‘Royale’Film Is 3rd Incarnation of Tale

It was a live dramatization on U.S. Through court battles and a series of corporate mergers, the full rights finally came to Sony, the distributor behind the new big-screen version.

“Casino Royale”(1954) _ Nelson’s Bond squares off in baccarat against Le Chiffre (Lorre), a Soviet operative who’s been gambling unwisely with the Kremlin’s rubles and needs to win 80 million francs to keep the Russkies from folding his hand permanently.

Orson Welles co-stars as Le Chiffre in this version’s baccarat showdown against Sellers’faux Bond, the villain dabbling in levitation and other magic tricks in between hands of cards and later torturing 007 with a mind machine awash in cheesy’60s psychedelic effects.

“No,”Bond retorts.”I’m the fellow that was missed.”

Poker master Bondis assigned to take Le Chiffre to the cleaners, then turn him so British intelligence can pump him for information about his clients.

When Connery debuted in the first 007 flick, 1962’s”Dr. Hollywood has shot Ian Fleming’s first 007 novel twice before _ sort of.

By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer

Here’s a look at each of the three adaptations of”Casino Royale”(the 1954 and 1967 versions both are available on a 2002 DVD release from MGM):

“Casino Royale”(2006) _ Craig’s Bond has a dalliance with a bored wife early on, then meets his match in Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), a British Treasury official assigned to watch over his poker stake. No,”Bond’s dashing, detached, cold-blooded and womanizing nature was fully in place.

“Casino Royale”(2006) _ Mads Mikkelsen is Le Chiffre, a cold, low-key bad guy who finances the terrorists of the world.

“Casino Royale”(1967) _ The various James Bonds have various villains, including a clan of gorgeous Scotswomen, agents operating a remote-control, exploding milk truck, and a diminutive mastermind planning to spread a germ that makes all women beautiful and destroys all men taller than 4-foot-6.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. Vesper turns out to be The Woman in James Bond’s life, for whom he’s willing to throw away his career and settle down to a cozy, ordinary life.

“Casino Royale”(1954) _ At Casino Royale, Nelson’s Bond meets an old flame, Valerie Mathis (Linda Christian), who may or may not be in cahoots with Le Chiffre. Romantic sparks are rekindled, but this is 1950s television, so there’s no tumbling into bed for Bond and his woman.

After blowing $100 million of a client’s money on an investment that turns sour because of Bond’s heroics, Le Chiffre organizes a Texas hold-‘em poker match among himself and nine other players, each putting up $10 million to buy in.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

BOND’S VILLAINS:

“Casino Royale”(1967) _ Scantily clad women are everywhere, led by Ursula Andress, the original Bond girl of”Dr. All rights reserved. Let’s just say things turn dicey between him and Vesper, her fate the integral last ingredient to set Bond on the love’em, leave’em, and sometimes kill’em path.

“Casino Royale”(1954) _ Nelson’s James Bond (friends call him Jimmy) is a dapper undercover agent who’s not the darling of British intelligence but a _ gasp! _ American spy. No,”playing Vesper Lynd, an agent recruited by Niven as one of his 007 cadre (even female operatives take on Bond’s number to further baffle the opposition).

BOND’S PERSONA:

There’s the original, one and only James Bond, played by Niven as a celebrated old spy living in reclusive luxury when he’s pressed back into the espionage game.

“Casino Royale”(1967) _ James Bonds seem to breed like rabbits in this comedy whose five directors included the legendary John Huston, who also appeared briefly as spymaster M.

There’s Evelyn Tremble (Sellers), a baccarat expert recruited as one of many”James Bonds”to confuse the enemy and to play in a high-stakes card game at Casino Royale.

There’s his nephew, bumbling Jimmy Bond (Allen), so inept that he climbs over a wall to escape a firing squad and lands in front of a second firing squad on the other side as it prepares to execute another prisoner.

“Aren’t you the fellow who was shot?”Bond is asked, after escaping a gunman’s bullet.

The second arrived in 1967 in a star-studded mess of a spoof also called”Casino Royale,”though it had little to do with Fleming’s tale, instead offering a slew of James Bonds _ Peter Sellers, Woody Allen and David Niven among them _ dashing about and behaving as silly as can be.

The first came in 1954, with Barry Nelson as the first-ever live incarnation of Ian Fleming’s superspy, playing a wily agent named Jimmy Bond, with Peter Lorre as his nemesis, in a TV adaptation of”Casino Royale.”

The”Casino Royale”rights were passed on to producer Charles Fleming, who made the bloated 1967 parody. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Finally, fans are getting full big-screen treatment of”Casino Royale,”Fleming’s first Bond adventure, with the debut of Daniel Craig as 007.

“Casino Royale”(2006) _ Craig plays Bond in his early days, newly promoted to 007 and license-to-kill status.

And there’s the mention of British intelligence’s replacement of Niven’s original 007, since without a James Bond on duty,”no one would have respected us.”He’s never seen, but in a dig at Connery’s Bond, he’s described by Niven as a”sexual acrobat who leaves a trail of beautiful dead women like blown leaves behind him.”

Lorre, best known today for his squirrelly roles opposite Humphrey Bogart in”Casablanca”and”The Maltese Falcon,”is in classic form, his chubby Le Chiffre unctuous and merciless, torturing Bond in a bathtub with a pair of pliers, presumably ripping out our hero’s toenails, though the actual action happens off-camera.

Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre carries out a diabolical torture of 007 taken right from Fleming’s book, involving a cane chair with the seat cut out and the nasty mistreatment of sensitive parts of Bond’s anatomy.

BOND’S WOMEN:

‘Royale’Film Is 3rd Incarnation of Tale

LOS ANGELES¬†—¬†This is not the first time James Bond strolled into Casino Royale. television for the series”Climax Mystery Theater,”so of course, Bond had to talk with an American accent.

Craig’s is the formative Bond, a capable though raw and savage operative, and a pup whose romantic streak has not yet been ripped from him, ready to chuck the spy game for love.

Nelson’s Bond is smart, able and as sassy as Sean Connery, Roger Moore and the other big-screen brethren that followed him.

Fleming already had sold the rights to”Casino Royale”by the time producers Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli snapped up the other 007 novels and began their string of Bond smashes in the 1960s.

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