Monsoon-A-Day: ‘Casino Royale’ 1954

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Where I watch and review a movie a day.



Casino Royale 1954

In honor of James Bond week, I decided to review some of the more obscure James Bond films and Rip-offs starting with the often forgotten television adaptation of Casino Royale.

Before Dr. No and before the spoof of the same name, There was Casino Royale. Made for the 50’s anthology series Climax! The episode was actually supposed to be a backdoor pilot for a serialized bond television series but obviously that never happened.
The plot actually sticks extremely close to the source material.
James bond(Barry Nelson) enters casino royale (after dodging bullets from assassins off screen) and runs into his contract-Clarence Leiter.
They exchange exposition and bond learns his mission-win at baccarat- and the audience learns what baccarat is.

There’s card playing, ex lovers, Peter lorre doing a great peter lorre impression and probably a martini? I don’t remember.

The story is told mostly through inner monologues and heavy exposition, so unless you’re really into watching people play cards, you’re going to get bored by the monotony.
There’s very little action so in that regard, it’s a success.

On the bright side, There’s some pretty good performances. Barry nelson does an admirable job with what he’s given and Peter lorre is never not great but i really can’t recommend this to any one but die hard completionists.

All this adaptation proves is that sometimes you can’t be 100% faithful to the source material.
Stick with the 2006 version.