Take a Drink: for card talk
Take a Drink: for stiff drinks
Take a Drink: for phone calls
Take Two: if it sounds like Stephen Hawking is on the other end
Take a Drink: whenever a Lorre line reading reflects a particular lack of fucks given
Do a Shot: “Back-a-rat!”
Do a Shot: “Jimmy”… Jimmy Bond
By: Henry J. Fromage (Six Pack) –
Nine years before Dr. No, Ian Fleming first got to see his signature creation on film for the first time- Bond, Jimmy Bond. You heard me right.
Of course he’s American, why do you ask?
Casino Royale tells the tale of American card-sharp Jimmy Bond (Barry Nelson) and his casino stand-off with the notorious Le Chiffre (Peter Lorre). This game has higher stakes than normal, because the stakes… are life and death!
This was a live television production, so credit where credit’s due- it’s not a complete disaster. Michael Pate as Clarence (?) Leiter cuts a much more Bondian figure than ‘ol Jimmy. His hard-boiled exposition sets the stage nicely. Also, there are far, far worse Bond girls out there than Linda Christian.
This was basically a filmed play, and the production values, particularly when the “action” starts, definitely prove it. By all accounts, nobody was properly prepared for the live broadcast, and boy does it show.
Apparently, the producers considered the near entire appeal of the novel Casino Royale stems from all the card playing. Nobody needs to watch this much card playing.
This is not sports, ESPN.
Speaking of things nobody should ever waste time watching, Bond as a blonde American card player named Jimmy ranks high on the list. Nelson apparently complained about how little rehearsal time he had, but no amount of practice would ever make that work.
Where the film really takes a turn into Mystery Science Theater 3000 territory is a third-act torture scene that is certifiably the lamest I’ve ever seen. Everything past that point is comedy gold.
The worst feature of Casino Royale is its best on paper- Peter Lorre. Apparently Lorre was in dire financial straights- enough to take bit villain parts on TV. He seems determined to put exactly as much effort into his performance as that might suggest. He’s so spectacularly unmotivated that it’s almost depressing, leading up to a death scene that has to be one of the most half-assed ever put to film.
The behind the scenes stories tell the tale of a production that should probably never have attempted a live performance in the first place. If MST3K is looking for Bond-themed episode leading up to November 6th, this is the one they’re looking for.