Ahhh….the swinging 60’s. Kicky music, groovy clothes and Ian Flemings James Bond ruling the movies. Dr. No, From Russian With Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball made 007 one of the most popular fictional characters of the decade. The Bond films would become worldwide sensations and make 007 an icon.
The extreme popularity of Bond would ignite the 60’s spy craze. Very quickly countless films tried their hand at the spy genre and created imitations of 007. Cinema screens were filled with James Bond copies and spy films. If you were a fan of the spy genre in the 60’s, there was no shortage of seeing the adventures of a secret agent on a mission in a far away country shooting bad guys and kissing beautiful women. They were everywhere.
Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, who were producing the official Bond series for their EON Films had obtained the rights to adapt all of Flemings Bond stories, except for one – Casino Royale.
Flemings first Bond novel was owned by producer Charles K. Feldman who in 1967 ready to capitalize on 007-mania set out to make his own James Bond movie. However, this wouldn’t be a straight spy thriller, but a spoof of James Bond.
With a huge budget, psychedelic imagery, music by Burt Bacharach and a star-studded cast that includes Peter Sellers, David Niven, Woody Allen, Ursula Andress and Orson Welles, I take a long look at 1967’s Casino Royale.
I attempt to untangle how this notorious film eventually became one of the most tumultuous movie productions ever, recount some of the production stories that caused the filming to become so chaotic and if the resulting film itself is any good after all the trouble that went into the creation of it.
CASINO ROYALE (1967) REVIEW