|Page 9 of 26:||               |
|Index||259 reviews in total|
It would take a stupid idiot to dare to say that Sean Connery is "wooden" as Bond and "much too old" at this point to be playing Bond. It should be obvious that this is not the case at all and he is for sure the best Bond ever! This movie is far from boring from the start. The story starts out with the British government suspecting a Diamond smuggling scheme. Of course they send James Bond out to investigate the case. He soon finds out that this is not any simple case when he finds out that Ernst Blofield, his arch nemesis, is behind it! Jill St John co stars as Tiffany Case the first American Bond girl. This movie is alot of fun and I hope that many other people enjoy it for years to come! 5 stars/ 5 stars
The return of Connery in a witty adventure more suitable for Moore. The beginning promises a great spell with the killing of Blofeld to revenge his wife´s dead. But after this it al goes downhill. Las Vegas isn't the place for Bond, okay it´s exciting but that doesn't make it a good setting for a Bondmovie. To say that Connery is looking too old is a joke because today he´s looking better than ever, so that's not the problem. Also the girls are looking fine in their top and the fighting scenes between Bond and the elastic black girls are entertaining. The final taking place at sea isn't so bad either. The music score is one of the best, especially the giant song by miss Bassey. I think its the high expectation of the return of Connery, which is not entirely fulfilled. 6 out of 10, because Bond can't be bad.
Sean Connery's one-shot return aside, this film really marks the beginning of the emphasis on lighthearted escapist fun that would typify the Roger Moore era of 007. While it's unfortunate that the script does not refer to Blofeld's murder of Bond's wife Tracy at the end of the previous film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" it's probably understandable that the producers wanted to avoid all possible references to George Lazenby's tenure. If one is willing to accept "Diamonds" according to the new formula, it succeeds brilliantly. Jill St. John is absolutely sexy as Tiffany Case and one of the best Bond girls of the series (though I wish Raquel Welch had done the part)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So Connery is back but if we're honest by this stage he was just too
old for the role, especially evident in the bathtub scenes. The real
star here is Charles Gray who is just magnificent as Blofeld, oozing
sinister charm and suave menace from every pore. Although most would
name the great Donald Pleasance as the definitive Blofeld (certainly
Mike Myers would think so) I think Gray is just superb in every way.
As for the rest well the gay hit men are certainly a novel twist on an old fashioned set of characters (Fleming's attitude to homosexuals was never good, check out Goldfinger for evidence). We have the great Ed Bishop in a small role but its' fried gold and another popular American character actor in Britain, Shane Rimmer popping up for his second appearance in the series (I wonder if he is supposed to be the same person as he portrayed in You Only Live Twice?).
The whole Willard White/Howard Hughes parallel is played extremely cleverly and I do love the line 'Ed, you're fired!'.
On the bad side another appallingly bad Bond girl, hate the way she cowers in the final fight scene. Plenty O'Toole's death is also extremely nasty in a typically Ian Fleming fashion. The inclusion of the team of Las Vegas hoods who looks as though they've just walked out of a production of 'Guys and Dolls' is truly an eye-opener, one of them will later recur as the assassin whom Tic-Tac hires to entertain Scaramanga at the beginning of 'The Man with the Golden Gun'.
Not a bad film at all but really Sean should have left it at this.
Having revisited the final canonical Sean Connery 007 film, DIAMONDS
ARE FOREVER, I have to admit that I was wrong. I don't necessarily hate
this movie, and I don't believe it's the worst Connery 007 movie in the
series. That said, it's still an incredibly weak entry and a low note
for Sean Connery's end to his official series run. After George Lazenby
and ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE didn't perform as well as the
studio had hoped (though it was still a success), their mission became
to replicate the massive success of GOLDFINGER through any means
necessary. All the signs are there: Sean Connery in the title role,
Shirley Bassey performing the main theme, James Bond returning to
America to unravel a complex bit of villainy, and a more toned down
film that discards a lot (but not all) of the over-the-top elements of
the previous films. The result is a tonally dull and overly complex
that, while mildly entertaining at times, is pretty unmemorable.
Following the events of the previous film, 007 concludes his worldwide
manhunt for SPECTRE leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld when he confronts him
and apparently kills him in a plastic surgery facility. From there, he
is called in to investigate a diamond smuggling ring out of South
Africa in which the diamonds have never resurfaced. When people in the
smuggling chain start turning up dead, Bond finds a point of contact in
Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) and poses as a smuggler to infiltrate the
In a sense, it was good to have Connery back in the title role. But any good will the movie has from that is soon dissolved once we get into the movie itself. From the very beginning, I felt we were off on the wrong foot when it's revealed that Charles Gray has stepped into the shoes of iconic villain Blofeld. I don't have anything against Gray (though the only other time I've seen him on film was as the short-lived MI6 contact Henderson in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) but he doesn't fit the Blofeld mold. The series had gone through a few Blofelds at this point and I'd always wished they'd chosen one actor (preferably Donald Pleasance) and run with him. So, a new Blofeld and it's Charles Gray. It didn't work for me but it could've been forgiven if the rest of the movie wasn't so flawed. Let's move on to Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. Bizarre as they were, my major complaint with them had to be the fact that Putter Smith (Mr. Kidd) can't act. This is because he's not an actor. It shows. His line delivery is awkward and lifeless, and it ruins any potential creepiness coming from Bruce Glover's Mr. Wint. Let's shift to some positive casting: the Bond women in this movie are some of the hottest. Jill St. John and Lana Wood are both gorgeous and, while Plenty O'Toole (Wood) is sort of annoying, Tiffany Case (St. John) could be considered one of the stronger Bond women of the earlier films. She's tough and independent, even if she doesn't know her associates well enough to know if she should truly trust them.
Oh, one more bit of bad casting: Jimmy Dean, country star/sausage guru, as business mogul Willard Whyte. Yup.
Now, I am happy that the movie attempted to tone down a lot of the over-the-top campiness of some of the more recent fare. No orbital space capsule hijackings, no phony rear projection bobsled chases, etc. The bulk of this movie handles itself with some class. Until the moon buggy chase. At one point, Bond is escaping from an industrial complex where they're filming some sort of moon landing and Bond commandeers the goofiest looking moon buggy you'll ever see, drives it through a wall, and goes bouncing off through the Nevada desert pursued by guards on strange little motor tricycles with balloon tires. As Bond careens around the desert a medium speeds, cars and motor tricycles go barreling out of control and launch off sand dunes by the guards who've apparently never operated a motor vehicle. I'm sorry, but this sequence (when combined with Wint and Kidd mostly Kidd) ruins any credibility the movie hoped to maintain. It doesn't do the movie any favors that the plot comes across as way more complex than necessary. Around the midpoint of the film, I totally lose track of who has the diamonds and where they're going and I don't regain my bearings until Bond busts into Whyte's top-floor penthouse.
DIAMONDS ARE FORVER isn't the worst 007 film but it's far from one of the best. It's decent entertainment at times but there's nothing here (aside from the moon buggy chase) that remained with me after the final credits rolled when I first saw the movie years ago. The entire final act, with an assault on an oil rig, is a dud. I'd completely forgotten all about it until I rewatched the film again not long ago. As the seventh film in the series, it gives the impression that the series began to lose some steam and the 007 hit machine might not be as invulnerable as it once seemed.
After On Her Majesty's Service Secret disappointed at the box-office,
despite revisionist reviews and viewers considered it one best and most
emotional Bond films, Sean Connery was begged to return to the series.
Diamonds Are Forever is his last official Bond film and the last
official Bond film to feature SPECTRE and Bond's nemesis, Ernst Stavro
Blofeld (unless you count the disgraceful cameo in For Your Eyes Only).
After a personal mission of vengeance for his decreed wife against Blofeld (Charles Gray), MI6's best agent, James Bond (Connery) is asked to investigate a diamond smuggling operation, leading him on a trial from South Africa, to Amsterdam and Las Vegas and taking on a funeral director, Las Vegas casinos, a billionaire tycoon and two gay hit men.
As well as the return of Connery, Guy Hamilton, the director of Goldfinger and Goldfinger's singer Shirley Bassey. Diamonds Are Forever starts off really strong as Bond beats up a lot of contacts to get to Blofeld, including strangling a woman with bikini top which was surprisingly dark. The fight in the film was early one in the film as a Bond fights a man in a lift: it was a tight, close quarters affair that was well choreographed and edited.
The first half of the film was the better half as it was a serious yet fun affair, featuring a decent enough plot and some down to earth gadgets. But as the film continued into Las Vegas Diamonds Are Forever becomes a more camper, light hearted affair. The setting, set design and the moon buddy chase basically become elements to be used in the first Austin Powers film. Diamonds Are Forever is a more comic, cheesy film, with emphasis on silly comedy and moments like Bond fighting two women called Bambi and Thumper and the portrayed of two flamboyant henchmen. Even the Bond girl, Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) starts off as a competent woman to becoming a ditzy idiot: it is a drastic character change. This was mainly because audiences at the time did not response well to a darker, more serious and sombre Bond that George Lazenby portrayed in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and it is only until Casino Royale that audiences have accepted a darker, grittier Bond.
Besides from Connery is has always been excellent as Bond, most of the cast were bad. Gray was okay as Blofeld, but he did not have the presence of Donald Pleasance or menace of Telly Savalas. Accept for the rest of the Bond regulars the cast was bad, St. John was a very bad actress, so was Lana Wood and Norman Burton was the worst actor to play Felix Leiter.
In terms of scale this Bond film is lacking; much of the action takes place in Las Vegas, limiting the scale non feel s very exotic and limiting the scope. The Las Vegas setting was basically an attempt to make the series appeal more to American audiences.
As a direct follow up to On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever is a disappointment for discarding the revenge storyline and focusing on a lighter story. But as a standalone Diamonds Are Forever is decent. It is better then other films in the series like Moonraker, The Man With the Golden Gun and Die Another Day. It's enjoyable enough, but not the most memorial film of the series.
*** 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.
Sean Connery's final Bond movie may not be his greatest, but it is
certainly very entertaining. Because Connery is an actor who's improved
as an actor the older he gets he still has a great deal of gravitas in
his final official Bond-outing, unlike his follower Roger Moore.
The film's plot is intriguing and fairly well written. The narrative moves at a nice pace. Action and dialogue are used in even intervals to make the movie flow naturally. The comedy is also not as cheesy as in most Bond films but it's really up to the viewer what sort of attitude they take to the film's comedic and gag moments. From a production side of things the film is quite excellent. Unfortunately the film has very much settled into a traditional James Bong-formula. The structure is rather predictable even if the variety of action keeps the film from becoming boring. Overall the film fails to achieve a serious tone and more or less caters to the needs of the early 70s Bond audiences which unfortunately means the plot loses any sort of serious weight.
However, despite its predictability, Diamonds are Forever is a fun and even a slightly self-parodying experience and definitely an entertaining movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The return of Sean Connery to E.O.N productions for "Diamonds Are
Forever" was a surprise. It is a lot of fun from beginning to end with
Sean Connery giving a great performance as Bond .
He seems to have mellowed and delivers the nifty one liners by Tom Mankiewicz in a subtly knowing way.
It seems to to be a more suave interpretation of Bond -- his voice is softer and therefore when he threatens he is much more of a lethal presence than before. There are action sequences with much more of a comic slant and Blofeld seems a lot more camp in Charles Gray's witty performance along with the very funny henchmen Mr Wint and Mr.Kidd.If this was the way the films were going I would love to have seen Sean Connery continue with the role.
|Page 9 of 26:||               |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||Newsgroup reviews||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|