Casino Royale (Climax!)

Casino Royale (Climax!)


Casino Royale (Climax!)

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Casino Royale is a 1954 television adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The show is the first screen adaptation of a James Bond novel and stars Barry Nelson and Peter Lorre. Though this marks the first onscreen appearance of the character of James Bond, Nelson's character is credited as Jimmy Bond.


In 1954, producer and director Gregory Ratoff of CBS paid Ian Fleming US$1,000 for the rights to adapt Casino Royale into a television adventure as part of its Climax! series.

The hour-long Casino Royale episode aired on October 21, 1954 and starred Barry Nelson as secret agent "Card Sense" Jimmy Bond, with Peter Lorre in the role of Le Chiffre. For this Americanized version of the story, Bond is described as an agent for "Combined Intelligence", an allusion to the CIA. The characters of Felix Leiter and Rene Mathis from the original novel are conflated into "Clarence Leiter", a British agent for Station S. The name "Mathis" passed to the leading lady, rechristened Valerie Mathis (instead of Vesper Lynd).

Casino Royale was the first of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. His second, Live and Let Die, appeared only six months before the broadcast in 1954. The Climax! adaptation bears little of the mood and tone emblematic of later film incarnations of James Bond films.

The hour long showing itself is split into three acts:

  • Act I: Opening—Opening of Baccarat scene
  • Act II: Opening of Baccarat Scene—Hotel Room......
  • ...

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