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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Casino Royale (1967 version)

Before the recent Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig was released in 2006, another movie by that name was released four decades earlier. It was a spoof of the Bond series directed by John Huston.

The film is based on the premise that the real James Bond (David Niven) had to come out of retirement to counteract all of the damage done by his successor, a sex maniac man who had damaged to the British Secret service's reputation all over the globe. Niven's enemies, of course, try to destroy his self-image and reputation by tempting him with numerous beautiful women. There is a subplot involving newphew Jimmy Bond, played by a young Woody Allen.

The plot is not much more than an excuse for a lot of cool atmospherics, and it's a great big mess of a movie. Peter Sellers reportedly walked off the set halfway through shooting, and they had to make do without him for the second half of the movie. But the holes in the plot matter less than you'd think, since the movie makes no pretense of being anything other than what it is, which is just an excuse for a lot of silly fun. It has a great score. And it is, in my opinion, the sexiest movie ever made, with more beautiful women per reel than any other movie ever made.

Casino Royale features a young Jaqueline Bisset, an older Deborah Kerr, Ursula Andress and Barbara Bouchet at their primes, Joanne Pettet, Daliah Lavi, and a host of other beauties who aren't even credited. (By my count, there are roughly forty spectacular beauties in the film.)

You can watch it on youtube:


Anonymous said...

I see from the photo that Peter Sellars is in the movie which guarantees silliness - not that I'm against silliness, which as Dr. Strangelove showed us can also be quite chilling. And Ursula Andress got to be the hottest spoof Bond girl as well as the hottest Bond girl. I'm sure I must have seen this movie - but why don't I remember it??

John Craig said...

Guy -- You're right, now that I think of it I can't think of a single serious movie Sellers was in. And yes, Andress was incredibly beautiful, though I'd say Shirley Eaton (the girl who gets painted gold in Goldfinger) and Luciana Paluzzi (the evil woman we first see on a motorcycle in Thunderball) were equally beautiful in their own way.

Take a look at the youtube video, I bet you remember it then.