Climax! (1954–1958)
5.8/10
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24 user 20 critic

Casino Royale 

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

Director:

(as William H. Brown)

Writers:

(novel), (written for television by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
... James Bond
... Le Chiffre
... Valerie Mathis
... Clarence Leiter
Eugene Borden ... Chef de Parte
... Croupier (as Jean DeVal)
... Le Chiffre's Henchman
... Le Chiffre's Henchman
... 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:

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1954 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(original broadcast)| (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

James Bond: Give me the check.
Le Chiffre: [Attempting to get the blade from behind the band of his hat] Huh?
James Bond: [to Valerie] Go on. Call the police.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in My Weekly Bond: Casino Royale 1954 Review (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
CLIMAX!: CASINO ROYALE (TV) (William H. Browm Jr., 1954) **1/2
2 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

The first ever screen representation of James Bond is, understandably, miles removed from the way we have come to know and love Britain's top secret agent; for starters, this 50-minute adaptation of Ian Fleming's first Bond novel is not only shot in black-and-white but was recorded live for an American TV program entitled "Climax!".

In fact, even Bond himself - occasionally referred to as Jimmy! - is an American here (played by the rather uncharismatic Barry Nelson) and the wildly international cast also consists of Austrian Peter Lorre as the villain of the piece Le Chiffre, Mexican Linda Christian as the female interest, Australian Michael Pate as C.I.A. operative Clarence(!) Leiter and Polish Kurt Katch as one of Le Chiffre's henchmen. The program concerns itself only with the all-important game of baccarat taking place in the Casino of the title and as such is much less exciting than any subsequent Bond outing but, for all that, Lorre's professionalism and the sheer naivete and, indeed, rarity of the whole thing gives it a certain charm which keeps one watching.


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