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It's my favorite Bond movie, but ask me to defend it objectively and I
struggle. Yes, "Diamonds Are Forever" is weak in plot, continuity,
character motivation, and overall depth. Yet it's an awful lot of fun.
When we first meet Sean Connery, back as Bond after a four-year absence, he's kicking the tar out of assorted people trying to locate Blofeld (Charles Gray). Once that's out of the way, he is called upon to help infiltrate a diamond-smuggling ring. Bond may think it's the sort of job that's beneath him, but he will find strong reason for seeing it through.
It was the first Bond movie not made in the 1960s, and the culture shock is there from the start and continues all the way through. Long sideburns, Peckinpah-like blood splats, an old lady who teaches children religion but keeps a hollowed-out Bible for smuggling stolen goods. Blofeld is seen walking around in drag. His two main henchmen, Wint and Kidd, are not only apparently gay, but seem to have a snarkily aloof attitude about their jobs. The "Clubland" atmosphere of Ian Fleming seems well behind us now.
"You've just killed James Bond", the lead female Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) cries.
Not quite, but it's not the Bond you came to expect from earlier films.
What works for me in this movie are three things. First is the music, particularly the wonderfully jaded title song, the best of any in the Bond series even if it was never a commercial hit; as well as the eerie flute-like theme that follows Wint and Kidd's appearances. Second, the clever off-kilter sensibility that successfully reworks the Bond model for a new age. Third, the humor, of satirical quips and the ever-reliable double-entendres we expect from 007.
"Why are we staying in the bridal suite of the Whyte House?"
"In order to form a more perfect union."
It's not a perfect film. At times, it's not even a very good one. Throughout the picture Bond gets into various scrapes he weasels out of with discomfiting ease. In fact, except for a harrowing elevator fight near the beginning of the film, there's not an instance where Bond is severely pressed.
This is fine given Connery doesn't seem to be pressing much himself, He's just having fun and thus is in tune with the picture around him. Guy Hamilton, the director, never took his Bond movies too seriously, though he liked action-packed set-pieces, and thus a lot of goofy moments in "Diamonds Are Forever" skirt past with minimal fuss. I enjoy how the film sends itself up. Even Bond's way of approaching the villain's lair is played for a smile. Why sneak in when you can just parachute down inside a giant bubble?
For some, maybe many, the problem with "Diamonds Are Forever" is the same as its virtue to me: It never takes itself seriously. The producers are stretching the formula, taking some chances, and tweaking some cherished notions of what Bond films are about. Not all of it works, but it's a fun ride I enjoy taking.
In my opinion this is probably the worst James Bond film - although it's
still watchable. For starters, Sir Sean Connery just looks a bit past it -
his paunch and toupee are really starting to look obvious, and he just looks
out of place in the tacky Las Vegas locations. Bond is at home wearing a
dinner jacket in a casino - but not a casino like 'Circus Circus' populated
by midwestern holidaymakers! You may as well send Bond to Blackpool!
The faltering plot and the lack of Bond's sense of revenge at Blofeld also leave the whole thing flat.
Good points are the great score and theme song, and I do like Mr Wint and Mr Kidd - of course they're un PC but they're such outrageously over the top old queens that you'd have to be very po-faced to dislike them. Plenty O' Toole is gorgeous but wasted.
Somehow Sir Sean just seems at odd with the slightly camp direction the series was taking, and by the end of the film we can see the way is clear for the best ever James Bond - the master, Mr Roger Moore.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the strangest Bond film of all, and as such, probably has the most polarized reviews. People either hate or love this one. Personally, I've always liked it. I think detractors get caught up on too many superficial things, like the few moments of juvenile humor, and don't appreciate this film for what it is: a very stylish, moody and weird romp. They also incorrectly assume that, because Sean Connery was coming back one time only for a fantastic sum of money, that his heart wasn't in it. In fact, as real critics have often said, he gives his best and most relaxed performance as Bond since Goldfinger. Logic would tell you that he wanted to go out in style, especially since he was so wooden his last time out in You Only Live Twice. It's not his fault the lines written didn't conjure up the seriousness of From Russia With Love. This film is vastly different from what preceded it, so some didn't like the change. But they're the ones missing out, because there are many memorable scenes and characters. This movie is not about action and gadgets, but about the surreal interaction between the characters. One has to go no further than the opening pipeline sequence to see that. Furthermore, the dialogue is terrific, and one has to watch the movie over and over to grasp all the ingenious lines. "Providing the collars and cuffs match" and I'm afraid you caught me with more than my hands up" are some of the best phrases ever uttered in a bond film. The characters themselves were equally fascinating. Wint & Kidd set the pace for the strange goings-on and are a refreshing break from all the strong-armed assassins (Jaws, Odd-Job) that seem to appear in the majority of bond films. Anyway, you don't see Mike Myers lampooning them in his Austin Powers series. And if you want realism, the fight with Peter Franks ranks right up there. A chunky and older Jill St. John is much more believable as a worldly feme-fatale than the parade of twenty-somethings we're typically presented with (Denise Richards, Tonya Roberts, etc...). And where is it written that the main Bond villain has to be someone as two-fisted as Bond? Charles Grey's Blofeld fits right in with the craziness, and at least he seems intellectually capable of taking on Bond and the world, as opposed to Donald Pleasance's spoiled-brat and Telly Savalas' New York gangster Blofelds. And for once, we can see where the protagonist's resources came from! (I won't go into details, because it would have to contain spoilers). Sure the action on the oil rig at the end is somewhat disappointing, but that's not what this film is about. The scene aboard the QEII at the very end ("Mouton Rothschild is a claret")is more emblematic of the mood the film makers were trying to convey. In conclusion, if you don't watch this movie expecting a Bond action extravaganza, but concentrate on the characters and dialogue, you'll thoroughly enjoy it.
It's funny, I read reviews of Goldfinger that said that film changed
the tone and course of Bond films for a long time, and I think that
writer was right. Since Goldfinger, it has been average Bond movie
after average Bond movie. The tongue and cheek tone that Goldfinger
sort of inspired had already grown tiresome and over the top by
Diamonds Are Forever.
Connery is back, which is obviously a step up from Lazenby, but Blofeld once again changed actors. Apparently this reflects the chameleon like nature of Blofeld in the books, but it fails to create a sense of rhythm and consistency to the franchise. With that being said, he was one of the better Blofelds we have had and made for a decent foe. The problem is that the tone of the rest of the film is so goofy and dissimilar to what Bond and Blofeld are in. The action sequences are improved since the unorthodox editing of On Her Majesty's Secret Service without the strange settings of Thunderball and You Only Live Twice.
Even the sidekick villains in the film are borderline un-watchable. By today's standards, these assumed gay characters would be seen as portrayed very offensively, but I guess that was just the time the film was released. So other than the fact that this film has the dumbest cops in film history, weird duo characters, and it's tonally inconsistent, it is a decently entertaining film. We finally get a good back and forth between Blofeld and Bond, and Connery is back (at least for one film). Diamonds Are Forever is yet another average installment in the franchise.
+Connery is back
+Blofeld in his full form
-Un-watchable side duos
-Offensive at times
This bond film is bar far not one of the best, I can' decide if its one
of the worst there are a couple of more modern ones that I think are
worse, but this film was just not British enough, I think it was made a
little too much for the American audience. Not enough action, this is
probably the most relaxed and laid back bond / film there ever was.
There is a storyline but it seems like it takes forever to develop and
it makes the movie appear slow to get going. I should say it was good
to see Sean Connery back in the role of Bond after his 1 movie hiatus
and this outing I most say does seem to fit better than previous ones.
But for some reason I can't fathom he looks older (he was 40 when he
made it) Roger Moore looks younger when he played Bond in the film
after this one, but was actually older.
Its OK take it or leave it - your choice.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sean Connery's sixth and final Eon appearance as James Bond, this is
not the swansong that he deserved it. That said, I thought that his
performance was far better than in either "Thunderball" or "You Only
Live Twice" as he's clearly having a great deal of fun with the part,
which I'm sure had something to do with being paid £1.25 million to
return to his most famous role. However, I don't think that he was ever
able to recapture the spark and commitment to Bond that he displayed in
the first three films, particularly "Goldfinger" (still my absolute
favourite). That film's director Guy Hamilton returned to the Bond fold
for this film but was similarly unable to recapture the old spark.
Jill St. John is good as Tiffany Case and she's clearly having the time of her life starring in a Bond film but it's not a very well written character. She starts off well as an intelligent, resourceful smuggler who seems to be Bond's equal but, over the course of the film, she devolves into a naive and perhaps even stupid character who gives Bond girls a bad name. However, as I said, the problem lies with the script rather than Jill St. John's performance. While Lana Wood may not be the actress than her late sister Natalie Wood was, she's very likable as Plenty O'Toole and, while it was hardly a shock given the series' well- established formula, it was shame that she died as I'd have liked to have seen more of her in the film. (No pun intended!)
Charles Gray, who previously played Nikko Henderson in "You Only Live Twice", makes for a very good villain but he doesn't make for a very good Blofeld. Again, the problem lies with the script rather than the actor's performance. In "You Only Live Twice", Donald Pleasence's Blofeld was a creepy psycho. In "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", Telly Savalas' Blofeld was basically a gangster. In this film, Gray's Blofeld is a gentleman villain of the old mould and his characterisation seems the most inconsistent with his previous portrayals. In all honesty though, I thought that Blofeld worked best as the faceless puppet master of "From Russia with Love" and "Thunderball". He didn't appear in the novel on which this is based and I think that the film could have followed suit. It would have allowed Gray to excel as a new character and would have made up for the fact that Tracy's death is never mentioned. Considering the events of the previous film, Bond and Blofeld are amazingly civil during their scenes together! Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell's appearances are briefer than usual on this occasion but they both pick up right where they left off with Sean Connery, particularly the former. The interaction between Bond and M while Sir Donald is briefing them on the diamond situation is a delight. Conversely, Desmond Llewelyn has slightly more screen time as Q than usual and is as excellent as ever in the part.
Some of the other casting choices are a little...odd such as Jimmy Dean as the very thinly veiled Howard Hughes parody. Country and western music has never really been my thing so I never heard of Dean until last year when I saw him in an episode of "The Patty Duke Show" as himself. Well, I think that he should have stuck to playing himself because he's rather poor as Whyte. Norman Burton, who earned himself a place in pop culture history as the first ape seen in "Planet of the Apes", is horribly miscast as Felix Leiter. He's usually a good, reliable actor but he plays the role as if he were a rather dimwitted sitcom dad. Jack Lord, he ain't. However, the film does have some very good supporting actors such as Lawrence Naismith, Joseph Furst, perennial film and TV gangster Marc Lawrence, David Bauer, Ed Bishop, Leonard Barr, Sid Haig and David de Keyser. Like Gray, both Bauer and Bishop appeared as different characters in "You Only Live Twice".
While they're hardly the most politically correct villains to grace the silver screen, I quite liked Bruce Glover - who is Crispin Glover's dad, incidentally - and Putter Smith as Mr Wint and Mr Kidd. At first. I had the same attitude to them as I did to most of the humour in the film in general: it started off well and served as a breath of fresh air after the seriousness of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" but got very old and went too far over the top as the film progressed such as, uh, Blofeld in drag. In fairness, some of the comic moments were great though. M telling Bond that at least there was one subject that he wasn't an expert in is his funniest moment in seven films and I loved the chase scene with the moon buggy! There were some great one-liners as well but almost all of them were in the first half of the film. It makes me a bit apprehensive of the reliance on comedy during most of the Roger Moore era, if I'm honest.
The film doesn't look as good as the previous ones. Blofeld's lair at the top of the Whyte House was the only set which really allowed Ken Adam to work his magic. The bright lights of Las Vegas can't really compare to the beauty of Istanbul, Japan or the Swiss Alps. Vegas lacks the exotic quality that I've come to expect from Bond films. Amsterdam is a beautiful city which makes for an ideal Bond film location but its appearance is too minor to make much of an impact.
Overall, this is a decent film and a very good one in its first half. However, it's less than the sum of its parts. I just wish that Sean Connery had been afforded a stronger film to go out on.
Sean Connery was persuaded to return as James Bond in this this seventh
"007" film, which begins most promisingly as an angry Bond chases Ernst
Blofeld(now played by Charles Gray) to his hideout, where he is/has
undergone plastic surgery to evade identification and capture(that's
why he looks different again!) Bond then dispatches him in satisfying
fashion, though he isn't dead yet...
Primary plot has Bond returning from vacation(presumably recovering from the death of his wife Tracy, though she isn't mentioned) to investigate a series of Diamond thefts that lead to a beautiful suspect(played by Jill St. John) that further takes them to a mysterious and reclusive billionaire(played by Jimmy Dean) who is not who people thinks he is anymore...
Good to have Connery back, but series was slipping at this point, with too much campy silliness(bizarre assassins, outlandish car stunts, etc.) that this one isn't that good. Still would have been nice to keep Connery around, but his time as Bond was not forever...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When Bond, at the very brief intro, throws the bad guy easily in the
poor lair's mud saying (Welcome to hell Blofeld), you'll understand
simply that this one isn't about action. (Diamonds Are Forever) is the
funniest Bond yet, and originally a comedy more than anything else. I
bet it was a vacation for the franchise's team in Las Vegas. So, for
anybody loves Bond movies as action / spy thrillers, this could be
their most provocative one in the series. And for the rest, it's the
relief or the comic episode. As for me, I'm one of the "rest" because I
love it very much.
I rank it also as the second sexiest Bond (after Thunderball). Jill St. John the first American Bond girl was one of the best ever. She's exceptionally sexy. For one reason she can be hot by only a look, and for another reason her manners were a bit outrageous compared to Bond's other girls (she said "my behind" along with the immortally ambiguous, sort of fun to think about, "Blow Up Your Pants" !). She was astonishing in that skimpy violet bikini, while (Guy Hamilton)'s naughty, oh too naughty, camera shooting her from the back side in close distances and more than once ! Especially when she was handing over the tape to Connery.. Ahhh that was sexually bold to holy extent. Over and above I'm just crazy about her intro, considering it one of the most breathtaking intros in the history of cinema! (along with Ann-Margaret in Viva Las Vegas, Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot..).
This movie is as Jill St. John's loudly colored bikini; campy yet funny and hot. It's one licentious Bond, filled up with just sexual spices and sarcastic joking. They even deleted a Sammy Davis Jr. cameo (maybe to reduce the hilarity of it). The Bond stuff was in the background, since the mission this time got nothing to do with espionage. The climactic sequence seemed like an empty repetition of maybe all the previous climactic sequences with a ticking bomb in a lair, many henchmen running in uniform, Bond trying to flee, with always a girl in a bikini (or not too much clothes!). This is what I call a boring deja-vu already. But some comedy made it less boring and more entertaining this round.
By the way here, and maybe here only, the rocket that Bond wants to, and used to, blow near the end looks like anything but a rocket. Well, strangely this time when it comes to its shape Austin Powers was right! And come to think of it; it's the climax of the 60's wicked metaphor that distinguished the whole Bond; beating the evil guy's attempt to penetrate the world, and rape the peace by blowing up his horny.. let's say virility! Then, for more teasing, winning the girl ! And if you have doubts just remember that (Shirley Bassey) fainted when she knew how the movie's remarkable theme song was a figurative expression about penis (it's true story, I did my researches well on that !).
(Connery) was weary; looking tired to be Bond, or trying his best to look tired to be Bond! He clearly did it for the money, but unlike (Never Say Never Again) he seems this time really uninterested (or uninteresting !).
If you want to sum up this movie then think : Jill St. John walking in front of the camera in only a panty and bra, Lana Wood as (Plenty O'Toole) going in front of the camera in only a panty!, 2 astonishing chicks trying to kill Bond in their bikinis (Oh Yeah!), 2 more violent men assassins yet loving each other gaily (!), Bond landing on a toilet seat, Q playing Las Vegas games, and Ernst Stavro Blofeld himself dressed as a woman and talking about nice cheeks !! As you see it is a gay party. Sometimes too gay to be a spoof of itself, or simply the most comic Bond. A colorful time both ways.
Diamonds are Forever was Connery's assignment to reprise the role of James Bond after turning down the earlier starring role of Our Majestry's Secret Service and this was left to George Lazonby. OOMSS may have received mixed reviews but it was clear that Lazonby as Bond was completely lacklustre and it wasn't surprising that he only made one appearance as the super spy while Blofield may been played by different actors such as Donald Pleasance, Telly Savalas and this time, Charles Gray in this 1971 release. Diamonds are Forever is a highly watchable film because there are some excellent choice of locations and my favourite is Las Vegas and the Neveda desert and there is generally good levels of action and the car chases along with the humour and dialogue that adds up. But the film is not without its drawbacks by being a bit dated and it is sometimes lacking the qualities of earlier Connery-era Bond films, being more violent and also a little bit dreary and has also been hampered by production problems. Finally, compared to today's Las Vegas, its hard to imagine what it was like back in 1971 with all those frequent changes that have taken place over the years making it virtually unrecognisable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie, "Diamonds Are Forever" was probably a great prelude to the
latest flick involving diamonds used in countries in war---"Blood
The scene involving two evil dancers who fight against 007 looks like something out of a few of the fight scenes in "Goldeneye" too---the idea of "dancing and fighting" by the anti-Bond ladies.
The space weapon in "Diamonds" that goes haywire and beams a heat-emitting laser ray that burns anything in its vicinity was almost similar to that space weapon used in "Goldeneye". Especially when the ray heats up---and blows up--an entire anti-aircraft missile emplacement. Well, instead of electromagnetic pulse like "Goldeneye"---it is heat in "Diamonds Are Forever" that is used in the weapon's destructive force.
All of that leads into the final battle at an oil rig which masks as a main computer base, housing the main control area for that haywire space weapon. Well, Bond stops the main evil character by hoisting up his escape ship and slamming it into the main control area, knocking the computer out of commission. The laser weapon was supposed to attack Washington D.C. but the failure of the master control put the whole evil contraption out of commission.
I especially like the mini-fight scene involving two accomplices of the main evil character that were about to kill Bond and his lady companion with a dynamite bomb rigged on a timer. Of course, when Bond fights back by putting that bomb on the back of one of the bad men and throwing him overboard just in time (the bomb blows just before he hits the water)---you know that Bond is going to live another day.
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