It was 25 years ago that "Dr. No," the first James Bond film, was made, and who would have thought that in 1987 New York's Museum of Modern Art would mount a two-week film festival of Bond movies. It begins Friday with an accompanying exhibition of Bond gadgets and secret-agent weapons, on display through July 5. In fact, that first film, starring the most enduring Bond, Sean Connery as Agent 007, was made for only $840,000, and the backers felt the movie would be a loss.

It was, of course, a smash, and all 14 Bond films have been big moneymakers, with Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore in the 007 role. There is a new Bond film, "The Living Daylights," starring the new Bond, Timothy Dalton, coming out later this summer. But does Bond deserve the status of the Modern? Exhibit curator Mary Corliss sees the films as a "cultural phenomenon," adding, "It's popular culture as well as being art. It's the most popular series ever in the history of film." Out and About Paul McCartney was the only former Beatle to show up yesterday at London's legendary Abbey Road Studios for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. McCartney was there with his American-born wife Linda and pop artist Peter Blake, who designed the famous "Sgt. Pepper" album cover. Speaking to the other middle-agers in the small crowd, McCartney said the Beatles' hopes of 20 years ago -- for universal love and an end to apartheid in South Africa -- had not been realized. "We've learned that change comes slowly" ...

U.S. senators don't often show up at local art galleries, even when the artists on display are from the home state. But these particular artists -- William Halsey and Corrie McCallum, married to each other and in their seventies -- are opening a show at Georgetown's Winston Gallery tonight, and Sen. Ernest F. Hollings is to be there for a reception and look at work of the South Carolina couple. The other attraction is that the gallery is run by former South Carolina lieutenant governor Nancy Stevenson, the first woman to hold that office ...

In the world of movies, one of the most successful mergers was when George Lucas and studio executive Alan Ladd Jr. joined forces at 20th Century Fox a decade ago to make the smash hit "Star Wars." Now the two have reunited. This time, with former child actor, now successful director Ron Howard directing, they are collaborating on "Willow," an adventure-fantasy film set in an imaginary part of the world sometime before the birth of Christ. Sequences will be shot in England, New Zealand and Wales ...

Hospital Report: Actor Jackie Gleason is still undergoing tests at the Imperial Point Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, where he was admitted May 22 after experiencing complications from his medication for emphysema and diabetes. Gleason has been a prodigious smoker all his life. The hospital is not commenting, but Gleason's personal secretary Sydell Spear said he would be released soon. The 71-year-old entertainer underwent triple-bypass heart surgery in 1978 ...

The Hotel Washington, just around the corner from the White House, continues its ongoing, informal and totally unscientific poll of guests, inquiring of them who their neighbor in the White House should be in 1988. So far George Bush is in the lead with 18 percent of the vote, followed by Robert Dole at 16 percent, Mario Cuomo in third place with 8 and Gary Hart fourth with 7. At the bottom of the list, with 1 percent each, are Dick Gephardt, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Jack Kemp and Jimmy Carter. Who even said Carter was still interested? ...