Thursday, November 5, 2015
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
"Making mud pies, double oh seven?" -- Blofeld.
Although it is generally considered that Roger Moore's Bond films -- with a couple of exceptions -- were the most absurd and cartoonish of the series, it was clear that Diamonds are Forever was already a step in that direction. George Lazenby wasn't interested in playing Bond again after On Her Majesty's Secret Service -- possibly a bad career choice -- so Sean Connery was again drafted to do duty as 007. Bond takes the place of a man involved in a stolen diamond pipeline, a scheme that takes him to Las Vegas where Ernst Stavos Blofeld (Charles Gray of The Devil Rides Out) has taken the place of a Howard Hughes-type, Willard White (Jimmy Dean), and where the master villain has yet another diabolical plan that Bond must demolish before the end. Connery is quite good as Bond, Jill St. John [The Lost World] makes an impression as jewel thief Tiffany Case (as does Lana Wood as "Plenty"), and Gray is excellent as the sinister, smirking Blofeld. In Ian Fleming's novel there are two homosexual hit men, but they are not the caricatures of the movie, with Bruce Glover as Wint being even more offensive than Putter Smith as Kidd. The sixties sensibility also includes the two female bodyguards Bambi (Lola Larsen) and Thumper (Trina Parks), who are like a condescending nod to women's lib, but who are dispatched by Bond fairly easily. Leonard Barr is fun as the deadpan comic "Shady Tree." Despite its many flaws, Diamonds Are Forever is very entertaining and colorful, with at least one excellent fight scene in an elevator, a nice bit in a crematorium, and an interesting interlude in a scientific laboratory and an underground desert pipeline, not to mention Bond scaling skyscrapers and the like.
Verdict: Lots of mindless fun.***