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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sean Connery is back as "James Bond" and he is once again on the trail of his old nemesis, "Ernst Stavro Blofeld" (Charles Gray). At least, that's how the film starts. After burying Blofeld in a hot mud-like solution he is then given an assignment involving diamond smuggling. Posing as a diamond smuggler, he teams up with a beautiful partner-in-crime named "Tiffany Case" (Jill St. John) en route to Las Vegas to collect their money. Hot on their trail is a pair of vicious assassins named "Mr. Wint" (Bruce Glover) and "Mr. Kidd" (Putter Smith) who seem to have a pun for every occasion. Anyway, rather than reveal the entire plot I will just say that this is one of the more humorous James Bond films of the series. Some might say that it was too humorous. Personally, I enjoyed that part of it. I also liked the performance of Sean Connery. Along with that, Lana Wood (as "Plenty O'Toole) added some nice scenery but it was Jill St. John who really gave this film the vitality it needed. On the flip side, what brought this film down was the very bad acting of Jimmy Dean as the millionaire recluse, "Willard Whyte". Very bad. Be that as it may, while I enjoyed the movie it was simply not up to the usual high standard associated with a James Bond film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The "Diamonds" script trades on British and American stereotypes to good effect. Bond survives the transition to the 1970s without abandoning his aristocratic bearing: he doubles down on the wine scenes in "Goldfinger" by identifying the year of a sherry. The supporting cast, on the other hand, is dominated by plain-spoken, even hick-ish Americans, and the contrasting textures work. The CIA throws around American football terms, Grand Ole Opry performer Jimmy Dean plays a thickly-accented southern millionaire, and Jill St. John is the first Bond girl to hail from the States. The Las Vegas setting doesn't click as well as the actors, lacking as it does the beauty and class of previous Bond locales like Venice, Istanbul, and the Swiss Alps. Ken Adam's wide, low, modernistic sets are in especially fine form this time around, however. There is a lot of humor in the script, yet the plot is a low-stakes rehash of the one in "From Russia With Love," "Thunderball," and "You Only Live Twice." A pair of killer gymnasts, Bambi and Thumper, are strange and amusing, but the film's other assassin duo is the more remarkable. Bruce Glover and Putter Smith are charismatic as Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, but unfortunately they minstrel as a gay couple, making them among the franchise's most fraught figures.
It can sometimes be hard remembering which James Bond movie is which.
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER is the one in Las Vegas with the reclusive
billionaire, the diamond smuggling, the elevator fight, the moon buggy,
the slot machines, the two-wheel tilted car stunt, the off-shore oil
rig, and the effete henchmen, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd.
Sean Connery returns to the series for his sixth turn as 007, after skipping the previous film ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (1969). The producers paid a pretty penny to bring back the fan-favorite, one last time. They also brought back Guy Hamilton, the director of 1964's hugely successful GOLDFINGER, and Shirley Bassey, who sings another iconic title song. The producers seemed to want to recapture the magic of the earlier Bond adventures, after MAJESTY'S took a different approach.
Connery looks noticeably older this time around, with his bushy eyebrows and longer sideburns. (It was 1971, afterall.) It's not his most crisp performance as 007, but he knew what he had to do.
The main Bond girl is Jill St. John as Tiffany Case, a diamond trafficker who comes to aid Bond in his efforts. She wears bikinis and various other revealing clothing, while occasionally stepping on Bond's toes. There's also the lovely Lana Wood (little sister to Natalie Wood) in a brief role as Plenty O'Toole, a girl who has bad luck with swimming pools. Jimmy Dean (the sausage guy) plays Willard Whyte, an American billionaire styled after Howard Hughes. Charles Gray, who plays an entirely different role in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967), appears as Bond's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
In this adventure James Bond finds himself chased through the streets of Las Vegas, escaping through the Nevada desert in a robotic moon cruiser, buried in a pipeline, and nearly cremated. He also must deal with the odd henchmen Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. (Mr. Wint has a penchant for cologne and Mr. Kidd looks like a walrus.)
Although DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER is not one of my top favorite Bond movies, I've always kind of liked it. It's got the classic look of the larger-than-life James Bond adventures, I guess the pieces just don't measure up to some of the other films. Connery's other Bond movies just did everything a little bit better. I do think Connery was looking a little too old in this film, and some aspects are a little campy (crashing the "moon landing", Mr. Wint's remarks). It is a rather breezy secret agent romp for the middle-aged 007. But I enjoy the Las Vegas setting, with the bright lights and casinos. And Jill St. John sure looks great. DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER follows the winning James Bond formula, but ends up being a lackluster Sean Connery outing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Diamonds Are Forever is the return of Sean Connery to the role of 007.
His mission is to successfully smuggle diamonds into USA, unaware that
Blofeld is behind the scheme.
The film is mainly set in Las Vegas but also includes other stunning locations. The reason i feel the 7th 007 movie lets itself down is the weak action. Each film includes something stunning which you remember all the time. The only real memorable sequence from this film is a car chase through Las Vegas, with an unforgivable turn for a car in a narrow alley, which needs to be seen to be believed how bad it looks.
Jill St.John plays a good character in Tiffany Case, but does not play Tiffany Case as a good Bond Girl. Her and Bond don't spend enough time together to create that romantic link between the two. She feels more like an allie to Bond rather than his love interest. Jimmy Dean was also perfectly cast as Willard Whyte. He really came across as a high profiled American who likes things to go his way. As the films have gone on, the great character has seemed to decrease in Ernst Blofeld. This time we have the wonderful Charles Gray portraying him, but his talent is put to waste. He should have be on screen more with a menacing tone, instead of dressing up in drag to capture the Bond girl.
John Barrys greatness when it comes to soundtracks also seems to be lacking in this addition. Shirley Bassey returns to perform another great piece of theme music, although it won't be as memorable as Goldfinger.
Whilst Diamonds Are Forever has many flaws, it is still an enjoyable Bond film to watch, but then again, what Bond film isn't enjoyable to watch.
James Bond will return in.... Live And Let Die
A greying Connery returns for an enjoyable but only occasionally
18-carat entry, his last for the Eon Bonds. Jill St John makes a gutsy
heroine and Charles Gray the iciest and best of the Blofelds. But the
gags are overdone (and would be from now on) and the ending weak.
The producers also brought back director Guy Hamilton but the untidy screenplay doesn't allow for the polish of his earlier 'Goldfinger'. A tight shooting schedule, a contractual condition by Connery, explains the somewhat hurried look of 'Diamonds are Forever' (the drainpipe sequence, for instance, is so shoddily cut it seems assembled from discarded outtakes).
And yet all the elements of a great Bond thriller are here. A mysterious hi-tech desert installation, a hidden jungle surgery complete with bubbling sulphur-pit, a car-chase along the Las Vegas Strip (that admittedly seemed more daring then than now), a world-threatening plot, a wonderfully tense confrontation between 007 and two Blofelds in a stainless steel penthouse. Unfortunately, that's really the last interesting sequence in the film.
Despite the introduction of the laser-satellite, it loses what narrative verve it has and the subsequent events aren't charged with enough urgency. The final set-piece battle is a disappointment; a converted oil rig of the Californian coast hardly provides for a very spectacular climax or a memorable interior set to focus the action on. In fact, the satellite control-room must be about the least inspired set that designer Ken Adams has ever come up with. And some of the explosion effects are glaringly poor.
What a pity. Because John Barry comes up with yet another distinctively superb score, memorably the harsh discordant sax for the desert sequences that also acts as the recurring musical leit motif for the murderous gay couple Mr Wint and Mr Kidd, as well as that clamorous, piercing piece with piccolos that accompanies the fight scenes. And cinematographer Ted Moore well captures the neon-hard local colour and the arid starkness of the hinterland, noticeably in the very high angle shot of Bond's red Ford trailing Metz' minibus out of Las Vegas into the desert.
The real pleasure of the film is Connery, though. If the trim figure that began nine years earlier has gone, along with the muscle-tone, he's more relaxed and assured than ever in in a role that by now fits him like a glove, despite a five-year absence.
The role is his, absolutely, and he knows it.
Lusty, exciting, ingenious 007 yarn--easily one of the best in the James Bond franchise. After a one-picture absence, Sean Connery eases back into action as super-agent Bond with the gait of a hip lion in this dazzling adventure set mostly in Las Vegas, featuring great locations circa 1971 and a myriad of colorful villains. Blofeld returns (this time played by a somewhat more cavalier Charles Gray); he's after some diamonds to complete a space laser beam which can be used to decimate nuclear weaponry on Earth. Connery is older but no less in command, and he's paired very smartly with Jill St. John as Tiffany Case (in a lively performance) and Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole (delicious eye candy who is unfortunately left expendable by the editing). A wonderfully sharp screenplay, several hair-raising fights (look out for Bambi and Thumper!), and a very tight direction by Guy Hamilton make this Bond hard to top. ***1/2 from ****
MI6 agent James Bond is sent to infiltrate a diamond smuggling ring but
soon uncovers a plot headed by his nemesis Blofeld that threatens the
After George Lasnby's management declared he would not be returning, Sean Connery was lured back by UA with huge pay cheque (which he used to set up a foundation for Scottish artists). Connery has been unjustly accused of going through the motions the iconic role that made him is star. While he comes across campy at times due to his mannerisms not fitting his ageing looks, contrary to popular belief it's clear that he puts in 100 percent especially in the fight scenes notable the lift set up where he kills 'James Bond'.
Director Guy Hamilton's use of the (at the time) contemporary setting of Las Vegas gives Diamonds a slightly dated look and it appears less classic than earlier outings, also the production feel cheaper especially compared to its predecessor.The practical stunts are great from the aforementioned lift fight, to the car chases and finale. Like its setting the score is less classic/traditional and very '70s, of its day, but the theme (belted out wonderfully) by Shirley Bassey is excellent and the tune appears throughout. Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz's screenplay is as many of the Bond films - a mixture of great adventure and excitement, that is let down by some unnecessary injected humour as oppose to wittiness. However, it's interesting and different departing from the typical Bond style. This coupled with the real locations and Ken Adams toned down sets retain that Bond je ne sais quoi.
Charles Gray who appears in You Only Live Twice (1967) as Henderson, is now main antagonist Ernst Stavro Blofeld, he's a great actor but at times hams it up in almost Rocky Horror show proportions and comes off quite comedic instead of dangerous. Both Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny and Desmond Llewelyn as Q return in there enjoyable roles, Moneypenny notable not behind a desk and aids Bond. The supporting cast especially the crooks are well cast, older looking wise guys, gangster types that give the film a little weight.
Jill St. John as diamond smuggler Tiffany Case is refreshing as a Bond girl, while not the most classically beautiful, her character has a rough frank feistiness about her. The Blofeld's two villain accomplices are memorable and although clearly a gay couple, they are far more menacing than Blofeld himself especially Bruce Glover's Mr. Wint.
Mostly set in Vegas, California and Amsterdam it's also probably the least exotic of the Bond's. That said, it's still a fun adventure with one some of the most memorable dialogue of the series.
After the release of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, most people probably assumed that George Lazenby was officially the new James Bond... they were wrong. Connery returned supposedly one last time to reprise Bond in 'Diamonds Are Forever' which completed the Ernest Blofeld trilogy of the series for those who know what I'm talking about. The film picks up loosely following the events of OHMSS. What are those events one might ask? Watch it and see for yourself. Overall, I really liked Diamonds are Forever. It is on of the first Bond films I saw as a teenager so I guess it holds somewhat of a special place for me. That being said, I may fail to point out possible legit criticisms so for anyone who wonders what those criticisms could be, watch the movie or look for another review. Regardless of what "could" be wrong with Diamonds Are Forever, it definitely holds up well and is very entertaining. The movie on one or two occasions tends to make fun of itself but that really takes nothing away from it. As with the previous installments before and after Thunderball, I recommend this Bond title.
This was the first Bond film I ever saw, when I was about 10 or 11 and
I still remember it fondly, as much for the merchandising as anything -
yes I got my toy moon buggy and tri-bike, no doubt like millions of
other young kids of the time.
Looked at today, it palls somewhat, let down, ironically, by the franchise's growing addiction to gimmicky hardware and SFX set-pieces, which helps explain why this was effectively Connery's last hurrah in the character. Indeed, it's about the only one of his first six Bond parts you can visualise Roger "eyebrows" Moore in, as he gets little to do other than make smart one-liners, bed the female talent and man the afore-mentioned contraptions. He just about pulls it off, but you can see him going through the motions at times.
The movie's outlook towards women too, like Bond's, is anachronistic, I'm struggling to remember a scene where a woman is fully dressed, plus some of Bond's chauvinistic quips "I'm plenty"..."But of course you are" seem more at home in a "Carry On" film. The plotting also seems too similar to say, "You Only Live Twice", plus I also think the Mr Kidd & Mr Wint characters would have worked better without their campish gay overtones.
On the plus side though, Jill St John gives her cardboard character some presence, Charles Gray is an effective Blofeld (in triplicate), I enjoyed Jimmy Dean's take on "Howard Hughes" a la Willard Whyte, the Vegas locations are great, John Barry's music adds lustre (ouch!) and, I've got to confess, some of the big scenes still entertain, from the great fight in the confined space of a lift compartment, to the moon buggy escape, naturally the car park chase in downtown Las Vegas with THAT two-wheeled side-on stunt, the fight with Thumper and Bambi and the reckoning with Kidd & Wint as a postscript.
I enjoyed the movie but fear that nostalgia was clouding my critical faculties throughout, however as so many have done before, perhaps best to surrender to Bond and go with the flow.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was the Bond film that introduced irony and real wit to the series, thanks to the recently deceased Tom Mankeiwicz. Connery bluffly handled the role, and never telegraphed the jokes. He had aged since his appearance in You Only Live Twice, but his no-nonsense confidence worked very well with a terrific, fast-moving story that constantly surprised and entertained. Critics, notably Pauline Kael, enjoyed the witty, sardonic script that deftly referenced the modern takes on subjects like the Funeral business and Howard Hughes's disconcerting reclusiveness. Like the best Bond movies, it took you on a tour of an exotic location, and Mankiewicz' Las Vegas was one of the best uses of a location in the Bond oeuvre. Mankiewicz kept the movie moving, while inserting memorable and funny bits of business along the way. Morton Slumber, Shady Tree, Plenty O'Toole, among others, are perfectly realized minor characters, and cast perfectly. Not to mention Jimmy Dean as Willard Whyte, who brings cornball gusto to the role. This film was a balance of humor and credibility that the series never again equaled, and after this the irony quickly curdled. Diamonds Are Forever is a great example of creative storytelling, and maybe the most fun of the Bond films.
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