Casino Royale (1967)

Casino Royale (1967)

Directed by: Val Guest, Ken Hughes, John Huston

Starring: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles

Yep, I’m even doing the weird, out-of-continuity James Bond movies! Those are the ones I hadn’t seen before, so really these are the ones I was most interested in seeing. This 60’s spoof of James Bond was interesting to watch for the cast alone… even if the film itself is a jumbled mess.

David Niven is the original James Bond 007, who is asked to come out of retirement to stop Dr. Noah from killing off the rest of MI6’s secret agents. As part of his plan, Niven renames all the remaining agents to be James Bond 007 (to confuse the enemy), including his daughter with the Mata Hari. Meanwhile, Ursula Andress is training Peter Sellers to also pretend to be James Bond so he can beat Le Chiffre (Welles) at baccarat. A lot of confusing stuff that doesn’t make sense happens, but eventually it’s revealed that Dr. Noah is actually the real Bond’s nephew, Jimmy Bond (Woody Allen), who’s devised a bomb that’ll make all women voluptuous and kill all men taller than he is. He accidentally swallows a pill that sets off nuclear explosions inside his body, and the world is saved.

This movie has six directors, each of which shot different parts of the film. On top of that, there were some issues with Peter Sellers dropping out of the production before all his scenes were shot, so they had to restructure everything to try and make that work. The end result is pretty impressive, given those limitations. From the point of view of a normal film, it’s like a hodge-podge of whatever random vaguely Bondish parody they could fit in there, which just happens to star some seriously hilarious people.

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