RARA-AVIS: Re: Casino Royale

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 10 Dec 2006


Re your comments about CASINO ROYALE:

"Guess it took a while to live down the James Bond spoof/parody of the same title -- was that title owned by someone other than the Broccolis? Thunderball was, right? Isn't that why it could be remade as Never Say Never?"

When Fleming sold the rights to the Bond characters and to all past and future Bond novels to the Saltzman/Broccoli partnership, there were two novels that were unavailable.

On was CASINO ROYALE, because Fleming had already sold both the TV and film rights to that book shortly after it was published.

The other was THUNDERBALL, because it was a novelization of an original Bond screenplay, on which Fleming collaborated with Irish movie producer Kevin McClory and screnwriter Jack Whittingham, which meant that the movie rights were not Fleming's to sell.

THUNDERBALL eventually became the fourth Bond movie when Saltzman/Broccoli reached an agreement with McClory that included, among other things, McClory getting sole credit as the producer of the film, and getting remake rights ten years after the release of the picture. Getting a remake made turned out to be rockier than it probably should have been, but eventually McClory was able to get that made as NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN in 1983.

The guy who owned the rights to CASINO ROYALE tried to make a similar deal with Saltzman/Broccoli, but, from what I've read, the working relationship between McClory and Saltzman/Broccoli was not an altogether happy one, and the two partners were not anxious to get into another similar arrangement.

Left with rights to a book that he felt wouldn't work as a straight spy film without Connery, the guy who owned CASINO ROYALE decided to do a flat-out comedy spoof. That's how the 1967 film came about.

There's an even earlier version of CASINO ROYALE from 1954. It was a live-broadcast TV play shown on the anthology series CLIMAX (the same anthology series in which Dick Powell returned to the role of Phil Marlowe in a TV version of THE LONG GOODBYE).

Barry Nelson played Agent "Jimmy" Bond of the CIA
(erroneously said to stand for "Combined Intelligence Agencies") whose partner on the case is Leiter of Britain's MI-6. French Intelligence Agent Rene Mathis and damsel-in-distress Vesper Lynd were combined into
"Vesper Mathis" and Peter Lorre played "Le Chiffre."

This TV version was released on VHS some years ago, and I believe the latest DVD release of the 1967 spoof includes it as a "special feature."



____________________________________________________________________________________ Cheap talk? Check out Yahoo! Messenger's low PC-to-Phone call rates. http://voice.yahoo.com

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 10 Dec 2006 EST