CASINO ROYALE (Columbia Pictures, 1967)

Entry Source: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin


★:  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).[1] Running time: 131 minutes.

The Setup

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.
 

The Cast
Role
Actor/Actress
Evelyn Tremble/James Bond Peter Sellers
Vesper Lynd Ursula Andress
Sir James Bond David Niven
Le Chiffre Orson Welles
Mata Bond Joanna Pettet
The Detainer/Lady James Bond Daliah Lavi
Jimmy Bond/Dr. Noah Woody Allen
Agent Mimi/Lady Fiona Deborah Kerr
Ransome William Holden
Le Grande Charles Boyer
McTarry/M John Huston
Smernov Kurt Kasznar
Himself George Raft
French Legionnaire Jean-Paul Belmondo
Cooper/James Bond Terence Cooper
Miss Moneypenny Barbara Bouchet
Agent Buttercup Angela Scoular
Eliza Gabriella Licudi
Heather Tracey Crisp
Peg Elaine Taylor
Miss Goodthighs Jacqueline Bisset
Meg Alexandra Bastedo
Frau Hoffner Anna Quayle
Hadley Derek Nimmo
Polo Ronnie Corbett

 

The Crew
Crew Member
Role
Presented by Charles K. Feldman
Directors John Huston
Ken Hughes
Val Guest
Robert Parrish
Joseph McGrath
Screenplay by Wolf Mankowitz
John Law
Michael Sayers
Suggested by the novel Casino Royale by  Ian Fleming
Producers Charles K. Feldman
Jerry Bresler
Director of Photography Jack Hildyard, B.S.C.
Additional Photography John Wilcox, B.S.C.
Nicholas Roeg, B.S.C
Music composed and conducted by Burt Bacharach
Main Title song performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
“The Look of Love” performed by Dusty Springfield
Lyrics by Hal David
Production Designer Michael Stringer
Costume Designer Julie Harris

[1] “Casino Royale (1967),” The Numbers, accessed April 27, 2020, https://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Casino-Royale.