★: James Bond spoof produced by Charles K. Feldman and Jerry Bresler. US release date: April 19, 1967. Budget: $9 million. Worldwide box office gross: $41.7 million (US gross: $22.7 million; international gross: $19.0 million). Running time: 131 minutes.
In this undisguised parody, which has little to do with any of Ian Fleming’s original books, Sir James Bond (David Niven) emerges from retirement to confront twin evils: the nefarious activities of Soviet master spy and super gambler Le Chiffre (Orson Welles) and the more deadly international scheme of Bond’s own nephew Jimmy Bond (Woody Allen). His plan: confuse his enemies by giving his name to dozens of other agents, male and female. All roads eventually lead to the baccarat table in Monte Carlo, where agent James Bond / Evelyn Tremble (Peter Sellers) takes on Le Chiffre in a high-stakes card game.
Behind the Scenes
With five directors, eight writers (only three credited), two second unit directors, and plot holes you could drive Aston Martins through, Casino Royale is one of the worst film spoofs ever made. Producer Charles Feldman controlled the rights to Ian Fleming’s first novel but was unable to make a deal with Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to produce a serious James Bond adaptation (Feldman turned down $500,000 for the rights). So he decided to produce a big, lumbering satire on the world of Bond that comes across like a misfired television variety special. However, because he was one of the most successful talent agents of all time and knew virtually everyone on Hollywood’s A-list, Feldman was able to assemble an incredible cast. The few high points include the Herb Alpert title track, the Dusty Springfield song “The Look of Love,” Barbara Bouchet as Moneypenny’s luscious daughter, and the performances by Peter Sellers and Woody Allen. Otherwise, it’s just a series of long set pieces that are not in the least bit funny.
|Evelyn Tremble/James Bond
|Sir James Bond
|The Detainer/Lady James Bond
|Jimmy Bond/Dr. Noah
|Agent Mimi/Lady Fiona
|Charles K. Feldman
|Suggested by the novel Casino Royale by
|Charles K. Feldman
|Director of Photography
|Jack Hildyard, B.S.C.
|John Wilcox, B.S.C.
|Nicholas Roeg, B.S.C
|Music composed and conducted by
|Main Title song performed by
|Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
|“The Look of Love” performed by