Diamonds Are Forever
Diamonds are Forever is the seventh film in the James Bond franchise. Released in 1971 it saw the return of Sean Connery as Bond after George Lazenby’s one off intervention.
Directed by Guy Hamilton, the film follows Bond as he goes undercover to infiltrate a diamond smuggling operation and bring down Blofeld’s plan to build diamond powered satellites to manipulate the control of governments around the world.
Bond travels from Amsterdam to Las Vegas, and along the way he faces off against a host of memorable villains, including Ernst Stavro Blofeld and assassins Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. All the while enjoying time and help from Bond girls Tiffany Case and Plenty O’Toole – almost.
Critics were mixed on Sean Connery’s return to the role of James Bond, but the film’s action sequences and of course Connery’s suave use of his one-liners went down well
The rest of the cast made for some memorable characters, non more so than the menacing duo Mr Wint and Mr Kidd, and of course the sensational Jill St. John.
The film was a commercial success and received generally positive reviews upon its release, after the Box Office struggles with the previous film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
In this blog post we’ll go into greater detail about the film, the actors and actresses who starred in the film, and of course the main action and locations visited.
Diamonds Are Forever – Synopsis
This time, Bond’s mission is to pursue an international diamond smuggling ring based out of the United States of America.
The movie begins with, M assigning Bond the mission of uncovering a suspected diamond smuggling ring in South Africa. Posing as smuggler Peter Franks, Bond is sent to Amsterdam where Tiffany Case awaits him.
After Bond has met Tiffany, the real smuggler Franks actually turns up in Amsterdam and 007 kills him in a fight. Bond quickly swaps his ID with Franks’ and it appears to Tiffany Case that the dead body is that of James Bond.
Bond and Tiffany then fly to Los Angeles with the diamonds stuffed in Franks’ coffin. Old friend and CIA agent Felix Leiter meets Bond at the airport as Bond then moves on to Las Vegas.
At the crematorium, Franks’ body is cremated, but Bond has removed the diamonds and replaced them for fake diamonds, giving them to smuggler, Shady Tree.
Bond is then knocked unconscious by assassins Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, who put him into a sealed coffin and into the crematorium oven. Just as its looking like Bond will be toast, the oven is switched off and Bond is taken out of the coffin, thanks to Shady Tree discovering that the diamonds are fake.
Bond then goes to the Whyte House casino-hotel, owned by billionaire Willard Whyte, played by the eccentric TV perosnality and singer Jimmy Dean. At the Whyte House craps table, 007 meets his first Bond girl, Plenty O’Toole, who’s attracted to his money. He takes her up to his suite, but they’re ambushed by Whyte’s henchmen, who throw Plenty out of the window and into the swimming pool.
Bond tells Tiffany to get the actual diamonds from Circus Circus hotel, which she does but she gives them to a smuggler. Tiffany is then concerned for her life after Bond shows her Plenty’s corpse at the bottom of the pool, which Bond says was supposed to be her.
Tiffany tells Bond where to get the diamonds back, which leads him to a remote facility, where a satellite is being built by laser refraction specialist, Professor Metz. Bond’s cover is blown here and a fight ensues, but 007 manages to escape across the Nevada desert in a moon buggy.
Tiffany meets Bond in her red, 1971 Mustang Mach 1. Bond heads back to Vegas, but comes across expecting cops, arranged by Willard Whyte. The cops give chase through the streets of Las Vegas, and Bond takes several cop cars out, before he heads down a seemingly dead end. But Bond takes the Mustang up on to two wheels and drives through a narrow alleyway and finally escapes the corrupt police.
Bond then scales the Whyte House to confront Whyte in his penthouse, but is shocked to see 2 Ernst Stavro Blofelds there. Bond kills one of the Blofelds but is then taken out by assassins Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd again and left for dead in a pipeline.
Bond escapes and finds out where Whyte is and the billionaire helps Bond in the investigation after he discovers Blofeld has manipulated his staff. They goto Whyte’s lab and uncover Blofeld’s plot to create a laser satellite using the diamonds, and ultimately to take out Washington DC.
Blofeld kidnaps Tiffany Case and takes her to his oil rig hideaway off the California coast, and Bond heads there. Bond foils Blofeld’s plan, who wants to escape on his mini submarine, not knowing Bond is controlling the crane that’s supposed to be lowering him into the ocean.
Instead Bond swings the mini submarine with Blofeld inside, using it as a wrecking ball to destroy the oil rig labrotory. As the it’s all exploding Tiffany falls into the sea, and after Bond’s mission is complete, he dives in to escape the furnace.
The end scene, Bond and Tiffany set sail for Britain aboard a cruise ship, but their peaceful voyage is threatened by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, who are posing as room service. The assassins have a bomb hidden in the dessert.
Bond ‘smells a rat’ and the assassins’ cover is blown. Fight ensues and both men are despatched of overboard with the bomb, as James Bond and Tiffany Case then finally enjoy some downtime.
Sean Connery’s Performance as Bond
After the departure of George Lazenby, the producers of the Bond series – Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli – put other actors to test. But United Artists wanted Sean Connery back in action so badly they paid a record-breaking amount of $1.25 million as salary – big, big money for the time.
Anyway, a reluctant but with new found wealthy Sean Connery was back as James Bond 007 after a one movie sabbatical, and it was like he’d never been away. The film starts with a few fight scenes showing only Bond’s punching and kicking while he’s trying to track down Blofeld.
It’s known that Sean Connery wasn’t fully immersed in his role, and his resistance to fully embrace the role of Bond, is a recipe for a unique take on 007 in this often cheesy film.
There’s still a lot to enjoy with Sean Connery’s characteristic sophistication throughout the film. This creates an ideal balance between humour and authenticity that all fans of Bond can appreciate.
The fight scenes aren’t his best, although the nail-biting elevator fight in Amsterdam is good. But when Bond tracks down Whyte, he gets ruthlessly pummelled by two egotistical female acrobats in the Nevada desert. A bit cheesy to say the least, as was the moon buggy escape, but this was the early 1970s.
The chase through the streets of Las vegas as Bond drives the Mustang on the sidewalks near Freemont Street are a highlight, especially as he takes the car on 2 wheels to get through a tight alley and escape the corrupt police.
Another classic scene is at the end where assassins Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are dressed as room service attempting to kill Bond and Tiffany on their cruise. Bond is suspicious of them and quietly smells Mr Wint’s aftershave as he’s serving them the meal. They offer Bond the Mouton Rothschild wine to taste which Bond tricks the supposed waiter to confirm his suspicion.
James Bond: The wine is quite excellent. Although for such a grand meal I would have expected a claret.
Mr. Wint: But of course. Unfortunately our cellar is poorly stocked with clarets.
James Bond: Mouton Rothschild is a claret. And, I’ve smelled that aftershave before, and both times – I’ve smelled a rat.
It’s a classic and one of the best Bond quotes and signals the end of the assassins and Sean Connery as James Bond.
Diamonds Are Forever wasn’t his best performance, but it’s a good Sean Connery Bond film with some great scenes. After the film was finished so was Sean Connery as James Bond with the Scottish legend saying he would never star as 007 again.
Never say never again, Sean!
Diamonds Are Forever Bond Villains
Sean Connery was back and it could only be his most regular foe, Blofeld that he comes up against. Played by Charles Gray, Blofeld has a plan to hold the world’s governments to ransom and auction nuclear supremacy to the highest bidder.
Blofeld manipulates Las Vegas billionaire William Whyte and organizes his plan from his laboratory and penthouse. Bond tracks Blofeld down and is shocked to find 2 different Blofelds.
The Blofeld lookalikes are being created through surgery, but Bond quickly kills the lookalike. We also see Blofeld in drag, as he dresses full on as a woman as he saunters through the casino with his Persian cat.
At the end of the film, Bond goes to Blofeld’s launchpad which is an oil platform out in the ocean, and destroys it. Blofeld is trying to flee in his mini-submarine, but unknowingly Bond is in control of the machine that’s supposed to be lowering it into the ocean.
Charles Gray doesn’t give the best performance as Blofeld and after being thrown about in his submarine by Bond, he comes to his end in commical scenes, which pretty much sums up Blofeld in this film.
Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd
Mr Wint and Mr Kidd are the best Bond villains in Diamonds are Forever. They’re a pair of assassins tasked with eliminating Bond and anyone else who stands in the way of their operation.
Played by Bruce Glover and Putter Smith, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are a unique duo in the Bond franchise, as they are not your typical Bond villains. They’re not motivated by power or money, but rather by their twisted desire for sadistic pleasure. Mr. Wint is a sadistic killer who takes pleasure in torturing and killing his victims, while Mr. Kidd is his silent and deadly partner who is equally as ruthless. Together, they pose a formidable threat to Bond.
Throughout the film, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are shown to be incredibly skilled in their craft, managing to evade Bond at every turn and even get the better of him on 2 occasions. They come across as weird, twisted and sadistic, but their persistence and dexterity when it comes to killing makes them memorable Bond villains.
Despite getting the better of Bond on 2 occasions, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd ultimately meet their downfall at the hands of Bond. In the film’s climax, Bond manages to outsmart and outmaneuver the duo, ultimately resulting in their deaths.
Bond Girls in Diamonds Are Forever
Tiffany Case, portrayed by actress Jill St. John, is the first American Bond girl to feature in the James Bond franchise. She’s a complex and mysterious character, known for her devious and intriguing nature. Her fiery red hair is a defining feature, though she is often shown to change her hair color, adding to her mysterious allure.
As a diamond smuggler, Tiffany first meets Bond in Amsterdam, in her third floor apartment. She believes Bond to be a professional smuggler or courier named Peter Franks. In her apartment, she appears in a satin bra and red wig at her bedroom doorway, catching Bond off guard. They have a flirtatious exchange, which sets the tone for their relationship dynamic throughout the film.
Tiffany isn’t just a pretty face, she’s a skilled and cunning criminal, using her charm and beauty to manipulate those around her. As they travel together, Bond’s admiration for Tiffany grows, and she becomes an important partner in his mission.
In the climax of the film, Plenty O’Toole has a comical scene as Blofeld’s laboratory is going up in flames. She grabs hold of a machine gun and starts firing randomly, with the intention of taking down any remaining enemies, but the backfire of the gun proves to be too much for her as it pushes her back, causing her to lose her footing and ultimately fall into the ocean.
Overall, Tiffany Case is a captivating and memorable addition to the class of Bond girls. Her devious nature and mysterious allure make her a perfect match for Bond, and their flirtatious banter adds a thrilling dynamic to the film.
Plenty O’Toole, portrayed by former child star actress Lana Wood, is a Bond girl who makes a brief but impactful appearance. Her role as a buxom, gold-digging floozy is established early on as she is first seen prowling the Whyte House casino in Las Vegas, looking for high-roller marks to latch onto.
In her brief role, she’s shown to be confident and assertive in her approach to men, as she is seen rejecting a man’s advances after he loses at the craps table.
Her confidence and sass is further demonstrated when she turns to reveal her voluptuous figure in a memorable, low-cut purple dress, upon hearing Bond wagering $10,000. She leans over next to him, presents her cleavage to him and introduces herself with herself.
‘Hi, I’m Plenty!’ Bond, known for his suave and witty banter, looks downward to her cleavage and replies, ‘But of course you are.’ She adds her last name ‘Plenty O’Toole’ to which Bond quips: ‘Named after your father, perhaps?’
The two end up going up to Bond’s room, and they start kissing, and her dress is unzipped and dropped to the floor, before they’re interrupted by three gunmen. After he kissed her, and her dress was unzipped and dropped to the floor, they were interrupted by three gunmen.
Bond tells them, ‘I’m afraid you’ve caught me with more than my hands up.’ before they throw a topless Plenty out of the bedroom window and into the swimming pool. She survives but is later found dead, drowned in a swimming pool.
The Best Scenes in Diamonds Are Forever
Police cars chase Bond and Tiffany through streets of Las Vegas
Bond and Tiffany hit the road in Tiffany’s a sleek red Mustang Mach 1, and hit Fremont Street area of Las Vegas. WIth the police paid for by Blofeld, they’re out to capture Bond and see him in the car.
The police aim to arrest Bond, but his quick thinking and expert driving skills soon take over as he realizes the situation and decides to make a daring escape. This sets off an intense car chase sequence through the busy streets of Las Vegas, where Bond expertly navigates through crowded intersections, flies down sidewalks, and tears through a packed parking lot.
The chase reaches its climax when Bond makes a spectacular getaway jump off the back of a trailer, leaving the pursuing police cars in a hump. The scene ends with Bond pushing the Mustang to its limits as he skates through a narrow alleyway, with the car on two wheels.
Mr Wint and Mr Kidd act as waiters to try and assassinate Bond
With the successful elimination of Blofeld and the prevention of a major global catastrophe, Bond and Tiffany take a luxurious cruise back to Britain. However, their celebration is short-lived as they are unexpectedly accosted by Blofeld’s vengeful assassins, Mr Wint and Mr Kidd.
The assassins, posing as waiters, serve Bond and Tiffany a lavish dinner and wine, but Bond’s intuition tells him something is amiss. Wint and Kidd launch a surprise attack on Bond and Tiffany, but Bond is able to outsmart them and set one of them on fire, causing him to fall off the edge of the cruise liner.
Tiffany, showing her resourcefulness and bravery, throws a seemingly harmless dessert at Wint, which shatters to reveal a bomb meant to kill them both. Bond quickly grabs the assassin and hurls him overboard, along with the bomb, which detonates before he reaches the water.
Cars and Gizmos Used in the Movie
A great gizmo was the voice machine that allowed Sean Connery to speak in a flawless American accent that meant he could fool Blofeld. Ironically, it’s the same one used by Blofeld to fool Whyte.
Tiffany Case’s red 1971 Mustang Mach 1 is a classic car seen in a couple of scenes while they’re in Las Vegas. This was the 3rd time a Mustang was used in Bond films, and the memorable scene mentioned above is a classic scene. We won’t mention it again, but the iconic escape on two wheels is known for being one most glaring continuity errors in cinematic history.
In the scene, Bond is driving the Mustang into a narrow alleyway, and to get through, he has to put the car on two wheels, which he does with ease. However, the car is shown to be balancing on its right tires when it starts the stunt, but by the end of the alleyway, it’s miraculously balancing on its left tires. Oops!
Diamonds Are Forever – Connery’s Comeback and Conclusion
Loosely based on the novel of the same name, Diamonds Are Forever saw a not so young Sean Connery return as Bond. After the Box Office struggles with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the success of Diamonds Are Forever was a welcome to the producer’s coffers.
There’s some good and bad in the film, but after Connery’s impassive performance in You Only Live Twice he returns to the role with some style. And while the film isn’t without its faults it has enough to provide a fitting end to the Sean Connery era of James Bond.