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|Index||279 reviews in total|
*** 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.
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 is a pretty funny 007 film starring Sean Connery as his last
outing as James Bond in the original continuity (not counting the
Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again). Bond gets involved in a
diamond smuggling investigation in Las Vegas, where he uncovers an
extortion plot headed by his number one enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Unlike earlier Bond films, you get to see Bond deal more one-on-one with Blofeld. There are more, if I remember, comedy in this entry than earlier films, particularly in that of Bond girl Tiffany Case (Jill St. John). I actually thought Case did a good job in her role; she was very funny and entertaining. There are also plenty of other Bond girls including that of Bambi and Thumper.
Bond did his usual one-liners and Licensed to Kill action in this film, but it was evident that Connery was done with the role. While many Bond films tend to drag on the plot a little, this one was pretty fast-paced and entertaining for me and I thought it closes out the Connery saga pretty well.
This film is excellent. The comedy (which has been the culprit for its
discredit) is excellent. This is the first Bond to be uncensored totally.
came out 3 years after the MPAA created the rating system which allow for
greater creative control to films.
Diamonds Are Forever was the first Bond Film to take it seriously (On Her Majesty's Secret Service, did do this, although few films did in the late 1960's, Planet Of The Apes was Rated G, the sequels went up to PG, which was M at the time).
The only thing I don't like about this film is that it should be a revenge film (See my comment on On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)and watch it). The end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service clearly shows that Bond should want vengeance, I would if I were in that situation. I think that may have also helped it gain more success, although its did make $44,000,000 upon release, at todays standard thats $180,000,000. It went on to make $116,000,000 worldwide, today thats $480,000,000. Of all the films thats the 4th most profitable.
Its evident although a great film, sort of a cult classic, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) jinxed this production. Its evident they wanted to avoid failure, by removing all evidence of it. By forgetting its finale. Also the return of Sean Connery, not only a addition that would help people for OHMSS, to this film, but also an insult to George Lazenby, who wasn't fired. Lazenby was certainly not better than Connery, but his departure was mistake and a failure. Diamonds Are Forever although to many a failure, is a very good film. But it also helped to make the forgotten Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). In my mind if Diamonds Are Forever failed OHMSS will be remembered, final failure standout. I don't think anyone will forgot how awful BATMAN & ROBIN (1998) was. Although of course now OHMSS wouldn't be a failure. But this film also represented change a change that started after You Only Live Twice and would stop after Live And Let Die (1973) and wouldn't occur again until The Living Daylights (1987), although technically happen early in Sean Connery's second comeback Never Say Never Again (1983). Anyway this film is excellent Connery's #3 and Stands at #5
1. THUNDERBALL (1965)
2. The Living Daylights (1987)
3. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
5.Diamonds Are FOREVER (1971)
Sean Connery looks older here in his last Eon/Bond film than in his later Never Say Never Again. Diamonds... marks the end of one era of James Bond, and the beginning of another. No, not the switch from Connery to Moore, but any semblance of hard-edged Fleming-style "reality" - Bond is now Spiderman the Secret Agent, never without a one-liner or a handy gadget. Connery downplays everything with the aura of a man collecting a big paycheck (see Trivia). Ms.'s St. John and Wood wander around in poor-fitting underwear most of the time. Charles Gray is an adequate Blofeld: more urbane than Pleasance and Savalas, but lacking the physical presence of the later and his Fleming-pictured equivalent (he also favors cigarette holders, over Savalas' hand-held favorites). The only saving grace is the dialogue: the bad guys get the best one-liners, and Wint & Kidd's homosexual killers are a hoot.
I thought this one was a lot of fun when I saw it when I was 15 years
old, and it still amuses me. Of all the Connery Bond movies, Never Say
Never is the worst, and Thunderball is close behind. Is it great? No.
But it's not bad, and IMHO, is a lot better than some of the later ones
with Roger Moore who was too old at the end of his run. I thought Mr
Kidd and Mr. Wint were very amusing, Bruce Glover resembled a neighbor
of mine at the time, which would have mortified the neighbor, a nutty
guy that tried to stab my dog with a pitchfork once. Jimmy Dean was
fine, as was most of the cast.
I never had a clue I would move to Las Vegas 1n '75, and in 1979 start working in a Hotel (Nevada Hotel, 235 S. Main, closed now, and it appears to have been bought by the Golden Nugget for some future project) built where the car chase was filmed! And then a year or so later, I was driving on the opposite side of town from where I lived and saw the "Slumber Inc" building! I thought it was just a building with a fake front on it in the movie, but it was the real thing, a funeral home, with a different name, of course. I can't remember if it was "Bunker Brothers" or something else now, But I went inside and it appeared the inside of the building was used for at least some of the scenes that took place in it.
This, the Seventh James Bond Film in the Franchise, is Wrought with
Fandom Wrath, but some Less Demanding Viewers are more Sympathetic.
About as Disappointing as "You Only live Twice" (1967) with the Added Ingredient of Sean Connery returning to the Role after a One Film Holiday, and the Anticipation Factor Ramped Up Big Time.
What was Delivered was Tepid Fun with the Emphasis on Fun. Serious Spy Stuff was Abandoned for Over the Top Characters and Routine and Artificial Looking Action.
Not Completely a Loser it has some Moments (like the elevator fight and the pre-credit scene) but Overall Things like the "Moon Buggy" are Expensive Junk thrown in like the Lame and Obviously Staged Car Chase on the Downtown Vegas Strip. It Lazily Shows Rows of Spectators along the Street Watching the Filming in Multiple Shots. The Two Wheeled Car Escape is Infamous.
Not a Lot to Recommend, but if Your Tolerance for a Whimsical and Light-Hearted Bond is High, have No Fear because this is the Forerunner of the Tacky and Gaudy Films to Follow.
The Weight of Previous Box-Office Booty Weighed Heavily on the Hubris of the Producers and They Shamelessly Soured the Integrity of the Character and Produced Painfully Executed Excuses of Mechanized Assembly Line Vehicles one after another with a Few Exceptions, in what seemed like Forever.
Connery decided to make one last final appearance as James Bond in
Diamonds Are Forever. The first entry in the series where Bond became
completely ridiculous and entered its camp stages that followed through
to Roger Moore's seven outings as 007.
Bond has been given three years to track Blofeld down after the death of his wife in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Blofeld plans to hold the world to ransom after he constructs a machine made out of diamonds that has the power to destroy an entire continent.
Many Bond fans will notice the sudden shift in tone. Where the previous six entries in the franchise took their material fairly seriously Diamonds Are Forever is completely camp in its approach. This will either shock fans or still entertain those that have a real fondness for Bond and Sean Connery.
One key example is the secondary villains Mr Wint and Mr Kidd. It is established early on that they are a homosexual couple. It's extremely bizarre and odd for a Bond film that thankfully never comes across as homophobic or insensitive. It only adds a certain strange and peculiar charm to the film that is difficult to explain. Unlike other entries however that were not affected by this problem, Diamonds Are Forever's campness comes at a cost. The girls in the film are merely damsels in distress for the sake of the plot and whenever Bond feels particularly horny. To say that they have little depth would be an understatement as by themselves they barely feel like real characters anyway.
Blofeld played by Charles Gray is more laughable than intimidating at any given moment. Most likely due to the fact that Gray starred in You Only Live Twice as an ally for Bond. Therefore it's impossible to shake off this feeling of de ja vu whenever we encounter him.
The plot this time around is flat out ridiculous and does not even try to be coherent. Diamonds that have the power to omit a laser by reflecting the sun's heat and thereby destroy the world? No. This is James Bond? No wonder Austin Powers found it so easy to parody the franchise from this point onwards as it had almost became a parody of itself.
Though for all its flaws Diamonds Are Forever zips along at a reasonable pace and it's truly wondrous to see Sean Connery in the title role again, even if this outing is one of his weaker films. There are the various stunts to keep action fans happy and enough that is different to ensure that monotony never sets in. In all fairness to Diamonds Are Forever I was never bored or uninterested.
Diamonds Are Forever is sure to keep fans of the franchise happy. But whether its outright camp approach will entertain you or leave you bewildered depends entirely on the mind-set of the viewer. After On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever is more of a shrug than the sudden blow to the heart of the former. Still this entry should not be dismissed lightly, particularly if you are in the mood for a fun and breezy Bond adventure. You need look no further.
*** 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.
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