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Subj: casino royale 1967
Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 at 04:12:04 pm EST (Viewed 108 times)
I felt like a bit of Eurospy so I decided to rewatch the granddaddy of them all: Casino Royale, the only James Bond spoof that features James Bond. I watched it over 15 years ago and revisited it recently
This is the one Fleming Novel not owner by Eon pictures so it could feature an actual James Bond. Interestingly, it was originally going to be a straight film with Sean Connery. But instead it became a silly 60s comedy with 5 directors and dozens of James bonds.
The story is episodic, with each director taking a different potion which creates a number of tone shifts as each focuses on different characters. This was due to a number of reasons, notably Peter Sellers apparently going nuts and getting fired.
Story one: Smersh has been killing off agents, so MI6 decides to code name all of their agents James Bond. The first tale involves the "original" James Bond, played by a stuffy David Niven, who claims to be "old school" unlike modern agents obsessed with sex. Anyway, it shows that we are really lucky we got Sean Connery intead of David Niven. Niven somehow manages to be even more posh and effeminate than Roger Moore (who was by far the least belevable bond)
Story 2: this story bleeds into David Niven finding his long lost daughter, Mata Bond, from a love affair he had with Mata Hari. This is probably the best sequence in the film as it involves her infiltrating a spy school in east Berlin. Pettet manages to be both charismatic and beautiful. the probably should have been all about her as she gives us a nice idea of what a female bond film would look like.
And boy whoever directed this part loved dutch angles.
story 3: is the most famous part as it involves Peter Sellers as nerdy agent Treble, Orson Wells as Le Chiffe and original bond girl Ursala andress as Vesper lynd. For some reason Sellers tries to play it straight and refused to film his scenes with Wells, resulting in a very awkwardly filmed card game.
But it does have the seduction scene with a giant fish tank in the foreground and the sexy song "the look of love" which should have been used in a real bond film.
Story 4: really goes off the rails as the big villain is revealed to be Jimmy Bond played by the always annoying Woody Allen, culminating in a big farse battle as the directors had no idea how to end the film.
I was surprised to find the film turned a big profit despite being panned. i think it fell in a sweey spot between Thunderball and "you only live twice" when audiences watched anything Bond.
While its mostly an unwatchable mess there are elements of what could have been. The score by Burt Bacharat shows he should have been used on a real bond film. the lovely Dahliah Levi in a sexy 60s bob should have been a real bond girl. And Mata Bond should have had her own film.
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