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Book Review

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The Making of Casino Royale (1967)


Author: Michael Richardson
Publisher: Telos
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 84583 112 7
Publication Date: 31 October 2015

If ever a film was created by committee, it was Casino Royale (1967), with multiple writers, actors and a shoot which was as baffling and chaotic as the finished film.

The Making of Casino Royale (1967) (2015. 236 pages), written by Michael Richardson, is a book which successfully attempts to bring together all the information available about the confusing and complex machinations of pretty much everyone involved in the film making. That the film went on to make a profit and even Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David (lyrics) being nominated for an Oscar for ‘The Look of Love’ is a miracle given the production problems.

Bringing order to disorder the book is split into eight chapters; each chapter is then subdivided into smaller sections which look at the developing story, individuals involved or issues going on. Overall, the book takes a chronological look at the film. Richardson provides an introduction and there are a number of appendix which cover biographies, production details, missing scenes and footage, production schedule and recordings.

If you are fascinated by the film then the book will satiate any need you may have, the book is well researched and highly informative. While most, if not all, of the information is in the public domain Richardson has gathered together probably the most complete look at the production.

His approach to the material is even handed and he is not afraid to highlight the shortcomings of some of those involve, Peter Sellers particularly comes over as unprofessional, afraid of Orson Wells and unsure of his own talent. Feldman, the producer and main driving force behind the film's making, is portrayed as a man out of his depth.

The book is a worthy addition to the Telos Movie Classics series of books with its focus on rigorously researched facts.


Charles Packer

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