Climax! (1954–1958)
5.8/10
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24 user 16 critic

Casino Royale 

American spy James Bond must outsmart card wiz and crime boss LeChiffre while monitoring his actions.

Director:

William H. Brown Jr. (as William H. Brown)

Writers:

Ian Fleming (novel), Antony Ellis (written for television by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Barry Nelson ... James Bond
Peter Lorre ... Le Chiffre
Linda Christian ... Valerie Mathis
Michael Pate ... Clarence Leiter
Eugene Borden Eugene Borden ... Chef de Parte
Jean Del Val ... Croupier (as Jean DeVal)
Gene Roth ... Le Chiffre's Henchman
Kurt Katch ... Le Chiffre's Henchman
William Lundigan ... Himself - Host
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Storyline

American Combined Intelligence Agency spy James Bond aka Jimmy Bond arrives at the Casino Royale in Monte Carlo, Monaco but is shot at whilst entering. He meets up with British Secret Service secret agent Clarence Leiter (this character was called Felix Leiter in the original Ian Fleming novel). He briefs Bond about his mission then Bond runs into old flame Valerie Mathis (she is an amalgam of the Vesper Lynd and Rene Mathis characters from the novel). She introduces him to Le Chiffre who is the Chief Soviet Agent in the area and is nearly always accompanied by three henchman called Basil, Zoltan and Zuroff. Le Chiffre has been gambling with the Soviet funds of his employers and he's down several million francs. Bond's mission is to beat him at a high-stakes card game of Baccarat so Le Chiffre will be ruined. Written by Jamie Skinner

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1954 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (original broadcast)| Black and White (surviving kinescope prints)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 until Casino Royale (2006). See more »

Goofs

Shadow of the boom mic is visible on the wall behind James Bond as he's explaining the rules of Baccarat to Leiter. See more »

Quotes

Le Chiffre: [Sitting on end of bath] You leave me no choice, I... I cannot let you destroy me.
James Bond: I've already destroyed you.
Le Chiffre: [Having his cigarette lit by Zuroff] You think so, huh?
James Bond: I'm no hero, I don't like pain. But I can tell you one thing right now. You won't get anything out of me. Pain and killing's part of my job.
Le Chiffre: And of mine too Mr Bond.
James Bond: [Sniggering] Huh huh - I bet you love it.
Le Chiffre: [Cynically] How did you find that out, huh?
[Laughing]
Le Chiffre: Oh - you're an obstinate man, Mr Bond!
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Crazy Credits

Character name Leiter is misspelt as Letter in the closing credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally broadcast as an episode of "Climax!" (1954). Most prints retain the original Climax opening credits. The DVD release (as a bonus on the DVD for Casino Royale (1967) has added the MGM lion logo to reflect the fact the production is now owned by MGM. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Behind the Scenes with 'Thunderball' (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude for Piano, Op. 28, No. 24 in D Minor (The Storm)
by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

 
Interesting but not actually that good.
23 June 2002 | by JonTheGodSee all my reviews

This film is a bit of an oddity. It was a live TV play, made a decade before Sean Connery appeared in Dr No. It's nothing like the Bond films we all know and love - anyone expecting action set-pieces will be disappointed as the whole play/film takes place on 2 sets.

THE GOOD POINTS: 1. A rare little gem, bringing James Bond to the screen for the first time. 2. One of the closest adaptations of Ian Fleming's works. 3. Peter Lorre - very good villain.

THE BAD POINTS: 1. Renaming James Bond as "Card-Sense Jimmy Bond". Oh. My. God. 2. Making Bond a Yank. Americans seem to have this need to take credit away from the Brits for everything (Don't even get me started on U-571). 3. They made Felix Leiter a Brit and renamed him Clarence. Sigh...

Anyway, gripes aside it IS worth seeking out if you're a fan. It's available in 2 versions as far as I am aware. The version I have is about an hour long, but there are rumours of a longer version which continues from where the other left off in which the villain returns from the dead to carry on the fight a bit more.


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