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*** 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.
Fleming's novels were more than once accused of sadism by critics, fortunately in most cases, not much of that made it into the movies. "Diamonds Are Forever", though, has not only some scenes of very dark humor (for example when Plenty is thrown out of the window - and the killer "apologises" for her safe landing with the words "I didn't know there was a pool down there"), but regrettably also a few others that border on the tasteless. I am thinking of the way Bond disposes of the 2 killers on the cruise ship, or when he happily says he "sincerely hopes" Franks is dead - in these scenes, the audience gets the impression he actually enjoys killing people in interesting, painful ways which is a long way from the old-school type of hero that would kill only for self-defense or if it really can't be avoided. From the fantasy in "Goldfinger" and "You Only Live Twice", we are down to earth here which also shows in the locations that are not exotic, but plainly continental Europe (Amsterdam) and the USA. There even is a car chase scene which would fit into anything from "Smokey And the Bandit" to "Kojak", but for Bond it's below standard to trash a few cars. What I liked best: the escape with the moon car is funny and unusual, the 2 athletic ladies kicking Bond where it hurts were a novelty, and I liked Charles Gray as a villain with a good reason to attack Washington DC ("If we destroy Kansas, the world may not hear about it for years"). Instead of a little known Bond girl whose participation in a Bond is the only highlight of her career, this time we get to see an actress already known for her other movies: Jill St.John was a great choice for the part of Tiffany Case. Not one of the top 10 Bond movies, but "Diamonds Are Forever" still has a handful of good moments.
After a one-film hiatus, Connery returns for the seventh entry in the series, once again matching wits with nemesis Blofeld. Connery looks old and bored, which is not surprising given the rehashed plot and rather dreary action sequences. The pre-credit sequence reveals that Bond has also become alarmingly misogynistic. Rather than just shoot Bond and get it over with, Blofeld concocts elaborate plans to kill the agent, allowing the latter to escape to make another sequel. St. John gallantly carries on the tradition of lovely Bond women, doing much of her acting in a bikini. The final shootout goes on much too long and ends in a whimper.
"Diamonds are Forever" is insulting on so many levels. First it throws
away the opportunity it had to capitalize on the brilliantly brutal and
genuinely sad ending to the excellent previous Bond entry, "On Her
Majesty's Secret Service", by basically making a joke (several jokes,
actually) out of it, and reducing Bond once again to a wisecracking,
ultra-suave cartoon character. Then, for the rest of the film it's one
cheesy line after the other. Did the screenwriters even bother to work
This is without question the hokiest of the Connery Bond films. It's just not funny at all, and features a monstrosity of a plot which is utterly ludicrous from start to finish. Is there anything here besides ultra dumb 'science fiction' and inconceivably lame jokes, and not in the charming way much of the sexual punning in the better entries come off, just overly silly and bad comedy.
Well, Sean Connery is back, but this is nowhere near the quality of his past performances (I even liked his often criticized turn in "You Only Live Twice). As a matter of fact, he just sleepwalks through the whole movie, and seems awfully cheery for a guy who lost his wife not all that long ago. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" earned more than $500 million internationally when adjusted for inflation, which shows that people did generally enjoy it in spite of the negative media surrounding Lazenby's (admittedly idiotic) idea to quit the role. So why did the writers and producers choose to dumb the next entry down to a point where the hardly intellectual "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" looks like an avant-garde masterpiece of philosophical film-making in comparison?
"Diamonds are Forever" is seriously, seriously dumb and obviously made for adolescents or those with an adolescent mindset. Hell, the premise is that Blofeld wants to build a giant laser satellite with diamonds. There's also an obvious increase in nudity and sex here, which I wouldn't mind if it wasn't so obviously and haphazardly shoehorned into the movie to draw crowds, which again begs the question of why the producers thought the movie needed that considering the financial success of the previous entry.
Dumbed down and sexed up, "Diamonds are Forever" is a poor send-off for Connery, who barely shows any interest in the role at all in his final performance before "Never Say Never Again", but THAT is a whole other story.
*** 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.
After George Lazenby coughed up one turn in the role of James Bond, the
producers managed to woo Sean Connery back to part one last time (sort
of) in Diamonds are Forever. However, unfortunately Connery's send off
isn't his strongest. Diamonds are Forever is, along with You Only Live
Twice and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, a serviceable, but not
spectacular, Bond film. It is entertaining at times, but also feels
weak and worn occasionally, not really rising above the average.
Diamonds are Forever finds 007 tracking down Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Charles Gray, the third, and ostensibly final, actor to play the part) to exact revenge for the death of his wife at the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. After taking care of that business, he is given a new assignment: crack a diamond smuggling ring that is transporting diamonds from Africa to America. Time is of the essence, as the various members of the ring are being killed off one by one, and Bond must try to infiltrate the operation before it completely shuts down. He takes the identity of one of the smugglers and meets up with Tiffany Case (Jill St. John), one of the last stops on the trail and ends up transporting the diamonds to Las Vegas, where it appears the smuggling has been orchestrated by the reclusive millionaire Willard Whyte (Jimmy Dean) who plans to use the diamonds in a orbital device that will allow him to hold the world hostage.
Diamonds are Forever does benefit from the bonus of having Connery back in the role after sitting On Her Majesty's Secret Service out, and he is in decent form as Bond, with plenty of snappy one liners to deliver with his usual deft charm, but by this point the Bond series had begun a slide into a realm of self-mockery that would become disastrous in a few more films, and while Diamonds are Forever is a still serious enough to have some weight to it, you can see the start of a bad trend for the Bond films. The Bond girl here, Tiffany Case, is a bit of ditz as well, not really up to the level of some of the classics. St. John is somewhat memorable in the role, her performance isn't bad, but the character as a whole is relatively lower grade compared to Tracy or Pussy Galore.
Diamonds are Forever also features relatively little in the way of standout action. Sure, there are some chases and fight scenes, but nothing to really take your breath away. It is all rather pedestrian stuff, hardly capable of quickening your pulse. Diamonds are Forever does feature some entertaining henchmen in the form of Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith) and Mr. Wynt (Bruce Glover) who prove to be amusing when on screen, although nowhere near as intimidating and Oddjob or Fiona Volpe. Villain-wise, Charles Grey is not the strongest Blofeld of the series, Pleasance was still the best, so you hardly feel much dislike for him.
When James Bond is at its best, it can prove to be an enormously entertaining romp. Here, when it seems to just be going through the motions and not really hitting any high notes, it can serve as a mildly entertaining lark, but nothing too memorable. Connery's last "official" appearance as the character ends up just producing an "Eh."
(Do not read if you have not seen the previous film, "On your majesty's
secret service". You may have things from that film spoiled.) Sean
Connery makes his return as James Bond. 007 takes a holiday to avenge
his wife and kills Blofeld. He returns to MI6, just in time to be
assigned the recovery of some diamonds that are being dealt illegally,
and who's the head behind this. Passing out as a German (for which he
is aided by Moneypenny dressed as an officer), Bond meets a woman who
gives him the diamonds. He must take them to the United States of
America. Once there, he gets in the usual sort of trouble with all sort
By then in his early 40s, Connery looks (from my view) aged. Though his return as Bond, after Lazenby quitted, was the obvious choice (however much money he was paid), I think they should have picked someone else. He manages, but... I don't know... he has the charm to play Bond, but he is by now not physically, I'm inclined to say The film is fine up to a certain degree. The Bond girls look fine as usual ("Hi, I'm Plenty" "Of course you are"), and the bad guy is up to the circumstances as usual. Not much else to say, except a mention or a small moment of thought about James' dead wife could have been good for the film.
This is not Connery's best work as Bond but him at his worst is still better than the others with exception to Brosnan. Connery is the best bond by far but I think he was tired of the role and only came back for the large pay check he was set to get. This movie was not horrible that was left for TMWGG and Moonraker. So if you are expecting Connery at his best don't watch but if you want to watch a average bond film watch and enjoy.
After more than 30 years, Las Vegas still feels the impact of this movie. The Nevada Film Office, headquartered in Las Vegas, still receives the occasional call from a visitor asking where is the hotel in which James Bond played "craps" with Plenty O'Toole? It has an amazing resiliency that has lasted for decades, and one of the most famous car stunt continuity flubs ever seen in a major motion picture -- with a stunt car going into an alley up on one angle and exiting the narrow space facing the other way! Although it was caught and covered with an "explaining" shot before general release, just exactly WHERE in that alley did James find room to flip the car over? Bravo and kudos to Sean Connery and all involved with the James Bond franchise, for creating a unique Bond installment that stands alone in much of its tongue-in-cheek humor, sarcasm, double entendre, and overall sense of fun in the Grownup Playground of the World: Las Vegas, Nevada. How impressive it is that this particular Bond movie endures and entertains viewers to such a notable degree after thirty-plus years!
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