Directed by Ken Hughes. UK. 1967. NR. 131 minutes. MGM. 35mm.
Sun., September 6, 2015
After Sean Connery had proven the box-office value of Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories with four smash hits, it was discovered that the rights to Fleming’s first Bond novel were not owned by their producer, Cubby Broccoli. Not long after, Charles K. Feldman, who did own the rights to Casino Royale set out to produce this spoof of the 007 films. The list of directors who worked on this satire included John Huston, Val Guest, and several others, and the writers included such big names as Billy Wilder, Joseph Heller, Wolf Mankowitz, and Terry Southern, resulting in a very varied, but often hilarious production. Among the actors who variously fill in as 007 include: the very urbane David Niven, the very funny Peter Sellers, the very beautiful Ursula Andress, and the very Woody Allenish Woody Allen. Don’t try to follow the plot, just sit back and enjoy these actors, and such others as Orson Welles, Charles Boyer, Deborah Kerr, and William Holden having a rollicking good time, as they spoof good old Double Oh Seven. By the way, the Oscar-nominated hit song, “The Look of Love,” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, came from this movie. (NOTE: Please be advised that this film is not, repeat not, in any way, shape or form, the 2006 version of Casino Royale, which starred Daniel Craig, and which wasn’t funny.) (Bill Roth)