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The Connery Bond series started when I was a young boy and I took them
seriously. Diamonds, however, came out when I was well into my late
teens and somewhat more sophisticated. It dawned on me that the Bond
films were not really about violence and adventure but....comedy. And
it became more comic when Roger Moore took over the role.
I remember Robert Vaughn saying when he was asked if he were worried that his Man from Uncle TV series, hugely popular among adolescents in the 60s, would influence them to becoming violent. Vaughn astutely replied that kids understand that the show was to be taken as seriously as Donald Duck cartoons.
And that is how I remember Diamonds. Up to now I find myself amused when I recall the scene (SPOILER) near the end of the film when villain Blofeld's two bumbling goons tried to give Bond and his girl a payback for messing up their boss's plans. Bond and his lady (Jill St. John) were enjoying themselves on a cruise ship being served a luscious meal by the two goons disguised as waiters. And the piece d'resistance was Bombe' Surprise. And when Bond asked what was in the Bombe'. The waiter replied that it was a "surprise" (pronounced in the French fashion). There literally was a bomb in in the Bombe'.
The scene brought back another rib-tickling incident about another bomb disguised as food which I read about in The Manila Times back in the early '60s. A small town provincial mayor was staying in a third rate hotel in Manila during the Christmas season. He received a gift box which seemed to him odd as nobody was supposed to know where he was. . He called the police. Inside the box was a tin globe with the markings of a popular brand of Dutch Edam cheese popularly known as "Queso de Bola" (ball cheese). The Manila Times reporter quipped that it turned out to be a Queso de Bomba because there really was a bomb inside the tin. The idea of Edam ball cheese as a weapon is not really novel as I remember reading about a battle between the English and the Spanish during the age of cannonballs when the English, running out of cannonballs, used baby Edams as shot. They won.
Sean Connery returned to James Bond's role in 1971 after George Lazenby failed in the job.The plot of Diamonds Are Forever is too complicated to explain.I can't even remember it all that good.I'm pretty sure it had something to do with diamonds. Sean Connery is as charismatic as always.The good old Q is played by Desmond Llewelyn who tragically died last year. Diamonds Are Forever is a perfect entertainment movie.There are terrific action sequences so you can't get bored watching this movie.I recommend Diamonds Are Forever for every action freak out there.
Diamonds Are Forever represents a Bond film that simply celebrates the return of Sean Connery by losing all the emotion of OHMSS and pulling out all of the stops. A sattelite laser (thankfully not aimed at 007's crotch this time), a high speed chase where the police exhibit all of the intelligence of a non-featured J.W. Pepper, a floating fortress, and an amazing climax. A fan's only concern is wondering why Blofeld is making a habit of placing Bond in cells with holes in them! It seems that after a few years of hiding and countless plastic surgeries, Blofeld is getting careless - allowing Bond to get REALLY close to his world domination machine, so that when Bond ejects his programmed plan, he can only sigh and offer an exasperated "replace that tape immediately!" Regardless of a careless and all-too-mortal villain however, Diamonds Are truly Forever. It shines as one of the best.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This last worthwhile Connery Bond film came out in the early '70's; it
seemed to me even then at 12 years old that there had been a change in
social attitudes some degree of innocence had been lost in the 4
years since the previous film. Whereas You Only Live Twice was the
usual daft and deft mix of humour and action in a nonsensical plot,
Diamonds Are Forever had deft action in a nonsensical and messy plot
with a touch of tired and camp cynicism.
Bond is enrolled by the British government to find who is cornering the world's diamond-smuggling market and put a stop to it. It's an un-engaging battle for the viewer though, Stout Bond looks for the most part uninterested in putting in the actual work for the money for which he was enticed back. There's also probably the worst scene in any of his Bond films when he's escaping from Tectronics in a Moon buggy to someone brought up on Banana Splits it's awful and almost slapstick. The portrayal of younger women purely as sex objects is even more pronounced than before although I confess I personally I preferred to look at Jill St. John than Connery throughout. On the plus side Bond's punch up with the real Franks in the lift was exciting, the car chase through Las Vegas was amusing, and Bond getting hot under the collar in the funeral parlour was chilling there's plenty to savour, although Plenty wasn't in it for long. God help us if the world's safety depended on the quality of cassette tape playback!
Overall it's not as witty or memorable as we'd grown accustomed to, but watchable probably even for a non-completist. The next film in the series continued as The Saint, but to this day I still think the unshaken and unstirred Connery would have made a better Bond in the '70's, especially if he could've lost a lot of pounds and got a better wig. Never mind, there are the 6 movies of varying excellence and consistent entertainment from 1962-1971 to revel in every few years.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the most frequently quoted statistics concerning 'Diamonds Are
Forever' is that it was outperformed in the U.K. in 1971 by the feature
film version of 'On The Buses'. This is in fact untrue. 'Forever'
premiered in London on 30 December; it did not go on general release
until the following day when it went on to outperform every other film
in Britain in 1972. But I digress; the seventh 007 epic saw a brief
return to the role for Sean Connery, who'd vacated Bond's shoes for 'On
Her Majesty's Secret Service' ( 1969 ), now ( rightly ) regarded as one
of the all-time great Bond films, but at the time it was deemed to have
been a failure. David Picker, head of United Artists, lured the
recalcitrant actor back with the offer of a huge pay cheque and the
promise of funding for three movies of his choice. The new decade saw a
change in style for the Bond movies. The 60's ones were tongue-in-cheek
but mock-serious. The only one to adopt a lighter tone was 'Goldfinger'
( 1964 ). It was to recapture that tone that producers Cubby Broccoli
and Harry Saltzman brought back director Guy Hamilton. This is no more
apparent than in the scene in Slumber's Funeral Parlour - 'Morton
Slumber' ( the late David Bauer ) could have wandered out of an episode
of 'The Avengers'. The Fleming novel had Bond going undercover (
impersonating one 'Peter Franks', whom British Intelligence have
captured ) to infiltrate a gang of diamond smugglers, one of whom is
the beautiful 'Tiffany Case'. Much action is centred around Las Vegas.
Tom Mankiewicz and Richard Maibaum's script retained the early part of
the novel, but then deviated from it with 'Ernst Stavro Blofeld' (
Charles Gray ) yet again planning to hold the world to ransom, this
time with a laser-satellite ( full of diamonds ) orbiting the Earth.
Connery gives one of his best performances as Bond, certainly better than the one he gave in 'You Only Live Twice' in which he was virtually on auto-pilot throughout. No wonder audiences cheered when he once again said that famous line " My name is Bond...James Bond!". Charles Gray makes for an elegantly caddish 'Blofeld', delivering wry quips through cigarette smoke like an evil Noel Coward. Before anyone says 'Blofeld should not be British!', look at it this way - would not a man on the run from the intelligence services try to throw them off the scent in some imaginative way? Pretending to be another nationality makes perfect sense. The pre-credits sequence has Bond hunting the world for Blofeld ( presumably to get revenge for wife Tracy's death, its never made clear ). In South America, he finds him experimenting with clones. After a fight, Blofeld is sent hurtling face-first into a mud pool, but of course, it isn't really him. Maurice Binder's title sequence kicks in to the welcome return of Shirley Bassey's vocals.
'Forever' features Bond's first gay characters ( not counting 'Rosa Klebb' ) in the shape of killers 'Mr.Kidd' ( Putter Smith ) and 'Mr.Wint' ( Bruce Glover ), while 'Tiffany' ( the stunning Jill St.John ) is far more brash than previous Bond girls. Lana Wood shines briefly as the ill-fated 'Plenty O'Toole'. Those who dismiss the Roger Moore era for its wacky humour need to realise that the trend towards self parody in fact began here. The action sequences are a mixed bag; the fight in the lift between Bond and Peter Franks ( Joe Robinson ) is one of the very best to grace a 007 film, ditto the bruising encounter with 'Bambi' ( Lola Larson ) and 'Thumper' ( Trina Parks ), the moon buggy chase and Les Vegas car chase stunning ( remember Bond's car being driven on two wheels? ), but best of all is the scene where Bond ascends the Whyte House to break into reclusive millionaire Willard Whyte ( Jimmy Dean )'s sumptuous apartment. Some gorgeous sets by Ken Adam here. John Barry's score is one of his best ( my favourite track is '007 & Counting', heard as Blofeld's satellite goes about the globe causing havoc ). On the down side, the final helicopter assault on Blofeld's oil rig headquarters is flat and uninspired, like something out of a made-for-television film.
'Forever' is far from being classic Bond, but manages to be watchable and has some wonderful moments; for instance, when 'Felix Leiter' ( Normann Burton ) asks Bond where on Franks' corpse the diamonds have been hidden, he gets the reply: "Alimentary, Dr.Leiter!". It silenced critics who had claimed that Bond was washed-up and set the standard for the Moore 007 movies to follow. Connery would play the role only one more time, in 1983's 'Never Say Never Again'.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I consider this one of the three greatest Connery/Bond films. The other two would be Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice. The story, the action, the villains and the ladies, all are terrific. John Barry's soundtrack is superb. He certainly captured the Las Vegas ambiance. My favorite things about the movie would be the villains. Blofeld, Peter Franks, Mr. Wint, Mr. Kidd. Memorable. The humor - nice! For years I used to only be familiar with the version that was seen on ABC, thus heavily edited and not shown in the 2:35 format. When I finally saw the unedited version in its theatrical format, it blew me away. Especially the elevator sequence. It is unwatchable in the 1:33 format. Too bad the sequence was deleted regarding what led up to Plenty's fate. It would have made sense in the film. Enjoyable anytime!
This is probably my favorite film in the whole 007 series, even though it is not thought of as one of the best. This film has all the elements that made the series great; beautiful women, glamorous locations, plenty of action and even some very humorous moments. Even though Sean Connery was tiring of the role he seemed to show that he had fun making this, his final appearance (at least until Never Say Never Again) a very memorable one. Also, Jill St. John gives a very amusing performance as Tiffany Case. The thing that made her performance great was the fact that she did play it for laughs, not like the other Bond women who were either window dressing or damsels in distress. This film is one fun ride.
The seventh James Bond movie "Diamonds Are Forever" can be seen as one of the best or one of the worst Bond films. It depends on how you look at it: if you don't require more than just harmless entertainment with no brains, "Diamonds" is your ultimate Bond movie. But if you can't overlook the silliness, bad editing, and the seemingly hastily rigged up script, you should avoid this one. It cannot be compared to the classic Bonds of the 60's, but it's not as bad or as silly as the Roger Moore Bonds "The Man with the Golden Gun" and "Moonraker".
*** 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.
What an embarrassment this film is! Following the masterpiece of On Her
Majesty's Secret Service, one would have expected a solid revenge pic,
following Bond's attempts to avenge his lovely wife Tracey, killed by
Ernst Blofeld and his assistant. Instead, we get a mindless, shrill,
completely unreal parody of Ian Fleming's brilliant master spy.
Sean Connery returns after a sabbatical, older, tubbier and less interested in his legendary role than ever. He is joined by a plethora of over-acting actors playing moronic characters: chief amongst them are Jill St John, who easily wins the medal of most annoying Bond girl of all time; Jimmy Dean, who's boneheaded Texan drawl adds more than a few eye-rolls to the movie.
The film is also burdened with one of the most convoluted plots of all Bond films, which is very odd considering how cartoonish the whole setup is. Some good special effects just cannot compensate for all the inane hijacks that accompany them.
I have to say this right now, and that is I love James Bond and everything about him, but this film is so embarrassingly bad, I don;t even consider it Bond canon. It is just a really, really lame film.
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