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|Index||277 reviews in total|
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film was released after the George Lazenby's disaster "His
Majesty's Secret Service" which seemed to prove that you needed at
least a good actor to play Bond. Sean Connery got lots of extra money
to come back for one more round, but less physical strain than most of
the earlier efforts.
With the recent death of 82 year old Jimmy Dean (Willard Whyte), we must be reminded that Sean Connery is 80, Jill St John looks plenty cheeky in this one is 70, and Lana Wood is 64 as I write this. When you watch this movie, it doesn't seem possible. Still this is a good film to watch. This is a very rare movie role for Dean, as most of his work was recording (Big Bad John) & TV's The Jimmy Dean Show. Dean's character is kind of a ruse looking to be the bad guy.
This film features all the regulars from the series for Connery's last trip with them. Then there are things like a bit part for Leonard Barr, & the first apparently gay bad guys trying to do in Bond. Then besides the 2 hot main Bond women, we have Bambi & Thumper, a couple of exercises for Connery.
Blofeld (Charles Gray in this one) has taken over millionaire Willard Whytes empire by kidnapping him & then using a voice mocking tool to run his empire. He sets up some new parts of the Empire involved in stealing Diamonds which he places into a satellite to put into orbit. This is where he is using solar energy to heat up the glass to create a super weapon energy beam with a purpose of destroying parts of the earth.
This film has quite a bit of old Las Vegas in it, & there is a touch of nostalgia here as the good guys & bad guys seem well defined. The big clue to a lot of this has to do with cheap cologne. This film's added humor along with Connery is welcome relief after the previous film & actually paves the road well to lead into Roger Moore's more humorous Bond films to follow.
Film begins well, showing us Connery's return to the role (after
bailing out after You Only Live Twice in late 1966/ early '67) as Bond
tracks down and seemingly kills Blofeld. A perfectly done title
sequence goes quite well with a great title song, before we get down to
business: an initially literal adaptation of Fleming's novel, as Wint
and Kidd smuggle diamonds out of Africa, after brutally killing the
courier, and the deliverer. Bond, none too enthused about being
assigned to what he calls "a relatively simple smuggling matter," is
sent to intercept the next link, a professional smuggler called Peter
Franks, in Amsterdam. Bond, after rendezvousing with yet another
smuggler (gorgeous Jill St. John) ends up beating Franks' ass in
close-quarters-combat in a lift, in another highlight of this movie.
Unfortunately, after the exciting and well done first forty minutes, leading this Bond fan to think I'm about to watch potentially one of the best Bonds, the screenplay degenerates into a seemingly never-ending series of gags and pratfalls and silly vignettes. Jill St. John and Lana Wood are both gorgeous, but Jill loses interest halfway through the movie and becomes a bumbling nitwit, and Lana Wood has only a cameo, played strictly for laughs. Throw in a Bullitt-inspired car chase through the Las Vegas Strip, a faked moon landing, a Howard Hughes clone Willard Whyte, and some type of diamond powered space laser(?) and that makes up the majority of the second half.
Bond, after violently fending off the attacks of several armed guards in the pre-title sequence, and the aforementioned fight in the lift, basically has his ass handed to him by a pair of female gymnasts, in what will forever be remembered as one of the dumbest and most inane scenes in any Bond film.
Charles Grey is a wonderful actor, and I do wish they had used more of him in the Bond series, but he was a terrible Blofeld, too nice of a guy to be an international terrorist set on killing Bond, and they've turned Blofeld into a cross dressing terrorist with a cat fetish? Connery's weight was obviously up and down during filming; as he is briefed by M., it looks like he needed a crowbar to fit into his suit. Likewise, by the poolside, with the body floating in it. Those thick, bushy grey sideburns only made Connery look older. Indeed, he turned 40 years old during filming, but he looked closer to 60.
The ending is anticlimactic; the fight in the lift was more exciting.
Overall, the film is enjoyable for its first third, then in a surreal way for its final two thirds, but I wish they had followed the plot of Ian Fleming's original novel more closely. That would have made the film consistently good. Or at least, not as uneven as it is now. Filming wrapped in September 1971, and it was released to cinemas in December of 1971; its rushed post production undoubtedly contributed to its randomness.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This comment contains possible spoiler. This if one of my favorite bond movies. First off it has the best bond, Connery. Second, Jill St. John is the sexiest bond girl in any of the films. The reason for this is that she is not only beautiful but, unlike many of the early bond girls she is smart, funny and an equal to James. This was not done again till much later in the series. The plot is not the greatest of the bond movies nor is the worst. The only other bond movie I liked better is Goldfinger. The movie centers around stolen diamonds and Las Vegas. If u are familiar with Las Vegas u will probably recognize the sequence in Circus Circus. This movie also has one of the best title songs. If u enjoyed this one, Moonraker is a similar movie. 7/10
Discounting 'Never Say Never Again' (which isn't an official Bond film,
just a poor remake of Thunderball) this Connery's 2nd official swan
song, and probably my least favourite of the Connery outings. On his
image alone it is clear why they axed Connery after 'You only Live
Twice' to bring in George Lazenby; but after he was not given a warm
reception by the fans, Connery is back for one last time; and his age
is definitely showing.
Other than his appearance though, he still has that special something that proved he was the best choice in the first place, and Diamonds Are Forever isn't a bad film, it's merely lacking the solidity and intrigue of the previous films.
There's still plenty of good action, an interesting plot, the quite stunning Jill St. John and some wonderful scenery.
Despite Eon Productions ongoing 'Spin Control' to downplay the impact, the
failure of ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE was a crushing blow for
Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. Despite Richard Maibaum's literate
script (the last to truly 'follow' a Fleming novel), first-time director
Peter Hunt's remarkable 'vision', and a performance by novice actor George
Lazenby that wasn't nearly as bad as some reviewers at the time would
OHMSS was spurned by many Bond fans, and had some critics proclaiming
Was Killed, but Bond Is Dead".
While American actor John Gavin had already signed on to make DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (George Lazenby's inflated ego had gotten the better of him, and he'd managed to get himself 'fired'), Broccoli decided that the franchise needed a major overhaul. Gavin was dropped, Peter Hunt was dropped, and Richard Maibaum's revenge-driven Bond script was rewritten by Tom Mankiewicz into a light-hearted, witty spoof of the earlier 007 films, ignoring his wife's death, and concentrating on gadgets, sex, and superhuman heroics. Veteran director Guy Hamilton, who had guided GOLDFINGER, everyone's favorite Bond movie, was brought back to direct the project...and Broccoli, bowing to pressure from the 007 audience, approached Sean Connery to take the role, one more time.
Connery, who had already made four films since his last Bond outing, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, hated Broccoli (feeling the producer had 'robbed' him of his share of the profits for the first two Bond films), and loved the leverage he now possessed. When asked about the size of his paycheck to resume the role, he joked, "I always wanted to own a golf course and a bank...I already own a golf course..." He also stipulated a hefty fee for each day the production ran over schedule (Lest he seem TOO greedy, much of his salary went to Scottish charities). As a final insult, the actor refused to get into shape for filming, appearing paunchier and grayer than ever (making Broccoli so irate that when he hired Roger Moore for the follow-up, LIVE AND LET DIE, he ordered him, immediately, to "lose weight and get a haircut!")
Broccoli's instincts proved correct, as the comedy-oriented DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER would become one of 1971's biggest hits. Connery tossed off one-liners with ease, Jill St. John 'channeled' Lucille Ball in her performance as klutzy 'Tiffany Case', and Charles Gray would be sexually ambiguous rather than threatening as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. (His two henchmen would be gay, as well, and so caricatured that the homosexual community would protest the film). Loaded with car chases, fistfights, explosions, and gadgets, Bond 'purists' were appalled by the end product, but a successful new 'formula' had been created, one that would serve Roger Moore very well during his long tenure as 007.
And Sean Connery could buy his bank...
What more can I say about this film? For one,it is based on Ian Fleming's
classic novels featuring British Secret Service Agent James
Secondly,when this film was released in 1971,it would mark the final bow for actor Sean Connery as the suave secret agent-James Bond. And this was Connery's final performance as Bond is considered by some the best out of the series,which is second to other Bond classics but it holds its own brilliantly and the action is non-stop.......It has the plot of some stolen diamonds being used by a villain to take over the world and to used them as a laser beam set to control Earth,but it has.........
1. Bond in a Moon Buggy chase sequence in the middle of the desert.
2. Bond with a sex-kitten goddess-Jill St. John.
3. Bond up against his old arch nemesis-Ernest Blofeld of SPECTRE.
4. A chase scene through the streets of Las Vegas in a Mustang Mach V.
5. His encounters with two amazons-Bambi and Thumper.
6. Two Homosexual assassins set out to kill our beloved hero.
7. A funeral sequence where Bond is almost in constant peril where he is in a coffin about to be buried alive!
8. The scene by the oil rig out at sea where Bond must stop Blofeld in taking over the world where seconds rely on the fate of the world.
9. The addition of actor Jimmy Dean as a eccentric millionaire,yes that Jimmy Dean-the country singer and king of the country sausage empire.Oh yeah,lets not forget all of those incredible gadgets and electrifying stunts and feats of derring-do by James Bond.
10. The brilliant theme score by no other than the great John Barry and the theme song sung by the great Shirley Bassey.
However,Sean Connery would reprise the role of James Bond again...... 12 years later in "Never Say Never Again"-(1983). However,the next James Bond will mark the exit of Sean Connery and by entering a new actor in the role---Roger Moore for the next installment of the 007 series.
"Diamonds Are Forever" was really the best of the series with Sean Connery,but the best out of the Sean Connery era were....... "Doctor No"-(1962) "From Russia With Love"-(1963) "Goldfinger"-(1964) "You Only Live Twice"-(1967) THE WORST: "Thunderball"-(1965).
Money makes the world go around. Or at least that's what Sean Connery was
probably thinking when he agreed to make a return to the beloved role of 007
after announcing that "You only live twice" will be the last time he plays
the part of Bond. I'm pretty damn glad he took a closer look at that
generous bundle of bank notes and decided to change his mind. What made him
to do the unofficial "Never say never again" 12 years later is a whole
another story and I don't want to hear it.
George Lazenby's notorious performance in the role of James Bond in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was somewhat disappointing although the film was actually rather good and the bloke tried as hard as he could. Nevertheless the fact that the phenomenally charismatic Connery came back to show the moviegoers who's the one and only real Bond was more than pleasing. Unfortunately something is still missing here.
This was the first Bond movie of the new decade as well as Sean Connery's only 007 performance in the 1970's. Bond movies has always reflected their own time and that irresistible 60's feel of Connery's earlier Bond adventures is totally gone and replaced by Las Vegas glamour of the 70's. Not that I mind, I do love this one too. It's just that I do think good-old Connery was better in the spectacular 60's Bond classics like "Dr. No", "Goldfinger" and "You only live twice". Still, a stylish start to the second 007 decade.
Why all the bad vibes about this movie?
Sure this isn't the best of Bonds, but I find myself coming back to this one quite a few times.
I didn't like Jill St. John too much...even though I haven't seen OHMSS, I hated them having to pair up Bond with her after Diana Rigg. Her character was a bit too much of a bimbo.
This is the first Bond movie that I have seen Blofeld in; later I found out that Blofeld was in all the previous Bonds except "Dr. No" and "Goldfinger." He wasn't the creep that Donald Pleasance was.
When I first saw Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, those two characters REALLY gave me the creeps. I know some people find them as comic relief, but the two were pretty scary looking to me.
One gripe I have with this Bond movie is the scene where Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd put Bond in the coffin in the funeral parlor and try to cremate him alive. This was, in my opinion, a bit too creepy for a Bond movie.
This movie really had you guessing with the plot and all the diamonds being smuggled for unknwon reasons, but when the real reason came out, it was cool. I liked that laser satellite.
The scenes in Las Vegas have to be the best in the whole movie. It picks up when Bond goes to the Whyte House. It gave you a sense of good feeling inside afterward.
All in all, not a bad Bond flick. A good one, but not up there with "Goldeneye," "Goldfinger," "FRWL," "TSWLM," and "TND."
And some people are complaining about no tie-ins to OHMSS. I think the opening sequence well explains Bond's anger toward Blofeld (he even strangles a woman who Bond could fall in love with!).
*** out of ****
Often considered to be one of the worst Bond movies, and for good
reason. The whole film is just a lackluster effort. It's hard to
believe that this was directed by Guy Hamilton, the director of
"Goldfinger." By all means, after the end of "On Her Majesty's Secret
Service," it would have been appropriate to have a dark revenge story,
but we didn't get that. We instead got basically a comedy.
Sean Connery said "never again" after "You Only Live Twice," but after George Lazenby's less-than-well-received performance in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," they had to persuade Connery to come back for a large sum of money. It pains me to say this, but he shouldn't have come back, because he just isn't at his best in this movie. He just seemed completely bored the whole time (well, that's probably because he was).
Charles Gray is absolutely abominable as Blofeld. He is not Blofeld at all. Bring back Donald Pleasence or even Telly Savalas. Just thinking about Gray's Blofeld makes me want to hit something.
There are way too many silly elements to this film. Yes, it's ideal for a Bond film to have silly elements, but the best Bond films combined substance with that. This film has no such substance.
The action scenes lack the energy and tension of the best Bond films. Also, I find Jill St. John as Tiffany Case to be an unmemorable Bond girl.
That's not to say it's completely bad. The setting in Las Vegas is really lovely. Some of the jokes here and there are kind of funny, with the best jokes coming from Mr. Wint and Mr. Fib. I found them amusing, so sue me.
Most of the Bond films have a great theme song, and this film is no exception, this time by Shirley Bassey.
This is a thoroughly mediocre film, and pretty bad as far as Bond films go. This is easily the weakest Connery Bond film (excluding the unofficial Bond film, "Never Say Never Again), and one of the worst of the series overall. This is recommended only if you are a die-hard Bond fan and want to see every single film. Otherwise, I'd say skip it.
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