A fake Fabergé egg and a fellow agent's death lead James Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, headed by the mysterious Octopussy, being used to disguise a nuclear attack on N.A.T.O. forces.
James Bond's mission is to find out who has been smuggling diamonds, which are not re-appearing. He adopts another identity in the form of Peter Franks. He joins up with Tiffany Case, and acts as if he is smuggling the diamonds, but everyone is hungry for these diamonds. He also has to avoid Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, the dangerous couple who does not leave anyone in their way. Ernst Stavro Blofeld isn't out of the question. He may have changed his looks, but is he linked with the heist? And if he is, can Bond finally defeat his ultimate enemy. Written by
After the relative commercial failure of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and the subsequent departure of the unlamented George Lazenby, the Bond producers were desperate to lure Sean Connery back for just one more outing as James Bond. Connery was reluctant, but the huge sum he was offered to come back was too good to resist, and Diamonds are Forever thus became his last official Bond film. Sadly it is a thoroughly unworthy exit, for DAF is an inane, flabby film that suffers from lazy scripting and an excess of camp humour, reducing Bond to the level of self-parody.
It seems that the aim of this film was to rekindle the spirit of Goldfinger, after audiences did not take kindly to the relatively serious OHMSS. Not only did Connery return, but so did Goldfinger director Guy Hamilton and other crew members who had worked on that film; even Shirley Bassey was back to sing the theme tune, which is one of the few good things about DAF. However, it lacks either the wit or elegance of Goldfinger, relying instead on a succession of bad puns and tedious chase sequences, including a particularly stupid one which sees Bond being pursued across the desert while driving a moon buggy. The decision to set most of the film in Las Vegas does not help matters, for it is a very un-Bond like place which just serves to make the film feel even more cheap and tacky.
The casting is a mixed bag. Connery never gave a bad performance as OO7, but he is at his most detached and uninterested here, going through the motions but never looking as if he is doing it for anything other than the money. Even though he was only 40 when he made it, he also looks rather old in this film, which does not help credibility. Charles Gray is OK as Blofeld, but plays it far too camp and never seems the slightest bit menacing, which is not a good idea if you are playing Bond's arch-enemy. Jill St John's Tiffany Case is a spirited Bond girl, but unaccountably she becomes more and more stupid as the film goes on, and never becomes as strong a character as she should have been. Wint and Kidd, Blofeld's homosexual henchmen, provide quite good comic value, even though they are outrageous gay stereotypes; nevertheless, their antics seem very out of place in a Bond film, being more suited to Are You Being Served. As for Jimmy Dean's Willard Whyte, I found him to be one of the most irritating characters in any Bond film, though thankfully he does not get much screen time.
There are some good points in the film, including an effective fight between Bond and Peter Franks in Amsterdam, and a memorable scene in which OO7 has to grapple with two striking young women called Bambi and Thumper. In general, however, DAF feels tired, trying to compensate for the lack of a decent script with its childish humour and endless stunts. It is all a long way away from the classic Connery Bonds of the early 60s, and indeed DAF is much closer in tone to the jokey Roger Moore films that would follow it during the rest of the 70s, although most of those have more going for them than this film. All in all, DAF is more of a feeble exercise in camp comedy than a stylish spy thriller, a sad way for Connery to leave the part that had made him a star. Of all the Bond films, probably only Moonraker is worse.
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