“Casino Royale”

Casino Royale was published in 1963. It is the 1st Bond novel and introduces James Bond (007) a British agent newly promoted to the 00 rankings ( a requirement of which was that he had killed 2 people as part of his duties as an agent). Set during the 1950’s in the environment of the cold war it involves M sending Bond to France to bankrupt the over extended paymaster (Le Chiffre ) of a communist backed french Union while gambling at the Casino Royale. Assisting Bond are another British agent Vesper Lynd and a french agent Rene Mathis. Bond initially loses but is funded by the CIA in the form of Felix Leiter (who also appears in other bond Novels). Bond eventually beats Le Chiffre in Baccarat.

Vesper is kidnapped , Bond capture and the tortured by Le Chiffre and Le Chiffre is executed by an agent of SMERSH (a soviet agency) for his financial risks.

Vesper and Bond are rescued By Rene and then go to a quiet hotel for convalescence. Bond Falls in love with Vesper who subsequently commits suicide after admitting in a letter that she has been working as an unwilling double agent for the Russians. Bond reports everything back to London with the words “The bitch is dead”.

This Novel was a big success and sold out 3 printings.

Now for the Movie.

There have been 3 screen adaptations of Casino Royale. One was as an episode in an American series called Climax! , the next was a comedy produced in 1967 with David Niven playing Sir James Bond. The final one was the 2006 film staring Daniel Craig and this is the one I’ll talk about.

This movie is a reasonably accurate translation of the book which is more than can be said for some of the other movies. Of course the political scene has changed since the 1950’s so instead of being the banker for the Communists Le Chiffre is a banker for Terrorist organizations. In the book Le Chiffre loses money by investing in Brothels in France just prior to the french government cracking down on prostitution but in the Movie he invests in the stock market while knowing about a terrorist attack which is subsequently foiled by Bond. This of course sets the scene for the gambling at the Casino. The only major differences here are that they play high stakes poker instead of Baccarat and Rene is identified as one of the villains in the end. the rest is pretty much the same although vesper kills herself by drowning rather than pills. Bond still uses the line “the bitch is dead” at the end when reporting to M.





One thought on ““Casino Royale”

  1. Pingback: “Live and Let Die” | An Aussie Eclectic

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