Directors: Val Guest, Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, Richard Talmadge
Starring: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, Joanna Pettet, Daliah Lavi, Deborah Kerr, William Holden, Charles Boyer, John Huston, Barbara Bouchet, George Raft, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jacqueline Bisset, Richard Burton, eraldine Chaplin, Jack Gwillim, Burt Kwouk, John Le Mesurier, Caroline Munro, Peter O'Toole
More info: IMDb
Tagline: Casino Royale is too much for one James Bond!
Plot: After the death of M, Sir James Bond is called back out of retirement to stop SMERSH. In order to trick SMERSH and Le Chiffre, Bond thinks up the ultimate plan. That every agent will be named James Bond. One of the Bonds, whose real name is Evelyn Tremble, is sent to take on Le Chiffre in a game of baccarat, but all the Bonds get more than they can handle, especially when the ultimate villain turns out to be Bond's nephew, Jimmy Bond.
My rating: 6/10
Will I watch it again? Yeah.
CASINO ROYALE is, for most people, a curiosity at best. As a Bond film, forget it. As a comedy, it's wildly uneven, sometimes dull and silly and sometimes genuinely funny as hell. It's one of those big budget 'kitchen sink' comedies which were so prevalent in the late 60s that has a huge cast and tries so hard to deliver something for everyone. They rarely work as intended.
There's an awful lot that does work in this one and that's primarily the cast. David Niven (Ian Fleming's original choice to play Bond) as Bond is great, especially once he's back on the job. Woody Allen is hysterical, Sellers is fun, although not being particularly funny. Orson Welles is hilarious and Barbara Bouchet as Moneypenny is scrummy as ever and she needs to have my babies...
as does Ursula Andress...
and Joanna Pettet...
and Daliah Lavi...
I should clear my schedule.
I could go on about the other more minor roles but I don't have that kind of time. Burt Bacharach's score is one of his best comedy scores. The tunes are fun and firmly belong in the late 60s. Nothing dates a movie like its score and this one revels in it. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the main theme by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass!
As much as I like many aspects of this picture, it's tough getting through the dry spots like the first 40 minutes leading up to Sir James Bond in action once he's back at the office. There's barely a laugh. From that point on it's a fun ride, not always funny (and there are some misses) but a fun time nevertheless. I just wish they'd done something different with the first third of the picture. It's almost pointless and heavy on the not funny.
I think in the future I'll just skip ahead and pretend the first 40 minutes don't exist. It'll be a more enjoyable, not to mention A LOT shorter, movie (it clocks in at 2 hours, 11 minutes!!!). As a die hard Bond fan (with the exception of the Brosnan pictures and one each of the Connery and Moore films) I'm perfectly fine that this exists. As a fan of movies, I really dig it. The psychedelic sets, mood, calamity, film stars (I'm a huge fan of so much of the cast it's ridiculous), the wacky 60s score, the insanely goofy fight at the end, the works.