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HISTORY

According to a 15 Feb 1966 DV article, Mike Garrison and Gregory Ratoff purchased film rights to Ian Fleming’s first “James Bond” spy novel, Casino Royale (1953) in 1955. Twentieth Century-Fox rejected their proposal, and Garrison sold his shares in the property sometime after Ratoff’s death in 1960. The 31 Mar 1965 Var stated that former talent agent-turned-producer Charles K. Feldman then bought the rights from Ratoff’s widow for $75,000.
       Meanwhile, Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli’s Eon Productions optioned the remaining installments of Fleming’s series, and began developing an adaptation of Dr. No (1962, see entry) as part of a multi-picture deal with United Artists (UA). Despite Dr. No’s massive popularity, a 23 Apr 1964 LAT item reported that Feldman still intended to pursue his own Bond picture, “with or without” leading man Sean Connery. French actress Capucine was reportedly attached to co-star. According to the 31 Mar 1965 Var, Broccoli and Saltzman offered Feldman $500,000 plus a percentage of the profits to make the film under the existing Bond team at UA. After lengthy negotiations, Feldman declined, and instead sought a deal with Columbia Pictures. Although some sources suggested that Feldman still hoped to secure Connery’s services in the film, news of the Columbia pact included the casting of actor Terence Cooper in what was to be one of several principal roles. On 16 Jun 1965, Var stated that Columbia had approved a $4.5—$5 million budget, with filming scheduled to begin in time to accommodate a summer 1966 release.
       However, production was deferred as the project was reworked as an ... More Less

According to a 15 Feb 1966 DV article, Mike Garrison and Gregory Ratoff purchased film rights to Ian Fleming’s first “James Bond” spy novel, Casino Royale (1953) in 1955. Twentieth Century-Fox rejected their proposal, and Garrison sold his shares in the property sometime after Ratoff’s death in 1960. The 31 Mar 1965 Var stated that former talent agent-turned-producer Charles K. Feldman then bought the rights from Ratoff’s widow for $75,000.
       Meanwhile, Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli’s Eon Productions optioned the remaining installments of Fleming’s series, and began developing an adaptation of Dr. No (1962, see entry) as part of a multi-picture deal with United Artists (UA). Despite Dr. No’s massive popularity, a 23 Apr 1964 LAT item reported that Feldman still intended to pursue his own Bond picture, “with or without” leading man Sean Connery. French actress Capucine was reportedly attached to co-star. According to the 31 Mar 1965 Var, Broccoli and Saltzman offered Feldman $500,000 plus a percentage of the profits to make the film under the existing Bond team at UA. After lengthy negotiations, Feldman declined, and instead sought a deal with Columbia Pictures. Although some sources suggested that Feldman still hoped to secure Connery’s services in the film, news of the Columbia pact included the casting of actor Terence Cooper in what was to be one of several principal roles. On 16 Jun 1965, Var stated that Columbia had approved a $4.5—$5 million budget, with filming scheduled to begin in time to accommodate a summer 1966 release.
       However, production was deferred as the project was reworked as an episodic parody film, with multiple characters assuming the identity of “Agent 007.” Items in the 12 May 1965 Var and 22 Jan 1967 LAT indicated that Michael Sayers’s original screenplay passed through the hands of several other writers before reaching Wolf Mankowitz, who devised an entirely new plot. Mankowitz referred to the film as a “revue, which could absorb many contributions,” and shares onscreen credit with Sayers and John Law. Billy Wilder, Ben Hecht, John Huston, Val Guest, Joseph Heller, Terry Southern, and Woody Allen were all reported to have made uncredited revisions to the script. Huston and Guest also directed two of the film’s five “segments,” which the 5 Oct 1966 NYT designated as follows: Huston (thirty-eight minutes), Guest (twenty-six minutes), Kenneth Hughes (twenty-five minutes), Joseph McGrath (twenty minutes), Robert Parrish (twenty minutes). According to a 21 Feb 1967 LAT news item, Kaufman initially approached three-time Bond director Terence Young, who turned down the job in attempt to dissociate himself with the franchise. A 14 Jun 1966 DV item stated that Jack Smight also declined due to scheduling conflict. Although British television and commercial director Joseph McGrath had no previous experience in feature films, the 4 Oct 1965 LAT reported he was the first to be hired as part of an existing contract with Columbia. The 29 May 1966 edition claimed that Huston viewed the job as a contractual obligation, and was largely disinterested in the final product.
       As the scale of the production expanded, so did the cast. Following the surprising box-office success of What’s New Pussycat? (1965, see entry), Feldman was eager to work with many of the same crew members and actors, including Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, and former Dr. No “Bond girl” Ursula Andress. Various sources suggested that Charles Boyer, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Sarah Miles, Peter Ustinov, Rex Harrison, Sophia Loren, Rudolf Nureyev, Trevor Howard, Carlo Ponti, Samantha Eggar, Danni Sheridan, Jan Rennison, Gina Warwick, Jean Stewart, and Una Stubbs were all considered to round out the all-star cast, but none appear in the final film. According to items in the 10 Nov 1965 DV and 7 Mar 1967 NYT, Shirley MacLaine was forced to turn down a $1 million offer to play one of two key female roles, citing a prior commitment with Universal Pictures. DV stated that Wolf Mankowitz was in the process of rewriting the script to MacLaine’s specifications when she left the project, at which point the story’s two female characters were expanded to nine. The 5 Oct 1966 NYT estimated the total actors’ fees at $3 million, with Sellers also set to receive a percentage of the gross.
       Casting continued well into principal photography, which, after several repeated delays, began 10 Jan 1966 at Shepperton Studios in England. Less than a month later, a 16 Feb 1966 Var item announced that filming had been temporarily stalled when Ursula Andress sustained an eye injury feeding a deer in a London park. The shutdown reportedly cost the production $64,000, since roughly 200 background actors were required to shoot Andress’s casino scene. According to the 25 Feb 1966 LAT, McGrath’s segment took six weeks to complete, with the following four to five weeks allotted to Robert Parrish. One sequence featuring more than 100 Scottish Highlanders included actor Peter O’Toole, an accomplished bagpiper. The 30 Mar 1966 Var claimed O’Toole was visiting the set and agreed to appear in the film at Sellers’s insistence.
       A 20 Apr 1966 Var news brief announced that John Huston had begun his segment at Pinewood Studios. Contemporary sources indicated that many of his scenes were shot on location in Kent, England, and County Meath, Ireland, northwest of Dublin. By mid-summer, the 29 Jun 1966 Var reported that Val Guest had assumed the “last leg” of production at the MGM British Studios in Borehamwood. The following month, however, a 28 Jul 1966 DV item stated that two more units had been added under Ken Hughes and Richard Talmadge, who were seeking additional last-minute “guest stars” such as Cary Grant. Conflicting end dates suggest that principal photography ran several months over schedule, with the modest original budget ballooned to estimates of $8—$11 million. According to the 5 Oct 1966 Var, Feldman jokingly dubbed the film “a little Cleopatra,” in reference to the 1963 picture (see entry) whose runaway costs made it the most expensive movie up to that time. However, the producer explained that sixteen weeks of Casino Royale’s nearly yearlong shoot were spent on hiatus due to lack of studio space in London. The complications resulted in the units shuffling between Shepperton, Pinewood, and MGM British. The 5 Oct 1966 NYT also alluded to “production problems” with Peter Sellers. Although Feldman dismissed the severity of these issues, modern biographies, including Roger Lewis’s The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (1990), intimate that several conflicts precipitated Sellers’s departure from the film before completion of his scenes.
       With post-production underway in London, Feldman reteamed with What’s New Pussycat? composer Burt Bacharach to write the score. Items in the 14 Jan 1966 and 27 Jan 1967 LAT named Frankie Randall and Johnny Rivers as potential singers to record the title theme, but neither is credited in the final film. “Casino Royale” plays over the opening credits as an instrumental piece performed by Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass. The 27 Feb 1967 DV reported that sneak previews were held the previous weekend in San Francisco, CA.
       On 15 Mar 1967, Var announced that Casino Royale would have its world charity premiere 13 Apr 1967 at the Odeon Leicester Square Theatre in London, followed by a “saturation release” across the U.K. ten days later. Despite earlier reports of a roadshow engagement in the U.S., Columbia opted for a regular distribution pattern. According to a 21 Dec 1966 Var article, the film was removed from its original Easter booking at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, inciting false rumors that the date had been pushed back to Oct 1967 to clear competition between Casino Royale and UA’s fifth Bond feature, You Only Live Twice (see entry). However, Columbia followed through with its plans for a spring release, which preceded You Only Live Twice by just two months. A 19 Apr 1967 Var brief reported that the 26 Apr 1967 New York City opening was delayed two days due to dissatisfaction with the color print currently screening in London theaters. The film finally opened 28 Apr 1967 at the Capitol and Cinema I Theatres, while an 8 May 1967 LAT brief indicated that the Los Angeles engagement was entering its second week at the Pantages Theatre. Several weeks later, the 22 Jun 1967 LAT announced that the citywide expansion would include thirty Southern California theaters and drive-ins.
       Despite largely negative reviews both at home and overseas, the 3 May 1967 Var reported near-record grosses at the Odeon, and an estimated $673,000 from seventeen key markets in the U.S.
       Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s song, “The Look Of Love,” received an Academy Award nomination for Music (Song).
       While the 1967 picture was intended as a satirical take on contemporary Bond films, Fleming’s Casino Royale was eventually incorporated into the Eon franchise with the 2006 remake of the same name (see entry), starring Daniel Craig as 007. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Nov 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
22 Nov 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
15 Feb 1966
p. 18.
Daily Variety
14 Jun 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
26 May 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
28 Jul 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Sep 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1967
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
23 Apr 1964
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
8 Sep 1965
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
27 Sep 1965
Section C, p. 19.
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1965
Section D, p. 21.
Los Angeles Times
14 Oct 1965
Section D, p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
18 Oct 1965
Section D, p. 21.
Los Angeles Times
14 Jan 1966
Section C, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
24 Jan 1966
Section C, p. 21.
Los Angeles Times
25 Feb 1966
Section C, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
13 Mar 1966
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
13 Apr 1966
Section D, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
29 May 1966
Section K, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
12 Aug 1966
Section C, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jan 1967
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
27 Jan 1967
Section D, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
21 Feb 1967
Section D, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
15 Apr 1967
p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
1 May 1967
Section C, p. 1, 14.
Los Angeles Times
8 May 1967
Section E, p. 37.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jun 1967
Section D, p. 11.
New York Times
22 May 1966
p. 129.
New York Times
5 Oct 1966
p. 38.
New York Times
7 Mar 1967
p. 47.
New York Times
23 Apr 1967
p. 111.
New York Times
29 Apr 1967
p. 25.
Variety
31 Mar 1965
p. 5.
Variety
12 May 1965
p. 3.
Variety
16 Jun 1965
p. 3.
Variety
12 Jan 1966
p. 30.
Variety
16 Feb 1966.
---
Variety
30 Mar 1966
p. 31.
Variety
20 Apr 1966
p. 70.
Variety
29 Jun 1966
p. 20.
Variety
10 Aug 1966
p. 3.
Variety
5 Oct 1966
p. 7.
Variety
12 Oct 1966.
---
Variety
7 Dec 1966
p. 3.
Variety
21 Dec 1966
p. 1, 62.
Variety
15 Mar 1967
p. 32.
Variety
19 Apr 1967
p. 4.
Variety
3 May 1967
p. 7, 34.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Addl seq
2nd unit dir
2nd unit dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog
Addl photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Montage eff
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Cost for Misses Andress and Pettet
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Sp matte work
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup for Miss Andress
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Suggested by the novel Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (London, 1953).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Casino Royale," composer undetermined, performed by Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass
"The Look of Love," words and music by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, sung by Dusty Springfield.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
28 April 1967
Premiere Information:
London premiere: 13 April 1967
U.K. opening: 23 April 1967
New York opening: 28 April 1967
Production Date:
10 January--fall 1967
Copyright Claimant:
Famous Artists Productions
Copyright Date:
1 April 1967
Copyright Number:
LF13
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
130
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The original James Bond (007) retired following his star-crossed love affair with Mata Hari and watched with disdain as his gimmick-laden imitators sullied his name. But as the international crime organization known as SMERSH threatens world domination, he agrees to come out of retirement. After his longtime superior McTarry ("M") is killed, Bond goes to Scotland to console McTarry's widow, Lady Fiona, unaware that the woman he encounters is actually a SMERSH agent. Bond's charms are such, however, that Lady Fiona gives up her life of espionage and retires to a convent when Bond declines her offer of love. To outwit his enemy, Bond decides there should be more than one 007 agent. He enlists the services of Vesper Lynd, the world's richest and most seductive spy; Evelyn Tremble, the inventor of a foolproof gambling system; Cooper, a strong-arm agent trained to resist women; and Bond's own daughter, Mata Bond. While Mata is outwitting SMERSH in Berlin, Bond sends Tremble and Vesper to the famed Casino Royale, and there SMERSH agent Le Chiffre is attempting to replenish his organization's finances by playing baccarat. Although Tremble defeats Le Chiffre at the gaming tables, Vesper is kidnaped as they leave. In pursuit, Tremble is captured, tortured, and eventually shot. Mata is also abducted and carried off in a flying saucer. SMERSH begins to get the upper hand, and Bond swings into action. Upon learning that the casino is merely a front and that SMERSH is headed by his own fiendish nephew, Jimmy Bond, Sir James utilizes the charms of The Detainer (another 007) to induce Jimmy to swallow an explosive capsule. Bond then calls for his allies--the French Foreign Legion, tribes ... +


The original James Bond (007) retired following his star-crossed love affair with Mata Hari and watched with disdain as his gimmick-laden imitators sullied his name. But as the international crime organization known as SMERSH threatens world domination, he agrees to come out of retirement. After his longtime superior McTarry ("M") is killed, Bond goes to Scotland to console McTarry's widow, Lady Fiona, unaware that the woman he encounters is actually a SMERSH agent. Bond's charms are such, however, that Lady Fiona gives up her life of espionage and retires to a convent when Bond declines her offer of love. To outwit his enemy, Bond decides there should be more than one 007 agent. He enlists the services of Vesper Lynd, the world's richest and most seductive spy; Evelyn Tremble, the inventor of a foolproof gambling system; Cooper, a strong-arm agent trained to resist women; and Bond's own daughter, Mata Bond. While Mata is outwitting SMERSH in Berlin, Bond sends Tremble and Vesper to the famed Casino Royale, and there SMERSH agent Le Chiffre is attempting to replenish his organization's finances by playing baccarat. Although Tremble defeats Le Chiffre at the gaming tables, Vesper is kidnaped as they leave. In pursuit, Tremble is captured, tortured, and eventually shot. Mata is also abducted and carried off in a flying saucer. SMERSH begins to get the upper hand, and Bond swings into action. Upon learning that the casino is merely a front and that SMERSH is headed by his own fiendish nephew, Jimmy Bond, Sir James utilizes the charms of The Detainer (another 007) to induce Jimmy to swallow an explosive capsule. Bond then calls for his allies--the French Foreign Legion, tribes of American Indians, the U. S. Cavalry, United Nations paratroopers, and the Keystone Cops--to invade the casino. During the ensuing melee, Bond makes a strategic exit as Jimmy's internal bomb goes off and the casino and its occupants are blown up. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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