Beginning with a pre credit sequence of James Bond satisfying his personal vendetta with Blofeld (Charles Gray) for the death of his wife Tracy (Diana Rigg) we see 007 return to active duty investigating a major diamond smuggling ring. Disguised as professional smuggler Bond travels to Amsterdam to meet his contact Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) and follow the leads all the way to the end of the smuggling pipeline at a Las Vegas casino hotel the Whyte House owned by the reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte (Jimmy Dean) However as Bonds investigations bring him closer to the source implications become deadlier with hit-men Mr Whint (Bruce Glover) and Mr Kidd (Putter Smith) on his tail and a ghost from the past returning to haunt him with devastating consequences to the world.
Based on the 1956 novel “Diamonds are Forever” by Ian Fleming and is the fourth of the James Bond novels. The book and movie actually share very little as far as plot goes and I much more prefer the book! The production team first considered Adam West and other American actors before finally tempting back Sean Connery with a then-record $1.25 million salary which he donated to his charity. I have not graded this movie overly high but I did enjoy a lot of elements within it. The openly homosexual henchmen who in my opinion are two of the nastiest hit men bonds ever faced even if they did fumble about a bit at the end. The growing relationship between Bond and Q (Desmond Llewelyn) which rather than being sardonic has become more mutually respectful, good-natured and which leads on eventually to an affectionate friendship. The theme song for Diamonds are Forever is “Diamonds are Forever” composed by John Barry and belted out by Shirley Bassey. Producer Harry Saltzman reportedly hated the song, and only the insistence of co-producer Cubby Broccoli kept it in the film. Saltzman’s major objection was to the sexual innuendo of the lyrics.
Why did I choose this movie, well it is not by favourite have to be honest and I have graded it higher than it possibly deserves. The plot is complicated and uncomplicated at the same time. It is solid at first glance with the diamond smuggling but with the twist in the second act with a laser in space blowing shit up it all falls apart. Bond would have been better off pitted against the Spangled Mob of the book. The lack of any real action or suspense just drags what could have been a great movie down. It is borderline comedy throughout, with Bond girls who have the most stupid names ever. Never mind Tiffany Case how about Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood) with a name like that I would of thrown her out a window. The opening scenes with Bond looking to avenge Tracy are diminished somewhat by his antics with other girls later on. Connery’s lowest point in all of his runs as 007 he looks clearly board. Due to Connery’s extensive salary the special effects budget was scaled back and as a consequence a lack of action ensues. What could have been a strong emotional and darker Bond at the loss of his wife just feels lost in trying to follow a formula and be all things for all people. The first draft had been written for George Lazenby and was to have a pre credits scene of Bonds wife being murdered which instead was seen at the ending of On her Majesty’s Secret Service, if only this movie was made it would of been immensely better….James Bond will return in Live and Let Die