Mess and Meta-Mess: Casino Royale (1967)
The black sheep among Bond films, the multi-auteured extravaganza Casino Royale was only one of many British spy films in the 1960s that spoofed the genre’s convoluted plots, boyish wish fulfilment and eroticisation of consumer capitalism. This chapter explores Casino Royale’s critically disastrous adaptation of Fleming’s novel in the context of Bond spoofs such as Carry On Spying (1964), The Intelligence Men (US title Spylarks, 1965), Licensed to Kill (1965), The Spy with the Cold Nose (1966), Modesty Blaise (1966), Hot Enough for June (1964), Sumuru (1967), Deadlier Than the Male (1967) and Zeta One (1969), and evaluates its camp satire of sixties modernism. Two key themes emerge, which Casino Royale shares with the other spoofs – the portrayal of espionage as an abstract game played more for its own sake than from ideological conviction; and, second, the changing representation of embattled English masculinity. Casino Royale and the other 1960s British spoofs are considered alongside later films, such as Licensed to Love and Kill (1969) and Johnny English (2003), and their American and continental European equivalents: the Matt Helm and Derek Flint films, Danger: Diabolik (1967), and the Austin Powers movies. The chapter ends with a consideration of Casino Royale’s recent emergence as a cult movie, not least for its Burt Bacharach soundtrack.
Citation : Hunter I.Q. (2018) Mess and Meta-Mess: Casino Royale (1967). In: Strong J. (eds) James Bond Uncovered. Palgrave Studies in Adaptation and Visual Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Research Group : Cinema and Television History Research Centre
Research Institute : Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI)
- Leicester Media School