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Trivia / Casino Royale (1967)

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  • All-Star Cast: A pretty big amount of household names here: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, Deborah Kerr, John Huston, William Holden, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Boyer, Jacqueline Bisset... And that's not even mentioning the cameos by the likes of Peter O'Toole or Geraldine Chaplin.
  • Billing Displacement: Peter Sellers signed on back when the film was serious. At that point, it was intended to be a vehicle for David Niven. Much rewriting and scene-stealing later, Sellers actually ends up with top billing alongside Ursula Andress. This wouldn't be the first time Sellers entirely stole what was intended to be a vehicle for Niven.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit:
    • Nearly 50 years later, Dusty Springfield's "The Look of Love" still gets airplay on light rock stations, while Royale wallows in well-deserved obscurity, known primarily only by Bond fanatics.
    • The instrumental theme from the movie was a modest hit for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (#27 on the Billboard Hot 100; #1 on the "Easy Listening" charts) and probably is better known today than the movie itself is.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • At the Intercon science fiction convention held in Slough in 1978, David Prowse commented on his part in this film, apparently his big-screen debut. He claimed that he was originally asked to play "Super Pooh", a giant Winnie-the-Pooh in a superhero costume who attacks Tremble during the Torture of The Mind sequence. This idea, as with many others in the film's script, was rapidly dropped, and Prowse was re-cast as a Frankenstein-type monster for the closing scenes.
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    • William Holden and Peter O'Toole were considered for Sir James Bond. They instead make cameos.
  • The Cast Showoff: Peter Sellers puts on a range of accents, while Orson Welles fills his side with magic tricks (Welles was a keen amateur magician). None of it is remotely relevant to what little plot there is.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Got a DEFCON-1 level backlash from EON, who became hell-bent on preventing any other Bond production not authorized by them from taking place, setting the stage for their feud with Kevin McClory later.
    • Also got one from star Peter Sellers, who wanted a serious Bond film but wound up with another comedy that he was ejected from.
  • Creator Killer:
    • A sadly literal instance. The stress of making the film caused producer Charles K. Feldman to develop heart problems, which claimed his life just two years after its release.
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    • A less lethal instance happened to all of the film's directors except for John Huston. All of them had fairly distinguished careers prior to working on this film, but none of them had anywhere near the same success afterwards. Probably the worst affected was Val Guest; after word got out that he had taken over as the primary director late in production, he got unfairly blamed for the resulting mess and was reduced to directing Awful British Sex Comedies for the rest of his career.
  • The Danza: Terence Cooper as Coop.
  • Deleted Role:
    • Ian Hendry was cut out of this project. All that remains of his role is a dead body being removed.
    • Geraldine Chaplin filmed a cameo appearance, but was cut out of the film.
  • Descended Creator: John Huston originally wrote the role of M with Robert Morley in mind. When Morley was unavailable, Huston played the part himself.
  • Dueling Works: It was released in the same year as an official Bond, You Only Live Twice. This duel affected the official release to the point where it became one of the factors in the long and bitter Broccoli/McClory legal feud that started a decade later and only fully ended in 2013, 7 years after McClory's death and nearly 5 decades from when You Only Live Twice and Casino Royale 1967 hit theaters.
  • Franchise Killer:
    • This one Bond spoof's critical and popular thrashing and EON getting the blame for it convinced them to go hard after anything even remotely resembling James Bond, which became a HUGE problem with Kevin McClory 10 years later. Only Mike Myers's Austin Powers series has been able to skirt by this.
    • The film's failure with film critics and Bond fans, it being responsible for producer Charles Feldman's death, and it becoming one of the roots of the ugly EON vs Kevin McClory rivalry tainted its reputation so badly, no other attempts were made to adapt Casino Royale until EON themselves used it as the starting point for their rebooted Bond series.
  • Hostility on the Set: The rift between Orson Welles and Peter Sellers was partly caused by the arrival on set of Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II. Sellers had known her previously and greeted her in an ostentatious manner to ensure all cast and crew noticed. However, the Princess walked straight past him and made a big fuss over Welles. Nonplussed, Sellers stormed off the set and refused to film with Welles again. It's also been suggested that the superstitious Sellers disapproved of Welles' use of magic tricks.
  • Mid-Development Genre Shift: The film was supposed to be a serious adaptation of the novel and proper James Bond film to compete with the proper series. When the filmmakers couldn't get Sean Connery, it became a spoof.
  • Not Screened for Critics: The film invoked this trope due to it being a patchwork of scenes with five directors, and it unsurprisingly failed with critics and unleashed a lot of problems that didn't fully go away until 2013.
  • Old Shame: For the actual Bond copyright holder EON and for the movie's cast. Woody Allen to this day regrets taking part in the film, calling the production "a madhouse".
  • Production Posse: Peter Sellers, Peter O'Toole, Woody Allen, Ursula Andress and Burt Bacharach all previously worked on What's New Pussycat?, also produced by Charles K. Feldman.
  • Real-Life Relative: The film also proved to be young Anjelica Huston's first experience in the film industry as she was called upon by her father, John Huston, to cover the screen shots of Deborah Kerr's hands.
  • Release Date Change: This film was originally intended to be released on Christmas in 1966, but because the shoot ran several months over schedule it was not released until April of 1967.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers/Channel Hop: Columbia Pictures lost the rights to the film after they got entangled in a lawsuit by MGM/UA and Eon Productions (they wanted to make a rival Bond series, holding already the rights to Casino Royale and allying with Kevin McClory, who helped with Thunderball), trading them and the book rights for the ones MGM held to Spider-Man (which then became Columbia's own Cash Cow Franchise before it stalled in 2014 and prompted them to integrate it into Disney/Marvel's MCU).
  • Star-Derailing Role: Peter Sellers was actually fired midway through the shoot when he proved too unreliable and uncooperative, and while the film was finished without him it was extremely messy. This left a black mark on his reputation (particularly with American studios), and most of his subsequent films through 1974 would turn out to be flops if they even made it to theaters. He experienced a Career Resurrection after that.
  • Troubled Production: Not only did an obscene number of directors and screenwriters get involved, but the actors fought with them, and with each other — the reason that Evelyn Tremble and Le Chiffre are not seen in the same shot during the Baccarat scene is that when they tried to get Peter Sellers and Orson Welles in the same studio, Sellers balked. He felt that Welles was not taking the scene seriously (remember that Sellers had wanted the movie to be the straight adaptation he was promised and was increasingly enraged over the continual slide into wacky parody the script was taking). Sellers was also an extremely superstitious man and took exception to Welles performing magic tricks during shooting, and finally refused to appear at the same time with Welles, forcing their lines to be shot at separate times.
  • Uncredited Role: In addition to the credited writers, Woody Allen, Peter Sellers, Val Guest, Ben Hecht, Joseph Heller, Terry Southern, and Billy Wilder are all believed to have contributed to the screenplay to varying degrees.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: During Cooper's AFSD training, one of the women trying to seduce him claims that every fifth child in the world is Chinese. True in 1967, but not anymore, thanks to a combination of the one-child policy and increasing growth rates in the third world.
  • Wag the Director: Peter Sellers caused many problems onset. He had actor John Bluthal (who was to play multiple roles) sacked, ordered a set torn down because he had a dream where his mother visited the set and told him she didn't like it, caused delays by leaving the set for days at a time, refused to be onset with Orson Welles and hired Terry Southern to write his dialogue (and not the rest of the script) to "outshine" his costars.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The producer had intended to cast Sean Connery as Bond, but balked at the star's paycheck demands ($1 million, which wasn't cheap back then). It is assumed that had Connery been cast, it would have been a straight 007 film rather than the parody it would eventually become. Years later, Connery ran into the producer and told him it would have been much better if he had agreed to the million-dollar paycheck.
    • Capucine, Joan Collins, Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine and Elizabeth Taylor turned down the role of Vesper Lynd.
    • Collins also turned down the role of Giovanna Goodthighs.
    • Frank Sinatra was considered for Cooper.
    • Barbra Streisand was considered for a cameo, while Jack Lemmon refused a role.
    • Charles K. Feldman wanted Brigitte Bardot for the role of Mata Bond.
    • An entire sequence involving Tremble going to the front for the underground James Bond Training School (which turns out to be under Harrods, of which the training area was the lowest level) was never shot, thus creating an abrupt cut from Vesper announcing that Tremble will be James Bond to Tremble exiting the elevator into the Training School.
    • At the start of The '60s, Feldman was able to get Howard Hawks interested in the novel, and there were some initial talks between Feldman, Hawks and Leigh Brackett about adapting it, with Cary Grant floated as a possibility to play Bond. Then they saw a preview screening of Dr. No and Hawks decided it would be pointless to even try doing Casino Royale, so he completely dropped the idea.


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