Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

diamonds are forever poster 1971 movie 007
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun looking at old Las Vegas

So-so story with a bit too many jokes, Jill St. John isn't a good Bond girl

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Diamonds Are Forever

Studio:  Danjaq/Eon Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  December 14, 1971 (West Germany)/December 30, 1971 (UK)

MPAA Rating:  PG


Looks like I’m going to get lucky in Vegas…

James Bond has gotten his revenge on Ernst Blofeld (Charles Gray) and is back to being a standard secret agent.  Now, 007 is being sent to infiltrate a diamond smuggling ring based out of Las Vegas and run by a mysterious, unseen Willard Whyte.  Posing as a trafficker named Peter Franks, Bond must unmask the mysterious Mr. Whyte with the help of diamond smuggler Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) and his ally Felix Leiter (Norman Burton), and find out what his plans for the diamonds are.  When Bond starts to get close, he uncovers an old enemy has returned.


Blofeld…you look like Dame Edna…

Directed by Guy Hamilton, Diamonds are Forever is the seventh film in the James Bond franchise.  Following On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969, the movie featured the return of Sean Connery as James Bond (following George Lazenby who chose to leave the role), but also marked the final appearance of Connery as Bond (in the official series…he returned in Never Say Never Again).  The movie received mixed to negative reviews and is often considered one of the weakest Sean Connery Bonds.  The theme song “Diamonds Are Forever” was performed by Shirley Bassey, and the film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound (losing to Fiddler on the Roof).

Diamonds Are Forever demonstrates a change in James Bond.  The tone of the movie seems even more tongue-in-cheek than previous films and this is carried on into most of Roger Moore’s work (I particularly liked the part when the people in the moon landing simulation moved in slow-motion even when Bond ran by).  In addition to the change in tone, the film is also very low tech with virtually no Q (Desmond Llewelyn) inventions (except the voice modifier).


A nice romantic dip in the pool with Bambi and Thumper.

Instead of a globe spanning film, the movie has very few locations and only really uses London, Las Vegas and the surrounding areas (the South Africa scenes were actually shot in Vegas), and the oil rig location.  This is different than most Bonds which has Bond jetsetting around the globe.  It feels a bit wrong for him to just hang out in one place.

With one location, it is fun to see old Vegas.  The movie had a Howard Hughes type character in Whyte, and Cubby Broccoli’s friendship with Hughes had him use most of Hughes’ hotels.  One of the more exciting scenes in the movie had Bond in a street chase in what is considered Downtown Vegas now (but had a ridiculous 2 wheel moment).  I also enjoyed seeing the what was then new Circus Circus…which really hasn’t changed horribly over the forty years in feel and spirit.


Space…the final frontier (for Bond)

Additional criticism came for Jill St. John as Sean Connery’s romantic lead.  She has little personality and often reverts to the damsel mode when in some of the high stress moments (I do like when she accidentally switched back the tapes…how was she supposed to know his plan?) The bumbling psychotic duo of Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) and Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith) also didn’t help the film, but I do like Charles Gray as Blofeld.

Diamonds Are Forever is a strange Bond movie.  When compared to other Connery Bonds, it feels more like a Roger Moore movie than a Sean Connery 007.  I don’t love the film, but it is better with multiple viewings to help clear up some tricky plot aspects.  Diamonds Are Forever is followed by Roger Moore’s first outing as the super-spy in Live and Let Die in 1973.

Preceded By:

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

Followed By:

Live and Let Die (1973)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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