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Climax! - Casino Royale

episode 1.3

USA 1954
produced by
Bretaigne Windust for CBS
directed by William H. Brown jr
starring Barry Nelson, Peter Lorre, Linda Christian, Michael Pate, Eugene Borden, Jean Del Val, Gene Roth, Kurt Katch, William Lundigan (host)
screenplay by Charles Bennett, Anthony Ellis, based on the novel by Ian Fleming, music by Jerry Goldsmith

Climax, James Bond, Casino Royale

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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American (!) secret agent and master gambler James Bond (Barry Nelson) gets a new assignment: To clean out Russian secret agent and passionate gambler Le Chiffre (Peter Lorre). The story behind it all: Le Chiffre has lost a large lump of money belonging to the Soviet Union at the gambling tables, but tomorrow night he plans to win it all back. Which he won't if he gambles James Bond of course ...

Le Chiffre has a secret weapon though, Valerie (Linda Christian), a former girlfriend of Bond now working for the Russians, and Le Chiffre threatens to shoot her should Bond try to defeat him. The next night at the gambling table, Bond deliberately loses all his money - until he receives funds to continue gambling from noone else but Valerie hereself, and now he cleans out Le Chiffre as he was meant to. Bond later learns that Valerie is actually a double agent working for the French, so she was on his side all the time, but he also learns that Le Chiffre is a sore loser, so he takes both Bond and Valerie captive and tries to get the location of the money Bond has won but Le Chiffre considers his out of Bond, primarily via torture. But Bond is not one to give up and after a big fistfight it all ends happily ...


The very first time James Bond was brought to the screen was via (then standard) live television - and James Bond-enthusiasts are quick to label this one as blasphemy, mainly because Bond is an American in the show and doesn't really have too many of the now famous Bond-mannerisms down. The blasphemy-claim is of course a bit of an exaggeration because the character James Bond was hardly as iconic in 1954 as it is today (Casino Royale the book, Bond's introduction to the world, was only published in 1953).

All of this of course says little about the show's own merits ... and in all, Casino Royale is ok television, it's fast-moving, features plenty of suspense, and Peter Lorre as a villain is great as was to be expected. Sure, there is little in terms of over-the-top action we are now used to from the James Bond of the movies, and the sets are very limited due to the very nature of live television, but this is still a well-made little TV-thriller. Sure, Barry Nelson doesn't ring true as James Bond, but that might also be due to hindsight ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD