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Casino Royale (1967)



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The rights to Flemings first Bond novel, Casino Royale were not sold with the rest to the producers of the now-famous film series, because they had already been sold to make the 1954 TV special. Eventually, the rights fell in to the hands of Charles K. Feldman who, not wishing to compete with the box office smash series, made this screen adaptation of Fleming's novel a humorous parody rather than a serious interpretation. It might have been good, if it wasn't directed by a committee -- there's an old saying, too many directors spoil the movie. This version of Casino Royale makes virtually no sense at all; things happen on screen that make zero sense and are never explained (not that they ever could), and many scenes drone on forever. Not to say it doesn't have its moments. The dialogue in one of the opening scenes, between 'M', his associates, and James Bond is funny and very well written; most of Woody Allen's material for his role as a Blofeld parody are hysterical, and the score to the film is catchy, silly, and fun. Furthermore, once you've seen it one or two times (if you can bring yourself to do that) and become accustomed to the deplorable storytelling and insidious happenings, it kind of grows on you.

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