DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, 1971
A mysterious diamond smuggling operation is being carried out from Africa to Las Vegas and everyone who touches the diamonds is ending up dead. M sends Bond to investigate and what Bond finds is the furthest thing he could've imagined, involving an old foe using of the diamonds to destroy the world.
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What happened? My real disappointment in Diamonds are Forever is the complete lack of regard of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which is by far a superior film than Diamonds are Forever. That being said Diamonds are Forever can be enjoyed for its extreme camp value, which is the types of Bond you get through the 70's. The producers seem to want to make the next Goldfinger, which proves that the franchise became about the money in a lot of ways. Connery was paid an enormous amount to play Bond again, they brought back Goldfinger director Guy Hamilton, had huge set pieces, crazy chases and a Las Vegas location. It all worked, because it was a big box office success.
The film itself is very thin compared to the others. A diamond smuggling ring is discovered and it ends up tracing back to Blofeld who is making doppelgangers of himself through some type of mud and clay moldings. He uses the diamonds to install into a satellite he has, and using the power of the diamonds he can shoot a lethal laser beam from space to blow things up. Pretty crazy and absurd. Fun to laugh about though.
Connery himself seems to be going through the motions. It does not feel like a man that just lost his wife. You can tell that Connery is ready to move on from the role. I do enjoy Blofeld's gay henchmen Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. I find they get a lot of flack, but every time they are on screen I laugh or have a good time. They are the weirdest Bond villains in the series and I really enjoy them for that reason.
Despite the craziness of Diamonds are Forever there is a great car chase through Las Vegas in a mustang. There is also a scene where Bond gets chased while driving a moon buggy, with arms!?!
As you can probably tell Diamonds are Forever is one of my least favorite of the films. If you set your brain aside you still have a good time. It is fast paced and entertaining, and it is an audience pleaser. Audiences wanted a Bond to win and it is what they got and producers took note of that fact. The filmmakers completely put Flemings books to the side and started doing things there own way. They completely rewrote the film with a few things, like characters, kept in. I believe this is partly to do with the least successful On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This is the dawn of the new Bond with Diamonds are Forever. Big bad guys, more gadgets, and more action. Fleming's novels were more beyond this point until For Your Eyes Only.