Plot – A diamond smuggling operation leads Bond to Las Vegas , where he uncovers an extortion plot headed by his nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Thanks to the chat on the James Bond #MTOS (Movie Talk On Sunday) on Twitter last I decided to return to the Bondathon I have been taking on recently and have now reached Diamonds Are Forever.
Sean Connery returns in this movie after George Lazenbys one-movie stint in the excellent On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Personally, I’ve always thought it as a shame he left after the one as I would have liked to have seen how Diamonds Are Forever turned out.
Anyway, on to this movie. As I’ve said, Connery is back for one last “official” Bond outing. He’s on form in this but I sometimes get the feeling it’s just a final big pay cheque for him taking on this movie. He has some good moments and some good one-liners as always.
Jill St John plays Bond Girl Tiffany Case in this one. I remember seeing her first in the very first episode of the Batman TV series of the 60’s playing a character called Mollie. Here, she’s a bold and brassy redhead who gives as good as she gets. She’s ok as a Bond girl but I don’t think she’s as memorable as some others.
The villain is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, this time played by the non-follically challenged Charles Gray. For me he’s one of the best parts of the movie, playing Blofeld in a completely different way to what has come before, even going so far as to dress up as a woman to make a getaway.
Also, in the villain category, we have the very sinister gay couple MrWint and Mr Kidd. They’re played with such gusto by Bruce Glover and Putter Smith and, in my own humble opinion, are the best characters in the movie. They steal every scene they’re in and are so watchable.
All the regulars are back, Bernard Lee as M, Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny and Desmond Llewellyn as Q. As always, all dependable in their short screen time and a pleasure to watch.
Throw in the buxom Lana Wood as Plenty O’ Toole (named after her father, perhaps?), Jimmy Dean as Willard Whyte, Bruce Cabot as Bert Saxby and Leonard Barr as Shady Tree and you have quite an excellent cast.
For me, this isn’t one of my favourite of the Bond movies and, on watching last night, I can see how it may be a little underrated. There are some excellent Bond moments in here but I feel the producers missed a trick after the wonderful and emotional ending of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. There wasn’t really anything following on from that apart from the underwhelming opening sequence where Bond is on the search for Blofeld. This gives the impression that Bond is out for revenge but, after that, the events of OHMSS are forgotten.
Another reason this may get a bum ramp is the “campness” of it. Fair enough there’s plenty of it but it does give a good show of Las Vegas in the 70’s and doesn’t hinder or progress the story.
For me, not one of the best but certainly not the worst. As with all the Bond movies I’ll not be scoring them out of 10.
Cheers and thank you for reading.