I think that "Casino Royale" the way it was made illustrates the fact that bigger is not always better - overlong and overblown, written and directed by five or more writers and directors, it brings to mind an old saying, "Too many cooks spoil the broth".
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Favourite Bond Film Most memorable Bond theme song? Nominated for 1 Oscar. Learn more More Like This. Never Say Never Again On Her Majesty's Secret Service What's New Pussycat You Only Live Twice Diamonds Are Forever GP Action Adventure Thriller.
Sean Connery, Jill St. The Pink Panther Live and Let Die The Man with the Golden Gun For Your Eyes Only Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol.
Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Vesper Lynd David Niven Sir James Bond Orson Welles Le Chiffre Joanna Pettet Mata Bond Daliah Lavi The Detainer Woody Allen Le Grand John Huston McTarry M Kurt Kasznar George Raft Jean-Paul Belmondo Le Chiffre's characterisation is also an interesting departure from what the Bond villain archetype has become.
Where the likes of Drax, Stromberg and Blofeld wanted to single-handedly destroy or take over the world, Le Chiffre is essentially a middle-man; he is to the Craig era what Kristatos was in For Your Eyes Only, but better written and with a more interesting, more murky motivation.
Like Bond, he is ultimately a pawn of bigger forces who struggles at times not to buckle under the pressure as the torture scene demonstrates ; by making him so small, he becomes more believable and more intimidating, even without the bleeding eye.
He may look like the lead singer of Franz Ferdinand in his haircut and dress sense, but Mads Mikkelson plays him brilliantly, bringing a cold, dead-eyed feel to the character which both intrigues and repulses an audience.
Creating convincing poker scenes in films is pretty difficult. The vast majority of efforts go for a highly stylised or choreographed approach, where audience expectations are pandered to through needless editing trickery; think of the final hand in The Cincinnati Kid, or the royal flush sequence in Maverick.
Casino Royale's poker scenes may be more stylised than those in, say, The Sting or Rounders, but they are still very well-executed with good pacing and a frisson of unpredictability.
What really makes them work, however, is the build-up in the script; there are little poker motifs dotted throughout, with comments about tells and misdirection.
Because the film makes such a big theme out of bluffing and people not being what they seem, the card games don't feel like isolated set-pieces, and the later developments with Mathis and Vesper feel credible and yet still surprising.
It isn't just that both characters ultimately don't make it past the final reel; the characters are both instrumental in the making of Bond, an affront and a challenge to his impulsive, playboy instincts and a safe refuge from the madness of his job and the people he has to kill.
Eva Green is every bit as gripping and electric on screen as Diana Rigg before her; Vesper goes toe-to-toe with Bond and we get genuine character development, making her betrayal and death all the more shocking and heartbreaking.
Craig's Bond is a changed man by the end of the film - it's just a pity that the resolution to his heartbreak in Quantum of Solace was as underwhelming and mishandled as the similar attempt in Diamonds Are Forever.
The heartbreak surrounding Vesper brings us onto another of Casino Royale's great successes: Desmond Llewellyn's Q may have advised Bond that he should never let his enemies see him bleed, but the best Bond films have never been afraid of putting him through the mill, getting him into dangerous situations which can only be resolved at great cost - a cost often numbed by women and alcohol.
The fight scenes in Casino Royale feel brutal, just as they should do; it isn't interesting to have someone waltz through conflict as though it was nothing.
The torture scene and the defibrillator scene are great in isolation, but they are matched by Bond's emotional torment of losing Vesper. For the first time since Timothy Dalton's era - or Goldeneye at a push - Bond's pain feels real and meaningful.
All of which brings us to Daniel Craig as Bond. While his subsequent films have been hit-and-miss, his performance here is more than enough to silence those who criticised his casting all those 'James Blonde' jokes sound all the more desperate now.
He takes the suffering and burnt-out approach that Dalton brought and fuses it with some of Connery's unabashed cool to create a truly modern and contemporary Bond.
He also has the confidence to eschew convention as much as he chooses to reflect or inhabit it; we get a build-up to a cliched sex scene, but then he's quickly on his toes and back to the plot.
Casino Royale is a great, gripping spy thriller and arguably the finest of all the James Bond films. While it is slightly too long and a little too candid with some of its product placement, it remains an extraordinary reinvention of a franchise which had long been in need of a boost.
Craig impresses in his first and finest performance as Bond, and Martin Campbell directs with great common sense and precision to create a majestic and immensely enjoyable film.
Whether looking at the newer films or the franchise as a whole, this has set a very high bar which has yet to be beaten. With Daniel Craig reinventing the role like never before, Casino Royale reboots the Bond franchise with gusto and intelligence not seen before in the long running franchise.
Thanks to the best story of the series to date, Casino Royale features the right blend of exhilarating action and heart pounding drama. Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery and for my money the best actor to play the character.
The fact that the series hasn't reach the heights of this film before or since only makes it an easier decision as my all-time favorite film in the franchise.
Even casual fans can get their money's worth out of this. If you only watch one Bond film, make it this one.
Daniel Craig revitalizes the Bond franchise the same way Bale saved Batman. This was a throwback to the good ol days of Connery Bond.
Almost all the the good stuff i heard about Casino is true. It is indeed one of the best Bonds ever and I'm really looking forward to the next installment.
Now - I hate when people say this but here goes - this movie was just too darn long. Don't even TRY to introduce a romance two hours into a film.
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View All Videos 1. View All Photos Movie Info James Bond's first mission takes him to Madagascar, where he is to spy on a terrorist Mollaka.
Not everything goes as planned and Bond decides to investigate, independently of the MI6 agency, in order to track down the rest of the terrorist cell.
Following a lead to the Bahamas, he encounters Dimitrios and his girlfriend, Solange. He learns that Dimitrios is involved with Le Chiffre, banker to the world's terrorist organizations.
Secret Service intelligence reveals that Le Chiffre is planning to raise money in a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro at Le Casino Royale.
MI6 assigns to play against him, knowing that if Le Chiffre loses, it will destroy his organization. At first skeptical of what value Vesper can provide, Bond's interest in her deepens as they brave danger together--and even torture at the hands of Le Chiffre.
The marathon game proceeds with dirty tricks and violence, raising the stakes beyond blood money and reaching a terrifying climax.
PG for intense sequences of violent action, a scene of torture, sexual content and nudity. Daniel Craig as James Bond. Eva Green as Vesper Lynd.
Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre. Judi Dench as M. Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter. Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis. Caterina Murino as Solange. Simon Abkarian as Alex Dimitrios.
Jesper Christensen as Mr. Ivana Milicevic as Valenka. Claudio Santamaria as Carlos. Tobias Menzies as Villiers. Sebastien Foucan as Mollaka.
Malcolm Sinclair as Dryden. Richard Sammel as Gettler. Ludger Pistor as Mendel. Joseph Millson as Carter. Daud Shah as Fisher. Clemans Schick as Kraft.
Emmanuel Avena as Leo. Tom Chadbon as Stockbroker. Dayo Ade as Infante. Urbano Barberini as Tomelli.
Madame Wu as Tsai Chin. Charlie Levi Leroy as Gallardo. Lazar Ristovski as Kaminofsky. Tom So as Fukutu. Veruschka von Lehndorff as Gräfin von Wallenstein.
Daniel Andreas as Dealer. Christina Cole as Ocean Club Receptionist. Jürgen Tarrach as Schultz. John Gold as Card Player. Jerry Inzerillo as Card Player.
Diane Hartford as Card Player. Jessica Renae Miller as Dealer. Paul Bhattacharjee as Hot Room Doctor. Simon Cox as Hot Room Technician.
Rebecca Gethings as Hot Room Technician.
There's an all-star cast, and the story is a spoof of spy movies at the time, so it has both of those things going for it.
It has some really funny scenes, but then it has a lot of unfunny comedy scenes too. Overall this movie is okay, you'll like it better if you enjoy Woody Allen's comedy and James Bond movies.
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Part of the Collection: View All Photos 5. This James Bond spoof features the hero coming out of retirement to attempt to fix some problems for SMERSH, while a multitude of other subplots unwind about the central figure.
David Niven stars, while a host of well-known actors populate the screen. David Niven as Sir James Bond. Peter Sellers as Evelyn Tremble.
Ursula Andress as Vesper Lynd. Orson Welles as Le Chiffre. Woody Allen as Jimmy Bond. Joanna Pettet as Mata Bond. Daliah Lavi as The Detainer.
Charles Boyer as Le Grand. John Huston as McTarry. Kurt Kasznar as Smernov. George Raft as Himself.
Jean-Paul Belmondo as French Legionnaire. Terence Cooper as Cooper. Barbara Bouchet as Moneypenny. Peter O'Toole as Scotch Piper.
Angela Scoular as Buttercup. Gabriella Licudi as Eliza. Tracey Crisp as Heather. Anna Quayle as Frau Hoffner. Richard Wattis as British Army Officer.
Ronnie Corbett as Polo. Bernard Cribbins as Taxi Driver. Duncan Macrae as Inspector Mathis. Colin Gordon as Casino Director. Graham Stark as Cashier.
Tracy Reed as Fang Leader. Jacqueline Bisset as Miss Goodthighs. Percy Herbert as First Piper. Derek Nimmo as Hadley.
Duncan as 1st Piper. Alexandra Bastedo as Meg. John Bluthal as Casino Doorman. Chic Murray as Chic. Vladek Sheybal as Le Chiffre's Representative. Jeanne Roland as Captain of the Gurads.
John Le Mesurier as Driver uncredited. Elaine Taylor as Peg. View All Casino Royale News. March 30, Full Review…. Critical reception to Casino Royale , however, was generally negative; some critics regarded it as a baffling, disorganised affair.
Since , the film's rights have been held by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer , distributors of the official Bond movies by Eon Productions.
Bond spurns all their pleas. When Bond continues to stand firm, his mansion is destroyed by a mortar attack at the orders of M, who is, however, killed in the explosion.
On his way back to London, Bond survives another attempt on his life. Bond is promoted to the head of MI6. He learns that many British agents around the world have been eliminated by enemy spies because of their inability to resist sex.
Bond is also told that the "sex maniac" who was given the name of "James Bond" when the original Bond retired has gone to work in television.
He also creates a rigorous programme to train male agents to ignore the charms of women. Moneypenny recruits "Coop", a karate expert who begins training to resist seductive women: Mata destroys the photos.
Le Chiffre's only remaining option is to raise the money by playing baccarat. Later that night, Tremble observes Le Chiffre playing at the casino and realises that he is using infrared sunglasses to cheat.
Lynd steals the sunglasses, allowing Evelyn to eventually beat Le Chiffre in a game of baccarat.
Lynd is apparently abducted outside the casino, and Tremble is also kidnapped while pursuing her. Le Chiffre, desperate for the winning cheque, hallucinogenically tortures Tremble.
Lynd rescues Tremble, only to subsequently kill him. They discover that the casino is located atop a giant underground headquarters run by the evil Dr.
Jimmy reveals that he plans to use biological warfare to make all women beautiful and kill all men over 4-footinch 1.
Jimmy has already captured The Detainer, and he tries to convince her to be his partner; she agrees, but only to dupe him into swallowing one of his "atomic time pills", turning him into a "walking atomic bomb".
Sir James, Moneypenny, Mata and Coop manage to escape from their cell and fight their way back to the Casino Director's office where Sir James establishes Lynd is a double agent.
The casino is then overrun by secret agents and a battle ensues. American and French support arrive, but just add to the chaos.
Eventually, Jimmy counts down his atomic explosion. Sir James and all of his agents then appear in heaven, and Jimmy Bond is shown descending to Hell.
Major stars , such as George Raft and Jean-Paul Belmondo , were given top billing in the film's promotion and screen trailers despite the fact that they only appeared for a few minutes in the final scene.
Casino Royale also takes credit for the greatest number of actors in a Bond film either to have appeared or to go on to appear in the rest of the Eon series — besides Ursula Andress in Dr.
Jack Gwillim , who had a tiny role as a British army officer, played a Royal Navy officer in Thunderball. Milton Reid , who appears in a bit part as the temple guard, opening the door to Mata Bond's hall, played one of Dr.
John Hollis , who plays the temple priest in Mata Bond's hall, went on to play the unnamed figure clearly intended to be Blofeld in the pre-credits sequence of For Your Eyes Only.
Hal Galili , who appears briefly as a US army officer at the auction, had earlier played gangster Jack Strap in Goldfinger. Well-established stars like Peter O'Toole and sporting legends like Stirling Moss took uncredited parts in the film just to be able to work with the other members of the cast.
The film also proved to be young Anjelica Huston 's first experience in the film industry as she was called upon by her father, John Huston , to cover the screen shots of Deborah Kerr 's hands.
John Le Mesurier features in the early scenes of the film as M's driver. Feldman represented Ratoff's widow and obtained the Casino Royale rights.
Broccoli , who had a long time interest in adapting James Bond, offered to purchase the Casino Royale rights from Feldman, but he declined.
They eventually gave up once they saw the film Dr. The attempt at a co-production eventually fell through as Feldman frequently argued with Broccoli and Saltzman, specially regarding the profit divisions and when the Casino Royale adaptation would start production.
Feldman approached Sean Connery to play Bond, with Connery's offering to do the film for one million dollars being rejected.
Given Eon's series led to a spy film craze at the time, Feldman opted to make his film a spoof of the Bond series instead of a straightforward adaptation.
Ben Hecht's contribution to the project, if not the final result, was in fact substantial. The Oscar -winning writer was recruited by Feldman to produce a screenplay for the film and wrote several drafts, with various evolutions of the story incorporating different scenes and characters.
All of his treatments were "straight" adaptations, far closer to the original source novel than the spoof which the final production became.
A draft from discovered in Hecht's papers — but which does not identify the screenwriter — is a direct adaptation of the novel, albeit with the Bond character absent, instead being replaced by a poker-playing American gangster.
Later drafts see vice made central to the plot, with the Le Chiffre character becoming head of a network of brothels as he is in the novel whose patrons are then blackmailed by Le Chiffre to fund Spectre an invention of the screenwriter.
The racy plot elements opened up by this change of background include a chase scene through Hamburg 's red light district that results in Bond escaping whilst disguised as a female mud wrestler.
New characters appear such as Lili Wing, a brothel madam and former lover of Bond whose ultimate fate is to be crushed in the back of a garbage truck, and Gita, wife of Le Chiffre.
The beautiful Gita, whose face and throat are hideously disfigured as a result of Bond using her as a shield during a gunfight in the same sequence which sees Wing meet her fate, goes on to become the prime protagonist in the torture scene that features in the book, a role originally Le Chiffre's.
Virtually nothing from Hecht's scripts was ever filmed. He died from a heart attack in April , two days before he was due to present it to Feldman.
Time reported in that the script had been completely re-written by Billy Wilder , and by the time the film reached production only the idea that the name James Bond should be given to a number of other agents remained.
This key plot device in the finished film, in the case of Hecht's version, occurs after the demise of the original James Bond an event which happened prior to the beginning of his story which, as Hecht's M puts it "not only perpetuates his memory, but confuses the opposition.
Extensive sequences also featured London, notably Trafalgar Square and the exterior of 10 Downing Street. Mereworth Castle in Kent was used as the home of Sir James Bond, which is blown up at the start of the film.
The production proved to be rather troubled, with five different directors helming different segments of the film and with stunt co-ordinator Richard Talmadge co-directing the final sequence.
Val Guest was given the responsibility of splicing the various "chapters" together, and was offered the unique title of "Co-ordinating Director" but declined, claiming the chaotic plot would not reflect well on him if he were so credited.
His extra credit was labelled "Additional Sequences" instead. Part of the behind-the-scenes drama of this film's production concerned the filming of the segments involving Peter Sellers.
Screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz declared that Sellers felt intimidated by Orson Welles to the extent that, except for a couple of shots, neither was in the studio simultaneously.
Other versions of the legend depict the drama stemming from Sellers being slighted, in favour of Welles, by Princess Margaret whom Sellers knew during her visit to the set.
Welles also insisted on performing magic tricks as Le Chiffre, and the director obliged. Director Val Guest wrote that Welles did not think much of Sellers, and had refused to work with "that amateur".
Director Joseph McGrath , a personal friend of Sellers, was punched by the actor when he complained about Sellers' behavior on the set.
Some biographies of Sellers suggest that he took the role of Bond to heart, and was annoyed at the decision to make Casino Royale a comedy, as he wanted to play Bond straight.
This is illustrated in somewhat fictionalised form in the film The Life and Death of Peter Sellers , based on the biography by Roger Lewis , who has claimed that Sellers kept re-writing and improvising scenes to make them play seriously.
This story is in agreement with the observation that the only parts of the film close to the book are the ones featuring Sellers and Welles.
Jean-Paul Belmondo and George Raft received major billing , even though both actors appear only briefly. Both appear during the climactic brawl at the end, Raft flipping his trademark coin and promptly shooting himself dead with a backward-firing pistol, while Belmondo appears wearing a fake moustache as the French Foreign Legion officer who requires an English phrase book to translate " merde!
At the Intercon science fiction convention held in Slough in , David Prowse commented on his part in this film, apparently his big-screen debut.
He claimed that he was originally asked to play "Super Pooh", a giant Winnie-the-Pooh in a superhero costume who attacks Tremble during the Torture of The Mind sequence.
This idea, as with many others in the film's script, was rapidly dropped, and Prowse was re-cast as a Frankenstein -type Monster for the closing scenes.
The final sequence was principally directed by former actor and stuntman Richard Talmadge. The story of Casino Royale is told in an episodic format.
Val Guest oversaw the assembly of the sections, although he turned down the credit of "co-ordinating director". Sellers left the production before all his scenes were shot, which is why his character, Tremble, is so abruptly captured in the film.
Whether Sellers was fired or simply walked off is unclear. Given that he often went absent for days at a time and was involved in conflicts with Welles, either explanation is plausible.
The framing device of a beginning and ending with David Niven was invented to salvage the footage. He chose to use the original Bond and Vesper as linking characters to tie the story together.
In the originally released versions of the film, a cardboard cutout of Sellers in the background was used for the final scenes.
In later versions, this cardboard cutout was replaced by footage of Sellers in highland dress, inserted by "trick photography". Signs of missing footage from the Sellers segments are evident at various points.
Evelyn Tremble is not captured on camera; an outtake of Sellers entering a racing car was substituted.
Out-takes of Sellers were also used for Tremble's dream sequence pretending to play the piano on Ursula Andress ' torso , in the finale - blowing out the candles whilst in highland dress - and at the end of the film when all the various "James Bond doubles" are together.
In the kidnap sequence, Tremble's death is also very abruptly inserted; it consists of pre-existing footage of Tremble being rescued by Vesper, followed by a later-filmed shot of her abruptly deciding to shoot him, followed by a freeze-frame over some of the previous footage of her surrounded by bodies noticeably a zoom-in on the previous shot.
As well as this, an entire sequence involving Tremble going to the front for the underground James Bond training school which turns out to be under Harrods , of which the training area was the lowest level was never shot, thus creating an abrupt cut from Vesper announcing that Tremble will be James Bond to Tremble exiting the lift into the training school.
So many sequences from the film were removed, that several well-known actors never appeared in the final cut, including Ian Hendry as , the agent whose body is briefly seen being disposed of by Vesper , Mona Washbourne and Arthur Mullard.
For the music, Feldman decided to bring Burt Bacharach , who had done the score for his previous production What's New Pussycat?
Bacharach worked over two years writing for Casino Royale , in the meantime composing the After the Fox score and being forced to decline participation in Luv.
Lyricist Hal David contributed with various songs, many of which appeared in just instrumental versions. The title theme was Alpert's second number one on the Easy Listening chart where it spent two weeks at the top in June and peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot It is played in the scene of Vesper Lynd recruiting Evelyn Tremble, seen through a man-size aquarium in a seductive walk.
It was heard again in the first Austin Powers film, which was to a degree inspired by Casino Royale. Bacharach would later rework two tracks of the score into songs: A clarinet melody would later be featured in a Cracker Jack commercial.
As an in-joke, a brief snippet of John Barry 's song " Born Free " is used in the film. The original album cover art was done by Robert McGinnis , based on the film poster and the original stereo vinyl release of the soundtrack Colgems COSO That record has been regarded by some music critics as the finest-sounding LP of all time, and is still highly sought after by audiophiles.
The soundtrack album became famous among audio purists for the excellence of its recording. It then became a standard "audiophile test" record for decades to come, especially the vocal performance by Dusty Springfield on "The Look of Love.
The film soundtrack has since been released by other companies in different configurations including complete score releases.
The highly regarded master tapes were damaged, however, during a s remastering so none of the subsequent re-releases are considered to be as fine as the original LP release.
However, during filming the project ran into several problems and the shoot ran months over schedule, with the costs also running well over.
When the film was finally completed it had doubled its original budget. The problems postponed the launch until April Casino Royale had its world premiere in London's Odeon Leicester Square on 13 April , breaking many opening records in the theatre's history.