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Mr. Kidd: If God had wanted man to fly...
Mr. Wint: ...He would have given him wings, Mr. Kidd.
----------Main Cast ----------
Sean Connery as James Bond:
Jill St. John as Tiffany Case:
Charles Gray as Ernst Stavro Blofeld: .
Jimmy Dean as Willard Whyte:
Bruce Glover as Mr. Wint and Putter Smith as Mr. Kidd:
Diamonds Are Forever sees James Bond (Sean Connery) return for one last (official) outing to uncover a diamond smuggling operation. After adopting the identity of Peter Franks, Bond journeys to Amsterdam where he meets Miss Tiffany Case. He travels from Amsterdam to Las Vegas with the diamonds and soon uncovers a plot headed by none other than his arch enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld. With the help of ludicrously camp Mr Wint and Mr Kidd, Blofeld hopes to end the life of Bond and hatch his dastardly plan.
Managing to entice Connery back to the Bond series was a massive coup for the producers who were already looking for other possible actors to fill the role. Batman's Adam West and Michael Gambon were all in the line for the top gig, but Connery was brought back for the astronomical fee of £1.2 million pounds and was also given the chance to make some pet projects such as The Offence with Sidney Lumet ( see my review!)
Diamonds Are Forever attempted to recreate the glory days of Connery's early days of Bond, but comes across as a mediocre 80's band back after twenty years in the wilderness.
The brilliant magnetic pal device that lets Q win on every one-armed bandit on Vegas. Amazingly this device has been invented, but I can't see why its been made for the purpose of spying!
John Barry again returns with a cracking score for Diamonds Are Forever. The weird Mr Wint and Mr Kidd get some excellent and stark themes as they go about their deadly business. Shirley Bassey returns for her second theme with the sleazy title song, John Barry admitted recently that he asked Miss Bassey to imagine singing about a penis (touch it, stroke it and undress it?!).
Blofeld: Right idea, Mr. Bond...
Bond: ...But wrong pussy.
Diamonds Are Forever really doesn't have that great a reputation in Bond circles. It was recently voted the third worst Bond film after Die Another Day and The Man With The Golden Gun, but is it really as bad as that?
Diamonds Are Forever attempts to recreate the success of Goldfinger by employing many of the same members of that production for this film. It was first mooted to be a direct sequel to Goldfinger with the main bad guy being Auric Goldfinger's brother back for retribution. Guy Hamilton returned, as did Shirley Bassey for the main theme.
And then there's Connery. Returning from the 007 wasteland, Connery plays it almost entirely for laughs. While it's great to see the best Bond back for one last (almost) film as 007, it comes out as a totally different film to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. OHMSS ended on a real downer which was great for the series - here Bond instantly starts decking some losers in the hunt for Blofeld. There's no emotion in his performance , its entirely done for laughs and some cheap one liners. While its great to have him back, it does seem like a bit of a cop-out after the clever direction that the previous film started to take the series.
The action scenes are good, but not great. The best among them is the chase across the desert in the moon buggy and the final shoot-out on the oil rig at the end of the film. Gone are the massive craters and hollowed out volcanoes - here we've got an abandoned oil rig as our villains hideout (cop-out more like!)
Mr Wint and Mr Kidd are probably the strangest and most outrageous Bond villains ever. They are a very clever creation expertly played by Bruce Glover and Putter Smith and are the best thing about Diamonds Are Forever. They both have a brilliant on screen chemistry and certainly out-perform Charles Gray as the main villain, Blofeld.
Gray's Blofeld is a quaint English gent (bizarrely with hair after two slapheads in previous films). I didn't really enjoys Gray's performance as Blofeld at all and the interplay between Connery and him is poor considering he has just killed his beloved wife in the previous film.
While no means a bad film, Diamonds Are Forever comes across a rather cheap looking James Bond film and really doesn't do Connery much justice in his last (almost) Bond film. However, it does set the tone for the next brace of Bond films with Roger Moore which had a much more tongue in cheek approach.
Diamonds Are Forever is a entertaining romp through Las Vegas and Amsterdam and includes some clever and original elements such as Mr Wint and Mr Kidd. It just does not quite gel properly and is never as good as the excellent OHMSS.
I look forward as we move into the Roger Moore era which if I remember rightly contained some real classics (The Spy Who Loved Me) and some real stinkers (Moonraker).
We shall see!
Current ratings from adambrown400
Dr. No: 4 dooyoo stars
From Russia With Love 5 dooyoo stars
Goldfinger: 5 dooyoo stars
Thunderball 3 dooyoo stars
You Only Live Twice 4 dooyoo stars
On Her Majesty's Secret Service 5 dooyoo stars
Diamonds Are Forever 3 dooyoo stars
After George Lazenby quit as Bond, the producers had to work quickly to find a replacement. Sean Connery was the only man they could think of in the panic, and they gave him the golden deal to make him come back. $1,200,000 +12.5% of the profits, earning him at least $5,000,000 (approx $26 million in todays' money at least). So, back came Connery and along came Diamonds are Forever.
Diamonds are forever marked a change from the way the Bond films were written, acted and directed. Before, they had been serious and at moments gritty. For the first time, the Bond films became a little more camp in their way, (something that would continue with Roger Moore). The result is an interesting mix that is entertaining, but is different.
Bond is on a vendetta following the murder of his wife and searches out Blofeld (this time played by Charles Gray). He finds Blofeld, and 'kills him'.
After killing 'Blofeld', he returns to Britain and is given his next mission. There is a a diamond smuggling operation of such large proportions that it could wreck the economy. So Bond sets off to find out what's happening, assuming the identity of a diamond smuggler and meeting 'Tiffany Case', the Bond girl. Moving the diamonds to America, he goes to a crematorium (watch out for the diamond shaped window) and is nearly killed. He continues to try and find out who is behind all this, and traces the leads to a tycoon called Willard Whyte (based entirely upon reclusive tycoon Howard Hughes, who was a friend of the producer Albert Broccoli). Bond then discovers that Whyte has been kidnapped and in fact Blofeld is still alive and planning to use the diamonds as a laser in space. Bond sets out to stop him, leading to a thrilling climax on an offshore oil rig. And let's not forget the bizarre henchmen in this film, Mr Kidd and Mr Wint, who are always killing people in rather innovative ways, whilst making humerus observations.
This is a good film, but not one of the best. There are some wonderful action scenes, and some sparkling dialogue at times. But the added seventies camp feeling does take away the sharpness the previous Bond films had. Charles Gray as Blofeld was another great bit of casting, but it doesn't make sense because Charles Gray isn't bald, where are both Telly Savalas and Donald Pleasance were.
Overall, a good film, but not a great one. Still worth watching though.
Bond review #1
Taking inspiration from fellow dooyooers. I will attempt to work through the Bond catalogue, from Auric - Zorin (A-Z... did you see what I did there?). This will be inspirational based. I.e. it will take me many months to complete, and many months to draw enough inspiration to review the yawn-fest that is From Russia with Love.
I do consider myself a bond fan, a bond connoisseur even and with a mis-spent youth behind me, I have watched them enough times to quote every baddy monologue, every Bond one liner, and ever Roger Moore gentleman's triple (3 lots of one liners in succession).
Logic would suggest reviewing chronologically, or auto biographically (in order of preference). But logic isn't writing them. I am. I will start with Diamonds Are Forever. Why this one? Because it is the one I loathe the most. In theory I should love it as it was the first bond film I ever saw as a youngster, and for a while it quite possibly might have been my favourite. But since my film repertoire expanded from Smokey and the Bandit 1, 2 & 3, I have also grown up in my opinion of what is good and bad.
100 WORD SYNOPSIS
Bond finally dispatches Blofeld... or does he? Because a new terrorist movement is operating behind the enterprises of a US business mogul called Willard White. Bond gets involved as he picks up the trail of an international diamond smuggling ring, crossing from Europe to America, only to learn the diamonds are being used for a catastrophic purposes than just moody jewellery. Can Bond solve the mystery behind the mogul, save the world from terrorist extortion (again), rid the world of villainy (again), ever be in a monogamous relationship? And can we ever take Blofeld seriously again after he crossdresses? 99 words. I rule.
It's not the most ridiculous Bond plot of the series (Tomorrow Never Dies has to be up there for starting WW3 for newspaper ratings). What let the story down were the special effects of the climax. The world being held ransom should be menacing, chilling, evocative of the cold war. This should be better backed up than explosions which have been made by a child's chemistry set. There is a sequence whereby a nuclear submarine together with a missile launch site are blown up by the terrorist 'death ray' and they first glow crimson, then the camera pulls back to the horizon, where a cloud of steam (yes, steam) erupts in the far distance and a party popper is pulled for sound effects.
BOND, JAMES BOND
For starters, Sean Connery is back. But not in a good way. In my opinion, he peaked in his role as Bond in Goldfinger. He became slightly over cocky in Thunderball, and although a good film, you can see his heart was less and less in it by the time You Only Live Twice (YOLT) comes around. A George Lazenby entry of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (OHMSS), and the ensuing failure at the box office, translated to Connery being once again approached to don the tuxedo and Walther PPK. Obviously the big $$ signs were flashed but both Connery and the studio made a mistake. First of all to take Bond's appearance. I realise that heavy burners were the fashion of the 70's but James Bond should not be sporting a pair. He is a gentleman spy. On this note, James Bond should not have a tattoo on his forearm. See earlier reasoning. These lack of consistency were evocative of the whole film and contributed to the shabbyness that this movie portrayed. Here's a factoid. Burt Reynolds was originally lined up for this film as Bond. Not sure how that would have gone down. Bond defiantly did not have a cowboy muzzer.
Tiffany Case (Jill St John), the main female encounter is a weak choice of Bond girl. Supposedly the mastermind of an international diamond smuggling ring, but to be honest her performance struggled to convince she could smuggle a diamond ring into a scout hut, let alone across borders. Her delivery of lines is fairly bland, her action scenes are weak and her screen presence is very underwhelming. The other bond girl Plenty 'O Toole, only serves as a vehicle for a cheap bit of innuendo wordplay on her name. Fnarr. Again a very unconvincing portrayal.
VILLANS & HENCHMEN
Moving on to the rest of the cast; Charles Grey as Blofeld. Again a major inconsistency of Blofelds. I realise the need and applaud the effort to vary the Blofeld character, but Donald Pleasance's menacing presence in YOLT, to Terry Salavas slightly disturbing Blofeld in OHMSS was a more convincing transformation... at least they TRIED to inject a bit of consistency into it i.e. the baldness! Yeah, yeah plastic surgery storyline. Bit of a let down if you ask me. Aside of consistency, he was a very weak super-villan; no screen presence, just came across as a smarmy, angry man who has terrible people management skills. And he crossdresses.
This film I think has to be where the parody Austin Powers draws its most inspiration from. The climatic battle at the baddy's lair has a ridiculous amount of hapless henchman dressed in bright orange clown boots, blue overalls, bright orange builders helmets and bright orange cummerbunds. Subtle. Blofeld must have hired in Gok Wan on LSD to design the henchman outfits. There is also the loyal to death count down announcer (with German accent) who even after the lair explodes is loyally announcing instructions or just plain commentary in that monotone command voice. The whole film reeks of cliché - far more than those before or after it.
The only saving grace for the villain side are the main henchmen of Mr Kidd & Mr Wint who are very interesting and unique additions. I think they represent the first and last openly gay henchmen. Despite this, they are the least camp aspects of this film, and portray genuine menace, coming across as genuine, ruthless assassins. Even if they do place Bond in an easily escapable, over elaborate situation without actually watching him die - instead of just killing him. The fatal flaw of all Bond villans.
CAR & GADGETS
Following the flop of OHMSS especially in the US market, this film was largely focussed on regaining the American viewer. Hence it is set largely in the US, and hence it has a Ford Mustang as the main Bond Vehicle, that and a lunar escape buggy (hot off the back of the US Moon landings of that era). The latter is a little far fetched if decisively unique to the Bond series. In terms of gadgetery, Bond actually relies less on Q branch this film, to which is refreshing to see bond return to his routes, I guess you could class the diamond laser as a gadget (although scientifically incorrect as you can't make a laser from a diamond, especially not multiple diamonds). The "laser" is controlled from earth by a cassette tape. It is important to ensure that when introducing technology into films that it can stand the test of time (i.e. the tracking device in Goldfinger - it looks dated, but the technology still gets a nod). One would readily imagine Blofeld's control panel would constantly spit the tape out, having chewed it up, requiring it to be wound back up with a ball point pen.
Shirley Basseys 2nd out of 3 Bond theme tunes, The aptly named "Diamonds Are Forever". Although this is one of my least favourite bond films, this does rank up there amongst my favourite tunes. It is a wonderfully charismatic piece, with a 'sleazy' bass line running throughout, The wailing vocals of Dame Shirley top it off.
FILM & PLOT: 2/10
THEME SONG: 7/10
1971 sees Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger) return to the series as director for Diamonds Are Forever. After it became apparent that George Lazenby wouldn't appear as 007 again, the search was on to fill the void. Many actors were tested but after much deliberation, the producers decided to go after Sean Connery again. They saw this film as a way to re-launch the series in America and with most of the action set there, it seemed to make sense to go for the hugely popular Connery. After a huge incentive (a fee of £1.2million for Connery to set up the "Scottish International Education Trust" for up and coming actors), Connery was persuaded to once again don the tuxedo and utter the famous words, "The name's Bond..........James Bond".
The pre-titles sequence sees Bond apparently finishing off Blofeld (played by Charles Gray in this film) and believing all his SPECTRE problems are over. After the titles we see Bond with M discussing a Diamond smuggling plot and 007 is asked to pose as smuggler Peter Franks and travel to Amsterdam to learn more about this diamond deal. After a confrontation with Franks himself, Bond meets up with his contact Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) and they must arrange the shipment of the diamonds. Once in America, Bond is helped by his old friend Felix Leiter (Norman Burton) and gains knowledge of a man named Willard Whyte (Jimmy Dean), a wealthy Las Vegas business man with involvement in many practices across the city. After learning that the diamonds are being used to build a satellite that can be used as a laser from outer space, Bond decides to meet with Whyte. However, Blofeld lives on and is impersonating Whyte in order to use his business empire and complete the laser. Whyte is being held captive and after Bond learns of his location, he can go about stopping Blofeld. Throughout 007's journey, he is followed by Mr Wint (Bruce Glover) and Mr.Kidd (Putter Smith), a pair of henchmen that are not like your usual assassins. Well-educated and well groomed, they are very menacing and dangerous. After Blofeld holds the world to ransom under the threat of facing his laser's power, Bond is in a race to stop him and save the world from SPECTRE domination.
After his 4 year mini-retirement from Bond, Connery returns to "his" role. However, he looks a little bit greyer and older and only just gets away with coming back to Bond. The beginning of the film welcomes him back nicely and his discussions with M and Q are as they always have been, witty and with Bond always trying to come out on top! The scene in the lift with Peter Franks shows Connery still throws a great punch and he manages to show great intensity and urgency in the scenes at the crematorium and in the underground pipe system. His meeting with Blofeld is civil and he conducts himself with great pride. I always enjoy Bond's meetings with the villain. You would think he would go in all guns blazing but he conducts himself perfectly and uses these moments to learn more of the evil plans. Jill St. John as Tiffany Case is the first American Bond girl in the series. She is originally part of the smuggling ring but when realises how much trouble she's in, she turns to Bond to help her. She's very confident in herself and you get the impression that she would position herself on either side as long as she stays safe. Case is pretty unmemorable as a Bond girl and certainly not one of the most intriguing girls we meet in the series. Charles Gray (who played Henderson in You Only Live Twice), does quite well as Blofeld. For me, he does a better job than Telly Savalas but is well short of Donald Pleasence' performance. For me, the storyline featuring Blofeld and his "voice-changing machine" is a little far fetched and the idea of Blofeld dressing in drag to escape capture was a little surprising! I think Gray could have done better with a better storyline but he still has some nice scenes and snappy dialogue. Q doesn't have a massive role, but he is seen trying out his new invention in the casinos in Las Vegas. M and Moneypenny provide their usual help and its great to see Sean Connery with Bernard Lee again. Their relationship has grown over the films and their conversations are a highlight for me. Other memorable performances come from Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd who play the assassins employed by Blofeld. Their strange demeanour is new to the series and their methods are also pretty unique. The use of a scorpion and funeral cremator live long in a Bond fans memory.
Guy Hamilton was brought back to the series to kick-start the series again with a "Goldfinger"-like film. However, he doesn't quite hit the high notes that he hit in 1964. I think the story could have been better and for me there is a little bit too much camp comedy. The ending is slightly unsatisfactory for me, with no real ending for Blofeld (although i'm sure the makers would have wanted to keep the Blofeld storyline open ended). However, that's not to say that this is a disaster. The fight scene in the lift is expertly shot and he manages to portray great danger and tension in some other scenes. The car chase in Las Vegas is also a highlight. Ken Adam returns to the series as production designer and his great sets return with him. Blofeld's/ Whyte's penthouse suite gives the lavish look but also the familiar SPECTRE feel from previous films. Shirley Bassey returns to sing her second Bond theme, "Diamonds Are Forever". It's a great song , once again written by John Barry. He manages to get the visual sparkle of a diamond represented in the score somehow and this is one of his best soundtrack's. Once again he uses the music as a character. For example the music that accompanies the scenes with Wint and Kidd makes the viewer know that they are dangerous men and it all adds to the detail of the film.
Overall, its not one of Connery's best Bond movies. Although it did well at the box-office, its's not that fondly remembered by Bond experts. But it did give everyone the chance to see "THE" James Bond return. Not helped by a weak storyline, Connery still manages to show that he is 007 and others would have to work hard to make the role their own. The search for a new Bond was on.........
The film which closed the Connery era is the film where humour took a strong hold and overpowered the feel of the movie. Connery is back for one last outing but looks tired as Bond and appears to be going through the motions.
Diamond smuggling and out of space antics are the order of the day and the plot is fairly proficient and intriguing. There are however some negative elements. The Bond girl, played by Jill StJohn is clumsy and thick and she does not suit the film very well. Blofeld is portaryed by Charles Gray; he really is far too witty and charming to be a lead baddie and is not half as convincing as Pleasance's Blofeld.
The film does have some fine henchmen in the form of Mr Wint and Mr Kidd, two devilishly handsome chaps who are menacing and deadly and smart.
There are some decent action scenes and an amusinf scene where Blofeld is in drag. A Bond film well worth a peek
In 1970 the producers of the James Bond series had to find a new 007 sooner than expected when George Lazenby - on the advice of an agent who he probably felt like shooting later - quit the franchise after only one film. Director Guy Hamilton made the case for Burt Reynolds to step into Lazenby's shoes but Reynolds wasn't tall enough according to Cubby Broccoli. Eventually it was another American actor - John Gavin - who signed to become the third James Bond. Gavin was best known for playing Sam Loomis in Psycho and a Bondish spy in O.S.S 17 Double Agent. Studio United Artists however were not thrilled at the prospect of Gavin. They hadn't been that happy with Lazenby and felt a second risky choice in a row would not help the series flourish. They decided to go after the original James Bond Sean Connery. Connery had fallen out with the Bond producers and not played the role - of which he'd tired - for four years. To entice him back United Artists were required to pay a then unheard of fee of $1.25 million (which Connery gave to charity), support two film projects of Connery's choice and also pay the actor for any overrun in the weekly shooting schedule. With this then sensational deal completed a slightly older and pudgier Connery returned to play James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever - a film that would reunite him with Goldfinger director Guy Hamilton.
What is the plot of Diamonds Are Forever you ask? The plot of Diamonds Are Forever is all over the place with one or two holes but essentially revolves around diamond smuggling. The British Secret Service notice that someone is building a vast collection of the world's diamonds and send James Bond to investigate why they keep disappearing. The trail leads 007 to American millionaire Willard Whyte and, of course, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. But how are these two men connected and why do any of them need all of these diamonds anyway?
Diamonds Are Forever has been described as the first Roger Moore James Bond film and I think there is some truth to this observation. Although Diamonds Are Forever is quite offbeat at times with a very atmospheric score by John Barry that is a major strength, it is also quite jovial in tone. There is a lot more humour in this one in contrast to previous entries. The previous film - On Her Majesty's Secret Service - had, through the influence of director Peter Hunt, presented a very tough but human and vulnerable Bond played by young newcomer George Lazenby. In Diamonds Are Forever Bond is very much an unflappable dandy who doesn't take any of the scrapes he finds himself in too seriously. The film is cerainly good fun but suffers a little in comparison with the previous entry in the series. Compared to OHMSS it does seem a bit lightweight.
One of my problems with Diamonds Are Forever is that I - and I'm not sure if this an eccentric view or not - would have prefered the film to be directed by Peter Hunt and feature Lazenby's Bond on a revenge mission agaisnt Blofeld. That said, what is good and bad about Diamonds Are Forever?
The good would have to feature Sean Connery. He has far too easy a time here and looks like he's enjoying himself a lot (Who wouldn't with the deal he got!) but it's fun nonetheless to see him back in the role. He's a bit older with flecks of grey but still suave with a wonderful dry delivery to handle the jokes that the script sends his way. He has a good pre-credit sequence where he strangles a woman with a bikini and beats up several shady looking characters looking for Blofeld. The sequence - understandably as Lazenby is gone - never quite divulges if Bond is looking for Blofeld because of the events of OHMSS but it's a stylish and quite iconic reintroduction to Connery when the Bond theme kicks in.
Shirly Bassey's song is a strong one with a good title sequence by Maurice Binder too.
Bruce Glover as Mr. Wint and Putter Smith as Mr. Kidd, homosexual hit men working for Blofeld, are a distinctly strange yet interesting addition to the cast. I'm not sure that you could get away with stereotypical camp characters like this today but they have some good moments as they knock-off diamond smugglers with scorpions and share litle nuggets of wisdom with one another. "Curious," says Mr Wint. "How everyone who touches those diamonds seems to die." They also have a funny final confrontation with Bond. Charles Gray camps it up as Blofeld even resorting to drag at one point! He perhaps lacks the menance of previous Blofelds but his sarcastic delivery is very amusing and he's given some good dialogue. "If we destroy Kansas the world may not hear about it for years," he says to a scientist. Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole supplies perhaps the most famous one-liner in the film, delivered by Connery.
There is a fun sequence that involves Bond escaping from Willard Whyte's Nevada Lab in a moon buggy and also a car chase through Las Vegas that features a famous continuity error. Diamonds Are Forever is part of that (much missed) era when each Bond film used to end with a spectacular battle sequence that found 007 in the middle of all sorts of mayhem. The climax here, on an oil rig, is ok but perhaps not quite as satisfying as the climaxes of OHMSS and The Spy Who Loved Me or some other vintage Bonds. Bond arrives at the oil rig in typical fashion: "Good morning, gentlemen. ACME pollution inspection. We're cleaning up the world, we thought this was a suitable starting point."
The main strength of the film is the humour and there are some witty lines in the film for Bond and Blofeld. Asked if he prefers blondes or brunettes Bond replies that he doesn't mind as long as the "collar and cuffs match" and in another scene Bond pretends to have a brother. A mortuary assistant tells Bond he has a brother too. "Small world," deadpans Connery under his breath. This is also the film where Bond ends up being buried in an underground pipeline. His escape and reaction to daylight is very cinematic James Bond. There is also a good fight sequence in a lift.
What doesn't work so well in Diamonds Are Forever? The plot is a bit vague and takes a while to get going. The predominantly American locations don't give the film the greatest atmosphere and it subsequently lacks the varied locales of other Bond films. The Las Vegas scenes for example while glitzy and fun start to become a bit samey after a while as Bond walks through casinos and crowds. Jill St John as Tiffany Case is not the best actress ever and grows a little tiresome with her wisecracks ("Go blow up your pants!"). St John is a distinct step down from Diana Rigg. The effects are somewhat mixed in terms of quality and Blofeld's masterplan doesn't actualy make much sense when you think about it. One other quibble is Norman Bunton's unmemorable and bland Felix Leiter. Thankfully though, M, Q and Moneypenny are all here in their original and classic forms and all have a good moment in the film. Bernard Lee's look of mild exasperation when Bond proves to be an expert on Sherry near the start of the film is classic.
So overall, Diamonds Are Forever is fun and a colourful romp but not quite classic Bond. My attention drifts in a few places whenever I watch it and there some more obvious flaws than usual in terms of its plot and casting. The wit inherent in the script, John Barry's score and some nice set-pieces save it from being one of the weaker entries in the series. Plus of course Connery, who, though he looks older than (the older in real life) Roger Moore did when he later took the role in 1973, is still a joy to watch in what would be his last official appearance as James Bond.
Diamonds Are Forever is flawed but still fun.
On this Special Edition you get a good package of extras but you'd be better off with the Ultimate Edition where you'll get everything included here but also some new exclusive stuff.
Extras include 'Inside Diamonds Are Forever', trailers, TV spots, Deleted Footage, a feature on Cubby Broccoli. Trst Reel, and an interactive guide to the film.
After Sean Connery quit the role of James Bond, we saw George Lazenby give a performance as the agent in On Her Majesty's Secret Service that was true to Fgleming's literary character: hard hitting and vulnerable, with a bit of a mean streak. While this was good to see from a die hard fan's point of view, it proved less entertaining, and for the next Bond film in 1971, Diamonds Are Forever, Mr. Charisma Sean Connery came back for one more film before passing the mantle over to Roger Moore.
With revenge on the mind as much as stopping the international crime lord, James Bond once again faces his nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Anxious to stop a diamond smuggling ring, Bond is sent to Vegas to pose as a diamond dealer, where he faces the deadly pairing of killers Mr Wint and Mr Kidd, Blofeld's associates, as well as the two female minders, Bambi and Thumper. Whilst there, Bond uncovers Blofeld's plot to create a diamond laser positioned in space, where he can hold the world to ransom. Armed with a host of gadgets from Q and equipped with a whole load of double entendres of his own, Bond faces possibly his toughest mission yet.
The Cast and Performances
Sean Connery looks a lot older as Bond, but it still does not detract from his performance. The only negative I have is that there is less of the 'real' Bond that we saw in O.H.M.S.S. from Lazenby, and Connery has turned Bond back into a happy go lucky cheeky agent. Charles Gray takes the role of Blofeld, and does okay, though neither he nor Telly Savalas came close to the excellent Donald Pleasance in the role.
Putter Smith and Bruce Glover are excellently chilling and eerie as the two killers Mr Kidd and Mr Wint. Bond girls this time around are Jill St John as Tiffany Case and Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole. Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewellyn and Lois Maxwell return as M, Q and Miss Moneypenny. The remainder of the cast give good support.
I have two views. If I were to ignore the previous Bond films, and was not looking for this to conform to the mould, and just watching a stand alone film, I would love this, especially the tongue in cheek from the cast. However, I cannot break away from the Bond mould as it was intended, and thus Connery, who is obviously having fun, knowing this would be his last foray into EON's Bond films, gives the secret agent a different personality.
Lazenby would probably have still been Bond were it not for his after-production antics and the demand for more money for the role, but Connery is the ultimate Bond - there is no taking that away. Director Guy Hamilton has done very well with the scenery - Vegas and its surroundings are perfect for such a film. I enjoyed this film, but it didn't have enough of the hard Bond image I like so much.
Good return for Connery to Bond, but not my favourite.
The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £4.39.
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Diamonds Are Forever ==================== Play Movie ========== Having Bond dispatch perennial villain Blofeld (Charles Gray) in the pre-credits sequence, the plot turns to a diamond smuggling operation and follows the efforts of two professional hit men, Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) and Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith), as they proceed to close down the smuggling 'pipeline'. 007 replaces one of the diamond couriers on the route and becomes involved with the next link, Tiffany Case (Jill St. John), as the trail moves from Amsterdam to Las Vegas. Ultimately, the diamonds are being used for a more lethal purpose than their decorative nature, and the late Mr. Blofeld is, perhaps, not so late... Special Features ================ Inside Diamonds Are Forever --------------------------- (30 mins) Narrated by Patrick Macnee. Interviews with actor Jill St. John, actor Trina Parks, screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, director Guy Hamilton, actor Joe Robinson, actor Shane Rimmer, actor (and sausage mogul) Jimmy Dean, actor Bruce Glover and actor Lana Wood. In 1971 Sean Connery was coerced into playing James Bond one more time following the less impressive George Lazenby - sorry George. The powers that be, burned from On Her Majesty's Secret Service, decided almost to remake Goldfinger and to that end hired Goldfinger veterans Guy Hamilton, Shirley Bassey and Richard Maibaum in an effort to reproduce that films success. The main wrangling behind the scenes concerned casting an American actor as 007, Adam (Batman) West (?!?!) was approached and then John Gavin was signed for the role. We have United Artists to thank for stubbornly demanding Connery and stumping up an extraordinary deal for him. Tom Mankiewicz was brought on board to rewrite the script and the Goldfinger references were dropped (notably the villain being Goldfinger's twin brother!). The documentaries included w
ith these releases are surprisingly candid with their observations. The behind-the-scenes wheeling, dealing and associated chicanery are lovingly chronicled. This documentary includes a couple of out takes, one deemed too violent for this already violent film such as the death of the first courier, who, in the release print, gets a scorpion dropped down his back. The cut scene has the amiable Mr. Wint stuff the creature in his mouth! One of the world's best film bloopers is examined in detail, regarding a certain Red Mustang's oddly reversed wheelie during a car chase. Cubby Broccoli - The Man Behind Bond ------------------------------------ (44 Mins) Written & Directed by John Cork, Narrated by Patrick Macnee. Interviewees: Daughter Barbara Broccoli, biographer Donald Zec, cousin Dr. James D'Orta, cousin Francesca Savino, wife Dana Broccoli, son Tony Broccoli, daughter Tina Broccoli Brewer, actor Robert Wagner, Producer(and step-son) Michael G. Wilson, actor Janet Leigh, Nancy Sinatra and actor Sally Anne Howes. Reverential biography of the driving force behind the Bond films - Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli from son of immigrant farmers to Hollywood mogul. Interviews with Cubby's family and various Bond film personnel. Covers his early career as, you guessed it, broccoli importer to the early days of the Biograph cinema company, thru his UK partnership with Irving Allen in Warwick Films (anyone remember "Odongo" or "Zarak"?) and the commercial disaster of "The Trials of Oscar Wilde". Out of that came the formation of Eon Productions with Harry H. Saltzman and the successful 007 series. Audio Commentary ---------------- Hosted by David Naylor with commentary from Guy Hamilton, Jill St. John, Trina Parks, Tom Mankiewicz, Guy Hamilton, Joe Robinson, Shane Rimmer, Jimmy Dean, Bruce Glover, Lana Wood, lyricist Don Black (who notes t
hat Steven Spielberg's favourite theme song belongs to this movie). The commentary is more a series of recollections edited together and prefaced by mini introductions by David Naylor. This technique isn't as much fun as the best of the director commentary type extras, but makes up for it in being more fact filled, not to mention representing a wider range of the participants. A lot of this stuff is, however, culled from the Making of featurette. Deleted Scenes (4 of) Including the correct but unusable Mustang car stunt and a cameo by Sammy Davis jr. Trailers (2 of) Television Spots (5 of) Radio Spots (3 of) Scene Selections Movie in 1-32 chapters Languages English Region 1 DVD Subtitles French/Spanish Region 2 DVD English/English for the hearing impaired. Fun, funny, exciting, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, violent, amoral. Gotta love it! Make of the sexual politics what you will, I always thought the romantic duo, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, were rather cool, Tiffany Case gets most of the abuse along with a lady semi strangled with her bikini top in the pre-credits sequence. Some of the violence will be a bit much for the kiddies, the cremation scene is the stuff of nightmares... Sean is looking a little paunchier than his prime Bond, little did we know he'd actually become more charismatic from this point on. Dodgy special effects but I defy you to spot the join in the matte photography work by Albert Whitlock in creating the Whyte House. Absolutely pristine copy of the movie and soundtrack. The extra features are as good as extra features get on a single DVD. A must have for Bond afficianados. Highly recommended for those who have only seen the duller (in all senses) and censored print that ITV drag out from time to time. Watch for UK resident Americans and regular Gerry Anderson folk Shane Rimmer (aka Thun
derbird 1's Scott Tracy), Ed Bishop (UFO's Ed Straker) and David Healy (Joe 90's Shane Weston). Another good blooper, at 1hr 1 min 39 secs in an errant moon buggy wheel rolls by...when it's not supposed to. Ratings As a Bond Film **** (Dr. No is a *****) As a Film *** As a DVD ***** So I'll go *****
After the disappointment of ‘On her Majesty’s secret service’, bond directors had to do something to interest 007 fans. First off was the return of James Bond legend- Sean Connery. The man everyone saw to be the ‘real Bond’. Surely this would make ‘Diamonds are forever’ a memorable film? First off- Bond’s assignment. Someone has been stealing large quantities of Diamonds from the black market. 007 has to go and find out who the thieves are and why the diamonds are not turning up for sale. James Bond uses the disguise of a diamond smuggler to get in to Holland- and meet up with the beautiful Tiffany Case- a key figure in the operation. Later- Bond finds out that the legendary Blofeld is behind the scheme. Blofeld is using the Diamonds to make a special laser. This laser has the power to destroy a large city from outer space. Blofeld moves to the USA and demands a high ransom or the destruction of Washington DC. Bond takes on Blofeld in the final battle and tries to save the world... once more. The first Bond film that uses humour to sell the film- Diamonds are forever is quite exciting. The shady, and ‘to close for comfort’ villains- Wint and Kidd, make you laugh. Although, at first appearance, amusing, these two enemies are cold-blooded killers. It all comes to a sad end when Wint is tossed over-board attached to a bomb whilst Kidd is fried! Also, the film, throughout, contains many witty comments, which can be quite amusing, and the epic final battle also will raise a smile. A new side to Bond movies- starts here. All in all though, this film is entertaining, amusing and well screened. A relief to Bond fans all over the world that expected a repeat of the previous film. Connery helped makes this film what it is- great. Another top-quality Bond film, that proves once and for all, Bond, like diamonds- is forever. Ice Blaster
Film: Diamonds are Forever Film Number: 7 Year: 1971 Bond: Sean Connery Bond Girl: Tiffany Case Villain(s): Ernst Stavro Blofeld, SPECTRE Sidekick(s): - Song: Shirley Bassey Director: Guy Hamilton M: Bernard Lee Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell Pre title scene: Bond discovers Blofeld again and after a brief struggle he kills Blofeld by pushing him off a trolley into a vat of molten liquid. This is revenge for SPECTRE killing Bond’s wife at the end of the last film Plot: Following an increase in diamond smuggling, Bond and "M" on the case and Bond is sent to Amsterdam posing as a diamond smuggler named Peter Franks. Bond goes on to meet his smuggling contact Tiffany Case who tells him about the smuggling plan. Case gives the diamonds to Bond which he must smuggle to Las Vegas. By now, in addition to finding the mastermind behind the diamonds smuggling operation, James Bond is also looking for a missing billionaire named Willard Whyte, who has been kidnapped by Blofeld (Bond does not know this yet). Bond tracks Blofeld to an oil rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean near Baja, California. He now knows that Blofeld is using those smuggled diamonds to build a space laser capable of destroying the world. Blofeld is provoking nuclear explosions with the satellite in many places around the world like Red China, North Dakota, and Russia. His plan is to demand a ransom from each of these countries. As well as saving the world Bond must also find Tiffany Case who has been kidnapped by Blofeld and he manages to do this as well Comment: The return of James Bond was as much out of desperation as it was because he was a great Bond. All other potential actors for the role were either engaged with other work (Moore), too young (Dalton) or just unsuitable. However, Connery did not disappoint and this is an excellent Bond film, actio
n packed all the way and has plot which although very very far fetched does not seem that stupid. This is arguably the best Connery film ,and although many say he was to old to play the role, this actually adds to the character, and he seems to get better at delivering the one liners. There have been 19 James Bond films to date (excluding the almost comical and unofficial Never Say Never Again). I feel that this film rates at number 6. You will have to read the rest of my Bond related opinions if you want to know which film was my favourite. Of course, you will probably agree with my rankings, but I think that adds to the whole beauty of the 007 series - everyone has their favourite for different reasons
I'm not doing all that well in my planned run of James Bond ops, to coincide with the TV showings. I missed the first two due to exams, managed to catch the third and fourth ones. The fifth was a wipe out due to a family meal, but I got to see the 6th one, 'Diamonds Are Forever'. The baddy this time is Blofeld (hasn't he been in nearly all of them), but Bond is still played by the great Scot, Sean Connery. The film starts with a suitably different opening. Bond travels the world quickly, dispatching a number of henchmen en route to Blofelt. About to produce a clone of himself, Blofeld is seemingly killed by Bond. But then, what are the chances that Bond will dispatch the films enemy in the first 5 minutes. Pretty small methinks! Anyway, the plot; Diamonds are going missing from mines, and Bond is naturally sent to investigate. He turns undercover diamond smuggler, finally ending up in Las Vega. It turns out that they are being used to build the usual world domination device, this time in the form of space based lasers. Needless to say, Blofeld isn't dead, and you have the usual Bond antics throughout the film as he tries to stop the mad mans plot. Mr Wint and Mr Kidd are the henchmen in this film, and must be the only two gay villains in the history of James Bond. Even if they never admit it as such, the fact is that these two have to be the campest hit men in the history of film, EVER! The pair of them alone add an air of humour to the film. Infact, the whole film has a slightly comedy feel to it, with Bond delivering more than the usual number of cheesy one liners. Some comedy is fun, but this film takes things a little too far. Or that's what I think anyway. It also seems that the special effects took a U-turn in this film. Made in 1971 you wouldn't expect great visuals, but during this film I thought to myself on more than one occasion 'That looks cheesy'. Something which I never t
hought during any of the previous films. After the effects bonanza that was 'Thunderball', one wonders whether they were a little short of money when making this! There are just as many Bond girls as ever before, although it seems that in every film the girls wear ever skimpier clothing and have increasingly stupid names. Ever heard of a girl called 'Plenty'? Me neither. When she is thrown out of the window, only to land in the pool, you start to think that you could be watching a 'Carry On' film instead of the legendary Bond. The main female in the film (Jill St John) plays Tiffany Case, but she seems to wear as little as possible, and do as little as possible. Overall, the Bond girls are a disappointment this time out! The film is also lacking in any of the usual Bond gadgets, or at least any exciting ones. There are some good action sequences to make up for this, including a good car chase through the city. The theme tune, 'Diamonds are Forever' is in my opinion one of the worst to date, but not everything can be perfect (infact, nothing about this film is perfect). Personally I can't think of many a worse Connery film. The balance of humour, and good old James Bond action is all wrong. One liners are fine, but this James Bond not 'Carry On Spying'. As far as I know this was the last of Connery's outings as Bond, except for late comeback sometime in the 80's. Halfway through you begin to wonder where on Earth the film is going, and after a mid-film recovery it drags on a little at the end. The plot is stronger than many of the other Bond films, and I guess this is a little less of a no-brains action film. But we're not talking intellectual stuff either, and the excess slap-stick comedy make it seem stupid. Or that's what I think anyway. Not of Connery's best, but not the worst Bond either - they're still to come!
In my opinion this is one of the best James Bond films that has ever been made. This film actually has very few gadgets or special effects, but does have a little bit of a story line. The plot is still fairly simple, but it is at least a little bit believable and not completely “over the top” like some of the Bond movies. Sean Connery plays James Bond and he is ably assisted by Tiffany Case played by Jill St. John (who I always think is very similar to Joan Collins). The “baddie” in this film is Ernst Stavro Blofeld (the one with the white cat) who is played magnificently by Charles Gray. Blofeld has taken over the multi-million business organisation belonging to Willard Whyte, who supposedly is one of the world’s richest men. (There is a striking resemblance here to the Howard Hughes organisation.) Whyte has been imprisoned in his own Summer House under the guard of two beautiful, but fearsome young ladies – Bambi and Thumper. Blofeld has used the Whyte organisation to smuggle huge quantities of diamonds out of South Africa to build a space satellite with a powerful, destructive laser on board to threaten the world in order to achieve his goal of world domination. (Have we heard that one somewhere before?) There is a superb car chase in this film and the final “battle” sequence is excellently filmed and acted. There is an added twist in this film with the two characters Mr Wint (played by Bruce Glover) and Mr Kidd (played by Putter Smith). These two mercenaries are on the trail of the diamonds and leave a varied collection of dead bodies behind them. They have a “happy” ending. This film was made in 1971 and has stood the test of time better than a lot of the Bond films and although I have seen it many times I am sure I will watch it many more times again in the future. If you are a fan of films such as James Bond then I would highly r
ecommend this film.
This sees Sean Connery the legend return in the most camp outing of the Bond series. It seems he had great fun making it and returned to his best form like in his early outings. This would have been okay as a one off Bond movie but unfortunately we had to endure 15 more years of this type of film with Roger Moore's tongue in cheek style. Moore was ok (but not brilliant) up until Moonraker when he started to look past it and the Bond series went off the rails and his gags became tedious. It would be interesting to see George Lazenby in this as he would be after Blofeld for revenge after his wifes death in the previous outing OHMSS. If you haven't seen Lazenby's one and only outing make sure you do. Most people are put off by the bad press he and the film got. But just ignore it and see it. It is one of the best films of the series. Okay, okay, this is not at all in most ways like Ian Fleming's novel. Yet, for me it turns up being Connery's fourth best outing. Sir Sean delivers a campy, stylish, and cool performance as OO7 (also his fourth best), Jill St.John is a good, more independent Bond girl than most, and even though I really enjoyed Charles Gray's witty, sophisticated, urbane, and cool performance of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, he needs some menace to his character. I can't stand Willard Whyte and don't care for Norman Burton as Felix Leiter, yet Glover and Smith are great as Blofeld's comedic, scene-stealing henchmen, Wint and Kidd. Even though the sets were previously used in other Bond films, (MGM/UA didn't have that much money left for the series after OHMSS) they succeed. Settings are the colorful world of Las Vegas, the desert, New Amsterdam, and an oil platform off the coast of Baja California. Barry produces a good score, and I like Shirley Bassey's title song. Pre-title has Bond globe-hopping around to track down Blofeld. After hurling a SPECTRE assasin through Japanese paper w
alls, having former Miss world Denise Perrier appear topless, and knocking down another SPECTRE agent onto a roulette table, Bond finds Blofeld and after a brief but cool fight scene Bond kills Blofeld (or so he thinks). The Maibum/Mankiewicz script is brazen with witty lines including- "Hi, I'm Plenty" "But of course you are", "We do function in your absence, commander", and I'll finish dressing" "Oh please don't, not on my account". Action includes a car chase through the desert with Bond in a stolen moon buggy, a car chase through Las Vegas where Bond and Tiffany Case are in a cool red Mustang, and an exciting helicopter attack on Blofeld's oil platform.
Starring: Sean Connery, Jill St. John, Charles Gray, Lana Wood, Jimmy Dean, Bruce Cabot, Putter Smith, Bruce Glover Director: Guy Hamilton DVD Release Date: 10/17/2000 While investigating mysterious activities in the world diamond market, 007 (Sean Connery) discovers that his evil nemesis Blofeld (Charles Gray) is stock-piling the gems to use in his deadly laser satellite. With the help of beautiful smuggler Tiffany Case (Jill St. John), Bond sets out to stop the madman – as the fate of the world hangs in the balance!
Wholly pointless, deeply sadistic and totally daft Bondage, with a comically toupeed Connery declaring war on feminism and homosexuals and emerging with a smirk and (for the actor) a lot of money in his back pocket. For all Jill St John's sparky attempts to fire up her character, Tiffany Case, she spends more time baring flesh than any Bond heroine since Ursula Andress emerged from the waves in her white bikini. Meanwhile, diamonds are smuggled across the world in corpses, while Bond deals with a pair of preening gay killers, and Charles Grey as the most effete and poncy incarnation of Blofeld (to the extent of dressing as a woman in one scene). It's perfectly well handled, but the plot is hopeless when Bond meets a large-breasted girl called Plenty O'Toole, you're in Carry On territory. Sean looks embarrassed, and ditches the series from here on apart from a pointless 'Thunderball' remake in the eighties, while everyone else overacts like the world really is going to end. The only thing worse than this film is the knowledge that from here on in, we get Roger Moore. Ye Gods!
After the poor reception given to George Lazenby in Her Majesty's Secret Service, Sean Connery was no doubt lured back to the series with a gadget-stuffed briefcase full of cash (most of which he allegedly gave to charity) for this wry, snappily made seventh instalment in the series. Some of its secret weapons include a smart script, a Las Vegas setting providing plenty of neon reflections on windscreens for a memorable car chase through the Strip, and the comely Jill St. John as Tiffany Case, a diamond cut-above most of the preceding Bond girls. (Apart from Diana Rigg in Her Majesty's Secret Service, that is). Blofeld and his fluffy white cat are on hand to menace 007--it's the Nehru jackets and steely surface-look of this one in particular that the Austin Powers spoofs are sending up. Blofeld's initial cover as a reclusive Howard Hughes-like millionaire points to how the series was catching up with more contemporary figures and issues. Other highlights include two truly ferocious, karate-kicking female assassins and a sizzling moon-buggy chase across the dunes. --Leslie FelperinOn the DVD: The mind boggling possibility of casting Adam West (TV's Batman) as Bond was seriously mooted because the suits at United Artists wanted to Americanise the franchise, th e documentary reveals. Sean Connery was eventually persuaded to return but demanded a record fee to reprise his role, and then donated all the cash to his charitable foundation, the Scottish International Education Trust. The rags to riches story of larger-than-life producer Albert R Broccoli is told in the second documentary. The commentary is another in the series of edited selections from interviews with cast and crew, which are exhaustive in the wealth of detail offered but a little exhausting to sit through. Sundry trailers, radio and TV spots plus a few deleted scenes complete the comprehensive selection. --Mark Walker