Jessica Welman, John Cook and James Ross are back for another episode of Cinema Reels and this time they will be casting their eyes over the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale.

Casino Royale features an all-star cast and centres on David Niven as the “original” Bond who is forced out of retirement to investigate the deaths and disappearances of international spies. He soon has to battle Dr. Noah and the criminal organisation SMERSH.

In a twist from last week’s episode, this time Jess is a fan of the film while John and James are not.

John says that the film is full of “weird and odd moments” that don’t make sense and James echoes this sentiment, saying that he “struggled to connect with the film” and the comedy element felt over the top.

In a bid to change their minds, Jess provides some context about the film.

She explains that Casino Royale had five different directors and a number of different writers which is why the film feels disjointed. She adds that Peter Sellers and Orson Welles who both feature in the film hated each other which led to the sacking of Sellers and the addition of David Niven as the main James Bond.

Despite the negatives, there is praise for the costumes and locations used and the trio also discusses how the film influenced other films such as Austin Powers.

Jess said: “I see what it inspired down the way and I see that this has a place in film comedy history where it is doing things that I see in movies later on and I appreciate it for that.”

As always, a section of the podcast is dedicated to analysing the gambling scenes featured in the film. The main gambling action in Casino Royale centres around a game of baccarat featuring Sellers’ version of James Bond.

Jess says that she thinks that the film has done a good job of conveying the character’s skills as a card player. 

She also adds that the casino setting and back-handed techniques used are consistent with casinos of that period.

To episode ends with some controversy over John’s decision about Casino Royale’s place on the clubhouse leaderboard and the customary quiz.

Casino Royale (1967) – Cinema Reels Podcast