The Three Casino Royales, spanning the history of James Bond
March 9, 2015 10:12 PM   Subscribe

 
The scent smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning.

The opening line of the novel, which just so happened to be the Final Jeopardy clue tonight. Great timing!
posted by TedW at 10:33 PM on March 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


Here's the full Climax! version, including the lost ending that is included on the VHS release but not the DVD.

I'd gladly give money to a crowdfunding compaign for a DVD release with the missing ending, just like I'd gladly support a crowdfunding campaign for a DVD release of Saul Bass's Phase IV with the lost original ending included.
posted by BiggerJ at 10:35 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh God no. Don't watch the 1967 Casino Royale. Just do yourself a favor and don't. It's utterly unwatchable - which is really surprising for what is ostensibly a Bond movie with a pretty amazing cast and a Burt Bacharach soundtrack. But utterly unwatchable it is.

Yes, it launched a thousand covers of The Look of Love, and for that we will always be in its debt. But it's still utterly unwatchable. Casino Royale '67. Not even once.
posted by Naberius at 10:49 PM on March 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


No matter how you feel about the ’67 film (certainly mildly amusing more than unwatchable, with some very good-looking female actresses involved), the movie’s soundtrack recording is legendary.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:02 PM on March 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Man, you're crazy. '67 Casino Royale is hella fun.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:10 PM on March 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


What time does Sean Connery arrive at Wimbleton:

Tennish.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 11:15 PM on March 9, 2015 [27 favorites]


...THAT'SH ALSHO THE TIME YOUR MOTHER LEFT MY HOUSH THISH MORNING, TREBEK, AFTER WE HAD SHEX TOGETHER THE PREVIOUSH NIGHT! HOH HOH HOH HOH
posted by not_on_display at 11:26 PM on March 9, 2015 [26 favorites]


Seconding the awfulness of the 67 spoof Royale - it had an amazing cast, though - I don't think you could get the same kind of ensemble cast today. Apparently it was a mess of a movie to make, and Peter Sellers was difficult as always and left movie production early, leaving them to make use of some of the odd bits, such as playing the bag pipes in heaven, as best they could. All of it very nonsensical anyways so it fit right in.

However - if you do like set design this film is a stunner: they created these wild sets and basically would use them for about two seconds on-screen, again, something that isn't done much today.

And the music is fabuloso - really carries the weight of the scenes and provides a thematic bond throughout the movie. Very distinctive. That's Herb Alpert singing on the end credits. Ahem. (I know a bit about an awful movie.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:39 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Woah, hold the phone. Roald Dahl wrote the script to 1967's You Only Live Twice?!! Mind blown.
posted by Bistle at 11:42 PM on March 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


'67 is a bad movie, but only in the way that a star-studded sixties romp can be bad, which is to say on a certain level wonderful. Watch it for a view into a completely different era if for no other reason.

And considering the timing of '54, before 007 was a well-known brand, and its presentation on live TV for an American audience, I think it's fairly effective. It's not the Bond we know and love, to be sure, but it exposes the story and genre's origins in scruffy film noir in a way that the generally sun-drenched EON films just don't.
posted by dhartung at 12:02 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love the mess that is the 67 Casino Royale. So silly and fun, the giant fight scene at the end is just an amazing spectacle. That scene alone is why it was one of the most expensive films of the time (not to mention the 6 or 7 different directors the film had who obviously didn't really talk to each other).

The best part though is how Peter Sellers got pissed off at Orson Welles (after some apparent slight by Princess Margaret, who has come to visit the set) and refused to be in the studio with him. As they were playing Bond and La Chiffre, this took some doing, and the result is hilarious.

The whole movie is just a beautiful, chaotic, hot mess, and it is one of my favorite things.
posted by Garm at 12:13 AM on March 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Barry Nelson as Bond looks like a realtor from Salt Lake City. And this part:
Naturally, the brutal passages of Fleming’s novel are watered down for 1950s television, and so genital torture becomes toe torture.
BWAHAHAHA
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:49 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd like to think that without '67 Casino Royale, we wouldn't have gotten Austin Powers.

It's totally not true, the mainline Bond franchise has so many elements that were ripe for spoofing that Mike Meyers would have gone there anyway.

I still like to think it though.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:31 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Woah, hold the phone. Roald Dahl wrote the script to 1967's You Only Live Twice?!! Mind blown.

It's so obvious, really. Chocolate Factory == Volcano Lair
posted by mikelieman at 4:53 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Chocolate Factory + Volcano Lair = Lava Cake
posted by valkane at 5:15 AM on March 10, 2015 [13 favorites]


Roald Dahl wrote the script to 1967's You Only Live Twice?!! Mind blown.

I understand Dahl and Fleming had served together during WWII and were good friends. I trust everyone knows that the other thing that Ian Fleming is known for writing is the novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the screenplay for which was also written by Dahl).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:35 AM on March 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Isn't '67 Casino Royale the first time the now-en-vogue idea that "James Bond" as a cover identity for multiple agents is suggested? (David Niven as the "real" James Bond, Peter Sellers as "James Bond" and, hell, I'll even throw in Woody Allen as Niven's nephew Jimmy Bond)
posted by KingEdRa at 5:51 AM on March 10, 2015


I watched the most recent Casino Royale before I had heard about parkour. I thought the opening was "Super Mario Brothers" the movie.
posted by charred husk at 5:53 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I too was quite excited by the clue to Final Jeopardy tonight. I'm pretty good at Jeopardy most of the time, but my Final Jeopardy performance is dismal. Tonight I just nailed it. (Bond in books is so different from Bond in movies.)
posted by lhauser at 5:59 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I believe it should be Casinos Royale.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:14 AM on March 10, 2015 [15 favorites]


The shame of the television movie is that Peter Lorre should have been the perfect Bond villain.
posted by maxsparber at 6:20 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I got the final Jeopardy answer as well, the wife was impressed. It was really about the style and word use rather than actually remembering the line. I spent two years of middle school reading James Bond books hidden behind my text books....
posted by HuronBob at 6:21 AM on March 10, 2015


I have always assumed that Roald Dahl pinched the idea for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from the sweet factory in Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but I may be wrong on the chronology.
posted by Major Tom at 6:23 AM on March 10, 2015


I was poised to name my first son James Bond (insert last name here)... was thwarted by my wife's common sense and did an end run and named him Sean instead....
posted by HuronBob at 6:23 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Bond in books is so different from Bond in movies.)

True, and check out this guide to how Bond evolved as a character through the book series: Part 1: Blunt Instrument Bond, Part 2: Almost Human Bond, and Part 3: Suffering Bond.

Also: Isn't '67 Casino Royale the first time the now-en-vogue idea that "James Bond" as a cover identity for multiple agents is suggested?

Oh my god I hate this bit. Just hate it. It works in the comedy version because it's a comedy. Outside of that, feh. The theory's not insightful, it's not helpful, it's just an attempt to sound clever. Also, the fucking movies refute the theory several times. There is one and only one connecting thread between Bond movies that suggest it's the same guy, but it's there: Tracy.

Tracy dies right after marrying the Lazenby Bond. The very next movie shows Connery Bond on a roaring rampage of revenge because of Tracy's murder, and it's clearly personal. Many movies later, the Moore Bond pays his respects to Tracy's grave, and it's again implied strongly that it's not out of respect to a former officeholder's wife. And there's a reference to Bond's marriage ending in tragedy in a Dalton Bond.

The only time the Bond series paid attention to continuity (prior to the Craig movies) was when it shifted to Lazenby, and the movies basically said flat out that it's the same character, opening quip notwithstanding, and again when the franchise shifted back to Connery. The movie made it clear that the end of Lazenby's movie happened to Connery's character. The studio wanted the audience to know that Bond is Bond, no matter who's playing him. The only other evidence of continuity in the pre-Craig series is Tracy. But she's there, goddammit.

Then in Skyfall we see that "James Bond" has a father named..."Andrew Bond." And the old fart at the family estate knows him as James Bond. It's his fucking name.

I don't know why this particular fan theory bugs me so much. Probably because it's so easily disproven yet won't stay dead, as each fanboy discovers it anew and trumpets it as a Sign of Cleverness. Ugh. [shakes fist at internet] [dusts cheeto debris from beard]
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 6:34 AM on March 10, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'd like to think that without '67 Casino Royale, we wouldn't have gotten Charles Manson.
posted by Naberius at 6:44 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


After Daniel Craig, I believe there should be a Black Bond. It's time.
posted by thelonius at 6:45 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Black Bond

Nick Fury > James Bond
posted by mikelieman at 6:58 AM on March 10, 2015


Idris Elba bond >= Nick Fury
posted by cmfletcher at 7:28 AM on March 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


'67 Casino Royale may be a mess, but it's the only Casino Royale for me. I have fond memories of watching it on the afterschool movie, with its catchy music, pretty women, Peter Sellers and Woody Allen. I thought then that five directors meant it was a really special ambitious movie. Harder to notice it's the kind of incoherent spectacle where at the halfway mark the star just gets in a car and races out of the movie without explanation when you're 13 and watching it shown over two days with commercials for Your Uncle in the Furniture Business every 15 minutes. Last time I watched it, on TCM, I thought the Berlin section was pretty great. And it has a couple other moments.
posted by TimTypeZed at 7:37 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Probably because it's so easily disproven yet won't stay dead, as each fanboy discovers it anew and trumpets it as a Sign of Cleverness.

Regeneration scenes or it didn't happen.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:55 AM on March 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


No discussion of the 1967 Casino Royale is complete without a link to the Agony Booth mega- recap (NSFW due to pictures from the 1967 Playboy pictoral)
posted by dannyboybell at 8:29 AM on March 10, 2015


After Daniel Craig, I believe there should be a Black Bond. It's time.

Female Bond-of-colour. Still named James. My nomination, as I've said before.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:40 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I realize that if we're playing the "which installment in the franchise is the best?" game that saying "The newest reboot!" is gauche, but damned if the 2006 Casino Royale isn't the best Bond film ever, IMHO.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:45 AM on March 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


CR (2006), Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Skyfall, Dr No.

The rest can bugger off, frankly.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:47 AM on March 10, 2015


I have endless love for Goldfinger, but From Russia with Love is the best Connery Bond.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 8:55 AM on March 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


For some reason, the idea of a black Bond doesn't really work for me. As awesome as Idris Elba would be as another 00 alongside Craig.

I'm not sure why. I wasn't one of those people who lost their shit at the idea of a female M. But boy did they, and Dench turned out to be the best M they've ever had. We've got a black Felix Leiter (the second if you count Never Say Never Again). Skyfall introduced a black Moneypenny, and what vaguely bugged me about that wasn't her race but the idea of Moneypenny being a field agent.) I'm perfectly happy with all those choices. I didn't mind a black Heimdall (but then I'm not as... invested in relatively minor Norse gods as some people apparently are), Samuel L. Jackson is now the definitive Nick Fury and I think a black Doctor Who would be a great idea.

But for some reason, even though different actors have played him, it just doesn't feel right to me to recast Bond as a black actor or a woman or whatever. I can only speculate that it's precisely because I want to see him as a particular, consistent character with a particular consistent background. (Not as a code name for a bunch of different agents. Ugh indeed.) Even though that clearly doesn't apply to the people around him. It's kind of weird. I suppose if they ever do it, I'll manage to get along with it. Elba really would be fantastic, though I suspect his Bond window is getting narrower.
posted by Naberius at 9:01 AM on March 10, 2015


I dunno... many people weren't sold on the idea of a blond guy as Bond. Those people tended to neatly overlap with the group called "haven't seen Layer Cake." I'm betting that the more people who see, say... Luther, the more that opposition to Elba as Bond would die down a bit. Outside of the obvious camps, that is.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:46 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Idris Elba bond >= Nick Fury

That's not fair! Idris Elba _______ > Everything not Idris Elba ______
posted by mikelieman at 10:17 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh God no. Don't watch the 1967 Casino Royale. Just do yourself a favor and don't. It's utterly unwatchable

Unwatchable for the first 2/3rds and then AWESOME final third. I still don't regret wading through that ghastly, terrible first hour; the payoff was pretty much worth it.
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:44 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


the 1954 hour-long live teleplay

Wow, that's pretty long.
posted by w0mbat at 11:23 AM on March 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't know why this particular fan theory bugs me so much. Probably because it's so easily disproven yet won't stay dead, as each fanboy discovers it anew and trumpets it as a Sign of Cleverness. Ugh. [shakes fist at internet] [dusts cheeto debris from beard]

Well, of course it's all the same guy -- he's a Time Lord! *ducks*
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:12 PM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


> Isn't '67 Casino Royale the first time the now-en-vogue idea that "James Bond" as a cover identity for multiple agents is suggested?

'67 Casino Royale : Bond fans :: Adam West's Batman : That subset of Batman fans who can't read to the end of this sentence because the vessels in their eyeballs are bursting.
posted by ardgedee at 1:00 PM on March 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


I vote for the 2005 Casino Royale for Mads Mikkleson alone...... good GOD that man is beautiful!
posted by JenThePro at 1:32 PM on March 10, 2015


I dunno... many people weren't sold on the idea of a blond guy as Bond.

Known in our house as "James Blond" even though I've softened my stance on Craig.
posted by immlass at 1:51 PM on March 10, 2015


Previously.
posted by donajo at 5:59 PM on March 10, 2015


I believe it should be Casinos Royale.

Personally, I'm torn between Casinos Royales and Casini Reali.
posted by mubba at 6:34 PM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I dunno... many people weren't sold on the idea of a blond guy as Bond. Those people tended to neatly overlap with the group called "haven't seen Layer Cake."

Seriously. I left Layer Cake and said to the friend I saw it with, "that guy would make a pretty good James Bond."
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 5:35 AM on March 11, 2015


Been thinking about changes in this community and this thread.

Should be in meta - but here goes.

Imagine a female Bond. Not just a female playing a male character but what Jane Bond would actually be like.

Kick ass and have sex, lots of sex. This is me being a male.

What would a female Bond do? What is the embodiment of female on female terms?

Should take this to meta. Won't though, as I love the little corners of this place.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:54 PM on March 24, 2015


> What would a female Bond do?

As you said: kick ass and have sex, lots of sex.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:49 PM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


What would a female Bond do?

Exactly what male Bond does. Why would she be any different?

And like I've said before, her name should still be James. Bonus points to the producers if they don't promote it, and the world only finds out when the presumed-to-be-a-sidekick-setting-up-for-007-to-show-up-in-the-opening says "Bond. James Bond." before kicking some more ass and fucking the hell out of some dude. (I think a putative female Bond would need to be as heterosexual as male Bond is to prevent "oh well, lesbian. Real Women can't be like that" from happening.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:51 AM on March 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


There would need to be a Mr. Moneypenny I presume, then.
posted by TedW at 8:56 AM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe not. The whole point about the Moneypenny flirtation is that it never goes anywhere. Skyfall established that they had a fling once, and the flirting is friendly sparring between ex-lovers.

And note I said 'as heterosexual as male Bond'; cf Skyfall "What makes you think it'd be my first time?"
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:07 AM on March 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Love it. Thank you.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:31 PM on March 25, 2015


Bonus points to the producers if they don't promote it, and the world only finds out when the presumed-to-be-a-sidekick-setting-up-for-007-to-show-up-in-the-opening says "Bond. James Bond." before kicking some more ass and fucking the hell out of some dude.

The best part is you could probably pull that off even in the current publicity-hungry movie industry with just a minimal amount of subterfuge. You could promote whoever the new Bond is going to be as the new Bond girl and since you'd presumably want a hunky "Bond guy" to play off her, you could announce him as the new Bond. You might even be able to do it without technically lying if you just announce them together as "the stars of the new Bond film" and let the media draw their own conclusions.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:53 AM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


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