Casino Royale

 Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 30 January 1967 (UK), 28 April 1967 (US)
Running time: 131 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1
Classification: PG (UK)

Presented by: Charles K Feldman
Directed by: John Huston, Kenneth Hughes, Val Guest, Robert Parrish, Joseph McGrath
Additional sequences: Val Guest
Produced by: Charles K Feldman, Jerry Bresler
Screenplay by: Wolf Mankowitz, John Law, Michael Sayers
Suggested by the novel "Casino Royale" by: Ian Fleming
Associate producer: John Dark
Production designer: Michael Stringer
Director of photography: Jack Hildyard BSC
Additional photography: John Wilcox BSC, Nicolas Roeg BSC
Second unit directors: Richard Talmadye, Anthony Squire
Film editor: Bill Lenny
Special effects: Cliff Richardson, Roy Whybrow
Titles and montage effects: Richard Williams

Music composed and conducted by: Burt Bacharach

Main theme: "Casino Royale"
Played by: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
Highest chart position: 27 (UK)

Additional: "The Look of Love"
Sung by: Dusty Springfield
Music by: Burt Bacharach
Lyrics by: Hal David
Usage: During the scenes of of Evelyn and Vesper at Vesper's apartment.

Evelyn Tremble (James Bond 007): Peter Sellers
Vesper Lynd (007): Ursula Andress
Sir James Bond: David Niven
Le Chiffre: Orson Welles
Mata Bond: Joanna Pettet
The Detainer (007): Daliah Lavi
Jimmy Bond (Dr Noah): Woody Allen
Agent Mimi (Alias Lady Fiona): Deborah Kerr
Ransome: William Holden
Le Grand: Charles Boyer
McTarry (M): John Huston
Smernov: Kurt Kasznar
Himself: George Raft
French Legionnaire: Jean Paul Belmondo
Cooper (James Bond 007): Terence Cooper
Moneypenny: Barbara Bouchet
Buttercup: Angela Scoular
Eliza: Gabriella Licudi
Heather: Tracey Crisp
Peg: Elaine Taylor
Miss Goodthighs: Jacky Bisset
Meg: Alexandra Bastedo
Frau Hoffner: Anna Quayle
Hadley: Derek Nimmo
Polo: Ronnie Corbett
Casino Director (Slimington-Jones) Colin Gordon
Taxi Driver (Carlton Towers) Bernard Cribbins
Fang Leader: Tracy Reed
Casino Doorman & MI5 Man: John Bluthal
Q: Geoffrey Bayldon
Q's Assistant (Fordice): John Wells
Inspector Mathis: Duncan Macrae
Cashier: Graham Stark
Chic: Chic Murray
John: Jonathan Routh
British Army Officer: Richard Wattis
Le Chiffre's Representative: Vladek Sheybal
1st Piper: Percy Herbert
Control Girl: Penny Riley
Captain of the Guard: Jeanne Roland

Chinese Army Officer: Burt Kwouk
Piper (Peter O'Toole fan): Peter O'Toole
Indian who drops through roof: Frank DeKova
Voice of Dr Noah: Valentine Dyall
M's Driver: John Le Mesurier
Himself: Stirling Moss
Frankenstein's Monster: Dave Prowse
Tea Lady: Mona Washbourne

Background: "Casino Royale" was the first of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. It also became the first to be adapted for the screen, with an American television version in 1954 starring Barry Nelson as Jimmy Bond, an American agent. As such, the rights to the novel were not included in the package purchased by EON. By 1965, the rights were held Charles K Feldman. At this time, Bond was hugely popular and so it became an obvious move for Feldman to exercise his rights with a film version. However, believing that it would be foolish to compete with the "official" series of movies starring Sean Connery, it was decided instead to make the film a comic spoof.

Using the title: Casino Royale is the name of the casino in France which becomes the focus for the second half of the movie. The headquarters of the villainous organisation SMERSH is hidden beneath it.

The novel approach: The middle of the movie contains a surprising amount of material from Fleming's novel, albeit with very little connection to the material either side of it! This concerns Le Chiffre, a SMERSH agent who has embezzled a large amount of money from his employers and is therefore trying to win it back at baccarat. Seeing an opportunity to stop Le Chiffre, the British Secret Service send James Bond (actually Evelyn Tremble in the movie, an expert at the game) to beat him. Following his defeat, Le Chiffre kidnaps "Bond" and fellow agent Vesper Lynd. The novel contains an infamous torture sequence in which a naked Bond is tied into a chair without a bottom, and Le Chiffre uses a carpet beater on a very tender part of his anatomy. In the film version, this is replaced with a "torture of the mind". However, the room in which Tremble is imprisoned contains a chair without a bottom and a carpet beater. At the end of the novel, Vesper is revealed to be a double agent. This is also reflected in the movie with Vesper drawing a gun on Sir James, although this is not really followed up on. The French policeman, Mathis, is also named for the French agent in the novel.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: As in the official movies, the head of the British Secret Service is known as M, although his name is actually McTarry. M is killed when he blows up Sir James's garden in an attempt to get him to return to work, so Sir James takes over. One of his first acts is to give all agents the code name James Bond 007 (even the women) in order to confuse the enemy. His secretary is Miss Moneypenny, although she is the daughter of the one that he worked with previously (she became a nun when he retired). Sir James also has an assistant called Hadley. The Secret Service has a Q, whose office appears to be located in Harrods Department Store. Q's assistant is called Fordice. Strangely, the Secret Service is referred to as MI5, rather than MI6.

Locations: Rural England; the highlands of Scotland; London; an unidentified location in the far east; Berlin; France.

The villain: The role of the villain is taken by the organisation SMERSH. Here it appears to be an independent organisation, and not part of Russian intelligence as in Fleming's novels. SMERSH seems to be mainly made up of female agents, apart from Le Chiffre and the head of the organisation, who is known as "Authority" or Dr Noah and is latter revealed to be Jimmy Bond, the nephew of Sir James who has been driven to meglomania by his inferiority complex (he is unable to speak in the presence of his uncle). Initially SMERSH has been carrying out a programme to eliminate the agents of the British Secret Service, the CIA and the KGB. It is ultimately revealed that Jimmy Bond's ultimate plan is to elimiate the world's leaders and replace them with robotic replicas. He also has 1000 robotic replicas of James Bond and he plans to release a virus that will make all women beautiful and will kill all men taller than four foot six (ie. taller than him). Fortunately, Jimmy is tricked into swallowing an aspirin that contains an atomic bomb, which detonates, taking Jimmy, SMERSH and most of the cast with it.

The girl: The closest to a conventional Bond girl is Vesper Lynd, a retired agent who now runs a multi-national corporation. Sir James requests that she returns to the service in order to train Evelyn Tremble. She is ultimately revealed to be a double agent.

Bond's conquests: None - Sir James Bond is clearly above this kind of thing!

Gadgets: Sir James is dismissive of the gadgets carried by the heads of the Secret Service, CIA and the KGB, namely a trick carnation that spits cyanide, boots that contain weaponry, poisoned fly buttons and a flame throwing fountain pen. We also see Q Branch demonstrating a gun in a bowler hat (not yet perfected), a pen which releases poison into the eye of its user and a 2 way radio wristwatch. The latter has been developed by the Americans after getting the idea from a comic strip! SMERSH also have sophisticated weaponry - a homing device in a button, exploding game birds, an exploding milk float, a flying saucer and an aspirin containing an atomic bomb. We also see a SMERSH agent using bagpipes containing a machine gun - a gadget that would be seen briefly again 30 years later in the official series in The World Is Not Enough.

I didn't catch the name?: Evelyn Tremble gives his name as "Bond, James Bond" when arriving at Casino Royale.

Vodka Martinis: None. Instead, Sir James is partial to jasmine tea.

Gambling: Unsuprisingly, gambling plays an important part in the movie, given that Le Chiffre aims to win his money back at baccarat (as named in the film, but he appears to be playing chemin de fir, which is a version of baccarat in which one of the players acts as the dealer). Le Chiffre initially cheats by using marked cards that he can read using special glasses, until these are taken from him. In order to ensure that Le Chiffre loses, the Secret Service employs Evelyn Tremble, who has a fool-proof system for winning at baccarat and has written a book called "Tremble and Baccarat" - Le Chiffre has heard of him (and it is mentioned that he is a fan!). Tremble loses 2 hands, but wins the 3rd, gaining some 50 million francs.

Bond bits: Sir James Bond is the "greatest spy in history". He retired after betraying Mata Hari, the only woman he loved, and lives in a mansion in the countryside with a garden full of lions. M subsequently gave his name and number to another agent in order to maintain his legend. He plays Debussy on the piano from sunset until it is too dark to read the music, stands on his head a lot and eats royal jelly. At one point he was a solider stationed in Tibet and amongst his awards is the Victoria Cross. He has a daughter by Mata Hari, called Mata Bond, and a nephew called Jimmy Bond (a "disappointment"), implying that he has a brother or sister, unlike the Bond of the novels. Jimmy's mother (Bond's sister?) is called Nelly. He drives a vintage Bentley (like the Bond of the novels). He appears to be famous outside of spying, given that the desk clerk at the casino asks for anautograph when Tremble claims to be Bond. Sir James returns to run the Secret Service following the death of M and is ultimately killed when Jimmy Bond hiccups a nuclear explosion.

Other trivia: Agent Cooper, the "anti-female spy device" recruited by Sir James, is six foot two and half inches and weighs 184 pounds. He is an expert at karate and judo. Evelyn Tremble is 38 and was born in Highgate. He has a little scar on his right shoulder and a strawberry shaped birthmark on his left thigh. Jimmy Bond's birthday is 1 April.

Anything else?: The film does contain a number of barbed references to the official series of movies. As mentioned previously, Sir James Bond observed that M had given his name and number to another agent - "a sexual acrobat who leaves a trail of beautiful dead women". Sir James is also dismissive of gadgetry, and wouldn't swap his black rose for "an Aston Martin with lethal accessories". Also, a room full of gold painted women is disturbed during the final fight sequence.

The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew Newton. © Copyright MJ Newton. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission unless otherwise stated.

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