I watched this movie this weekend. If I hadn’t been at a friend’s home, I would have turned it off after 30 minutes.
The only thing that made the movie comprehensible was watching an interview later with one of the four (!!) directors (Val Guest), explaining the concept. It was supposed to be a madcap, wacky “psychadelic” movie that didn’t necessarily make sense. It also made more sense when he revealed that Peter Sellers got fired so they had to finish it without him.
I have a friend who constantly tells me how funny this movie is. If he wasn’t a good friend I’d tie him down to a table with a laser beam slowly moving up between his legs. This movie stinks! It reminds me of the Monkees’ movie “Head” which was funny when I was 13 years old but is now too painful to watch, the difference being that I saw “Casino Royale” at 13 years old and it wasn’t funny then, either.
By the way, don’t get it confused with the 1st movie of Casino Royale starring Barry Nelson. An interesting little gem for Bond aficionados.
I hated this one when it came out, too (although the theme song is pretty good). They had a mish-mosh of writers and directors. Peter Sellers and Orson Welles reputedly hated each other and wouldn’t work together – even though they were in the same scene.
What’s interesting about this (and Operation Kid Brother – also known by other names and the subject of an episode of MST3K. It starred Sean Connery’s bother and is uniformly panned by everyone) is that it has some folks from the “real” Bond films in it (like Ursula Andress).
Yeah, the DVD we watched offered the original “Casino Royale” as bonus material. Which was pretty interesting, actually. But between watching that, and the movie, and the commentary, I spent a lot more than just 2 hours on this enterprise.
Jesus, how could you NOT love a movie that has David Niven, Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, John Huston, William Holden, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Orson Welles, Charles Boyer, George Raft, and Peter O’Toole…the incredibly luscious Ursula Andress, Dahlia Lavi, Joanna Pettet, Barbara Bouchet, and Jacqueline Bisset…and an UNCREDITED writing staff of Woody Allen, Joseph Heller, Terry Southern, Billy Wilder, and Ben Hecht???
Not to mention (wait, Cal did already) that fabulous-o Bacharach score?
I adore this flick. Best scene is Dr. Noah’s big stupid-looking flying saucer landing in the middle of London while sixty shrill trumpets blare the “Casino Royale” theme. Fall out of my chair laughing every time, 'cause at that point you KNOW anything can happen…the very essence of psychedelia-fueled 'sixties excess.
Saw this movie on TV years ago and the outstanding thing I remember about it is that it was “Exhibit A” of the “BIG CAST + BIG BUDGET = BIG YUKS” principle of making movie comedies that was prevalent in Hollywood after the success of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Essentially, it’s the idea that if you take a big all-star cast consisting of many funny people, add a lot of elaborate sets and expensive special effects, and a length exceeding two hours, you’ll get comic gold–even if you neglect such things as having a funny (and coherent) script and adept comic direction. (Other movies that fall into this category include 1941, Johnny Dangerously, and Mars Attacks.) In the case of Casino Royale, the only thing I found funny in the movie were Woody Allen’s scenes. (This, BTW, was before the whole Soon-Yi scandal broke which had the effect of tempering my laughter toward him and his movies).
Also, I didn’t realize Peter Sellers had been fired halfway through production of this movie. I wondered why, even though he’s one of the stars of the movie, his character abruptly disappears at the midway mark and isn’t seen until very briefly at the very end.
Testify, brother Ike! The movie is a huge train wreck, no question; with 4 directors each doing a segment (more or less) independently, that’s pretty much a given. But it is a glorious, over-the-top, perfectly period train wreck!
It at once parodies the “big event movie” of the 1960s and lashes its hideous carcass into a gallop at the same time. It just doesn’t give a damn (I mean, flying roulette wheels giving out with the laughing gas and bubbles?); I always think that it pointed the way towards television’s Laugh-In.
Strewn among the cheese curds are some great moments (mostly from Peter Sellers and Woody Allen), and besides:
greatest Bond theme music ever!
I love this movie for the same reason I love 1941; it’s so bad, it’s good.
When the Indians come in via Tee-Pee parachutes and rapid-fire bows-and-arrows appear, you got your moneys worth! The music, the women, and Peter O’Toole (The finest human to ever have breathed) is all gravy!
That’s not entirely correct. I think The Magic Christian–while almost as much of an incoherent mess–is a better and funnier movie than Casino Royale. In fact, I would’ve liked to have seen someone rework it and it’s cynical premise (i.e., that any person can be made to do even the most debasing things if they’re paid enough for it) for the “greed is good” 1980’s and 90’s (perhaps with Bill Murray as Guy Grand). However, I doubt a new version would be now be effective satire in light of the spat of “how low will they go” reality shows and corporate scandals. (Sometimes real life has the effect of overtaking satire in terms of outrageousness.)
No argument from me on this point. Casino Royale at least HAD some funny scenes. With Mars Attacks!, I chuckled a few times but otherwise remember feeling incredibly pissed off and let down (and this was after seeing it on free TV). I had the sense that Tim Burton (who I really liked up to that point and still, to a lesser degree, do today) was angry at somebody and that the lackluster quality of the movie was a passive-aggressive attempt to get back at them. The only problem was that the audience suffered as a result.
Casino Royale is difficult to watch… it has great parts and horrible, tedious parts. One day (getting faraway look in my eyes) I want a house with all the sets from Casino Royale in it.
IMHO, at least it has the best James Bond movie theme song.