Diamonds are Forever (1971) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Replacing the dog as a girl’s best friend – because Diamonds are Forever!

The 7th James Bond film see Connery back in action as the titular spy, as he goes undercover to find out about, and stop diamond smuggling on an epic scale. Blofeld is back in the picture, played by Charles Grey (who previously appeared as Henderson in “007: You only live twice” (1967)). This film is often remembered as the one with the gay assassins in it; Wint & Kidd (Bruce Glover & Putter Smith) – and notably, the Bond film, which is a camp comic book caper, rather than a suave British adventure.

After the pace of the 60’s Bond films, this 70’s Bond seems more laid back and calm, he’s cool about everything and often seems that he’s not in a rush to resolve things – he’s more so just enjoying the ride. The film is mainly set in Las Vegas, but there are trips to LA and Amsterdam too. Bond gets to drive a moon-buggy and a Mustang (on two wheels through a tight alley), he wins at the Craps table, avoids being assassinated in a range of ways courtesy of Wint & Kidd, fights Karate/ kung-fu bunnies (Bambi and Thumper), he meets Plenty O’Toole (Lana Wood) and Tiffany Case (Jill St. John), he gets buried alive and escapes a blazing coffin, and prevents the world being held to hostage by a ‘giant laser’. It feels at times that the camp spy escapades are more akin to “The Avengers” TV series, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” or even the Adam West “Batman and Robin” series. With that in mind, when I say that the film is as tongue in cheek and at times almost comedic as it is an action film, I don’t feel to harsh with my critique.

Connery’s return was prompted after the studio panicked about Lazenby’s reviews in “007: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969). They needed to react and originally planned to bring in American John Gavin, but then Connery agreed and was put into the role. This would be Connery’s last film, again(!), but really it wasn’t, as he would return in the unofficial Bond film “007 (Unofficial): Never Say Never Again” (1983) some 12 years later. It is amazing what a good pay cheque could inspire (just to be clear, it wasn’t necessarily a greed thing, Connery put the money into a foundation for Scottish artists)! Another panic saw them bring back Goldfinger director Guy Hamilton, and a lot of his crew, to try and bring back some of the success that that film had. With all that panic, why not bring back Shirley Bassey too – and for the record, her return with the title song would prove to be another great success for her.

I enjoyed this film as a passage of time. If I compared it to other Bond films then there is a clear difference in the approach and the pace. It is probably a sign of the times, the end of the 60’s and colourful camp humour, and the start of the 70’s with a more serious approach – which has this Bond film sandwiched in the middle almost commentating on a transition in cinema at the time. It is that sandwiching that almost steals the identity of the film, it isn’t entirely sure what it should be. Nether the less, I like Connery as Bond, I prefer him to Moore. This wasn’t really a fitting end to his official run as Bond, but that’s not necessarily down to Connery, more due to sloppy scripting and an average plot, as a result of panicking and trying to mimic the success of “007: Goldfinger” (1964). Out of all the Bond films, this is one of the ones I remember greatly from my youth. Based on that I can confirm that it is family friendly (it certainly did not do any harm to me as a child watching it), and it is a great one-off Bond film if you just want to pick one up for some fun.

Title Song: Diamonds are Forever – Shirley Bassey

In terms of Bond films this is a 6 out of 10.

In terms of movies in the long and illustrious history of film I would give this a 5 out of 10.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/10)

Bond, James Bond, 007 – Ranking

1007: Goldfinger (1964) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
2007: Dr. No (1962) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: From Russia with Love (1963) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
3007: Thunderball (1965) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
4007: You only live twice (1967) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
007: Diamonds are Forever (1971) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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