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Plot:

After the death of M, Sir James Bond is called back out of retirement to stop SMERSH. In order to trick SMERSH and Le Chiffre, Bond thinks up the ultimate plan. That every agent will be named James Bond. One of the Bonds, whose real name is Evelyn Tremble is sent to take on Le Chiffre in a game of baccarat, but all the Bonds get more than they can handle.

Also Known As: Казино Рояль, Kazino Royale, Cassino Royale, Τζέιμς Μποντ 007: Καζίνο Ρουαγιάλ, James Bond 007 - Casino Royale, Casino Royale James Bond 007!, Casino Royale West, Charles K. Feldman's Casino Royale, Kazino Rojal, Gazino Royal 007, Казино Роял, Casino Royale Czech, Casino Royale, Казино Рояль Soviet

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26 Comments

  • sdn-cb
    sdn cb

    buffering not playing

  • ben-price
    ben price

    A wild James Bond spoof that makes passing references to a genuine Ian Fleming novel.Hard to know where to start with this movie. The producers, through a freak accident, gained the rights to a real James Bond novel, but were too cowardly/incompetent to make a real James Bond and came up with this cowardly cop-out.This is the sixties, throw lots of things at the screen: Stars, tricks, expensive sets, ad-libs, multi-directors, chase scenes, music videos, etc. and you are sure to hit something. What is amazing is that even with a machine gun they cannot hit a thing, although Woody Allen does have one funny scene!There is nothing to string this movie together, one scene doesn’t have anything to do with the last. There is no plot and actors work in their own bubble. Several stars (Allen for one) claim they have never even seen the movie. Join them.

  • indrek-toomsalu
    indrek toomsalu

    First off… this isn’t your typical 007 movie – though it isn’t a typical movie either. This movie is absolutely hilarious and it’s insanely zany. Great actors, witty punchlines, silly gadgets, more beautiful woman than any Bond movie, dazzling sets, and sheer pandemonium! A perfect movie for a funky evening or party. If you are looking for a linear or common sense spy flick, look elsewhere. This movie puts Austin Powers to shame! 10/10.

  • szabo-renata
    szabo renata

    I came across a used DVD of this film a couple of days ago, and there is a fascinating interview with Val Guest in the special features. He explained the background, and why this film turned out the way it did. The producers couldn’t use Flemings book, because parts had been used in all the other serious Bond flicks and all that was left was the Casino, Baccarat game, and Vespers’ treachery – everything else was created for this film. Four directors were hired to each do a segment, but they were hired by a time limit, not project, so many segments overlapped in filming, and were left unfinished by the directors, including John Huston’s segment. On top of this, Peter Sellers and Orson Welles HATED each other, and Sellers pulled a ‘I’m too sick to come in and I have a doctor’s note” routine, so he was fired. In the end, there were unfinished shoots and incomplete parts, so Val Guest was hired to cobble everything together and create a thread of a plot line to unify the film and make some sense. Guest added a couple of scenes with the help of David Niven, Deborah Kerr, and Bill Holden, and did the best he could to salvage this dog’s breakfast of a film. Despite the problems, parts are greater than the whole of this film and some scenes are truly funny, others are campy, and many are sharp spoofs of 60s Bond films – The German school of spying is great, as is any scene with Woody Allen, and all of the bond girls in their over- the-top outfits are entertaining.So, if you think this film looks like it was shot on acid, there is a reason!

  • yusuf-miner-adryaens
    yusuf miner adryaens

    I watched this movie based on the review on IMDb but I have to say that it’s unwatchable by today standards, the plot is totally ridiculous, and although you have a cast full of stars, you get nothing from them because of the silly lines they have to say… Also, it’s slow paced and with 131 minutes of duration it would surely benefit from a ‘director’s cut’ to put the movie in 90 minutes, (although 60 minutes would be fine also). It’s totally outdated and you can’t enjoy it even a little bit. I love old movies but this one really hit into my nerves, because of its lousy script and poor direction… I think the reviewer who gave the ten stars to this movie should be punished for his lack of perspective.

  • dr-philip-barajas
    dr philip barajas

    A movie with a great cast Peter Sellers, David Niven, Ursula Andress, Orson Welles, and Woody Allen. The plot needed work,a lot of work, but have you ever seen a Bond film. Out of the twenty some odd bond movies there are three plot lines. At least there wasn’t a giant solar powered lazer cannon in space or secret volcanic island, or George Lazenby. The movie is even funnier when you watch it now. If you squint when Peter Sellers comes on screen you can tell that Austin Powers is mirrored off his character Evelyn Tremble/James Bond 007. Thats not the only similarity between Austin Powers and Casino Royale, such as the fact that the women wear nothing but incredibly revealing clothing in both movies. Prehaps not the funniest movie ever, but if you’re ever looking for a movie that’s a little different then check it out.

  • paattil-pusspaa
    paattil pusspaa

    Wonderful movie – if you don’t expect a real James Bond flick, that is. This movie is so confused that you’d have to be insane to find a logical plot. Even so, the wonderful actors David Niven, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress and more make this movie one of a kind.The sixties feeling is soothing with the music of Burt Bacharach. It is laugh-out-loud funny every-once in a while. Especially when Orson Welles a.k.a. known as Le Chiffre is doing his “magic” around the baccarat-table.Time and money has been spent on the backgrounds, they are very elaborate and cool. See this movie, but remember to set your expectations to the swinging sixties, psychedelic experiment-level. Cult!

  • michael-wilson
    michael wilson

    Yes, forget about “Plan 9 from outer space”, this is it! This film is much worse than any of the films usually rated as “worst ever”, Ed Wood would never have lowered himself to this level of imbecility and sloppiness!But why did this film, that featured some of the greatest names in film history, people who really should have known what they were doing, turn out so bad? First of all we have the James Bond-mania in the 60’s, people would go and see the film no matter what. Secondly,my theory is that the film is a case of the wrong people at the wrong place. Maybe the film turned out so extraordinarily bad,not in spite of, but because of all the “great names”?When Casino Royale was released in 1967 it was one of most expensive films ever made, much more expensive than You only live twice, the “real” Bond film of the same year. How could so much money have been spent on rubbish? Maybe it’s because no one dared to say “no” or “stop” to the great geniuses Orson Wells and John Houston(among many other geniuses)?As a whole the film is unwatchable, its a comedy but its never funny. It’s not even bad in an interesting or amusing way, like the films of Ed wood. It’s boring. It’s stupid. And above all its sloppy.One scene very typical of Casino Royale is the gambling scene: Peter Sellers is Bond(at least i think so) and Orson Wells is the villain le Chiffre. Orson Wells likes doing some magic tricks, he gets to do that. Peter Sellers favorite party trick is to imitate indians and Chinese people, he gets to do that. But why does this belong in the picture? And why is it in any way funny?Of all the bad things in the film must also be mentioned the music by the very famous(of course)composer Burt Bacharach. It’s extremely annoying!

  • mrs-debra-finch
    mrs debra finch

    Well, believe it or not, there was a TV show based on Fleming’s novel, with Barry Nelson as Bond; Peter Lorre Played the villain (!). And now, of course, there’ a remake coming out soon; and judging by the previews, it looks very “fifties”…. But who needs that? The ’60s were when we really had fun – and this film is very much a part of that – that’s right – 9 stars -for one of the worst movies ever made – yes they were all high on LSD – it was 1967, who wasn’t – actually, I wasn’t, I was 13 at the time – I saw this film TWENTYONE TIMES before my 14th birthday – well, that explains the way I am….Actually, that’s more true than you might think. This film taught me not to take life seriously… it taught me about how silly relationships between men & women could get – even before I knew what they were. It prepared me for the essential absurdity of the twentieth century. Oh, heck, don’t just see this film, show it to your kids. If nothing else, they’ll fall in love with Ursula Andress; an unfairly underrated actress of her time, she deserves it.

  • diana-martin
    diana martin

    I read in the past that the role of James Bond had originally been intended for David Niven rather than Sean Connery. Niven finally got his chance to play the title role…a shame it had to be in such an embarrassing mess as this. A harsh feud between Orson Welles and Peter Sellers had erupted behind the scenes, but the movie was such a mishmash not all the movie stars in the world working in perfect harmony could have rescued it.The story is supposed to be a spoof of the Bond series. “M” is killed and Bond is forced to leave retirement to go after whoever had killed him as well as other secret agents. The solution: have everybody and his brother play James Bond and take the 007 number to confuse the enemy.Well, the enemy may have been confused, but the movie confuses the audience as well with silliness upon silliness. Even Woody Allen-yes, Woody Allen-is brought in as a villain. The producers evidently had the idea that the greater the silliness, the more the laughs. It didn’t work. Stick with old episodes of “Get Smart”. It had its silliness too, but it also had genuine wit and jokes.

  • dawn-bailey
    dawn bailey

    “Casino Royale” is the black sheep of the Bond films….You might say it’s the older brother that no one ever talks about. The makers got the rights to the Ian Fleming novel “Casino Royale,” and feeling it was unwise to compete with Sean Connery, they chose to make it a comedy instead of a serious action flick.Not that that makes much of a difference. James Bond spy films have always bordered self-parody anyway, so granted, this film can’t be taken too seriously, but then again, neither can ANY Bond film. And that’s what makes them so great. I also have a hard time labeling this film as a spy spoof, since it has an appretiation for the stuff it is mocking, and the plot line in itself, if you were to take the funny elements out, would have stood as a pretty good serious film. Therefore, I’ll label it a “spy comedy,” and not a spoof.Unfortunately, it’s really not very good. Despite a huge budget and a terrific cast, the movie has a hard time finding its focus. Many unrelated scenes are catapulted on top of each other, and while it features many good parts– both in action and in comedy (the car-chase scene is a highlight, as well as the showdown with Dr. Noah)– and though it follows the Bond formula pretty close, all in all, it falls short. It’s not the worst of the Bond films, though, even as an unofficial one. (“A View to a Kill” was probably the most painful of the whole franchise).The plotline follows the adventures of an elder Sir James Bond (played straightly by David Niven) stepping out of retirement after M is murdered. He must stop SMERSH, one of his arch organizations, with the help of Monneypenny’s daughter, his own daughter, and lots of different spies. And he has the perfect plan to confuse his enemy: he codenames them all “James Bond 007,” so SMERSH will be so confused that they won’t know what’s going on. So we have a typical action-filled Bond plot interweved with uneven comedy and some dialogue that is at times great…and at other times, weak.Actually, Niven as James Bond is the film’s saving grace. He was Ian Fleming’s original choice to play Bond, and he does a good job as the retired agent. He is the straight man in all of the shinnanigans, and he manages to be suave and dashing as Bond, even as an elder man. But that’s just proof Niven’s great acting skills. He’s probably the third best actor to play Bond (behind Sean Connery and Pierce Bronson, and in front of, in this order: Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore and George Lazenby).So, check it out if you’re a Bond fan or if your a comedy fan. It’s not great, but it’s not an absolute disaster. Summing it up, it’s “Stirred….not shaken.”**1/2 out of ****

  • kevin-young
    kevin young

    I highly recommend this film to anyone who is an aficionado of psychedelic or 1960’s film/music/art. This was the most expensive psychedelic project of the entire era to my knowledge, in any format. The sets alone make the the feature worth seeing. Having a keen familiarity with the era and culture may not be enough to prepare one for appreciating this standout curiosity. One must also be widely versed in James Bond, novels and all, to understand much of the humor. That humor is set against an invisible backdrop of the unprecedented popularity of James Bond at the time. A degree of comfort with all things psychedelic is yet another requirement to fully digest this cinematic delight. Please note that this was a very “in” movie, to coin a phrase from the era, which also explains why “Casino Royale (’67)” receives unfavorable reviews. As this lavish production was targeted for the “in” crowd of that bygone era, it is only slightly more alien to the general public today. If you are “in”, this high water mark of the era is an experience not to be missed.

  • mason-brown
    mason brown

    With the baccarat winnings of Le Chiffre giving them access to a new funding stream, SMERSH is on the rise and only one man can stop them – James Bond. But not THAT James Bond, he is only a mere playboy with gadgets, the real Bond retired years ago but now finds himself approached to come out of retirement to counter the new threat. With his pure lifestyle and impeccable reputation, SMERSH send an array of lovely ladies after him to sully his image or, if that fails, kill him. Things get more confusing as many other agents (also called James Bond) get involved!With only the number of uncredited writers outweighing the number of directors, this film screams ‘mishmash’ and indeed, it transpires, that that’s exactly what it is – a silly mess which amazingly manages to be less than the sum of its parts. To waste any time here discussing the plot would be to give the film credit that it simply doesn’t deserve – the makers owned the rights to the actual novel and could have made a ‘real’ film but instead the outcome is a film that is more like a load of poorly conceived individual scenes. Some of these have funny moments but generally they are silly beyond being funny and are just daft for the sake of it. The design, ‘humour’, directing and script is all very 1960’s and I do not mean this as a compliment in this case.The cast list makes this film even more annoying – some of the funniest men alive are in this film but yet they are given nothing to work with whatsoever. Niven is amusing at times but he does no more than play his usual personae. Sellers is a comic legend but this film has him doing a bad Bond spoof and he struggles even when allowed to ad lib. Allen is an unusual find here and in fairness he is actually funny because he brings his stand up routine to the role and seems to just be having a laugh as he goes.Even to waste these three actors is a crime, but when you consider that the film also has Orson Welles, Ursula Andrews, Deborah Kerr, William Holden, John Huston, George Raft, Jacqueline Bisset, Derek Nimmo, Ronnie Corbett, Bernard Cribbins, Peter O’Toole, Stirling Moss, David Prowse, Burt Kwouk, John Le Mesurier and a few others then you have to wonder how so many people were fooled into appearing in this. I can only imagine how good it seemed at the development stage (‘Bond but with laughs’) but I doubt if any of those involved are actually proud to have this on their cv.Overall this is a pretty awful film but I suppose you may get a few laughs out of it if you can buy into the silly tone but I’m afraid I wasn’t even able to get close to the mind state needed to enjoy this. The laughs come occasionally but they are too rare and the plot and actual script are not big and not clever. The end product – a silly, self-indulgent mess of a film that is actually very hard to work though and not worth the handful of laughs that you might actually have.

  • ylva-persson
    ylva persson

    Occasional fun for the 60’s lover, but completely incoherent as entertainment. I should confess that as a young kid I did love the film, just as I loved _What’s new Pussycat_, and when I got a little older I became a guilty admirer of _The Blues Brothers_ and _1941_. So I am sucker for the comedy epic/ celebrity ensemble.However, _Casino_ is simply over the top at being over the top. It seems impossible to create a successful film with 5 directors and 10 writers (not including Ian Fleming, but including Ben Hecht, Joseph Heller, Terry Southern and Billy Wilder !!). The story lacks even a real protagonist; Niven and Sellers trade places in that role. When they run out of story, pie fights emerge, or fusillades of bullets, or tremendous explosions.The film is certainly not without its merits. Like _What’s New Pussycat_ they did manage to corral some of the most beautiful women of the time together in the same film. When Andress is not speaking, as in the “Look of Love” sequence or in Seller’s “shampoo” dream she’s truly breathtaking. Allen is always funny, and Welles does a pretty good turn as le Chiffre. The Bacharach score and Herb Alpert open and closing sequences are memorable.As a DVD extra, the American dramatic version of _Casino Royale_ (1954) is included on the DVD, which predated Connery by 8 years!!

  • michael-gutierrez
    michael gutierrez

    In the 1960s when satirical, parodying silliness was all the rage, particularly the parodying or satirising of spies and espionage during the Cold War of the 60s, Casino Royale appears in 1967 as a ‘swinging’ movie version of Ian Fleming’s book of the same name, which was originally published in 1952 or 53 if my memory is right. But this film simply does not work. The swinging sixties’ version of the book is about as silly as it can get with absolutely no art in its silliness. Its attempts at comedic surrealism were in vain.The other Bond films up to the Casino Royale of 1967 starring the softly-spoken, Scottish James Bond everyone liked were cleverly satirical and ironic with Sean Connery delivering his lines with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek and a wry smile on his lips. And the iconic 60s’ t.v. series that hilariously sent up glamour spies and espionage, Get Smart, was not only cleverly satirical but an exceedingly artful parody bordering on pure genius with Don Adams and the supporting cast saying their inspired lines written by the likes of Buck Henry with perfect timing and delivery. But Casino Royale, an ‘unofficial’ Bond film and the first to use the name without starring Sean Connery, is just silly for the sake of silliness with practically no redeeming features (see below).I have seen Casino Royale probably three times since 1967, including at the pictures during its Australian release back then, and with each viewing it gets worse. A couple of months of ago it was screened on commercial t.v. here on a Saturday night, I think it was, and about fifteen minutes’ worth of it was all I could take. Even for one as nostalgic for the 60s as I am, Casino Royale was too much for one viewer, this one.A big-name cast doing and saying silly unfunny things with pretty, mini-skirted girls with the Mary Quant look scattered round rural and urban Britain are simply not enough to make a film effective anymore, if they ever were. Indeed, so averse am I to watching the 1967 version of Casino Royale, I am even put off going to see the current version of the film of the same title. However, I take comfort from the fact that no matter how silly and bad the remade version of Casino Royale may possibly be, it just cannot be as silly and bad as the film made in 1967.PS. I’ve given it two stars out of ten for Burt Bacharach’s memorable theme music for Casino Royale and Herb Alpert’s marvellous trumpet playing of that theme. The music was the best aspect of the entire movie. All right, then! 1967’s Casino Royale may have one redeeming feature.

  • philipp-sorgatz
    philipp sorgatz

    Before getting to the actual review of the film, a word of warning: 1967’s “Casino Royale” has nothing to do with the superior 2006 adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel. In fact, it’s not part of Eon Productions “official” series of films because it was made without any input from the producers at the time, Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Salzman. Unfortunately, that’s not the only reason that it’s largely been forgotten by mainstream audiences; it probably has more to do with the fact that the film (a term I use very loosely because the plot is so episodic) is almost unwatchable.When asked to name a spy spoof, most people usually think of Mike Myers’ “Austin Powers” series or “Die Another Day” (sorry, turns out that’s an “official” entry in the Bond franchise). But predating Mr. Myers’ and his “unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanisms” was this movie, produced by Charles K. Feldman and directed by no less than 5 people (that right there should be an indicator of the movie’s quality). Since Feldman had little to no chance against the official series if he was to make a “straight” adaptation of the 1953 book, he decided to produce a film that was the exact opposite: a spoof that parodied the exaggerated ridiculousness of the Bond films. I can appreciate this–I enjoy the “Austin Powers” movies because they’re clever and sometimes hysterical. The problem with “Casino Royale” isn’t just that it’s not in the least coherent, but that it’s just not funny.Surprisingly, the first ten minutes of exposition sets up a good situation. The real Sir James Bond (David Niven) is enjoying his retirement from the Secret Service when agents all over the world start dying. M (or McTarry, who knows?), played by John Huston, calls on Bond to find out what’s going on. He refuses, and for some reason, his mansion is blown to smithereens and I believe M dies (since he’s absent for the rest of the movie and I read somewhere that he does. I obviously couldn’t have gotten this while watching the movie, but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention). The remainder of the movie easily explains why marijuana is recommended while viewing, with scenes making little sense and everyone being codenamed ‘James Bond’ by the end.Most of the film plays out like an extended, recent episode of “Saturday Night Live”. The scenes in the McTarry Mansion are especially dreadful and tiresome, adding nothing to the plot except 15 minutes of unfunny padding, while the Casino Royale, which is where the movie gets it’s title from, is shoehorned into the script and only seems like an excuse to have Orson Welles show up and play Le Chiffre in a less than interesting gambling scene. But nothing compares to one of the most bizarre and ludicrous endings I’ve ever seen. And you’ve guessed it, it’s painfully unfunny and cringe-inducing.Believe it or not, buried within this mess are three things that save the movie from getting a big fat zero. Half a star goes to the musical score by Burt Bacharach, which is a breezy soundtrack that fits the sporadic nature of what’s unfolding on screen. The other half goes to the amazing cast, which includes Niven, Welles, Huston, Peter Sellers, George Raft, Jacqueline Bisset, Deborah Kerr, Woody Allen, a cameo by Peter O’Toole and (according to IMDb) an appearance by the then unknown David Prowse. On top of that, there’s apparently 7 actors that could be found in an official Bond movie: Ursula Andress, Angela Scoular, Vladek Sheybal, John Hollis, Burt Kwouk, Caroline Munro, and Milton Reid. So it’s too bad that everyone, especially Allen, seems to be doing what ever they want. Finally, the auction scenes are the best in the movie, not that they follow any logical narrative, but because they offered the only chuckles during the entire running time, which is 130 minutes too long. The only other times that I was laughing was at the ineptness of every other production value.With a small army of writers and directors, it’s hardly a surprise that the plot (or plots) is/are uneven, characters switch sides without reason, and every joke/gag falls flat on it’s face because of poor timing. The point of a comedy is to make us laugh, which is what something like the “Scary Movie” films succeed in. I bring them up because while they have the same scatter-brained humor of “Casino Royale”, at least you can actually follow what’s going on! The troubles that plagued the production, including Peter Sellers being fired before he finished shooting and the budget going way out of control, prove how durable the Bond series is, because “Casino Royale” still managed to rake in some money. Just goes to show how such a misfire like this, along with every criminal mastermind, cannot kill our favorite spy. 1/10

  • tim-cerne
    tim cerne

    What a horrible, horrible film!!!”Casino Royale” must truly be one of the worst films ever created. At least it must be the worst ever misuse of a great cast: Peter Sellers, David Niven, Woody Allen, Orson Welles, Deborah Kerr…Some bad films actually become tolerable or even funny just because they are so bad. “Casino Royale” cannot even accomplish that. It is just an embarrassing failure to tell a lame, confused story about a lot of people named James Bond.

  • malxaz-devaze
    malxaz devaze

    I remember watching this as a kid and it was funny, but I can’t for the life of me remember why now.I have seen some stinkers, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Loose Shoes, Bloodsucking Redneck Vampires…and this one is every bit as good.Yes, it is dated, but the problem is deeper. It really looks like they just chopped up a bunch of scraps of skits and random junk from the bottom of the inspiration pile and called it a movie. And it succeeded mostly by false pretenses. It had enough big marquee names to make people go to the theater thinking they were actually going to see them acting in a movie. Wonder how many of these folks were embarrassed to see their name hooked to this film.It fails on so many levels, BUT it did take enough people in to pay out well.

  • dr-fekete-v-magdolna
    dr fekete v magdolna

    What a mess of the royal proportions – such a great cast (Peter Sellers, David Niven, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, Ursula Andress, Deborah Kerr, and Jean-Paul Belmondo), the James Bond’s story, plenty of beautiful (and I mean it) girls, the music by Burt Bacharach, most famous sets – but the movie is almost totally unwatchable. It started funny enough – at Sir James Bond’s (David Niven) home where he was approached by four international agents that forced him to come out of retirement and head up the operation against the evil organization SMERSH. His mission is to destroy Topple LeChiffre (Orson Welles} at the baccarat tables where he never loses and wins a lot of money to supply SMERSH. Then, the movie becomes silly, stupid, pointless, and (what is the worst) not funny. Only Woody Allen, (as Bond’s incompetent nephew, Jimmy Bond) brilliant as usual has appeared in two scenes and made them silly and hilarious. I think that “Casino Royale” (the way it was made) illustrates the fact that bigger is not always better – overlong and overblown, written and directed by five or more writers and directors, it brings to mind an old saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”.OT: the abbreviation SMERSH really existed during the WWII. It means “Death to the Spies” in Russian.

  • jeannine-legendre
    jeannine legendre

    To watch this movie, one must understand something that many appeared to have missed. Chiefly, the mish-mashed, ridiculous, over-blown insanity of it is the entire point. It is this that it aims for, and this that it achieves. It is not really a story, so much as every conceivable joke that could be thought of, thrown into an editing studio and spat out the other end as gold. This movie will challenge many who cannot break-out of the mold of needing a firm plot and some commonsense, but in this regard it is much like a comedic version of a David Lynch film, and I enjoyed Twin Peaks: The Movie even if I still don’t get it.So watch this for the crackling one-liners, ridiculously pretty women, lurid sets and the most completely unself-conscious approach to making a comedy that I have ever seen. It goes beyond funny, and becomes a matter of being shocked into admiration for the sheer silliness of it all. And the fun of trying to explain it to someone afterwards is immeasurable.”So then the flying-saucer kidnaps Mata Hari and James Bond’s love-child, and then James Bond who’s David Niven and James Bond who’s Woody Allen face-off, and meanwhile James Bond is being tortured with insane hallucinations and someone has snuck into his delusions with a machine-gun bagpipe and through all this Deborah Kerr was a French Scotswoman!”Much less a true story than very funny surrealist art. Like Salvidor Dali meets The Pythons, but odder. And lots of great satire and stuff, too. See it. Now. If only to broaden your horizons.

  • susan-pena
    susan pena

    This was the Bond title unable to be used by the filmmakers of the regular Bond film series, until the end of the century (they finally got to it for the restart in 2006). So, the intent here was a spoof of the then-wildly popular Bond/spy mania of the mid-sixties. Of course, this wasn’t the first such effort; others already began the “Our Man Flint” duo film series and “The Man From UNCLE” on TV was in full swing, not to mention “Get Smart.” So, how to outdo them? Get five top notch directors. Get as many sixties stars as possible. Get everything but the kitchen sink (literally, in the over-the-top climax). The original intent was to have each director do their own little mini-movie spoof – an anthology; they ended up editing everything together into one so-called film. A heady brew and, predictably, largely incomprehensible. In addition, actor Sellers, the nominal star, left before completing all his scenes, so his personal trajectory is less than smooth – as if a scene is missing, naturally. If you pay very close attention, you might be able to follow about 50% of the plot, but do you really want to put so much effort into watching a comedy? Some of this editing is quite clumsy: the first pre-credits scene, a short one, features Sellers, as if the producers are pointing out to us that he is indeed in this movie (he doesn’t show up again until 40 minutes later). Welles doesn’t show up until the 80-minute mark. The first sequence concentrates on Niven, the real James Bond. He’s in retirement but is forced back into a weird plot by the heads of all the world’s spy agencies. This first half-hour, except for the scene with the lions, is slow and mostly stupid, not funny-stupid as intended, involving Kerr and a lot of dull fun at the expense of the Irish, for some reason, and painfully obvious joking about Bond’s sexual magnetism. There’s also one sly poke at the real Bond film series and its gadgetry; apparently, that Bond, of “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” fame, is actually a replacement for the pure spy played by Niven, who looks down at the concept of gadgets. Things start to pick up a bit later, with the intro of several femme fatales, played by some of the most ravishing starlets of the sixties: Andress of “Dr.No” fame, Bouchet as the new Moneypenny, Lavi and Pettet as Bond’s daughter, Mata (why Pettet did not become a major star is baffling to me). Much of the non-plot involves Niven taking over M’s operations and naming a bunch of other agents James Bond to confuse the enemy – SMERSH (lifted straight from the books). We finally do see similar plot lines to Fleming’s novel, involving villain heavy Le Chiffre (Welles) and one of the Bonds (Sellers) dueling at cards (Baccarat – dramatized differently in the 1954 TV version, yet eerily similar).Curiously, it’s not Sellers who provides the more amusing scenes in this confusing fest, as we would expect. No, that honor falls to Woody Allen, as Bond’s nephew, and Welles in his brief scenes conducting some off-the-cuff magic show. Allen’s highlight is his very first scene, involving the firing squad. Allen, previously seen in “What’s New,Pussycat?,” now proves to be one of the most natural comedians for the silver screen. His mannerisms and body movement recall some of the great comedians of the silent era, Chaplin & Keaton, especially evident in the scenes where he can’t speak (a mental block whenever Uncle Bond is around). Famous starlet of the seventies Ms.Bisset pops up briefly in a small role as yet another femme fatale. There’s also some mildly amusing commentary on the division of East and West Berlin – yes, this was the height of the Cold War – including some almost-clever use of color. But, all the psychedelic stuff, crammed into the tail end of this, is very outdated and useful only if the viewer has smoked a lot of weed. This movie also has one of the worst musical scores – almost like nails on chalkboard to me. If you’re in a really good mood, you may be able to sit through this long movie comfortably; if not, you’ll probably get pretty antsy as the last third begins – and that’s where most of Woody’s scenes are. Bonds:4 Villains:6 Femme Fatales:7 Henchmen:4 Fights:3 Stunts/Chases:5 Gadgets:4 Locations:8 Pace:4 overall:5-

  • kimberly-hood
    kimberly hood

    I can’t believe how many people have posted such negative comments about this film – those who try to compare it with the serious Bond series are as witless as those who find the plot too complicated for their tiny little minds. I saw this first when I was about 12 years old, and it seemed clear enough to me then – there are some baddies, and the goodies have to stop them. With some gags and lots of style. OK maybe with maturity I can see it has dated a little, some scenes may drag a bit and a few people may be offended by the sixties outlook on life, but hey whadda you expect from a sixties film? What it boils down to is a series of comic vignettes featuring just about every famous face in the movies at the time, bringing Sellers and Niven together again after the first Pink Panther movie, which practically founded the whole crazy sixties anything-goes genre, of which this is the pinnacle and epitome. Set to some fabulous tunes and on a collection of extraordinary sets, dozens of master mirthmakers perform a loopy little dance around the plot of Fleming’s novel (this film actually contains a lot more of the novel it is named after than most of the “proper” Bond series). Some of the faces only feature for a few moments (Peter O’Toole’s part is tiny, for one), others, like Sellers, Allen, Niven and Welles, do enough to create truly memorable characters despite the frantic pace of much of the film (I still cannot think of Welles’ face without those scary shades). Sellers does his multi-talented thing as usual, Niven plays Bond to a tee as the quintessential unflappable Englishman (his screen persona provided much of the inspiration when Fleming created Bond), and Allen plays his nervy, sexmad little stereotype as well as in any of his own films. I can see that this will not appeal to some people, but anyone who can lighten up, enjoy a little silliness and appreciate that 60s sense of humour will find this a hilarious jaunt round the spy genre. If you do like it, check the other installments in this classic period for Sellers – What’s New Pussycat, After the Fox, the Wrong Box and of course, the awesome Magic Christian. Beats the pants off yer Austin Powers any day of the week.

  • harold-hicks
    harold hicks

    It helps if you’re able to live in Kierkegaard’s unfolding moment if you want to enjoy this movie. Or in Fritz Perl’s “here and now”, to switch hoaxes in midstream. It’s pointless to compare “Casino Royale” to any of the other “straight” Bond films. There is no “plot” worthy of the name. The five disparate directors saw to that, to the extent that the writers didn’t. It’s a succession of gags, puns, and visual effects taking place in spectacularly designed settings, spoofs of German expressionism, psychedelic imagery, and all that. Some of the gags miss the mark. A British soldier who has been practicing karate chops on wooden boards comes to a stiff attention when his superior approaches and snaps a quivering Brit-style salute, knocking himself out with his own hand. Ha ha. Such silliness abounds and at times the movie drags a bit, but there is always another joke around the corner. Orson Welles, with his fat cigar at the card table, performing magic tricks with flags and scarves amid flashing lights while everyone whistles and applauds. Peter Sellers trying on different costumes for Ursula Andress, including one of a gruff old general, “There’s nothing wrong with the British Ahmy — that a damned good swim won’t cure.” You really can’t look for logic in all of this. Listen to the score and watch the performers squeeze the most possible laughs out of their situations. Too bad the movie loses steam at the end so that what should be a climactic pulling together of all the accumulated lines of narrative and jokes is, instead, just plain silly — clapping seals, parachuting Indians. Ridiculous, but not funny. Writers who have trouble ending absurd movies like this seem to think that a few minutes of chaotic slapstick will serve. “What’s New, Pussycat” had the same problem, with people running frantically from room to room in a hotel, a Feydeau farce without laughs. “Sex and the Single Girl” thrust everybody into vehicles and sent them racing down a California freeway with nothing to say. Just about all of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” was an attempt to substitute destruction and speed for wit. I saw this movie when it was released and laughed from beginning to end. I don’t find it quite so funny now, (I don’t find ANYTHING quite so funny anymore) but I watch it when I can. It’s an opportunity to live in the unfolding moment.

  • rachel-cain
    rachel cain

    Casino Royale has some outstanding elements. The production design is worth a 10. There are beautiful, often provocatively dressed or relatively undressed women everywhere you look. Many of its segments are funny; it’s even occasionally hilarious.The problem arose in putting all of it together. And with at least five directors and at least ten writers, it’s not difficult to see why. The whole is a mess. There is little in the way of overarching plot. Most threads are just completely abandoned after awhile.The story, which is very loosely based on Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel Casino Royale (published in 1953–it’s the first Bond novel), is a spoof of the typical adventure featuring the infamous secret agent. The real Bond (David Niven) went into retirement when his skills were at their peak. This Bond is quite different than the Bond we know–he is almost chaste, he’s a homebody, he dedicates each evening’s twilight to playing Debussy on the piano, and so on. Casino Royale has it that the Bond we know from other films is a decoy.A group of older men, representing the secret agencies of the US, the UK, Russia and France, are on their way to the real Bond’s home to ask for his assistance. It seems that someone has been trying to wipe out as many secret agents as they can. While they’re pitching the idea of coming out of retirement to Bond, they’re attacked. Bond’s house is blown up, and he (implicitly) agrees to the assignment. Casino Royale is the story of the real Bond trying to get to the bottom of the sinister agent-wipeout plan. Part of carrying that out involves changing the identity of nearly every spy to James Bond–if the real Bond is to work unimpeded, he can’t always be worrying about being killed by the criminal mastermind.Each director worked on a different segment in relative isolation from the rest. This went so far as having their own portions of the script written. The problem was that despite Eon Productions (the production company behind most of the Bond films) not owning the rights to Casino Royale, they had used many of the “bits” in other Bond films. So there wasn’t much of the book left to adapt. In addition, it was felt that a serious alternative Bond film couldn’t compete against the Albert R. Broccoli/Harry Saltzman-produced films. So Casino Royale producers Jerry Bresler, John Dark and Charles K. Feldman had different writer/director teams create their own, parodic Bond segments that would be loosely tied together–it was almost a filmic version of the “Exquisite Corpse” game, in which you fold a piece of paper so that you can’t see other persons’ work, and you have to continue the drawing on your section with only a couple visual anchors.Each segment features a different set of stars–the primary sets centering on Niven, Woody Allen, and Peter Sellers with Ursula Andress and Orson Welles. Those are all great actors, and great comedians in at least two cases. They all do a bit of their own schtick–in some cases, they demanded this. Woody does his neurotic New York Jew character, Peter Sellers rides the gray area between bumbling buffoon and suave playboy, with a couple generic Indian and Chinese impersonations thrown in for good measure, Orson Welles does his best Paul Masson Wine-pitching “elder statesman” demeanor, and also throws in a few of his more famous magic tricks. All of this stuff is good, but does it work as a unified film? No. And if that’s not enough evidence for you, consider that the segments were further chopped up into set-pieces. There’s the “M”, or McTarry funeral stuff, the Niven car chase stuff, the Sellers/Andress romance stuff, and so on. Each set piece ends up being largely independent–you could almost see this as a series of skits on a similar theme. These facts make Casino Royale not quite work. It’s certainly no match for a legitimate Bond film, despite the similarity of location-hopping, outrageous villains, spy gadgets and so on.But, in isolation, the segments tend to be good to excellent. The stretch with Bond visiting the faux M widow is probably the funniest. It also presages the Sir Robin section of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), but bests it in a way, if only because of its extension. The madcap ending of the film is a lot of fun for its embrace of absurdism as a supreme aesthetic disposition–and it may have even influenced some later films. And the segments with the trippiest visuals, both in the climax, are a fantastic treat for any fan of surrealism. They’re good enough to watch the film just to see them. The production design is incredible throughout the film. Not just for the surrealism, but the lush Edwardian and Victorian interiors, complete with copies and works in similar styles to unique, influential artists such as Gustav Klimt and Otto Dix.If we felt like being overly generous, we might be able to argue that the overarching mess of a plot was part of the point. This is a spoof of Bond, after all, and Bond novels and films tend to have sprawling plots–both geographically and narratively. We do travel to many exotic locales, meet many exotic people, doing exotic things, and we receive many plot intricacies and twists in both the typical Bond story and in Casino Royale. However, Bond films aren’t quite convoluted or messy enough to deserve this kind of spoofing, so excusing the messiness of the whole to parodic intent seems an over-ambitious stretch.Casino Royale is worth seeing, particularly if you’re a big Bond fan or a big fan of any of the cast, or even if you just like a lot of late 1960s/early 1970s big, madcap comedies. Just don’t expect anything like a tight story.

  • valija-prieditis
    valija prieditis

    Eon Production’s DR. NO was a great hit in the early 1960s, and Eon quickly snapped up the rights to the rest of Ian Flemming’s novels about super spy James Bond–except for the CASINO ROYALE, which had already been purchased earlier by CBS for a 1950s television adaptation. When the property wound up at Columbia Pictures, they decided to create the satire to end all satires with a host of writers, five famous directors, and an all-star cast led by Peter Sellers. Unfortunately, Sellers’ ego reached critical mass during the production and he was fired mid-way into filming–and suddenly roles that were originally envisioned as cameos had to be expanded to finish the project. The result is one of the most bizarre films imaginable.The story, such as it is, finds James Bond (David Niven) called out of retirement to deal with the sudden disappearance of secret agents all over the world. In order to confuse the unknown enemy, Sir James orders ALL secret agents to use the name James Bond–and before you can blink there are Bonds aplenty running wild all over the globe. Eventually all the Bonds, including (through the magic of editing) Peter Sellers, wind up at Casino Royale, where they confront the evil agents of SMERSH and a diabolical mad man with a plot to rule the world.The plot is absolute chaos, but that doesn’t prevent the film from being a lot of fun to watch. The entire cast runs wild with some marvelous over-the-top performances, and whenever the writers can jam in a gag or a weird plot turn they do precisely that: Bond (Niven) is attacked by decoy ducks; counter-agent Mimi (Deborah Kerr) swings from a drain pipe; Bond’s daughter by Mata Hari (Joanna Pettet) is kidnapped by a UFO; double agent Vesper (Ursula Andress) hides bodies in the deep freeze. And that’s just for starters.At one point Niven blows up the locked door of a psychedelically decorated dudgeon with lysergic acid–better know as LSD–and in a way this is indicative of the entire film, which was made at the height of the 1960s ultra-mod movement: the whole thing has the feel of a blow-out acid trip, right down to flashing multicolored lights and swinging 60s fashions. It is visually arresting, to say the least. And then there is that famous Burt Bacharach score, easily one of the best of the decade, sporting Herp Albert on the main theme and Dusty Springfield’s legendary performance of “The Look of Love.” On the whole, the film is one of the most entertaining hodgepodges of talent and weirdness I’ve ever encountered, and it never fails to amuse. I’ve found that viewers tend to have extremely different reactions to this film–they either love it or hate it, so you may want to rent this one first. But it’s one of my favorite guilty pleasures, and I recommend it for fans of the unexpectedly odd.Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

  • olga-walek
    olga walek

    CASINO ROYALE is one of the truly great bad movies of all time. It is a wonderfully weird, bold, funny and incoherent mess of a movie. What should stink of embarrassing desperation, instead proves to cheerfully insane, unpredictable and remarkably free of common sense.The film was intended to be the ultimate spy spoof, an attempt to out-Bond the James Bond movies and their innumerable imitators. To this end, the untold number of writers and directors involved have opted to take the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to storytelling, mixed with a cut-and-paste style of editing. It is obvious that no one gave the slightest thought to creating a genuine spy film and instead approached the film with a devil-may-care attitude. As far as the actors are concerned, CASINO ROYALE seems to be little more than an excuse to have a multimillion dollar party at the studio’s expense. As a satire of Bond films, CASINO is adequate; as a satire of the then trendy-swinging-cool-hip-with-it-now youth films of the era, it succeeds beautifully.Basically you have a whole bunch of big name stars — past their prime, but still with box office credibility — ridiculing the very youth market that was squeezing them off the theatre marquees. Yet, the film has no malice; it is as bright and breezy as a screwball comedy with just a touch of British absurdity. It is amazing that a film that is so overblown, over produced and over budgeted can still be so light and airy. Despite a chaotic recipe, the film has a lot of really great ingredients. The cast is slumming in style (where else can you find Orson Welles, John Huston and Woody Allen hamming it up in the same film or Peter O’Toole, George Raft, Charles Boyer and Jean-Paul Belmondo dropping in for fleeting cameos?) And you have one of the best soundtrack albums ever, including Herb Alpert’s title track and Dusty Springfield’s sexy, sultry rendition of the Bacharach and David classic “The Look of Love.” Plus, you get Woody Allen as an evil genius out to take over the world and Deborah Kerr dangling from the drain pipe of a Scottish castle.And, to some extend, the film gets Bond right. As the legit James Bond series grinds on, getting ever more pompous, humorless and heavy-handed, CASINO ROYALE sees the whole genre for what it is: an absurdist lark. Indeed, if CASINO ROYALE has a soul mate, it is not GOLDFINGER, but the “Batman” TV series, another pop culture phenomenon designed to deflate pretense with overblown villains, outrageously silly situations, off-the-wall cameos and a tongue placed firmly in the cheek.What’s not to love?