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Connery Returns for Diamonds are Forever

Apr 10, 2009 (Updated Jun 30, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Mostly entertaining movie.  Decent cast.

Cons:Some bad effects in few scenes.  Slower pace at times.

The Bottom Line: Diamonds are Forever has some problems, but it is still an entertaining entry in the Bond series.

Sean Connery became famous playing James Bond in the first five Bond movies before deciding not to play the character again.  George Lazenby took over the part for On Her Majesty's Secret Service.  When Lazenby wasn't going to return for another movie, Connery agreed to return for Diamonds are Forever.

James Bond is still determined to track down Blofeld and he gets rather violent in persuading people to help him.  James manages to find Blofeld as he is preparing a new plan and it seems like James finally deals with him.

M sends James on a mission dealing with stolen diamonds.  James poses as Peter Franks and meets Tiffany Case, a woman involved with the stolen diamonds.  The mission takes James to Las Vegas and also gets him noticed by Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint, two deadly men with ties to the diamonds.  Willard Whyte, a wealthy business man who hasn't been seen in public for a long time is mixed up in what is going on in some way as well.  

Other than featuring James as the main character, there really isn't much connection between Diamonds are Forever and the previous Bond movies.  James is on a mission that causes him to deal with a situation that threatens the world.  The only other main connection is Blofeld being tied to what is happening yet again.  Nothing is mentioned about what happened with Tracy in On Her Majesty's Secret Service which did seem odd to me considering how important she became to James in that movie.  The lack of any mention of her diminishes the importance her character did have.  James is still determined to find Blofeld, but that has been the case for a while.  

The plot for Diamonds are Forever is somewhat complicated without being overly confusing.  The movie starts off with James tracking Blofeld down before he is sent on a mission dealing with stolen diamonds that takes him around the world.  It isn't surprising that an attractive woman ends up involved in what is going on.  I think it is a bit convenient that Blofeld is the main villain again, though it sort of makes sense given the history the characters have.  There isn't much in the way of suspense during the movie, which may disappoint some viewers.  Some scenes do seem to drag on too long, though the action scenes help to counteract that.

Once again Blofeld comes up with an elaborate plan that endangers the planet and James is trying to stop him.  This time Blofeld is using diamonds to create a deadly laser that will be mounted to a satellite.  This seems to be one of the plans that Mike Myers used when creating his Austin Powers movies.  The plan with the laser is more unbelievable than some of Blofeld's previous plans, though it still manages to work for the most part.  There are some effects in a few scenes that are mostly done well, especially considering when the movie was made.  One particular effect is done a few times before some things blow up.  I think the explosions look fine, but the effect before them just looks cheesy to me.  

In Diamonds are Forever, more beautiful women are around which is normal for a Bond movie.  James flirts with just about every woman he meets, which doesn't always work well, like when he meets Bambi and Thumper.  He knows that Tiffany is mixed up with the stolen diamonds, but that doesn't stop him from jumping into bed with her.  She is actually the only woman he has sex with during the movie, though he came close with Plenty O'Toole.  Nothing beyond some kissing is shown, though it is very clear that James and Tiffany have sex.  Tiffany and Plenty do show some skin in a few scenes.  James did as well at one point and he didn't look as good without his shirt.  

James is basically the same as he has been in the previous movies and nothing new is added for the character.  He is likable for the most part.  Sean Connery returned to play the character again and while it was nice to see him in the part again, he didn't seem as connected to the part anymore.  He also wasn't in good enough shape to be believable in the part, especially during the fight scenes.  M, Q, and Miss Moneypenny all turn up once or twice without having much to do.  Felix is a CIA agent who is helping James on the investigation.  Norman Burton took over the role for this movie.

Tiffany Case is the main female character for the movie.  She is involved with the stolen diamonds and it seems like her only concern is looking out for herself.  She is all right, but there really isn't anything special about the character.  Jill St. John was fine in the part.  Plenty O'Toole is a pretty young woman that spends a little bit of time with James.  The only thing that was memorable about her was her generous assets.  Lana Wood, younger sister of Natalie Wood, was fine in the part.

Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint are two dangerous but odd men who are killing people connected to the diamonds.  They keep turning up and add complications to what is going on.  Bambi and Thumper are two beautiful women who use their athletic abilities to beat up people.  Willard Whyte is a wealthy business man who owns a hotel and casino in Las Vegas.  He is a little eccentric and no one has seen him for a long time.  Jimmy Dean was fine in the part, though nothing special.  Blofeld is still plotting and trying to take out James.  Charles Grey is fine in the part, though nothing really special.

Main Cast

Norman Burton - Felix Leiter
Sean Connery - James Bond
Billy Dean - Willard Whyte
Bruce Glover - Mr. Wint
Charles Grey - Blofeld
Bernard Lee - M
Desmond Llewelyn - Q
Lois Maxwell - Miss Moneypenny
Putter Smith - Mr. Kidd
Jill St. John - Tiffany Cast
Lana Wood - Plenty O'Toole

Guy Hamilton - Director

DVD Information

There have been a few DVD releases for Diamonds are Forever.  I have the two disc version that is part of the Ultimate James Bond Collection DVD set.  There are a few commentaries on the first disc with the majority of the extras on the second disc.  There is a short booklet that shares some information about the making of the movie.

There are six deleted scenes, one which includes Sammy Davis Jr., most of which didn't add much.  Two of the scenes did feature Plenty and helped to set up something that happened to her later in the movie.  One of the scenes is a longer version of a scene in the finished version of the movie.  That scene has a voice over introduction by one of the producers.  The Interactive Guide Into the World of Diamonds are Forever has menus that will cause clips from the movie to play.  This has been a feature on all of the other DVDs for the Bond movies as well.

Inside Diamonds are Forever is a featurette on the making of the movie.  The director along with some of the cast and crew talk about the making of the movie.  Originally changes were going to be made to the Bond movies since they were hiring a new actor to take over the part.  The studio, United Artists, wanted Sean Connery back and managed to get him to be in the movie.  After that, plans for the movie changed.  The casting of other parts was talked about along with how Willard Whyte was based on Howard Hughes.  The featurette ends with women from the previous Bond movies talking about Sean Connery.  It wasn't that long, but it was interesting.

Cubby Broccoli - The Man Behind Bond is a featurette on the life of Albert R. Broccoli, the man who produced all of the Bond movies until Goldeneye.  Several people, including his children and wife, talk about him and how determined he was to make the Bond books into movies.  His daughter and step son continue to produce the new Bond movies.  The featurette wasn't too long and it was interesting.

Diamonds are Forever has a few issues, but it is another entertaining entry in the Bond series overall.  People that have enjoyed the previous Bond movies may also like this one.

I would have rated this one three and a half stars if I had the option.  Since I don't, I rounded up to four stars.

James Bond Movies
Dr. No ~ From Russia With Love ~ Goldfinger ~ Thunderball ~ You Only Live Twice ~ On Her Majesty's Secret Service ~ Diamonds are Forever ~ Live and Let Die ~ The Man With the Golden Gun ~ The Spy Who Loved Me ~ Moonraker ~ For Your Eyes Only ~ Octopussy ~ A View to a Kill ~ The Living Daylights ~ Licence to Kill ~ Goldeneye ~ Tomorrow Never Dies ~ The World is Not Enough ~ Die Another Day ~ Casino Royale ~ Quantum of Solace ~ James Bond: The Secret Life of 007 ~ Never Say Never Again ~

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