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CBn Reviews 'Casino Royale' (1967)


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Poll: Rate 'Casino Royale' (1967)

Rate 'Casino Royale' (1967)

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#61 Walecs

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:25 PM

If this movie had been a faithful adaptation of the novel, as they planned, even without Sean Connery (who stupidly refused the role to do YOLT) it would have been way better.



#62 AMC Hornet

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:07 PM

This film made history in one respect: it is a cautionary tale of what can happen when you green-light a project while it's still in the half-baked development stage.

No other film had or has ever since been so disorganized, improvised, rewritten, re-edited and (relatively speaking) over budget. No other film got handed off to so many replacement directors and writers with so many different conceptual visions (when this is done deliberately the results can be amazing, but with CR it just happened).

 

I have done a 'phantom edit' wherein I dealt with the excessive length of the film by simply discarding huge chunks of it. My edit doesn't make any more sense, but at least it doesn't prolong the agony.

 

Mine starts with the titles, followed by the meeting with the intelligence chiefs and the death of M. Sir James goes to Scotland and meets Lady MacTarry, who informs him that M's toupee "can only be regarded as a hair-loom."

I skip the rest of the Scotland scenes (the wake, the bath with Angela Scoular, the cannonball challenge and the grouse hunt) and pick up with Bond being chased back to his own estate. He takes over M's position and begins recruiting replacement 007s. He considers recruiting his own daughter Mata who, unlike her mother is "a lousy dancer, but might make a good spy."

Skip the whole jungle safari, dance sequence and dialogue and pick up with Sir James putting Mata into a taxi for Berlin, which I keep solely for Bernard Cribbins as the cabby saying "East or west?" "West." "Oh, that's alright then."

Gone is the entire Berlin sequence with Ronny Corbett and the FANG headquarters inside the ballet school. As much as I would like to keep the blackmail auction there's no way to introduce it, so out it goes. There is one clip with Vladek Sheybal that I save for later.

So Sir James coerces Vesper into recruiting Evelyn Tremble. This is the crux of the film, so I let it play out, although I lift Evelyn's tour of Vesper's flat for later. I jump right from her letting him in to their costume games.

I reinsert Tremble meeting Mathis in the street urinal and all is well until Vesper is apparently abducted. Right after Evelyn races off in his Lotus Formula 3, I drop in Vladek Sheybal shooting after him, then shrugging nonchalantly at a passing policeman. Sir James et al arive at the Casino, he comments that it looks like a SMERSH convention and reaches for a phone to call "Whitehall 00-07." Cut. No fight in the elevator room, meeting with Dr. Noah, escape from the underground complex or wild brawl in the casino.

At the climax of the mind torture, Vesper shoots the Black Watch, but not Evelyn. Back in London, with LeChiffre dead and the shadowy leader of SMERSH unidentified, Sir James sends Mata to watch the changing of the guard while he enters #10 Downing. Meanwhile, in Mayfair, Evelyn tours Vesper's flat and as they sink through the floor he asks "Do you get many complaints from the neighbours?" Roll credits.

 

As I said, no more sensible, but it is half the original film's length and keeps the cleverest scenes (such as Tremble's tour of Q branch and Cooper meeting Dahlia Lavi). I can watch it without cringing or - as I did when I first saw it on TV in 1973 - shouting "what is this sh*t?!" repeatedly at the screen.

 

I am only glad that this film exists because it serves as a warning to others how not to make a satirical movie. CR 67 should not be compared to other Bond films - it should only be compared to other campy spoofs like The Liquidator, Our Man Flint, The Silencers, Salt & Pepper, Carry On Spying, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die and The Second-best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World. There it can fare better in the ratings.



#63 Major Tallon

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:38 PM

An interesting fan edit, AMC Hornet, that would add a trace of coherence to the movie, though you lose one of the jokes I actually laughed at ("First John I've ever gone round with").  I'd only question your handling of the Vesper character.  The movie doubtless isn't worth thinking about in any but the most superficial terms, but I think I'd keep Vesper's shooting of Tremble, which confirms her treachery and surprisingly served as a "dramatic" surprise (at least within the context of the . . . well, I guess you'd have to call it a story). 

 

CR 67 really does make one wonder how such a talented group of people could misfire so badly.



#64 glidrose

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:36 PM

If this movie had been a faithful adaptation of the novel, as they planned, even without Sean Connery (who stupidly refused the role to do YOLT) it would have been way better.

 

Don't understand your argument. Connery was under contract to EON. He couldn't do it.



#65 AMC Hornet

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:36 PM

Charles Feldman did offer the role to Connery, and he said he'd do it for a million dollars (he'd found out that Dean Martin was getting a million for The Silencers and was already disenchanted with Harry & Cubby). After it was all over, Feldman bumped into Sean again and remarked "It would have been cheaper to have paid you."



#66 glidrose

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:15 PM

Too bad we can't see who voted. Love to know who gave it anything above a "7". Hell, make that a "6".

 

Five people think it's worth a 10/10?



#67 The Krynoid man

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 06:34 AM

I gave it a 9.



#68 Call Billy Bob

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 08:07 PM

Interesting that this is a mixed bag. I thought it would be a primarily negative poll. It's a guilty pleasure for me.

#69 dtuba

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 02:35 AM

I gave it a 2. Mainly for David Niven and Burt Bacharach's score. Two talents that might have fitted into the official EON series, once upon a time.

 

The rest is a complete mess, and worse than even DAD.



#70 trevanian

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 04:18 PM

Very emblematic of the times, in the 70s it was the KTVU weekend movie at least a couple times each year, meaning you could see it Saturday and again on Sunday (which is how I saw the bastardized cut to bits ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST as well.) I always enjoy it, though I pretty much always am ready to skim ahead to favorite sequences. And since I despise the Craig film, I still actually prefer this, though I'm sure QT's version of CR would have been faithful in event AND context to Fleming and therefore superior to anything we have actually gotten, by far.






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