Casino RoyaleDirector: Val Guest, Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath
Retired after years of international espionage, Agent 007 is lured back into action to battle the evil spy organization SMERSH in this notoriously incoherent parody of the James Bond films. David Niven portrays the aging Bond, who atypically rejects the advances of a variety of women, and agrees to battle SMERSH's hold on the lavish Casino Royale only after/i>
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Casino Royale based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
The second-ever film adaptation (of three to date) of Ian Fleming's first Bond novel was one of those star-laden filmmaking disasters where the "making of" story was more fascinating than the movie itself. What started out as a straight-up parody of the official Bond series starring Sean Connery quickly ballooned out of proportion as directors and actors were fired, scripts rewritten, and the budget exploded into the $12 million range (an enormous sum in 1966-67). In an effort to smash SMERSH, Sir James Bond (David Niven) is brought out of retirement to head MI6. His first act is to have all field agents (regardless of gender) take on the name "James Bond 007," so as to confuse the enemy (and the audience). Professional baccarat player Evelyn Tremble (Peter Sellers) is then recruited to challenge Le Chiffre (Orson Welles) to a high-stakes game at Casino Royale. Apart from this bit of plot, the film bears almost no resemblance to the Fleming novel. Instead, we get a parade of people calling themselves "James Bond" (including Sellers, Ursula Andress, Daliah Lavi, and Woody Allen), about five or six different plotlines, and some really bizarre comedy that isn't quite funny. "Casino Royale" suffers from a legion of cooks stirring the pot, and it's a miracle that the film comes as close as it does to borderline coherence. None of the performances stand out as being terribly good, bad, or anything other than "meh," though the cast does seem to have a lot of fun. In fact, the music is the best thing about this film (and was deservedly nominated for an Oscar). Burt Bacharach's theme for the movie, performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, is bright and peppy; the song "The Look of Love," sung by Dusty Springfield, was good enough it could have been used in a real Bond film. I honestly can't recommend this film. It's something that can only be seen to be believed, but why willingly subject yourself to it?