Wacky comedy extravaganza, Casino Royale is an attempt to spoof the pants off James Bond. The $12 million film is a conglomeration of frenzied situations, ‘in’ gags and special effects, lacking discipline and cohesion. Some of the situations are very funny, but many are too strained.
Based freely on Ian Fleming’s novel, the story line defies sane description. Sufficient to say that the original James Bond (David Niven), now knighted and living in eccentric retirement, is persuaded back into the Secret Service to help cope with a disastrous situation.
Niven seems justifiably bewildered by the proceedings, but he has a neat delivery of throwaway lines and enters into the exuberant physical action with pleasant blandness. Peter Sellers has some amusing gags as the gambler, the chance of dressing up in various guises and a neat near-seduction scene with Ursula Andress.
1967: Nomination: Best Song (‘The Look of Love’)