BONUS – A Few Words About Casino Royale (1967)
By Brandon Peters
I was originally just going to cruise on by this film when doing this retrospective. It’s not a part of the official 007 canon. I had only seen it once (sophomore year of college) and I didn’t like it. However, after the positive response this series has received, I decided to return to Casino Royale (1967) for a viewing and talk a small bit about it as an appreciation bonus. I also thought, maybe I was too young the first time I saw it. Maybe I was in bad company that rendered it unenjoyable. Maybe I’ll appreciate it more being in the thick of the 007 films this was to parody.
Casino Royale is a staggering 2 hours and 11 minutes long! That’s way way way too long for a comedy (this film claims it’s a satire. That’s fine and dandy but there’s a lot here played for slapstick yucks). The film truly doesn’t get its start until around the 35 minute mark. All that came before is incredibly pointless and not even remotely engaging. And to be honest, a lot of scenes/sections of the film are this way. The look and feel of this movie feels like the Disney live action family films of this era. Nothing at all looks or feels like they are parodying the Eon Bond films. It’s more like the people who made it never saw a Bond film but had heard about some of them and then attempted to parody it (kinda like the current writing staff of SNL).
Casino Royale is an easy skip. If you haven’t seen it, don’t bother. The film barely resembles the book and only bears the name James Bond, it doesn’t do it any favors. The only truly funny part is Woody Allen’s introduction scene (and then he’s not seen again until the end of the film where he appears completely uninterested). If you’re still curious, I’m going to reiterate that this is a PARODY FILM THAT IS 2 HOURS & 11 MINUTES LONG. Imagine Scary Movie, Meet the Spartans or any one of those being that long. I recommend you watch Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. I’m never going to revisit this film again. This viewing sealed it.