Diamonds Are Forever

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

James Bond – agent 007 – pursues Ernst Stavro Blofeld and eventually finds him at a facility, where Blofeld look-alikes are being created through surgery. Bond kills a test subject, and later the ‘real’ Blofeld, by drowning him in a pool of superheated mud.

While assassins Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd systematically kill several diamond smugglers, M suspects that South African diamonds are being stockpiled to depress prices by dumping, and orders Bond to uncover the smuggling ring. Disguised as professional smuggler and murderer Peter Franks, Bond travels to Amsterdam to meet contact Tiffany Case. The real Franks shows up on the way, but Bond intercepts and kills him and switches IDs to make it seem like Franks is Bond. Case and Bond then go to Los Angeles, smuggling the diamonds inside Franks’ corpse.

At the airport Bond meets his CIA ally Felix Leiter and goes to a funeral home, where Franks’ body is cremated and the diamonds passed on to the next smuggler, Shady Tree. Bond is nearly killed by Wint and Kidd when they put him in a cremation oven, but Tree stops the process when he discovers that the diamonds in Franks’ body were fakes, planted by Bond and the CIA.

Bond tells Leiter to ship the real diamonds as he goes to Las Vegas. There Bond goes to the Whyte House, a casino-hotel owned by the reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte, where Tree works as a stand-up comedian. Then Bond discovers Tree has been killed by Wint and Kidd, who did not know that the diamonds were fake. At the craps table, Bond meets the opportunistic Plenty O’Toole, and after gambling, brings her to his room. Gang members are waiting there and throw O’Toole out the window and into the pool. After they leave, Bond spends the rest of the night with Tiffany Case. Bond then tells Tiffany, who wants to steal the diamonds for herself, to retrieve the diamonds at the Circus Circus casino.

Tiffany picks up the diamonds, but reneges on her deal and flees, passing off the diamonds to the next smuggler. However, seeing that O’Toole was killed after being mistaken for her, Tiffany changes her mind and drives Bond to the airport, where the diamonds are given to Bert Saxby. Following Saxby’s van, Bond eventually enters the car which drives to a remote facility. Bond enters the apparent destination of the diamonds – a research laboratory owned by Whyte, where he finds that a satellite is being built by a laser refraction specialist, Professor Dr. Metz. When Bond’s cover is blown, he escapes by stealing a moon buggy and reunites with Tiffany.

Bond and Tiffany return to the Whyte House. Bond scales the walls to the top floor to confront Whyte. Inside, he is instead confronted by two identical Blofelds who use an electronic device to sound like Whyte. Bond kills one of the Blofelds, but it turns out to be a look-alike. He is then knocked out by gas, where he is picked up by Wint and Kidd and taken out to Las Vegas Valley where he is placed in a pipeline and left to die. After Bond escapes, he calls Blofeld posing as Saxby. He finds out Whyte’s location and rescues him, but in the meantime Blofeld abducts Case. With the help of Whyte, Bond raids the lab and uncovers Blofeld’s plot to create a laser satellite using the diamonds, which by now is already in orbit. With the satellite, Blofeld destroys nuclear weapons in China, the Soviet Union and the United States, then proposes an international auction for global nuclear supremacy.

Whyte identifies an oil rig off the coast of Baja California as Blofeld’s base of operations. After Bond’s attempt to change the cassette containing the satellite control codes fails due to a mistake by Tiffany, Leiter and the CIA begin a helicopter attack on the rig. Blofeld tries to escape on a mini-sub, but Bond gains control of it, crashing it into the control room, causing the satellite control and base to be destroyed. Bond and Tiffany then head for Britain on a cruise ship, where Bond also foils Wint and Kidd’s attempt to kill them with a hidden bomb, killing them instead.

REVIEW:

Sean Connery returns to star as 007 and we get a lighter, more campy film than we are used to with Diamonds are Forever. Many lists have this as one of the more mediocre outings and I can’t disagree.

What is this about?

When he discovers that his archenemy is stockpiling the world’s supply of diamonds for use in a deadly laser satellite, secret agent James Bond sets out to thwart the madman help from beautiful smuggler Tiffany Case.

What did I like?

He’s back. Following the negative reaction to George Lazenby’s performance as Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the studio decided to spare no expense in getting Connery back. Lazenby himself expressed no interest in returning, even though he had been signed for I believe it was 5 pictures. A bit older, Connery still has the same charm, charisma, and good looks that served him so well, in his days as Bond.

Fun. If memory serves, this is the first of these films where it seems as if Bond is actually having fun(not counting is many romps with gorgeous women). I’m always a fan of more campy material. I actually would’ve liked for it to have been even more over the top. That being said, the change of pace is a nice switch-up from the norm.

Car chase. Noting like a good high-speed car chase. Make that chase take place in some sort of loading dock, which acts as a sort of driver’s ed course. Actually, this makes it more exciting, but I’m no fan of the music of they chose for this scene. Still, an action flick of tis caliber is deserving of a great road rage scene.

What didn’t I like?

Bambi and Thumper. The last two assassins Bond encounters before he rescues Mr. Whyte are gorgeous, as all females in this franchise are. My issue with them is that they don’t seem to serve any purpose other than a distraction. It is more than apparent that they weren’t meant to show off a couple of girls in bikinis (in the frozen tundra, btw).

Bodyswitch. Blofeld introduces the ability to surgically create look-alikes. These come into play in the climactic confrontations, but it just seems tome that they could have played a much bigger role in the film as a while, perhaps as some sort of decoy assassins or a kind of, I dunno, something o use that would justify making such a big deal of them in the opening act.

Breakfast with Tiffany. Jill St. John went on to do some decent things with her career on television and in a few films. I can’t say that her Tiffany character was a great springboard for her career, because she wasn’t very convincing. I found her stiff and unlikable, among other things. She surely wasn’t a highlight in terms of Bond girls.

After giving it some thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that Diamonds are Forever is far from being the best in the series. As a matter of fact, I may even qualify it as near the bottom. No, it isn’t horrible, but it is far from being a good film. Enjoyable at parts and will surely delight audiences, this is just a film that is to be watched when you’re trying to watch the Bond films, like I am, otherwise, it is best to not even bother.

3 out of 5 stars

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One Response to “Diamonds Are Forever”

  1. […] skin. On the flipside, using her younger sister (who would go on to fame as Plenty O’Toole in Diamonds are Forever) was a stroke of […]

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