1. CBn Reviews 'Diamonds Are Forever'

    By Devin Zydel on 2005-06-19

    Over the last several months, members of the CBn Forum have been reviewing all the James Bond films in the “Countdown Threads“. If you wish to join in on the forum discussion all you have to do is register. Now here are some select reviews, varying in opinions, of Diamonds Are Forever

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by Bond111

    'Diamonds Are Forever' litho by Jeff Marshall

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ litho by Jeff Marshall

    Not quite the mess that The Man With The Golden Gun is, but close. First off, the script is incredibly cheesy and absurd, and the action scenes aren’t up to par (not to mention the special effects). Sean Connery’s performance is obviously lacking, and he just doesn’t seem right for the film, or, rather, the film doesn’t seem right for him. The Bond girl is terrible, and probably one of the worst of the series. Charles Gray as Blofeld is even worse. He’s not even playing Blofeld.

    The things I will give it credit for, however, is its quality score by veteran John Barry (though not really in my style), the exciting fight in the elevator, and the epic battle at the end (even though it ends too abruptly).

    The end result ends up feeling more of a spoof of James Bond, rather than a wholehearted effort. This is bottom of the barrel Bond.

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by DLibrasnow

    A podgy, balding actor doing a bad impersonation of Sean Connery stars in this movie that seems confused between wanting to be a more serious James Bond picture and a more jokey seventies entry. What could (and should) have been a great tale of Bond avenging the murder of his wife with 007 tracking Blofeld around the world is instead turned into a wacked out amusement park ride. Flat setpieces (only the elevator fight with Franks gives any real excitement), loosely drawn characters, a ho-hum plot and the worst Felix Leiter of the series mean that this 1971 film fails on so many levels to serve as a swan song for Connery (no wonder he returned 12 years later for the far superior Never Say Never Again).

    This movie really is going nowhere fast. Little do we care if 007 carries out his assignment or if the world survives the machinations of Blofeld. With Bond being chased by a couple of gay assassins and Blofeld prancing around dressed as an old lady the camp element becomes so pervasive that one almost expects Charles Gray to jump on a desk and start singing that number from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show.’

    One of the major failings of this movie is Connery himself – he looks simply terrible (and in fact appeared much healthier and effective in Never Say Never Again). He also seems universally bored with the proceedings (as he probably was) and his monotone delivery of several lines produces not awe at his acting ability but yawns at just how uninteresting and boring the story is.

    Overall a flat entry that does nothing for the audience. The climax aboard the oil rig must surely rank as one of the worst and least exciting of the series (and this from someone who loves the fight in the monastery in For Your Eyes Only). My least favorite Connery 007 movie.

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by Freemo

    Sixth place in my “all-Connery Top Six” goes to Diamonds Are Forever. Just for being two glourious hours of comic book fun. Perhaps it’s a little flabby, a little cartoonish, but also impossible to tire of. Look at it as an “event” if you need to, Sean Connery the old gang back together again, in Vegas of all places, delivering some first-rate entertainment. The last true “adult” Bond film, with some wonderful witty dialogue and great characters.

    Top stuff.

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by hrabb04

    The opening is really good, even though it’s Bob Simmon’s, armed with Sean Connery’s voice, who is doing all of the knocking the bad guys about. When we first see Sean, it’s almost a shock. He’s older, balder, and fatter, but it’s still Sean! I love it when he rips off the bikini top and strangles the girl. That is Bond all the way. When he nails Blofeld and his goons, welcoming his wife’s killer to hell, that again is Bond. Perfect. So far, so good.

    Shirley Bassey’s theme is really good, starting with that effective opening sting. I love it that you can listen to it on the soundtrack now. Great stuff. Maurice Binder, you were a genius! And John Barry is a God amongst film composers. Nobody does it better!

    Connery’s scenes with M are priceless, with Tom Mankiewicz’s script really shining here. I love his dialogue, alluding to Connery’s absence from the role. We do function in your absence, Commander!

    Jill St. John is a hottie among hotties in this one. Her chemistry with Connery is spot-on, and they strike more than a few sparks. Same with Lana Wood. Her part is mangled through the crappy editing. You have to watch the deleted scenes on the DVD to put two and two together on the what and how of her character. Bad editor, bad!

    Wint and Kidd are two of the best henchmen ever in a Bond movie. Bruce Glover is creepy and Putter Smith just cracks me up. He has that weird laugh. Perfect, perfect casting.

    But then, well, we have Charles Gray as Blofeld. What the hell? Going from Donald Pleasance to Telly Savalas to this guy? Give me a break! He still has some funny lines, but you don’t want Blofeld to be funny! You want Bond at this point to want to rip his throat out!

    Still, Diamonds Are Forever, while fun, is the weakest of the Connery’s for me, since we’re not counting Never Say Never Again.

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by Loomis

    Fun stuff, despite (or perhaps because of) the filmmakers’ apparent desire to urinate on Fleming and totally trash everything held dear by Bond purists. Forget about 007 the spy – here, our hero is a tubby playboy type, involved in some kind of lighthearted jewel thief caper comedy rather than an espionage adventure. You get Connery back, but you don’t get Bond – swings and roundabouts, eh? But, hey, when you’ve got a terrific Barry score, some great locations and Ken Adam sets, and enough goofy and bizarre elements to keep lovers of the goofy and bizarre entertained till the cows come home, who’s grumbling? Not me. Wonderful chemistry between Connery and Jill St. John, some laugh-out-loud comedy moments (Wint and Kidd chortling in the car like Beavis and Butt-Head gets me every time), and hands down the most entertaining first 20 minutes or so of any Bond flick ever (the bra strangulation bit is genuinely unpleasant, though).

    An enjoyable “Bond” outing (best to put it in inverted commas, I think) that doesn’t take itself too seriously (which is just as well).

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by Moonraker

    A great Bond film for Connery to go out with. The action sequences are very elaborate. Sean gives a decent preformance and has great one liners with Tiffany. Tiffany is a good Bond girl, smart and sassy especially at the gas station seen. Charles Gray is decent Blofeld, but not as good as the predecessors. Wint & Kidd are great villians as well. The score is fantastic and Shirley Bassey’s theme is magnificent, sexy, dark and cool. Overall a great film my all favourite James Bond film.

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by Qwerty

    It’s really not all that bad, it’s just not one of those top Connery films in my opinion. Ranking it at #15 seems to make out that I don’t care for this one too much, but you can never have enough Diamonds Are Forever. It’s a light, fast paced movie that keeps you entertained for the most part, throughout.

    It’s nice to see Connery return, although I’ve always seen him as looking his worst in this film. While he may be the most disinterested in You Only Live Twice, he looks the least like the Bond we once knew him as in this one. He does get some pretty good lines, thanks to Tom Mankiewicz’s very sharp screenwriting. Charles Gray’s Ernst Stavro Blofeld is, however, the weakest of the three. He is hammed up and doesn’t really have all that much menace. While some of the dialogue he has with Bond is good, it isn’t enough.

    Tiffany Case is a fair Bond girl. More enjoyable and believeable in the first half of the movie though.

    The finale is one of the main problems with the film. It lacks spectacle, it lacks polish and just seems to be quickly thrown together. We do have, at least, a good score by John Barry, as well as a good main title song. Some good dialogue, but the film has good and bad parts on the whole.

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by Scottlee

    The good: Very witty script from Mankowitz, hilarious in places | Connery looks enthused at playing Bond again. The 4 year break appeared to do him good, even if his weight was slightly dodgy. You couldn’t imagine the 62-65 Connery physique, for instance, getting slapped around by Bambi and Thumper. | Wint and Kidd are superb, and aren’t over-used. | Good score | Decent pre-credits

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by Tarl Cabot

    A flabby Connery with a bad hair day and a lame revenge of Tracy’s murder makes this outing Connery’s least worthy. It entertains but it’s not the Bond film that the series deserved as a follow up to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. A lot of fans seem to wish Connery had starred in the superior On Her Majesty’s Secret Service but I think Diamonds Are Forever would have been better with Lazenby as Bond.

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by tdalton

    I have no idea what Saltzman and Brocolli were thinking when they came up with the idea behind this film. It might have been alright if the film had come later in the series, but it just doesn’t work as a follow up to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

    First of all, Sean Connery doesn’t really seem all that interested to be returning to the role of 007, and it shows in his performance. He just waltzes through the film as though he is just waiting to pick up that monsterous paycheck upon the completion of the film. George Lazenby should have been allowed to return to the role and at least finish what he started in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the film would have been better off if that had happened.

    The main reason that Diamonds Are Forever does not work is the fact that it should have been a revenge story, but instead, it is almost a slapstick comedy, almost a foreshadowing of the Roger Moore Era that was to follow. I just am not willing to believe that someone like James Bond could be put in the same room as the man who murdered his wife (in the previous film) and that he doesn’t seem to have any extra animosity towards Blofeld. It doesn’t make sense, and it is just a crime that the Bond fans were not able to get a true revenge story following On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, one of the best films in the series.

    Blofeld also poses another problem. He is horribly miscast in the guise of Charles Gray. Gray is a fine actor in his own rite, but after two consecutive films in which Blofeld has appeared as a short, bald man, it once again doesn’t make sense for him to appear in a third film as a taller man with a full head of hair. Also, instead of the deadpan performances of Donald Pleasance and Telly Savalas in You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Gray portrays Blofeld as a camp villian, and even dresses in drag towards the end of the film, something that the Pleasance and Savalas incarnations of the character would not have done.

    Jill St. John is also miscast as Tiffany Case. She is just an annoying character that is there simply to fill the need for a Bond girl. After Diana Rigg in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, St. John is very disappointing and does not carry the screen well at all.

    Blofeld’s caper is one of the same ho-hum space satellite weapon plots. He once again threatens to destroy cities if his demands are not met, and this is a tired plot device that we have seen before. Also, after the down to earth scheme in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever’s plot seems a bit farfetched.

    The idea to set a Bond movie in Las Vegas, however, was a good idea. Las Vegas is the perfect place for 007. Unfortunately, it was not used to its full potential.

    The score of the film was decent. Nothing spectacular, but definitely not the worst of the Bond scores. Shirley Bassey’s theme song, however, was outstanding.

    ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ by YOLT

    I think Connery’s Bond legacy died with this film until 1983. Connery was so-so but the film was awful. It was just a film made to say that “Connery’s back so come and see it”. The locations and the action scenes were dull. The elevator fight was one of the highligths of the film. It was a bad and an awful Bond film.