A James Bond movie is nothing without champagne, and so it only stands to reason that any good James Bond spoof needs a silly scene where corks get popped.
Fortunately the first Casino Royale (1967) rises to the occasion. In this early satirical take on the Ian Fleming novel (remade with a straight face in 2006), Peter Sellers plays Evelyn Tremble, one of a small army of agents assigned by the real James Bond (David Niven) to impersonate him: driving fast cars, dallying with beautiful women, assassinating spies, and, of course, drinking champagne.
Arriving in France and headed to the baccarat table to go head to head with SMERSH operative Le Chiffre (Orson Welles), Tremble is first waylaid by an enemy agent (Jacqueline Bisset, above) and a bottle of bubbly.
Wearing nothing but a pajama top, she greets him in his hotel room with an empty glass in hand. “Mr. Bond…. I’m Miss Goodthighs.” “Yes,” says Evelyn, “I can see that.” She goes to pour some champagne into the glass, but curiously nothing happens.
“You’ve got your cork still in your bottle,” Tremble observes. “Yes,” Miss Goodthighs purrs.
Evelyn tells her to stick her arm out and he points his gun at the cork, removing it cleanly in a single shot. She pours him a glass and they move to the bed.
And now comes the obligatory surreptitious drugging of the drink. Miss G. reaches over and drops a large white tablet resembling Alka Seltzer into his glass. It fizzes. Tremble then counters with his own large fizzing pink antidote tablet when her back is turned. But he has miscalculated somehow. He takes a sip of champagne and immediately turns glassy-eyed. “My goodness,” he says just before collapsing, “This is strong shampoo.”
Although 007 is famous for his preference for vodka martinis “shaken not stirred,” according to a website called Make mine a 007… Bond actually sips more champagne on screen than any other drink: Over the course of 22 films, he’s said to consume 35 glasses of champagne but a mere 22 martinis. We’re glad someone’s keeping score.
The Celluloid Pantry is a classic column that ran on The Kitchn from 2006 through 2007 that revisited many iconic moments of food and drink in films. We're taking a trip back through some of our favorites this month, in anticipation of this year's crop of Oscars. Enjoy!
(Image credits: MGM; Mary Gorman-McAdams)