With the latest 007 adventure Skyfall premièring earlier this week, and having reviewed all of the previous Bond movies earlier this year, there is but one film left to bestow upon you; The 1967 version of Casino Royale.
This 1967 James Bond spoof had all the potential to be hilarious; it was made the same year as “You Only Live Twice” and starred a number of the biggest names of the day including Peter Sellers, David Niven, Woody Allen, Orson Welles, Deborah Kerr and the stunningly beautiful Ursula Andress (who was the bond girl for Dr No). With a cast like this I was expecting a world-class film… Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out like that.
Casino Royale sees Sir James Bond (David Niven) come out of retirement to take on evil organisation SMERSH. With “M” dead, Sir James decides to rename all of the MI6 agents “James Bond 007” including Evelyn Tremble (Peter Sellers), who Sir James hires to battle Le Chiffre (Orson Welles) at a high stakes poker game.
I hated this version of Casino Royale with a passion; there is simply no kinder way to put it. At 125 minutes total running time, it is far too long, and after half an hour I was praying for it to finish. With the cast available I was shocked at how rubbish this really is… It just isn’t funny! The only good thing about this adaptation is Ursula Andress, and that’s only because she’s attractive.