[THE CLASSIFIED INTEL]
Diamonds Are Forever (1971): Bond Breakdown by Rantbo
We join James as he regrettably returns to Her Majesty’s Secret Service to begin work on a new mission. Sir Donald Munger, a diamond expert, suspects that copious amounts of precious South African diamonds are being stockpiled by a smuggling ring in order to depress prices by flooding the market and thus weaken the pockets of rich white slave-driving businessmen. Since this is apparently a national threat, Bond—James Bond is given the task of impersonating one of the smugglers to unveil the ring of evildoers to the authorities.
As he climbs up the ridiculously long ladder of the smuggler ring, Bond soon finds out that all is not as it seems and there might be a little more at risk than the corporate land-rapists losing their stockholders’ faith and disrupting their cash-flow—Thankfully…
[THE BOND SONG AND CREDITS SEQUENCE]
Maurice is back, baby and he brought Shirley Bassey with him to assault our eardrums with another annoyingly catchy tune. Every time I watch this entry, the title song gets stuck in my skull for what feels like—Forever, Forever—FOREVER. But, it’s OK, because it reminds me of how perfect this set of credits truly is.
A myriad of gorgeous ladies, dolled up in gigantic shiny rocks, sitting around, legs ajar displaying their fuzzy, shiny white pussies…
~Hold one up and then caress it ~ Touch it! ~ Stroke it and then dress it ~
…and I sit back with a smile on my face. After two lackluster credit sequences in a row, I was starting to think that there was no hope for them to reach above and beyond THUNDERBALL’s. Well, no more. This sequence is spectacular. A great song, a great montage and plenty more areolas. Which, when added to a little slip from the pre-credits sequence, make for one titty filled PG flick. Yes sir, the 70s were a pretty swell time.
[BOND—JAMES, BOND (SEAN CONNERY)]
BODY BAGS FILLED  BOND BABES FULFILLED [1 for certain 1 interrupted]
Connery, the lovable old bastard, returns for his (official) swansong portrayal of Commander James Bond. And if I had to describe the performance in one word, it would be: Bittersweet. After the credits, we find James back at MI-6 and being lectured on diamonds by a very short and sarcastic M. There is an enormous amount of tension between the Bond and M and it feels as though there’s a missing story to be told (something I will discuss later). It is shortly hereafter Bond is given his bullshit “national security” job of undercover smuggler busting. Connery plays the role here the way I think Bond would react to such a mission: begrudgingly. And this is where most of the criticism for DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER begins…
I’ve heard and read numerous reviews wherein the critics give Sean shit for “phoning in” his performance. A viewpoint I almost completely disagree with. Connery plays Bond the way I believe his mental state would be after the events of the previous film. Bond is tired and regrets having to be 007 again. He returns to the position to use it for revenge, but when this is accomplished, he has to face the facts that the job is all he has left. And he is bitter. This is how Connery plays the part, and superbly so. It just happens to be that in real life (though without any tragedy), Sean was in a similar position with the role of James Bond. His first 2 post-007 projects were commercial failures. So, when asked to play the role one more time, Connery used the job to get what he wanted: A deal for future projects where he had creative control and a financial means to create a foundation for Scottish artists. Bond used the job to get revenge, Connery used the job to secure his acting career. I see nothing wrong with this picture.
Critics also gave Connery flak for being a little paunchy. The guy was 41 years old, a former bodybuilder and had played Bond for a decade—how about a little slack? He busted his ass for 40 years and at 41 still looked better than most people that bitch about his extra weight. Sure he looks a little weathered, but at 40+ years of age, I think Bond would look weathered too. The only thing I have issue with as far as physically with Connery is his eyebrows. They appear to have doubled in size since YOLT, and look like a pair of push-brooms, large enough for a whistling midget to use to clean an office building. But, this is more of an observation than a gripe. I wouldn’t give a shit if Connery played the role bald with a beer gut, he’d still be James Bond to me.
The problem that I have with the role is—nothing. I think Connery did a great job, the issue here is, that his portrayal was suited for a much more serious film. DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER is no OHMSS, but Connery, bless him, played it like it was. The sad thing is, these two forces do not mesh well together. DAF is what I would consider to be the first Roger Moore Bond film, it just doesn’t happen to have Roger Moore in it. The film is silly and it comes at a bad place in the film series’ timeline. The movie would have been much better suited as a balls-out dark revenge thriller, but instead they made a violent screwball comedy.
Here’s my example of what the producers seem to be asking from us the audience—using food as an allegory (I’m a fat guy, it’s what we do):
“Hey audience, do you like Cotton Candy?”
“Boy, do we ever! It’s so sweet, sugary and melts in your mouth!”
“Great! Well, how about Soy Sauce?”
“Of course, it’s salty, delicious and makes for an excellent condiment!”
“OK! So, how about some Cotton Candy soaked in Soy Sauce!?”
“Um—Haha-What? No—no thanks.”
That’s the best way I can think of how to describe Connery in this movie. He is great when used to punch up the taste of something lacking a bit of flavor, but if you put him over something already bursting with too much, you just get a big old mess. So I blame the filmmakers for this outing. They never seem to understand that quality is always better than quantity. And it’s a shame this movie wasn’t a better entry for Connery’s sake. He deserved better as he gave so much to the series. Sauvé, debonair, cheeky, handsome, sarcastic, witty, smart, ruthless, charming, dangerous and classy: Connery brought it all to the table and left no room for dessert. They brought it anyways and we ate it, like the gluttonous thrill seekers we are. And of course, no overstuffed belly is complete without a stomach ache (DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER), just don’t blame the main course (Connery) for the pain. Gone but not forgotten, you were a gentleman and a badass and I salute you, Sir Connery. Thank you for being the hero of a generation and the admiration of many to come.
[THE BOND VILLAINS]
The Diamond Smuggling Chain
From Left To Right, Top To Bottom:
[Link #01] Henry Rowland as Dr. Tynan
[Link #02] Raymond Baker as Joe The Pilot
[Link #03] Margaret Lacey as Mrs. Whistler
[Link #04] Jill St. John as Tiffany Case
[Link #05] Joe Robinson as Peter Franks
[Link #06] Marc Lawrence, Sid Haig and Michael Valente as Slumber Inc. Goons
[Link #07] David Bauer as Morton Slumber
[Link #08] Leonard Barr as Michael “Shady” Tree
[Link #09] Bruce Cabot as Albert R. “Bert” Saxby
[Link #10] Joseph Furst as Professor Dr. Metz
[Spoilers Ahoy] ~Deep Breath~ The film begins with some African miners “stealing” diamonds that their blood and sweat unearthed and smuggling them out of the pits hidden in their mouths. Enter Dentist Dr. Tynan. After extracting the diamonds, he delivers them to Joe the Pilot. Both are killed at this exchange by Wint and Kidd. W&K bring the diamonds to the next contact, an African missionary teacher, Mrs. Whistler. This little lady brings them to Tiffany Case in Amsterdam to await pickup by Peter Franks. She is killed by W&K after delivery. Franks is taken in by MI-6 and Bond replaces him in the chain. Not for long though, as he escapes custody and almost blows James’s cover, but he is “extinguished” by Bond in an elevator fight-sequence—it’s very exciting. Next stop, the States.
Bond has hidden the goods inside the body of Franks and is greeted at the airport by the Slumber Inc. Goons and brought to their boss Morton Slumber. Slumber has the diamonds extracted from the depths of Frank’s colon and gives them back to Bond to place for pick up by Shady Tree. It is here that W&K show up to kill Bond, but fail as he is saved by Shady and Morton because he didn’t give them the REAL diamonds. Thus making these last 15 minutes pointless. Next, Mr. Tree gets axed by W&K just before they find out that the REAL diamonds were not yet delivered to Bert Saxby, Blofeld’s new second in command. This upsets them. Meanwhile, Bond has arranged for an exceedingly elaborate and highly un-entertaining pick up of the REAL diamonds for Tiffany. After a super boring sequence, she gets them and they eventually end up in the hands of Dr. Metz at Willard Whyte’s laboratory.
Look at that… Talk about overstuffed plot—Christ. And that was just the super short version of the diamond chain. Ninety-nine percent of which is pure filler. The whole thing plays out like a PINK PANTHER or OCEAN’S ELEVEN plot, but without the fun. Saxby for sure gets whacked later, but as for the rest, who knows and who cares? It’s all hard to follow, not just because it is convoluted, but because it is so damned uninteresting. The only thing that keeps it watchable is Connery, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. The rest of these people deserve their descent into obscurity. I’ve already wasted more time than I wanted to discussing this chain of fools.
Lola Larson as Bambi (Right) and Trina Parks as Thumper (Left)
Only in a Bond film could you have found 2 barely dressed female gymnastic bodyguards. Well, perhaps some porno flicks have similar characters, but I digress. In charge of keeping tabs on the kidnapped Willard Whyte, these two wood nymphs greet Bond in style. First with seduction, then with an ass-kicking. This is the only scene in the movie that I think Connery’s age starts to show. I almost felt bad watching this middle aged dude getting his ass handed to him by two skinny rug-munchers. It’s pretty pathetic and sad, but on the other hand it’s kinda sexy too. There comes a point where Bond is being choked between Bambi’s thighs that gets me all twitterpated.
Eventually, they tire of throwing the old man around the room and toss him into the outdoor pool. Big mistake. I guess these two didn’t know that water aerobics are the preferred source of exercise for old people. Well they do now. Bond gets his soggy revenge as the soothing waters of Whyte’s pool regenerate his aching bones back to 1962, allowing him to regain the strength of his youth, which he uses to water-torture the location of Willard out of the ladies. The scene with these two is not very long, but it’s one of the rare instances that the overbearing wackiness and humor of the film actually becomes enjoyable to watch.
Bruce Glover as Mr. Wint and Putter Smith as Mr. Kidd
Blofeld’s two MAIN henchmen in the film (I say main, as he had about 100). Given the task of cleaning up the film’s over-crowded plot, the duo of Wint and Kidd traverse the world clipping off each link in the diamond chain, one by one, as the final shipment makes its way to the Professor.
Mr. Wint is clearly the dominant of the relationship, as he lords over his partner with dagger-shooting stares and is made unique with an odd obsession of over saturating himself in lady’s perfume. Mr. Kidd keeps up pace in the creepy department though, by having a constant clown-like grin, sporting a a hairdo that looks like sans-toupee Connery gone hermit and a cho-mo stash. On one hand, they are extremely weird and funny and on the other they are cold and vicious. And in my opinion, they almost completely save the film from the total taint of ass. They made me laugh one minute and then totally creeped me out the next. For instance, they drown a little old lady (funny), but then and wait around for the police to find the body and take pictures of her corpse (creepy)—while making a joke at her expense (funny). It’s an interesting combo.
I’ll assume that these two characters usually end up in one of two fan categories: Loved ‘em or Hated ‘em. As for me, I have to go with Love. I mean, what isn’t TO LOVE about two effeminate homosexual hitmen who have a love for the theatrics, spout witty post-mortem one-liners and perform humorously complex assassinations? Made even better by the fact that these two make it through the entire film before getting their comeuppance minutes before the credits. And their lives end, much the same way as they lived, with a blaze of flamboyance and big bang finish.
Charles Gray as Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Holy cloned cats, this film actually has a caper worthy of James Bond’s talents! And it is all thanks to—The Man, The Myth, The Legend, The Crossdresser—Mr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Bond finds Blofeld in the penthouse sweet at the Whyte House hotel and casino in Vegas, orchestrating from on high the production of a giant diamond powered “Laser”-shooting satellite, to—you know, take over the world or something, I think. At this point in the movie, I was just so happy that the plot involved something other than boring-ass smugglers that I even forgave the weakest out of all the portrayals of Blofeld. For some odd reason, Gray decided (perhaps with the director, I’m not sure) to play Ernst as a hot headed, fussy, overgrown twelve-year-old—with a full head of hair. Leaving me with two questions: Where is Telly Savalas—and when is he coming back?
OK, so maybe I’m being a little unfair, but this just doesn’t seem like the villain we have come to know and hate these past two films. For one, he’s kind-of effeminate and goofy, something the film already had covered with Mr. Wint, Mr. Kidd, Tiffany and Plenty. Why did they feel the need to change his character so much? I can only assume that they figured with the plot involving radical plastic surgery and “cloning”, it would make sense to have him act as though he lost a chromosome or two. One thing they did not lose however, is that he is still a cold-hearted evil-genius criminal scum. Thankfully. Since Bond thwarted his previous two plans, he has already put together a world-wide diamond smuggling ring, kidnapped one of the richest and most protected men in America, completed a technological miracle and terminated almost every person and piece of evidence that leads back to him by the time Bond gets wise. Pretty amazing.
So all-in-all, the character isn’t completely terrible, they just took it in a direction that I didn’t care for and as this was (pretty much) the last time Bond tangoed with Blofeld, I expected something far more down and dirty. Something with grit and balls. Something up-close and personal—Agrhh!—just SOMETHING. The worst part about the character this time, is that you don’t even get to see what happens to him! Is he dead? (no) So, how did he get away? (not gonna show you—ever) What a lame ass way to end this villain’s multiple film arch. I don’t so much blame Charles Gray, he did fine with what he was given, but I don’t understand the motives of the producers and director. Why not give the audience a final confrontation? It’s a problem that they would not address for another 10 years, and even then it is lackluster and impersonal. ~Sigh~
[THE BOND GIRLS]
Lana Wood as Plenty O’Toole
Ah, Plenty. Her role is isn’t, but I’ll draw out discussing what little there was as I couldn’t help but fall for this girl. James meets this little minx on the casino floor while passing the time. Ms. O’Toole is a craps-rat, selling her company to the highest roller and flashing her plentiful goods and easy virtue for a chance at fortune. She’s pretty much a whore, but don’t get me wrong in thinking I mean that as a bad thing. I have respect for the ladies of the evening, they use what nature gave them to get what they want and need, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Very little bullshit, you get what you pay for here.
Plenty hears Bond make a large bet from across the casino, just after she finishes ditching a poor sap whose money she helped dissipate. Drawn to the sound of money on the line, she introduces herself to 007. It’s a funny little scene and one of the few successes of intentional humor within the movie.
On to her name. Plenty O’Toole. While she is most certainly a babe, this is not the name of someone I would want to be sexually involved with. This name belongs to a 300lbs gay bouncer at Studio 54, not to a curvy dark haired dish like Lana Wood. Plenty works her magic, losing James’ money and talking too much with her Studio Tour Guide-ish voice. But, James still leaves the table a richer man, with Plenty in his pockets. It is at this point that the film jumps to Bond’s hotel room, leaving a little scene where the two go to dinner on the cutting room floor. And it’s a shame as it was funny and gave the lovely Ms. Wood more screen time.
Anyways, back to the room. Plenty kisses Bond and he unzips her dress, revealing an ass you could set a vodka martini on.
She excuses herself to go freshen up for sexy-time and annoyingly the Slumber Inc. Goons show up and toss the poor girl out the window into the hotel’s pool . In the finished film, Plenty only shows up for a couple seconds more later on, this time at the bottom of another pool. Plenty: Unlucky at craps, unlucky at love, unlucky at life. It’s sad and makes little sense, but this is something I will talk about later. As for James, he was left to have sex with the runners-up prize—so, I guess I have to talk about her now. ~Sigh~
Jill St. John as Tiffany Case
Tiffany Case. Named after her accidental birthplace. Apparently a place called Tiffany & CO. A joke that is lost on me—so, I’ll skip going on about it. James meets this girl while posing as Franks and proceeds to use her as a gateway into the inner workings of the smuggling ring. Tiffany is a bad person for smuggling diamonds, but it’s somewhat forgivable as she is unknowingly working for SPECTRE. And this ‘unknowing’ is a character trait that ends up just pissing me off. Her character starts off great, she cracks jokes and refuses to give in to Bond’s advances, but as the film goes on, she is revealed as something else. A money-grubbing moron, nothing more—maybe a little less.
It’s like they gave up on her character halfway through the movie. The once witty girl with a fondness for wigs and high-tech smuggling gear is replaced by some bimbo that shrieks “EEK!” and serves little purpose outside of T&A. It’s weird. It’s almost as though the moment Plenty is thrown stage left, Tiffany developed all her traits. Not Good. Contrary to her name, Plenty is good in small doses. I don’t want to see a floozy shaking her ass in place of what began as a smart-alecky girl with a brain. She is no Tracy Bond and I guess that might be MY problem. The filmmakers wanted to re-capture the fun-loving Bond girl, and I guess for most people, Tiffany fits the bill. The character herself is rarely boring and Jill St. John has a rocking body, so I guess my complaints are more of a personal problem than a fault to the film. She certainly fits into the theme and feel of this movie and in the end, I guess that has to be enough.
[THE BEST BOND-AID]
Continuing the theme of MORE! MORE! MORE! The gadgets return in full force for DIAMONDS. Bond turns into Inspector Gadget this go-round as he seems to pull the perfect device out of his ass time and time again. Here’s the list:
– A Pocket Snap Trap: Used When A Henchmen Grabs For Bond’s Gun
– Fake Fingerprints: Used When Tiffany Checks His Identity
– A Mountaineering Pistol with Grappling Suspenders: Used When Bond Scales The Whyte House (My favorite)
– Voice Modification Machine: Used To Trick Blofeld Into Giving Out Information
– A Water Traversing Sphere: Used For Just That
And these are just the ones Bond uses, there are a grab-bag of other devices used by every other character in the movie. It starts to become an overload of whatchamacallits. The issue I have in this installment is that all the gadgets are SO circumstance specific. It is a real test to believe the foresight of the situations was possible. It makes me think that maybe Bond has always been packing a ton of other gadgets throughout all the films, ever waiting for the perfect opportunity to unleash the high-tech wizardry and DIAMONDS is the first time he has been able to fully unload. But I doubt this. I think it’s probably just lazy writing.
[BOND’S GREATEST HITS]
The Body Count [50ish + Countless More]
Connery’s Bond is back, but unfortunately in his old age he seems to have forgotten to bring the pain with him. Still, he ups the last outing by two, with 7 kills. Wint and Kidd take out 5 links in the Diamond chain, and a random CIA agent kills 1 more. Late in the film, Blofed’s “Laser” satellite visible eviscerates 5 men, but annihilates countless more as two missile bases and a nuclear submarine are both blown to Hell. Finally, in the oil-rig finale, at least 20 automatons and CIA agents are shot, lit aflame and killed by concussion explosions.
The Best Fight
“Who Is Your Floor?”
While the fight between Bond and the Disney girls was an entertaining bit of rough foreplay, the main attraction actually took place back in act one, when an undercover Bond met up with the escaped man he was impersonating. The show goes down in the middle of a lift ride up to Tiffany’s apartment, Bond having just barely made it in time to stop Franks from blowing his cover. Attempting to resolve the matter quietly, with a cheap shot to the back of the head, Bond’s plans are thwarted by his confined space and a bit of glass mixed with elbow, gives away his intent and the fight is on.
This is easily one the best, brutal and most creative fights within the golden age of the 007 films. The dual Franks ride the wild ride up several floors, exchanging blows and faces full of broken glass. Battling all the way up to Miss Case’s apartment level, where James gets in the final say on who’s who with a fire extinguisher canister punch to the liver and an over-the-top(railing) swan dive to ground floor.
His death is made all the funnier, as Bond and Tiffany decide to use the poor bastards corpse as a container to smuggle their diamonds into America. What a nasty way to go.
The Most Satisfying Kill
Bond kills Blofeld’s Clone, by drowning him in boiling-hot liquid-shit.
Bond: Welcome to Hell, Blofeld.
[HIS WORD IS HIS BOND]
Shortly after his flight to the states arrives, Bond is asked to Customs where he is greeted by an undercover Felix Leiter. Under guise of checking the death certificate of “James Bond” (the real Peter Franks), Felix asks 007 where he can find the hidden cache of smuggled diamonds.
Felix: I give up. I know the diamonds are in the body, but where?
Bond: Alimentary, Dr. Leiter.
Best Double Entendre
Marie: Iz dare somzing I can do for you?
Bond: Yesh, as a matter-a-fact, there is. There’s something I’d like you to get off your chest.
[THE MISSION DEBRIEF]
There are several things I feel I need to discuss here, and unfortunately it’s mostly negative shit. I’m going to start with what I thought the next Bond film should have been after OHMSS.
I always felt as though there was a missing piece to the Blofeld Trilogy puzzle. I like to think that somewhere out there is an un-shot film featuring a pursuit of revenge that culminates in the pre-credits sequence to DIAMONDS. You know how in the ROCKY movies, the sequels always start out with a re-cap of the ending to the previous installment and then use it as a segue into further adventures? That’s what the pre-credits on DIAMONDS is to me. And in this non-exsistant film we get to see how 007 becomes bitter and uninterested in continuing with his assignments as he hunts down his beloved’s killers, how M falls off the fence into the territory of disliking Bond and begins treating him like garbage. How James is merely going along with the trudges of his life, refusing to end it all, yet never again being fully satisfied with his return to the world of sexy parties and espionage.
Sure, it sounds dark and depressing, but doesn’t it also sound appropriate and emotionally stirring? Maybe they could have had Bond team up with a girl that is also looking for revenge and subsequent peace. Perhaps have their stories become intertwined and lead to the same conclusion. They could have called it QUANTUM OF SOLACE after Ian Fleming’s short story and… You know now that I think about it, never mind. They probably would have just fucked that up, too.
Another thing that chaps my ass are the deleted scenes and the un-shot ending. With the latest DVD release, they included some unused plot developments that REALLY should have been included in the final release. The main one being the missing piece of the Plenty O’Toole storyline. In the film, Plenty is killed, assumingly by W&K, at Tiffany Case’s villa. Bond explains that they must have mistaken her for Tiffany. The problem with this is WHY? Why was Plenty at Tiffany’s villa? It was never explained. Until now.
In the deleted scene, a soaking wet Plenty comes back up to Bond’s hotel room after being thrown out and while she is collecting her things, sees James giving Tiffany the old high hard one and she becomes angry and hurt. Rather than make a scene that could get her thrown out again, she instead sees Tiffany’s purse and finds the address that Case is staying at. Why she would go to such lengths to confront this woman is explained in the other deleted scene I mentioned above.
Plenty is a very jealous woman as would have been shown during her dinner with Bond and it leads to her downfall. There, now isn’t that a nice little character arc? Too bad they cut the middle part of her story out and made her death both pointless and confusing. And as for the ending, the screenwriters Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz had penned a showdown between Bond and Blofeld going mano a mano, in a fight to the death, amongst the salt fields of Mexico. Instead the filmmakers decided that having Bond crash Blofeld’s sub into a wall a couple times and leaving out any close-ups of a demise, would be sufficient enough.
Which leads me to another film series and a comparison I happened to notice. Often YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE and DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER are described as the BLOFELD TRILOGY. They are the three films back-to-back-to-back that feature Ernst as the main villain. And upon watching these again, I started to notice similarities to the STAR WARS TRILOGY. YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE is like A NEW HOPE in that Bond starts out with a clean slate, he fakes his death and becomes the hope for war on SPECTRE, an evil organization that is trying to rule the world. Much like the Empire is trying to control the universe. Bond liaisons and allies are killed, as is Obi Wan. And like Obi Wan, a mentor teaches Bond the ways of the ninja “force”. Then in the end, Bond blows up the base of the operations for the enemy, leaving only the main villain to narrowly escape punishment and death: Vader/Blofeld.
Then, in OHMSS, Bond looks different and in EMPIRE Luke looks different. Both reasons due to outside forces, Bond being played by Lazenby and Mark Hamill’s automobile accident. Both films further the stories of the main hero and deepen the bonds he has to the main villain. Both films feature ice and snow filled areas, where large portions of the films’ action sequences take place. And they both have a downer ending. In EMPIRE, Luke loses his hand, Han is taken away by Boba Fett and he finds out Vader is his father and in MAJESTY Bond finds the love of his life and loses her soon after.
Then to rap it all up, there is the final confrontation. The film that will feature the end to the conflict one way or another. DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER and RETURN OF THE JEDI. Both films feature deserts, space and lasers, both have two gay characters for comic relief and both take what could have been a dark and serious story and muck it up by depending on too many special effects, goofy jokes and a piss poor lackluster endings. In JEDI, the story culminates with a bunch of muppets and a treetop hug-a-war and in DIAMONDS it comes down to a sub on a crane and a silly-ass pre-credits schlock-spectacular. It’s like jerking-off to the point of climax, but then snapping a clothespin on your dick-hole. It’s painful-it’s stupid-and it’s hard to watch.
The entire premise of DIAMONDS was to re-capture the fun and grandeur of the mid-sixties Bond films, but most importantly the money they generated. The producers wanted to jumpstart a whole new era of Bond-Mania by essentially creating GOLDFINGER 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO. They picked a story revolving around an expensive and coveted natural mineral to reflect the precious commodity from GOLDFINGER and they brought back Sean Connery, Shirley Bassey, Old-Guy Felix, the gadgets and upped the camp comedy. They even originally planned to make the main villain in DIAMONDS Goldfinger’s twin brother. All of this sounds like a blast, but NOT following the previous film. It was not the time, nor the place. There was a different story to tell, one with much darker tones that got all but abandoned because the fickle audience was not willing to give OHMSS a chance. It’s bullshit and it sucks. I understand why they did what they did with DIAMONDS, but I don’t have to like it. No, sir.
The film, as a whole and separate entity, is not horrible. It features a killer score, a bitchin’ opening credits sequence, several well shot chase sequences, the ladies look great, Q gets his own funny scene and it has Sean Connery as Bond. The script is just weak sauce and the feel of the movie was made too silly and all this was done to pander to the casual moviegoer masses that were too stupid to enjoy the smarter and more serious previous installment. But what are you gonna do? I can piss and moan all day about what could have been, but this review is long enough. And with that, arc-one of my Bond-A-Thon Review Pilgrimage has come to an end.
[THE 007 SEVEN]
[X] Destroys Evil Doer’s Lair
[ ] Drinks or Orders a Vesper Martini
[X] Gets Captured and/or Tortured
[X] Introduces Himself As “Bond—James, Bond”
[X] Teams-Up With Felix Leiter
[X] Uses Judo or a Walther PPK to Dispose of an Enemy
[X] Wears a Tux
RANTBO will return in (a breakdown of) LIVE AND LET DIE
Diamonds Are Forever (1971) © United Artists Corp., Danjaq, LLC and MGM Home Entertainment