8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Pink Panther than Bond - still excessive but fun nonsense
A parody of not only Bond films but on film itself, Casino Royale nods and bows to all sorts of the genre, from sci-fi to westerns and everything between.
Think of this over-budget, swinging '60s design overindulgence as a pre- Austin Powers and you're halfway there. Peter Sellers is more Pink Panther than Sean Connery. David Niven, more like the granddad from...
Published on 9 Mar 2011 by Tim Kidner
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It seemed like a good idea at the time...
Oh, the pain, the pain of the first 45 minutes and the last 25 of the 1967 epic spoof version of Casino Royale, which try too very hard to be wacky and with it and funny to be anything other than execrable. Two or three jokes sort of work, but probably only because you're desperate for something, anything to work - and then suddenly the Peter Sellers-Joanna Pettet...
Published on 12 Dec 2007 by Trevor Willsmer
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Pink Panther than Bond - still excessive but fun nonsense,
Think of this over-budget, swinging '60s design overindulgence as a pre- Austin Powers and you're halfway there. Peter Sellers is more Pink Panther than Sean Connery. David Niven, more like the granddad from UNCLE.
It's seldom outright hilarious but rattles off gag after gag and silly stunt after, well, you know, by now. Add some pretty cool special effects - a spaceship taking off from Trafalgar Square - as well as many cameos as you'd care for. Female beauties who adorn the sets and then turn nasty. Ronnie Corbett as you've never seen him.
I watched this during a spell of wintry illness and it cheered me immensely.
Most of it is pure nonsense, but always in an interesting 'doesn't matter if you don't get it' sort of offbeat way. Yes, it's often crass, sexist and all the things that Bond was renowned for and ultimately criticised for and then some, on top.
The DVD looks good though and plays in widescreen nicely.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars casino royale,
This review is from: Casino Royale [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)You will be pleased to know that this UK release has ALL the extras on it as the american issue, full audio commentary with James Bond historians,plus the gem for me the making of Casino Royale in 5 parts great stuff loads of info about the film from the crew who worked on it!! runs over 40 mins plus the full cinema trailer.None of this is noted on the back of the box unbeliveable!! The film looks brill in hi def, and not forgetting that great Burt Bacharach score and Dusty Springfield singing The Look Of Love the whole thing will whisk you back to the swinging sixties YEH BABY!!!! Mark, Wallasey, Wirral.10/8/12
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unofficial Premium Bond,
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It seemed like a good idea at the time...,
While the PAL UK DVD only includes a trailer and a teaser, the original US NTSC disc included both a trailer (though not the teaser trailer) and the 1954 live TV version of Casino Royale, with an uncomfortable Barry Nelson as Jimmy Bond of the CIA, Michael Pate a wildly unconvincing Leiter of British Intelligence, don't ya know, and a very good Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre. The plot is boiled down to a 50-minute running time but it's not without interest and while it may spare Bond the carpet beater it doesn't completely cop out on the torture scene.
However, the TV version isn't present on the subsequent 2008 NTSC special edition DVD with a new documentary on the making of the film.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's too much for one James Bond!,
This review is from: Casino Royale [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)The idea of more than one actor playing the role of James Bond would have seemed very whacky when this film was made - as Sean Connery was seen my many to actually BE James Bond. However, when this movie came out during Sean Connery's final 60's Bond adventure going head to head with 'You Only Live Twice' it became apparent that even without Connery the Bond brand still had box office potential. Without 'Casino Royale', it is possible that the best Bond movie 'OHMSS' would not have been made. Today of course we have had seven actors playing the role of Bond and the character changes his face almost as regular as that other bastion of Britishness a certain TV Time Lord. Therefore Casino Royale can be considered as remarkably prescient in casting almost every character in the movie as a 'James Bond' - during the climax a number of performing seals and a Typhoo Tea chimpanzee dressed in a tuxedo and wearing a toupee are identified as 007 - I am not sure about the seals but the chimp has always struck me as a rather nasty but hilarious visual gag at the expense of Mr Connery. This film has had for me a fascination bordering on obsession for details regarding the production, the editing and the missing scenes and what was contained in the original screenplay before Peter Sellers left. Finally, the 40th Anniversary Edition DVD is my dream come true as it features an comprehensive documentary detailing the making of the film, and also features interviews with some of the directors and actors and actresses who participated in it. There are some real gems of anecdotes both in the documentary and on the commentary track. My only disappointment is that the deleted scenes were not included on the DVD - but it appears they have long been destroyed. I had often heard that there was a spoof gun barrel scene with a champagne bottle cork popping but this too is missing. There are those who hate this film, but there are also those who like me absolutely adore it as a work of post-modern genius. The bold primary colours, the massive and imaginative sets - the classic and unsurpassed soundtrack by Bert Bacharach, the casting of Peter Sellers, David Niven, Woody Allen, Orson Welles etc make this a must see movie for any fan of cinema. This is a Bond film whether you like it or not it just TOO MUCH FOR ONE JAMES BOND!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'VE ALWAYS HAD A SOFT SPOT FOR THIS FILM...,
This review is from: Casino Royale [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)True, it's nothing like the movies produced as part of the "official" James Bond series, which is why I suspect it has earned such derision from film critics and, from what I can see, other users of Amazon too. Nevertheless I have always rather enjoyed this sprawling comedy purely on its own terms rather than comparing it with the contemporaneous 007 epics of Sean Connery and I think, for the uninitiated, that is really the best way to appreciate it.
Arguably, the key to understanding the folly of CASINO ROYALE is to watch the excellent documentary included as a bonus feature on the Region One edition. Without giving too much away, according to the film's original director Joe McGrath, CASINO ROYALE was conceived as a comedy Bond with Peter Sellers in the role of 007 which, as the proposed three-month shoot dragged on to more like six, gradually spiralled out of control as more stars, including David Niven, replaced a troubled Peter Sellers, while a succession of directors, such as John Huston and Val Guest, took over from McGrath, who had ultimately been dismissed by the project's producer, Charles Feldman. As a result, a flabby script became a chaotic, psychedelic ode to the swinging '60s, where any aspirations to remain faithful to Ian Fleming's original novel simply fell by the wayside in an effort to get something - ANYTHING! - into the cinema.
CASINO ROYALE is not a great film but it has plenty to recommend it. The bizarre auction segment makes me chuckle, where we see representatives of the American, Chinese and British armies confusingly explaining how they will indicate to the auctioneer (Vladek Sheybal) that they are making a bid for articles from villain Le Chiffre's collection of blackmail material (the Chinese - led by Burt Kwouk - announce that they will stand up; the Americans say that they will sit down; while the British - decisive as ever - casually choose to do a bit of both). There is also the scene designed to spoof the famous sequences involving Q in the official Bonds, where Sellers' 007 tries out various gadgets and special clothing which allows the actor to indulge in some punning repartee and innuendo with Geoffrey Bayldon and co. Meanwhile, the parade of guest stars is entertaining in itself, with the likes of George Raft and even racing driver Stirling Moss making cameos, and Dusty Springfield cooing 'The Look Of Love' over the soundtrack enabled the song to become one of the standards of the 1960s. Lastly - and politically incorrect as this may be - you've got to admit that the actresses featured throughout, including Ursula Andress, Joanna Pettet, and Jacqueline Bisset, are just gorgeous; here at least CASINO ROYALE gives the true Bond films a run for their money!
As a fan of the James Bond films and the original novels of Ian Fleming, I really shouldn't like CASINO ROYALE. However, I don't consider it a Bond movie; rather, it is a notoriously wacky 1960s time capsule of innocent fun with - thanks to this Region One edition - a fascinating background story to go with it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a version with commentary and terrific 'Making Of' documentary,
This review is from: Casino Royale [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)I've loved this movie ever since I first saw it at the cinema, aged 10. The colour, the pop art production design, the many very funny sequences, the fantastic Burt Bacharach score. Everyone says it's a mess (yawn) but so what - it's a glorious and unique sixties time capsule. Where else could you see Simon Dee and George Raft, Jacqueline Bisset and Bernard Cribbins, Ronnie Corbett and David Niven, Woody Allen and William Holden, Orson Welles and Peter O'Toole? The print is terrific, given its age. And the accompanying 2007 documentary - featuring anecdotes from the likes of directors Val Guest and Joe McGrath and others - prove that the real villain of the piece appears to have been producer Charles K. Feldman, who indulged Peter Sellers and almost removed all the jokes.
Chris Nolan should be forced to watch this and learn that comedy is entertainment too.
Even the trailer seems to have been re-mastered in high definition. A treat.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good fun to watch,
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites,
This review is from: Casino Royale [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)It's not an obvious film to love, but I have loved it since I saw it in full Cinerama 70mm glory in 1967. I'd like firstly to explain some of the reasons I love it and secondly comment on the new Blu-Ray edition.
If you want to get a sense of just how important this film is, go to the Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris. It includes a display for each decade of the 20th Century, and the one for the '60s includes a movie showing snippets of movies that most advanced the visual dimension of decorative arts in the 1960s. Only two English Language films are featured, 2001 which gets one scene (the scene at the beginning of the space station sequence where they discuss the likely disease on the moon base, sitting on those amazing red chairs), and Casino Royale which gets three scenes - the most of any film featured. And this is the first reason to watch this film - the interiors are absolutely remarkable. Literally every scene is a work of art, with amazing pop art adorning just about every wall and the most striking use of furniture, sets, cars etc. To deepen your sense of this, head over to the Pompidou gallery of modern art. There you will find a recreation of an interior from the movie - the amazing one featuring parallel curvy green and white lines, so that it is impossible to tell where the floor ends and the walls begin, where the walls intersect and where the ceiling starts. And this disorienting interior, which literally fascinated me for the whole of my childhood, features for about 30 secs in the movie. So too does the unforgettable and amazingly over the top car-wash scene. The scene in the "control room" too, with the Scalelectric set and the four gorgeous women in the rear managing the "maps" - really just an excuse to move in the most erotic way. Or what about the revolving pink bed and the glass mirrors and flying feathers? Or Mata Hari's bed - "The German army was very large in those days." These interiors, they go by in seconds and yet they are indelible. The women in this film too, they have to be the most stylish, beautiful, beautifully dressed collection ever assembled, with lead honours going to Ursula Andress, much more impressive here than in Dr No.
So this is a film to watch. You don't need much of a story to be mesmerised by it. It is the ultimate expression of '60s design and sensibility, which is why it has become something of a cult.
It is also a film to be listened to, and surely the most visually striking scene in the whole movie is accompanied by one of the best movie songs ever written, 'The Look Of Love'. Watching Andress and Sellers walking in ultra-slow-motion past that over long fish tank to the room with the sinking lounge while listening to the perfect sultry accompaniment of Dusty Springfield - this is the second great aspect of the film. I also love the title track, and the music is great throughout. I was one of the lucky few who bought the original LP and, although mine is all scratched out, I have subsequently learned that the first edition of the Casino Royale sound track is the ultimate audiophile recording (ever ever made) because of its extraordinary clarity and dynamic range.
It is also a funny film. I think the funniest scene is the one where Miss Moneypenny has to go through the back files (the most perfect spoof on the James Bond sensibility). Woody Allen is hilarious throughout (he wrote his own lines). I also love the East German scenes, with the impressionistic art, the distorted staircases, the two spy training rooms, Dudley Moore and Frau Hoffner (who gave Dr Evil his funny little finger). Most of the film uses dry humour, so that the punch line isn't always obvious.
It does actually have a story, and the story is remarkably coherent considering how it came together (it's actually the same story as the second, official Casino Royale, plus a few embellishments: James Bond is activated/reactivated, has to defeat Le Chiffre who has placed himself in a pickle with his criminal employer and must now win back his money via a card game. James Bond must ensure he does not do this. Bond wins the game but Le Chiffre captures him and the girl, tortures him but runs out of time and is killed by the real baddy. Bond then goes after the real baddy. In this first version he defeats him while in the second that is left to the dreadful follow-up movie Quantum Of Solace.
This being a spoof of Bond movies, the ultimate baddy (Jimmy Bond) has not one but three over-the-top plots. Step one is to use beautiful female agents to seduce and destroy the world's spy networks thus rendering their governments defenceless. This phase has all but been completed at the beginning of the movie, hence the recruitment of the retired Sir James Bond, who has always been immune to beautiful women (nearly always, as it turns out). Step two is to replace the world's leaders and leading intellects with unthinking robots. This too is underway (a funny joke moment identifies the leaders who have already been replaced). Step three is to unleash a specially designed bacterium that will destroy all males higher than Woody Allen and make all women beautiful. In its absurdity it makes even Dr Evil look tame, and formed the core plot concept of the very next official James Bond movie, On Her Magesty's Secret Service (the beautiful women spreading bacteria).
I think the main flaw is the opening scenes in Scotland, which take too long to develop. They cause the film to loose energy, feel long and bloated. They are also not thematically consistent with the amazing stylishness of the rest of the movie. How much better would it be if the car chase (with the beautiful blonde in the amazing yellow e-type Jag) immediately followed the opening scene at James Bond's villa?
Oh, and how does the Blu-Ray stack up? I've obviously seen the film on various formats and this leaves all others for dead. It is incomparably superior to the DVD release. It gives the opportunity to totally immerse yourself in the visuals, and the sound is the best I've ever heard including the original cinema release. It would be interesting to have an audiophile compare the sound track with a pristine first edition LP - probably not much difference - it is certainly better than the CD. In summary, this is a great Blu-Ray restoration. My only quibble is with some of the skin tones, which seem a tad too red.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stuff - but not for all,
By A Customer
Not everyone's cuppa tea - but if you're a fan from Peter Sellers type of Movies you'll enjoy this one.
The ou generation dont know what they are missing!
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Casino Royale [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] by Richard Talmadge (Blu-ray - 2012)