Casino Royale – 1967 – English
Film directed in 1967 by Val Guest and Ken Hughes, and starring Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, David Niven, Woody Allen, Joanna Pettet, Orson Welles, Deborah Kerr, William Holden, Charles Boyer, Daliah Lavi, Jean-Paul Belmondo, George Raft, John Huston, Terence Cooper, Barbara Bouchet, Jacqueline Bisset, Ronnie Corbett, Bernard Cribbins, Peter O’Toole, Burt Kwouk, David Prowse, Anjelica Huston, Geraldine Chaplin, Mireille Darc, John Le Mesurier…
Synopsis: After the death of M, Sir James Bond is called back out of retirement to stop SMERSH. In order to trick SMERSH and Le Chiffre, Bond thinks up the ultimate plan. That every agent will be named James Bond. One of the Bonds, whose real name is Evelyn Tremble is sent to take on Le Chiffre in a game of baccarat, but all the Bonds get more than they can handle.
Review: I highly recommend this film to anyone who is an aficionado of psychedelic or 1960’s film/music/art. This was the most expensive psychedelic project of the entire era to my knowledge, in any format. The sets alone make the the feature worth seeing. Having a keen familiarity with the era and culture may not be enough to prepare one for appreciating this standout curiosity. One must also be widely versed in James Bond, novels and all, to understand much of the humor. That humor is set against an invisible backdrop of the unprecedented popularity of James Bond at the time. A degree of comfort with all things psychedelic is yet another requirement to fully digest this cinematic delight. Please note that this was a very “in” movie, to coin a phrase from the era, which also explains why “Casino Royale (’67)” receives unfavorable reviews. As this lavish production was targeted for the “in” crowd of that bygone era, it is only slightly more alien to the general public today. If you are “in”, this high water mark of the era is an experience not to be missed.