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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Casino Royale [Blu-ray]


(Val Guest, Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish and Richard Talmadge, 1967)


Coming to the UK on Blu-ray from Fabulous Films in November 2021:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: MGM / Fox



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:11:08.652

Disc Size: 46,656,718,093 bytes

Feature Size: 43,396,552,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.99 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 7th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3876 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3876 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, none



• Commentary by James Bond Historians Steven Jay Ruben and John Cork

The Making of Casino Royale (41:30 - 4-chapters in 480i)

• Theatrical trailer (2:22 in 1080P)





Description: Welcome to Casino Royale, 1967's ultimate psychedelic secret agent satire! Packed with girls, guns and gags galore, this "very funny picture" (The New Yorker) delivers "laughs all the way" (Cue)! Starring Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, David Niven, Joanna Pettet, Orson Welles, Daliah Lavi, Woody Allen, Deborah Kerr, William Holden and others, and with an original score from OscarĀ(r) winner* Burt Bacharach, this groovy spy movie is "even farther out" (LA Herald-Examiner) than all other spoofs combined!



The Film:

It really gets off to a fast start as Sir James, whom David Niven plays as though he were a clubmate of the latter-day urbane Sherlock Holmes, goes to Scotland to see the widow of the untimely murdered M, head of British Intelligence, and finds her running a buzzing hive of female spies. With Miss Kerr playing this fuzzy lady and Mr. Huston directing this phase (as well as playing M in the first scene), it looks as though the film is grandly launched.

And it continues to clip along nicely as Peter Sellers, who is supposed to be the world's great authority on baccarat, is recruited to simulate Bond and confront the demon baccarat ace of the evil system, performed stupendously by Orson Welles. The game between these two in the Casino Royale, which is the only thing in the Ian Fleming novel of the same name translated to the film, is a jolly tangle of two notoriously able scene-stealers.

Excerpt from The NY Times located HERE

At the height of the James Bond craze in the mid-sixties, the studio executives at Columbia Pictures desperately wanted to capitalize on the 007 phenomenon, but Harry Saltman and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli (who had a distribution deal with United Artists) owned the rights to every Ian Fleming novel except one - Casino Royale, which had been acquired by producer Charles K. Feldman. A deal was struck to create the biggest James Bond extravaganza of all time, but the resulting film was something else entirely - a wildly uneven parody that required the services of five directors, countless screenwriters, and a cast of international actors and celebrities, many of them reduced to fleeting cameo appearances. In terms of its immense cost and production delays, Casino Royale (1967) was the Heaven's Gate (1980) of its era and critics savaged the film mercilessly when it was released. Yet surprisingly, Casino Royale was a big box-office hit and it's not hard to find passionate fans of the film due to its oddball and chaotic structure; it's closer to a sixties "happening" than a major studio release. After all, what's not to like about a film that features a Burt Bacharach score performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Dusty Springfield singing "The Look of Love" while Ursula Andress seduces Peter Sellers, Woody Allen in one of his first screen roles as the megalomaniac Dr. Noah (billed as "the tallest dwarf in the world"), lavish special effects, and groovy art direction with all the psychedelic trappings?

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Like all the MGM/Fox Blu-ray we've been covering lately 1967's Casio Royale looks authentic to the best quality source available.  The image shows some weakness in the beginning few minutes but settles into a reasonably good HD presentation. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate. Colors show strength, border on some bleeding, and detail is surprising in a few of the close-ups. This Blu-ray doesn't export extensive depth but black levels are strong.  By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt it can look much better. This Blu-ray probably looks like the film Casio Royale and it advances beyond the last DVD editions in several key areas - notably detail and colors.

NOTE: On my computer player - I noticed some banding but it was not evident via my OPPO.



















Audio :

We are supplied with a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track at 3876 kbps. There isn't an abundance of separation but there are some effect noises that reach the rear speakers. Depth is far more evident than the SD renderings and Bacharach's lively score via Herb Alpert is intoxicating in lossless. Let's not forget Dusty Springfield singing "The Look of Love". Both tracks are worth the price of the disc alone. There are multiple foreign language DUBs as well as subtitle choices signifying this to be a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

Nothing new - we get the DVD commentary by James Bond Historians Steven Jay Ruben and John Cork filling in plenty of Bond references for us as well as the more serious Making of Casino Royale over 40-minutes and 4 chapters worth of looking at the franchise. There is also a theatrical trailer in 1080P.



1967's Casino Royale definitely inspires a 'cult' appreciation. Similar to its finale - this remains a jumbled mass of bubbles and fun. If you can allow the fun to sweep over you rather than scrutinize it - you will definitely be better-off for your viewing experience. Plots don't always have to make sense - and looking at Casino Royale as another disjointed 'runaway production' kinda adds to its kitsch. I like the performances - all tongue-in-cheek and the sexy 60's gals - Ursula Andress, Joanna Pettet, Daliah Lavi, Jacqueline Bisset etc. plus Bacharach's peppy theme gives it some real joy. The Blu-ray, in my opinion, represents the best it's going to get for this psychedelic swaray. Have some fun... the price encourages it.  

Gary Tooze

January 31st, 2011

Coming to the UK on Blu-ray from Fabulous Films in November 2021:


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze





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