Casino Royale (1954)
As families gathered around their television sets on October 21, 1954 they would be witnesses to the first live-action incarnation of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. CBS’ anthology program Climax adapted Fleming’s year-old novel Casino Royale as an hour episode for the series. Starring Barry Nelson as Bond, Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre and Linda Christian as Valerie Mathis, Casino Royale would tell the story of an American agent who must defeat a Soviet operative in a game of baccaret.
Fans of the novel will notice quite a few changes made in this adaptation. The first being ‘what do you mean an American agent???’ With all the alterations done to the story, I take a look at this once believed long lost program and see how this interpretation of Casino Royale actually is, along with how does Nelson do as the very first actor ever to portray James Bond.