DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
Bond: Sean Connery – 1 tusk
Sean Connery comes back one more time in order to make a lot of money to set up a scholarship fund in Scotland. His return probably saves the franchise by preventing a super-Americanized reboot from happening. For that, I’m glad he returned. Beyond that, I could have done without his return here. He’s older, tired, and just isn’t having the fun with it that he used to. He seems like a much more cranky Bond in this particular movie.
Girl: Jill St. John as Tiffany Case – 1 tusk
By this point in the series, Tiffany Case is my least favorite Bond girl. While she has some intrigue surrounding her when she first appears, she quickly loses her coolness factor and doesn’t live up to her potential as this great diamond smuggler. She shows ineptness and I don’t really get what Bond sees in her other than the fact she’s a woman. Plenty O’Toole seemed like a much more interesting character. Too bad she didn’t really get to do anything.
Gadgets: Variety of items including fake fingerprints and voice changer – 1 tusk
I didn’t really mind the grappling hook gun and I could live with the voice changer and fake fingerprints. But the gadget Q used to win at gambling was just silliness and the kind of thing I don’t like to see in Bond gadgets.
Opening Theme: “Diamonds Are Forever” by Shirley Bassey – 1 tusk
Since they were trying to recapture the success of Goldfinger, I see why they went back to Shirley Bassey. But like most of the rest of the movie, this retread doesn’t capture any residual magic. It simply says “been there, done that.”
Villain: Charles Gray as Ernst Stavro Blofeld – 1 tusk
This is Blofeld doing his best Auric Goldfinger impression, right down to using the same line regarding the lift. Or should I say elevator? This Blofeld lacked the “mastermindedness” that the previous two Blofelds possessed. Not really a slight against Charles Gray but more so the way he was written.
Henchmen: Bruce Glover and Putter Smith as Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd – 2 tusks
These guys are some quirky henchman. I like the humor contrasted with the seriousness of the characters. The worst part about these guys was their demise at the end. They deserved a better way to go out.
Bambi and Thumper should also get a mention here as well-known Henchwomen from this movie. It was fun to see Bond out of his element a bit and having to take a beating. Although, I couldn’t help but wonder where his ninja training from You Only Live Twice had disappeared to.
Pre-title opening sequence – 1 tusk
Following the emotionally powerful closing of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, this opening falls flat by not directly addressing the reason Bond is dedicated to finding Blofeld. It also made no sense to kill off Blofeld just to have him come back. It made Bond seem incompetent.
While trying to capture the glory of Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever winds up going in different directions. Trying to set a new Americanized tone but bringing back Connery in the role confuses the movie.
The strength of the script is in the Howard Hughes gone awry aspect of the story. Jimmy Dean is a fun Willard Whyte. The henchman are fun characters. The moon buggy chase is kind of funny. By this point in the series, watching the movies are better served by simply sitting back and having fun with them. The serious, plot-driven stories are gone for awhile.
Next time: Roger Moore and the reopening of the biggest disagreement that Jeeg and I have regarding the Bond movies!