For my first review for the 007 Blogathon, here’s my thoughts on the original-original Casino Royale that was made for US TV back in the 50’s.
“Oh, as you most certainly know, Mr. Bond, no secret agent can ever be quite sure when another agent isn’t working for the other side. Although I… I always thought that mutual love means mutual trust. ” – Le Chiffre
Number of Times Seen – 1 (1 Dec 2014)
Brief Synopsis – An American secret agent named James Bond must win a high stakes game of poker against a notorious criminal named Le Chiffre.
My Take on it – This was an interesting find just for the fact that it is the first ever appearance of 007 on screen.
Since it was on US TV, the parts of Bond and Leiter were reversed with Bond being a US spy and Leiter being the Brit.
The story doesn’t flow so well and it feels like it is trapped in a small space, dying to get out.
It’s possible that back when this was made it was more in line with the way action/spy/thrillers were being made at the time, so viewers must have enjoyed it much more than I did.
Bond just seems to be too tame here when it comes to his style and grace both with women and with his enemies.
The story and script don’t come even close to evoking the pace and dynamics of the 2 future Bond movies that bear this title.
On the bright side, there is some witty Bond dialogue for which writer Ian Fleming was known for and there is even a hint to future Bond gadgets which the use of a cane/gun which was used again much later in the series.
Suffice it to say, this movie should only be viewed by those who are diehard fans of the series or for pure nostalgic purposes.
Bottom Line – Perhaps this was viewed much better in the 50’s, but now it seems like a very mild version of what we all know of James Bond and his methods. Very mediocre script that is borderline boring, but is helped by a few interesting dialogue lines and a secret weapon utilized more prominently in a future Bond movie. Only for the die-hard Bond lovers.
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
Here’s the Bond main title song:
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