Casino Royale (1967)

"Weak"

Casino Royale (1967) Review


Though great he may be, there is a limit to the amount of uninterrupted Burt Bacharach music one can endure. And sadly, that limit -- of music punctuated by kazoos, harpischords, and accordions -- is far less than 137 minutes.

There's also a limit on the length of a spy spoof one can sit through (the second Austin Powers and Richard Grieco's If Looks Could Kill being the few notable, yet guilty, exceptions). That limit tends to run about 58 minutes.

Peter Sellers proves he still had it in his turn as, yes, James Bond, in the one 007 spoof ever made (unless you count that unintentional farce Never Say Never Again). But the three (credited) writers and five directors turned Royale into an unmitigated mess, sometimes funny but often drier than dust, totally random, and just plain silly when it should be sophisticated.

Stealing the show is Orson Welles, playing Bond's nemesis at the baccarat table, but unfortunately the scenes in the titular casino are far too few and far between. Most of the film involves Bond's (David Niven) plan to create a gaggle of dummy Bonds (including the Sellers version and Woody Allen as young "Jimmy Bond") in order to throw the real enemy, SMERSH's mysterious "Dr. Noah" (this is funny?) off the scent.

Hours later, we're treated to a funny, yet long overdue ending. With a little more forethought and discipline in the editing process, Royale might have lent itself to an amusing tale. Instead we've got questionable comedy that doesn't even measure up to the jokes already present in the Bond series. Note to filmmakers: If you want to spoof something, at least make sure you're outdoing your source material on the comedy front.

The DVD features a rarely-seen early version of Casino Royale, a grainy, hour-long TV movie shot in the '50s and starring Peter Lorre in the Welles role. It's actually not bad and is worth a look for anyone really interested in checking out a more faithful version of the Bond tale.



Facts and Figures

Box Office Worldwide: $594.2M

Budget: $150M

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Famous Artists Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Charles K. Feldman

Starring: as James Bond, as Evelyn Tremble, as Vesper Lynd, as Le Chiffre, as Mata Bond, as The Detainer, as Agent Mimi / Lady Fiona McTarry, as Ransome, as Legrand, as M / General MacTarry, Kurt Kasznar as Smernov, as Himself, as Un légionnaire, Terence Cooper as Cooper, Barbara Bouchet as Moneypenny, as Buttercup, Gabriella Licudi as Eliza, Tracey Crisp as Heather, Elaine Taylor as Peg, as Giovanna Goodthighs, Alexandra Bastedo as Meg, Anna Quayle as Frau Hoffner, Derek Nimmo as Hadley, as Polo, Colin Gordon as Casino Director, Bernard Cribbins as Taxi Driver, as Fang Leader, as Casino Doorman & MI5. Man, as Jimmy Bond, as Un général chinois, as Corbett, as Q


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Amy Movie Review

Amy Movie Review

As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...

Advertisement
Everly Movie Review

Everly Movie Review

A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...

Slow West Movie Review

Slow West Movie Review

First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...

Entourage Movie Review

Entourage Movie Review

Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...

Advertisement