Swingin’ Sixties: Casino Royale (1967)

Posted by Christina Stewart April 23, 2014 1 Comment 9747 views

Let’s get one thing clear straight at the start, Casino Royale is a disjointed over-inflated mess of a James Bond spoof film. That said, there are a quite a few things, taken individually, which are remarkable and pleasurable to watch. The Oscar nominated Burt Bacharach song “The Look of Love” sung by Dusty Springfield during the slow-motion aquarium scene with Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress is very sensuous and one of the best in the film. The unbelievable who’s-who cast provides nail-biting anticipation of who you might see next, while the bold colourful art direction and costume designs scream Swingin’ Sixties. Sadly, all these components taken together can’t help a film with a farcical plot and lack of continuity created by behind-the-scenes egos and excesses.

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The star-power of this film boasts Peter Sellers, who was at his peak following the Pink Panther film hits; Ursula Andress, who’s iconic bathing suit from the Bond film Dr. No (1962) is highlighted in the Bond girl scene; David Niven, Ian Fleming’s original choice to play Bond; Orson Welles, complete with magic tricks; Deborah Kerr, Woody Allen, William Holden, Charles Boyer, John Huston, George Raft, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Kurt Kasznar, Jacqueline Bisset, Joanna Pettet, and Barbara Bouchet just to name a few. Plus if you’ve got a quick eye you can also spot Geraldine Chaplin, Anjelica Houston and Peter O’Toole, who reportedly took a case of champagne as payment for his uncredited part.

Still image from "Casino Royale"

Barbara Bouchet and David Niven in Julie Harris costumes, “Casino Royale” 1967

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Jacqueline Bisset, billed as Jacky Bisset, plays Miss Goodthighs, “Casino Royale” 1967

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Charles Boyer and John Huston look stylish and debonaire, “Casino Royale” 1967

Oscar winning English costume designer Julie Harris is credited with the costumes for the film, but noticeably there are four other designers who get credit for certain highlighted parts, leading us to piece together exactly what Harris designed. Bermans of London is credited for Ursula Andress and Joanna Pettet’s costumes, Henri Chombert of Paris is credited for Andress’ furs, Guy Laroche of Paris is credited for the Casino dresses, while Paco Rabanne of Paris is credited for the Guard Girl dresses. Meanwhile, poor Betty Adamson has the responsibility, as Wardrobe Supervisor, to keep all of this organized and straight. If you have a few cocktails, and can suspend your disbelief long enough, this film can be quite fun to watch. Cheers!

Still image from "Casino Royale"

Ursula Andress as Vespa in a Bermans of London dress, “Casino Royale” 1967

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Joanna Pettet as Mata Bond, in a Bermans of London creation, “Casino Royale” 1967

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Ursula Andress and Peter Sellers in a clinch, with Andress in a matching fur coat and hat by Henri Chombert, “Casino Royale” 1967

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Casino dresses by Guy Laroche, “Casino Royale” 1967

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Guard Girl creations by Paco Rabanne, “Casino Royale” 1967

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Bond Girl designs by Julie Harris, “Casino Royale” 1967

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A gorgeous pink Julie Harris gown worn by Daliah Lavi, “Casino Royale” 1967

About Christina Stewart

A film archivist by day and a film buff by night. What more needs to be said?

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  1. Pingback Does Ursula Andress speak Romansch? | Bunnybun's Classic Movie Blog

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