Casino Royale

Columbia Released 1967




out of 10
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Movie Summary

John Huston (I) , Robert Parrish , Ken Hughes , Val Guest , Joseph McGrath

Amongst the most shameless films in cinema history, Casino Royale was a 1967 release - although it was touch and go whether it would ever be released at all. Starring David Niven and Peter Sellers (who was either sacked from the film or else walked off it, depending on who you believe), it was created to be a satire of the immensely popular James Bond films (take-offs of the Bond franchise were very numerous in the late 60s). It was actually based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, the very first of the Bond books; but it bore almost no resemblance to it. It had many stars and at least five directors, but what it didn't have was a coherent storyline or a finished screenplay. The new plotline features Sir James Bond (David Niven), a veteran spy of the most scrupulous standards, who comes out of retirement to investigate... well, something or other involving a mysterious organization out to subjugate the world, you know the sort of thing. The picture took ten months to make and ended up costing a whopping (for those days) $12,000,000 - the equivalent of about $175,000,000 nowadays. It set new and deplorable standards for self-indulgence, appeared to have been made up by innumerable people as they went along, attracted huge audiences which went away disappointed and ended up losing money all the same, because it had cost so much. The producer, Charles Feldman, died the following year, and some thought the experience of making it had shortened his life.



Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Empire Kim Newman

    Despite being not officially a Bond film this is good solid, entertaining action.

  • 50

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    At one time or another, Casino Royale undoubtedly had a shooting schedule, a script and a plot. If any one of the three ever turns up, it might be the making of a good movie.

  • 50

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Unfortunately, after the introductory sequences, Casino Royale begins a downhill slide. It gets progressively sillier and more incoherent until it's impossible to keep any of the p...

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Peter O'Toole, Stirling Moss and Dave Prowse were all uncredited.

    • Although the producer, Charles K. Feldman, tried to get as many stars as possible for the film (and used his status as a former top Hollywood agent to persuade various friends to take part), some actors, including Geraldine Chaplin and Ian Hendry, were cut out of the film entirely.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (1)

    • The "difficult behaviour" of the top-billed Peter Sellers during filming has passed into legend. Amongst other things, he demanded that an expensive set be torn down because his mother had appeared to him in a dream and told him she didn't like the look of it (it was torn down); that Terry Southern be hired at considerable expense to rewrite his dialogue (hardly anything by Southern was used in the final film); that his old TV colleague John Bluthal be fired from the film (he is still in it, briefly) and that he would not have to work on the same days as Orson Welles, whom he hated. As the centre of the film is the confrontation between the two men, this provided great difficulties, with each actor delivering his lines to a stand-in in the absence of the other. Sellers was also given to disappearing from the set, sometimes for days at a time. According to the memoirs of Val Guest, one of the directors, Sellers eventually exhausted the patience of the producers and was fired; he, however, claimed that he had walked off the film and that he was ashamed of having appeared in it. (He is conspicuously absent from the spectacular climax of the film).


More Info About This Movie


Espionage, Classics, Satire, Parody & Spoof