Orson Welles reportedly insisted on including magic tricks into his scenes, a possible source of the friction between him and Peter Sellers.
In his book "Woody Allen: A Biography", John Baxter says that in addition to the commonly credited contributors to the movie's script, several more individuals also helped in the writing. They include Allen collaborator Mickey Rose, Frank Buxton, Orson Welles, Joseph McGrath, John Huston, and former MGM studios head Dore Schary.
Cameos by Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren, and Barbra Streisand were planned.
When Mata Bond swings into action, the background music is "Bond Street" also scored by this film's composer, Burt Bacharach. The real Bond Street can be seen in the later James Bond movie, Octopussy (1983).
Peter Sellers and Orson Welles hated each other so much that the filming of the scene where both of them face each other across a gaming table actually took place on different days with a double standing in for one the actors.
Peter Sellers often caused interruptions by leaving the set for days at a time.
The rift between Orson Welles and Peter Sellers was partly caused by the arrival on set of Princess Margaret, sister of the Queen. Sellers knew her of old and greeted her in an ostentatious manner to ensure all cast and crew noticed. However, the Princess walked straight past him and made a big fuss over Welles. Nonplussed, Sellers stormed off the set and refused to film with Welles again.
Numerous screenwriters and directors contributed bits to the film and were uncredited: Billy Wilder (the "Nobody's Perfect" tag line) and Terry Southern (the war room in Berlin) among them.
An enormous Taj Mahal-type set was designed for the film but never built. The real Taj Mahal can be seen in the later James Bond movie Octopussy (1983).
The gadget used by Le Chiffre to cheat at Baccarat was a pair of infra-red sunglasses with x-ray capabilities. X-ray sunglasses would also be seen in the later James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough (1999).
The West German street Feldmanstrasse seen in the film is a name parody of the film's producer Charles K. Feldman. This is the location of the Mata Hari Dance & Spy School.
Though the movie has little in common with the original Ian Fleming James Bond novel, a tie-in release of this book with the movie still occurred complete with the film's tattooed girl movie poster on the cover. A tagline for this edition read: "From: M. To: OO7. IMMEDIATE ACTION. Have just seen Charles K. Feldman's film of this book - Only one thing in common - Both brilliant. Investigate and report."
The first thing seen in the movie which is the graffiti seen on the Paris pisoir at the film's beginning read: "Les Beatles".
In 1999 MGM paid Sony $10 million for the rights to this film.
This film was originally intended to be released on Christmas in 1966, but because the shoot ran several months over schedule the film was not released until April of 1967.
Orson Welles attributed the success of the film to a marketing strategy that featured a naked tattooed lady on the film's posters and print ads.
A carpet beater can be seen hanging from the side of Orson Welles's chair. This is a link to the original Casino Royale novel, in which Le Chiffre tortures Bond by thrashing his testicles with a carpet beater.
According to Val Guest, who found himself finishing the work started by several of the other directors, the producer offered him a unique "Co-ordinating Director" credit, but he refused.
At least two gags involving Peter Sellers in this film later resurfaced in the Pink Panther films of the 1970s: a sight gag involving Sellers wearing a Toulouse Loutrec costume, and a joke involving a driver running away when being asked to "follow that car."
Ian Hendry was cut out of this project.
According to interviews with director Val Guest, Peter Sellers became such a problem during the filming that the decision was made to fire him before he had finished all of his scenes. As a result, the end of the marching band torture scene was noticeably altered and Sellers' subsequent scenes were written out.
The name for the organization SMERSH is derived from "Smiert Spionam" which means "death to spies". "Smiert Spionam" is the the full phrase from which the acronym of the Soviet counterespionage organization SMERSH took its name. It existed as early as World War II, and was a branch of the NKVD (later KGB).
After the contest with the SMERSH bagpipers, the song David Niven is humming as he goes upstairs is "The Skye Boat Song", a traditional Scottish song about the escape of the infant Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Le Chiffre is a French word which translates into English as "The Cypher" or &The Number". Other translations in different languages include "Die Nummer", "Herr Ziffer", and "Mr. Number".
Cameo: [Peter O'Toole] [As a Piper. His fee was allegedly a case of champagne (at least in part).]
Cameo: [George Raft] [As Himself doing his famous coin-tossing routine.]
The British Intelligence agency in this movie is Mi5 and not Mi6 nor SIS as in the rest of the EON Productions official James Bond series.
Dr. Noah's voice was dubbed by Valentine Dyall.
Dr. Noah's name was a spoof of the name of the Bond villain Dr. No whilst the name of Miss Giovana Goodthighs was a parody of the Miss Mary Goodnight character, both from the Ian Fleming novels.
Shirley MacLaine was once extensively touted in the media as going to feature in this movie.
Apparently, when the majority of the stars were cast, most of them were not aware when they signed on that this was a comedy-spoof and not a straight James Bond movie.
The first film of David Prowse.
Producer Charles K. Feldman originally intended to make the film as a co-production with official Bond series producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli. Saltzman and Broccoli had just co-produced the previous Bond film Thunderball (1965) with Kevin McClory, and did not want to do so again. United Artists supposedly offered Feldman $500,000 for the rights to "Casino Royale" in 1965 but the offer was rejected. Forced to produce the film on his own, Feldman approached Sean Connery to star as Bond. Unwilling to meet Connery's $1-million salary demand, Feldman decided to turn the film into a spoof, and cast David Niven as Bond instead. After the film went through numerous production problems and a spiraling budget, Feldman met Connery at a Hollywood party and reportedly told him it would have been cheaper to pay him the $1 million.
Ian Fleming received three offers for the film rights to his "Casino Royale" novel during 1954. Producer/director Gregory Ratoff bought the rights to the novel in May 1954 for $600. It was a six-month option and Ratoff took this to CBS, which produced it and broadcast it as a one hour-episode for "Climax!" (1954) ("Climax!: Casino Royale (#1.3)" (1954)]. CBS then purchased the rights to the novel for $1000. John Shepridge negotiated the sale of the film and television rights in 1954. Before the sale, the "Casino Royale" novel had not been successful, and was even retitled and Americanized for its paperback issue. Twelve months later, and after TV episode was broadcast, Ratoff bought "Casino Royale" outright in perpetuity for an additional $6000. Both sales, including the option and the buy-out, Fleming later said he regretted because he sold them so cheaply, but he needed the money at the time. With the money from the larger sale, Fleming bought a Ford Thunderbird at a cost of £3000. Ratoff passed away on 14 December 1960. In 1961 his widow sold the rights to producer Charles K. Feldman for $75,000, and instead of a straight James Bond film, Feldman shot at as this James Bond parody. It would not be made as an EON Productions film until almost 40 years later.
The only James Bond movie to date to feature two US Top 40 chart-toppers from the same James Bond movie. They were the "Casino Royale" Theme by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass and "The Look of Love" by Dusty Springfield, with music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David. They went to No. #27 and No. #4, respectively, on the US Billboard Chart. The latter song was nominated for a Best Song Oscar.
David Niven played Sir James Bond in this movie. Niven was actually James Bond creator Ian Fleming's original choice to play Bond.
Among the many inside jokes in the movie is the one where a man who, when told to "follow that car", runs after it on foot. That man was Stirling Moss, one of the greatest race car drivers of all time.
According to writer Eric Lax, Woody Allen was astonished by what he viewed as extravagant spending on the film (for example, he was flown in and put up in an expensive hotel for several weeks doing nothing before they got around to shooting his scenes) and the chaotic production. He wrote to a friend, "The film will probably make a mint. Not money, but a single peppermint."
The film's original studio-approved budget was $6 million, a large sum for 1966. However, production problems resulted in the shoot running months over schedule, with an accompanying increase in costs. By the time the film was finally completed its original $6-million budget had more than doubled, making it one of the most expensive films made up to that time. The previous official Bond movie, Thunderball (1965), had a budget of between $9-$11 million, while You Only Live Twice (1967), which was released the same year as "Casino Royale", had a budget of $9.5-$11.5 million. The extremely high budget of "Casino Royale" caused it to earn a reputation as being "a mini Cleopatra (1963)", referring to the runaway and out-of-control costs of that infamous Elizabeth Taylor film, which almost bankrupted 20th Century-Fox.
In 1999 Sony paid MGM $5 million to settle the $40-million lawsuit that MGM had brought against Sony over the Bond rights. The lawsuit was filed because of Sony's intentions to remake "Casino Royale". In the settlement Sony agreed to hand over all of its rights to the Bond character and "Casino Royale". In an ironic twist of fate, Sony bought MGM in and in released its own serious adaptation of the book, Casino Royale (2006).
Actors considered for the role of Sir James Bond included Laurence Harvey, Stanley Baker, Peter O'Toole and William Holden. Holden and O'Toole make cameo appearances in the final version of this film.
During Cooper's "anti-female spy" training sequence, the first female agent who kisses him is dressed exactly like Ursula Andress's character in Dr. No (1962), complete with knife. Andress appears in both films, making her the first actress to play two leading Bond Girls.
The title tune from What's New, Pussycat can be heard in the scene where Mata Bond uncovers the lid of an East Berlin manhole. This theme, however, does not appear on the movie's soundtrack.
The film premiered on April 13, 1967, exactly 14 years to the day after the Ian Fleming "Casino Royale" novel was published.
Vehicles featured included James Bond's black supercharged Bentley; Evelyn Tremble's black Lotus Formula 3 race car; a white Jaguar E roadster; a black Mercedes-Benz; Wrights Dairies light yellow Bedford milk delivery van; a Citroën police car; and a Golden three-wheeler.
The scenes with Woody Allen were shot in London. Producers delayed his final day of shooting so many times that out of frustration Allen left the set, went directly to Heathrow Airport and flew back to New York City without changing out of his costume.
In his first scene David Niven is seen bouncing up and down in a chair whose seat is fixed to what appear to be accordion bellows. This is a "chamber horse", a home exercise machine that was popular in 18th-century Britain.
In the "vault" scene towards the end, Bond says, "Careful, it's vaporized lysergic acid, highly explosive". Lysergic acid is actually used in the synthesis of the hallucinogen LSD, and is not an explosive.
Awards and Nominations
Academy Awards, USA -
Best Music, Original Song
Burt Bacharach (music)
Hal David (lyrics)
For the song "The Look of Love".
Laurel Awards -
BAFTA Awards -
Best British Costume (Colour)
Grammy Awards -
Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Show