Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Parodies of James Bond films face an uphill struggle, because said film series is usually so tongue-in-cheek in the first place.

1967's pastiche of Casino Royale doesn't appear keen to make anyone laugh, and as such is probably not that bothered that so few people did.

Not that there aren't any jokes in here - there are a dizzyingly high number of them - it's just that few if any score much above a smile. It just doesn't seem to be aiming any higher than that.

Its number one joke - here's a pretty girl - is paraded on screen in scene after scene as though the gag is so strong that it really will last for most of the running time.

I have no idea what the plot was. At one point comedy legend Peter Sellers actually makes a quip to camera before driving away. In the very next shot he's being held prisoner. What the...? Could they not have at least filmed the car getting stopped?!

It's all a disappointing failure to exploit such a first class cast.

That's not to suggest that this is a bad film though, just that whatever it was attempting to achieve simply was not what I was looking to get out of it.

It's also a movie that quite literally has style in spades. Burt Bacharach's evocative tijuana music oozes class throughout, elevating the laziness of presenting so many starlets to something of a glossy fashion magazine.

The film's cinematography is second-to-none too. Again and again the psychedelia that the sixties are renowned for enters the direction, and every time it does it's spellbinding. Again, as throughout, nothing to really focus on here, just an enthralling atmosphere.

Towards the end though, as each successive commercial break came on, I'm afraid I found myself exclaiming the same thing. "There's even more?"

For me, the original movie of Casino Royale is dreamy in both a mesmerising and an unintelligible way.

As such, I might have enjoyed it more in episodes.

(available here)


1 comment(s):

At 11:24 am, Blogger Maurice Mitchell said...

I love Peter Sellers, but this isn't one of his better movies. Great flashback though.


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