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1954 'Casino Royale' television adaptation now streaming on Netflix

02-Dec-2010 • Media Alert

The 1954 live television adaptation of "Casino Royale" is now available to stream online via Netflix in the USA.

Based on Ian Fleming's debut James Bond novel, the production was part of the Climax! drama series on CBS. American actor Barry Nelson played 'Jimmy Bond' as the nationalities of 007 and Felix Leiter were reversed for the US audience. The performance took place on 21st October 1954 at 8.30pm EST, making Nelson the first on-screen 007.

CBS brought the rights for Fleming's first book for $1000. The film, which is black and white, was actually lost until 1981, and even then all of the various VHS incarnations (except the Special Edition from Spy Guise Video) lack the climax of the film, stopping with Le Chiffre apparently dying, but having just got the razorblade from his hat. Unfortunately, MGM persist in distributing the curtailed version, which is the version now streaming on Netflix.

Netflix Synopsis
Having gambled away a vast sum of his country's funds, a diabolical Soviet spy (Peter Lorre) tries to recoup his losses through a high-stakes game of baccarat, but secret agent James Bond (Barry Nelson) enters the competition to foil him in this 1954 teleplay. Intended as a pilot for a weekly TV series that never materialized, this first screen adaptation of a James Bond novel finds 007 portrayed as an American.

Click here for complete coverage of "Casino Royale" (1954) on MI6.

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