Armed with a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem.
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James Bond goes on his first ever mission as a 00. Le Chiffre is a banker to the world's terrorists. He is participating in a poker game at Montenegro, where he must win back his money, in order to stay safe among the terrorist market. The boss of MI6, known simply as M sends Bond, along with Vesper Lynd to attend this game and prevent Le Chiffre from winning. Bond, using help from Felix Leiter, Mathis and having Vesper pose as his partner, enters the most important poker game in his already dangerous career. But if Bond defeats Le Chiffre, will he and Vesper Lynd remain safe? Written by
Ian Fleming received three offers for the film rights to his "Casino Royale" novel during 1954. Producer and Director Gregory Ratoff bought the rights to the novel in May 1954 for $600. It was a six month option and Ratoff took this to CBS whom produced and broadcast this one hour episode for Climax! (1954) [See: Climax!: Casino Royale (1954)]. CBS purchased the rights to the Ian Fleming novel for $1000. John Shepridge negotiated the sale of the film and television rights in 1954. Before the sale, the "Casino Royale" novel had not been successful, and was even retitled and Americanized for its paperback issue. Fleming also needed money. Twelve months later, and after the TV screening, Ratoff bought "Casino Royale" outright in perpetuity for an additional $6000. Both sales including the option and the buy-out are considered to have been sold too cheaply and were two sales that Ian Fleming later regretted. With the money from the larger sale, Ian Fleming bought a Thunderbird car at the cost of £3000. Gregory Ratoff passed away on 14 December 1960. His widow in 1961 sold the rights to Charles K. Feldman for $75,000. Feldman would go on to make the James Bond parody, Casino Royale (1967) and it would not be made as an EON Productions film for almost another forty years. See more »
Miami airport. The smashed police car - when already stopped - turns 180 degrees between shots. See more »
M really doesn't mind you earning a little money on the side, Dryden. She'd just prefer it if it wasn't selling secrets.
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The opening MGM and Columbia logos are in black & white to coincide with the pre-title sequence. See more »
Casino Royale is a major step-up from the flamboyant Die Another Day. Pierce Brosnan has been replaced by a young-ish Daniel Craig, there is no Q, no campy gadgets, no silly naked women silhouettes in the opening credits, no world-dominating super-colossus villains, no Miss Funnyfanny (or whatever), and no silly one-liners after killing bad guys. Basically everything that can date Bond film very quickly is gone. I never expected international espionage to look the way it has in past few Bond outings and I'm glad someone had the balls to go back to the hard-edged nature of the series, last seen in Licence to Kill.
The longest Bond movie so far, at 145 minutes, but it breezes by even though it reigns in on the normally excessive action scenes and depicts spying a more 'mundane' and 'realistic' manner (or at least as true as the series has been so far). But the one-thing that bugs me about action movies, particularly the Bond franchise, is that they are, most of the time, childish male fantasies with an indestructible hero who has fun shooting up the place and beds beautiful women. I would like something new for a change but Casino Royale does have Bond get hurt and go through more pain than he has previously.
Daniel Craig got a lot of hassle over his casting as Bond but not only does he have his youth as an advantage (he's the first 30-something to be cast in the role since Lazenby), he's also pretty damn trim, has the intensity Brosnan lacked and is surprisingly loose in a role that usually requires actors to be stiff and unemotional. It's also good to a fresh face in the role and who cares if he is blonde? Or the shortest actor to play him so far? I would have preferred that composer David Arnold went too. They didn't seem to be holding back on the amount of regular production team members who got axed. Even Vic Armstrong didn't return. I've never liked Arnold's work on the movies and I hate to think of it as something that's now exclusively HIS baby.
Unfortunately, as good as this fresh start to the franchise was, all of the goodwill that director Martin Campbell earned was completely undone by the follow-up Quantum of Solace, which is not only the worst Bond film so far, but one of the worst action films, and one of the worst films overall, that I have ever seen.
If Craig and Co. ever get around to making another, they've got a LOT to make up for.
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