s Felix Leiter’s flippant and casual attitude, he may be reminding himself of what he is at his core.

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