MAIN SYNOPSIS REVIEW PRODUCTION NOTES TRIVIA PRESS QUOTES
Casino Royale (1967)
!! SPOILER WARNING !!
Somewhere in Rural England: a group of representatives from various national security agencies converges on the retirement home of James Bond. The grounds are patrolled by a massive pride of lions which menace M and his counterparts from the CIA, the KGB and the French Secret Service as they proceed to the house.
A stuttering Bond is happy in his retirement, pampered by a household of ancient retainers and spending his days drinking tea and playing Debussy. He is scornful of the 'new' 007, "a sexual acrobat who leaves a trail of beautiful dead women like blown roses behind him." His visitors explain to a reluctant Bond that his help is needed to track down a mysterious killer who is wiping out the world's secret agents but Bond refuses to give up his idyllic new life and return to the fold. Bond has been too badly hurt after being forced to betray the only woman he ever loved - not even a sealed letter from the Queen can change his mind. To force Bond into returning, M has his palatial home destroyed by a small army surrounding his estate. Unfortunately, the attack also kills M...
SMERSH hears of Bond's return and plans to discredit the agent by tarnishing his upright reputation. When Bond travels to Scotland, to Castle McTarry, to return M's toupee to his grieving widow the Lady Fiona, he is unaware that Fiona has been replaced by SMERSH agent Mimi and that the beautiful women who claim to be M's daughters are also enemy spies.
SMERSH puts into motion its plan to corrupt the real Bond's celibate and terribly-English image by having the women try to seduce him. Despite their best efforts, this Bond is the very antithesis of his replacement and manages to resist all temptations placed in his way, even failing to succumb when sharing a bath with Buttercup, "daddy's little thermometer." Mimi herself tries to crack the agent's resolve and fails, forcing a night-dress clad Bond to take on a group of burly Highlanders in a bizarre game involving giant stone balls. When the would-be opposition prove less than useless, Bond wins almost by default and Mimi falls for our man, letting her facade slip and revealing her true French-accented speaking voice.
Fearing that Mimi may be losing her grip on the plot, her glamorous assistants side against her and warn headquarters. The lock her in her room and she is unable to warn her beloved Bond that the rest of the women are conspiring to kill him while he's out hunting grouse. She escapes and rushes to warn him as the rest of the SMERSH agents launch a series of guided missiles at him. By the time she finds him, he has managed to see off two attacks and she removes the magnetic button on his cape which the missiles in the shape of robot grouse are homing in on.
Mimi spills the beans on the plot and a game of catch ensues as Bond and the SMERSH agents throw the magnetic button at each other, causing the final missile to fly back and forth between them. Bond wins out in the end, causing the missile to blow up the VW Camper housing SMERSH's mobile control room. In the ensuing explosion, Mimi is injured and dies declaring her undying love. But it turns out she's not dying at all, just planning to incarcerate herself in a nearby convent... Bond has now learned that she is receiving her instructions from a Berlin based organisation known as International Mother's Help.
On his way out of Scotland, Bond is attacked (unseen) by another female agent but makes it back to London unharmed. There, he meets Moneypenny's sexy daughter, her replacement at M's office. Bond realises that his stammer has gone and prepares to take over M's position. One of M's staff, Hadley, explains the problem faced by the department - most of their agents are already dead and of those who are left, the neurotic Jimmy Bond (Bond's American nephew) is about to be executed by a firing squad in South America.
Bond decides that he needs to find a new weapon to combat SMERSH's use of female agents against susceptible male agents - an "anti-female spy device." Moneypenny is assigned to finding the right man and, after spending the night with agent Cooper, decides that he is the man for the job. Bond decides that from now on, all British agents, "even the girls", should be known as James Bond 007 in an attempt to confuse the enemy.
Cooper-Bond begins his training, being seduced by a large number of women and managing to resist their advances. But he is nearly undone by "the new secret weapon", The Detainer, another of Bond's agents.
Bond himself visits Vesper Lynd, a super-capitalist and some time spy and blackmails her (thanks to a large, outstanding tax bill) into helping him. In her secret underground headquarters, he enlists her help in training baccarat expert Evelyn Tremble as a spy. Vesper visits Tremble's club and makes contact, seduces him, and invites him back to her apartment where she has a special chute in her kitchen for disposing of dead bodies! There, she again seduces Tremble and questions him about his book which purports to reveal an infallible method for winning at the cards table. He maintains that his system is foolproof. While Tremble dresses up in fancy dress and has his photograph taken, Vesper asks him if he's heard of another gambler Le Chiffre, which he has. Vesper offers him the chance to take on Le Chiffre with her money, the winnings to be split 50-50.
But Tremble reacts badly to the proposition, believing that Vesper is joking. But when she shows him a case full of money, he changes his mind. To ensure that Le Chiffre doesn't recognise him, Tremble is to be renamed James Bond and is sent off to attend the James Bond Training School hidden within the Harrods department store!
Tremble is shown around by Q and his assistant Fordyce and is equipped with an array of gadgets, including a pen which releases poison gas, a watch which converts into a two way television and radio receiver and a gadget-packed armoured vest.
Bond decides that he needs the help of Mata Bond, his daughter by the legendary spy Mata Hari and travels to visit her in her fabulous temple in India where she performs an elaborate exotic dance for him. Despite Mata's resentment at her father's cavalier treatment of her (he left her in an orphanage at an early age), she agrees to help Bond. He sends her to infiltrate International Mother's Help at their headquarters in what used to be her mother's espionage school.
After two weeks of training in the UK, Mata takes a taxi (from London to West Berlin!) and fails to pay the exorbitant bill to a belligerent driver. Then she infiltrates International Mother's Help, passing herself off as a potential new student. She meets Frau Hoffner and Polo, former associates of her mother and is given a guided tour of the Mata Hari Dancing Academy, the world's greatest school for spies.
She learns from Polo that a representative of Le Chiffre's is due there that night and that the gambler himself is trying to raise funds to pay off his gambling debts to SMERSH. He hopes to secure the necessary funds by selling on compromising pictures of the world's leading military officers at an auction.
Mata attends the auction and is surprised to find the taxi driver skulking around - he turns out to be a representative of the foreign office and he urges her not to allow Le Chiffre to raise the money. She manages to disrupt the auction and flushes the photographs down the toilet. She short circuits Polo's ludicrously clumsy heart pacemaker and manages to escape, pursued by forces of the
Meanwhile, Le Chiffre learns of the disaster and decides that he needs to play baccarat again to raise the required money. His influence is so great that he is able to assassinate his representative by blowing up the telephone kiosk he has randomly chosen to make his call from.
Evelyn Tremble arrives in France where he immediately assaults a customs official. He is met by a representative of the French Secret Service. While receiving his briefing, his car is washed by a gaggle of adoring female agents. Bond, meanwhile, calls Vesper and wonders if Tremble might be a double agent, concerned by his bizarre behaviour at the airport.
Tremble himself checks into his hotel and is met in his room by a scantily clad Miss Goodthighs who seduces him and slips a drug into his champagne... He passes out and has a bizarre fantasy of making love with Vesper. Goodthighs and an unidentified blonde while cards rain down around him. When he comes round, Vesper is waiting for him and she admonishes him for his failure, telling him she "took care" of Goodthighs. She gets Tremble into the shower and orders him to prepare for his important game against Le Chiffre.
Later, Le Chiffre is holding court at the Casino Royale where he is not only breaking the bank with his baccarat skills but is putting on flashy displays of hypnotism and levitation learned from "an ancient vegetarian in the mountain vastnesses of Tibet." Tremble and Vesper arrive at the Casino and deposit 50 million francs for their head-to-head with Le Chiffre. From a side office, Tremble and Vesper watch Le Chiffre on multiple CCTV screens and Tremble uses infra red glasses to reveal that Le Chiffre, armed with similar glasses, is using specially marked cards.
Tremble joins the game at Le Chiffre's table and Vesper is able to steal the gambler's glasses. Le Chiffre shows off some more of his magic tricks while being taunted by Tremble. Eventually, they get into a game of baccarat and. although Tremble loses the first two rounds, he finally bets the full 50 million francs on a final hand and ruins Le Chiffre.
On the way out of the Casino, Vesper is bundled into a car by "two unsavoury gentlemen" and Bond, doing a lightning-fast costume change, sets off in hot pursuit in his Lotus Formula 3 racing car. Then, without warning, Bond comes round in Le Chiffre's home where he is psychologically tortured, exposed to hallucinogenic beauty contests, haunted by a phantom Scottish pipe band and is apparently gunned down by Vesper wielding a machine gun equipped set of bagpipes. Le Chiffre himself is assassinated by a pair of SMERSH assassins when he fails to repay his debts.
Meanwhile, back in the UK, Mata has arrived back in London but her father refuses to let her come with him on business and she goes sightseeing instead. In Trafalgar Square she is abducted by a horse-riding member of the Household Cavalry and taken aboard a SMERSH flying saucer which whisks her away. Bond sets the Air Force after the saucer but they lose it.
Almost immediately, Bond is visited by a nun making a collection who turns out to be Mimi. She slips him a note telling Bond that Mata is being taken to the Casino Royale. And sure enough, the saucer has landed in France and disgorges a smaller pod which takes Mata into a network of coastal caves beneath the casino which houses SMERSH's headquarters.
Bond and Moneypenny arrive at the casino and are immediately set upon by a gang of SMERSH thugs. Bond fights them off but is soon captured and taken into the headquarters of SMERSH head man Dr Noah where they again managed to escape. Noah has already captured most of Bond's agents and has them imprisoned in his base. Bond and Moneypenny flee through the psychedelic corridors of the underground complex before finally meeting Dr Noah himself. Noah, his face concealed is shadows, shows off one of his robots, a perfect likeness of Bond. When Bond destroys the robot, Noah reveals himself to be the diminutive Jimmy Bond who is temporarily struck dumb in his famous uncle's presence.
Jimmy Bond reveals his nefarious plan: to release his bacillus which will make all women beautiful and kill off all men over four foot six. Jimmy's neuroses and sexual hang-ups have finally driven him completely insane. He has Bond and Moneypenny taken aware then goes to taunt one of his other prisoners, The Detainer who belittles Jimmy over his lack of stature and sexual prowess. Jimmy tries desperately to show off in front of her, but he fails to win her admiration.
Noah shows off his mini nuclear weapon disguised as a pill and reveals that he plans to have all world leaders assassinated on April Fools Day (his birthday) and replaced by his robot doubles. The Detainer, realising the potential of the pill bomb, flatters Jimmy into releasing her. Elsewhere, Bond, Moneypenny, Mata and Cooper are trying to escape while the complex slowly fills with vaporised LSD.
Jimmy gives The Detainer a tour of his facility and reveals that his plan to replace world leaders has already begun. She slips the pill into Jimmy's drink and he swallows it. Bond and his friends escape from their psychedelic cell and are attacked on the way out by a small army of gun toting female agents. Rendezvousing with The Detainer, and with the help of the Frankenstein Monster (?), Bond and co. manage to escape from the underground complex and return to the Casino Royale above.
Bond is captured by Vesper - who seems to be a double agent - and then the casino descends into chaos as horse-riding cowboys storm the building, followed shortly thereafter by parachute jumping American Indians (with 007 painted on their foreheads!). A massive brawl breaks out, involving all of the above along with the French and the Keystone Cops!
The pill swallowed by Jimmy finally explodes and the casino is destroyed in a massive explosion. Bond and his agents are seen in an orange tinted heaven wearing angels wings and playing harps as the evil Jimmy descends into Hell...
All text on this page (c) 2000 - 2004 eofftv.com