Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale celebrates 70 years

April 2nd, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

2023 marks the seventieth anniversary of the publication by Jonathan Cape of the first of what became a long-running series of novels by Ian Fleming detailing the adventures of a latter-day Bulldog Drummond called James Bond. Fleming redefined spy fiction forever with his creation that would go on to spawn numerous film adaptions spanning six decades, from Terence Young’s Dr No (1962) to No Time to Die (2021) with another outing in the pipeline for 2025/26.

I actually this book over forty years ago. I remember silently groaning when it became apparent that the climax involved following a card game. It’s testament to Fleming’s that I actually found utterly engrossing.

This earlier adaptation explains the failure of Saltzman & Broccoli to make there own version. The rights instead fell into the hands of Charles Feldman who threw in everything but the kitchen sink to distract viewers from the fact of the absence of Sea Connery. The result (which had several directors, including John Huston, who also played ‘M”) who inevitably a shambles.

Quentin Tarantino frequently expressed a desire to get back to basics with a version set in period, but when it finally reached the screen in 2006 it marked the dawn of a new era with the emergence of Daniel Craig.

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