(ag) wrote: James Bond (Sean Connery), pursues Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Charles Gray) and eventually finds him at a facility where Blofeld look-alikes are being created through surgery. Bond kills a test subject, and later the "real" Blofeld, by drowning him in a pool of superheated mud. While assassins Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) and Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith) systematically kill several diamond smugglers, M suspects that South African diamonds are being stockpiled to depress prices by dumping, and orders Bond to uncover the smuggling ring. Disguised as professional smuggler and assassin Peter Franks, Bond travels to Amsterdam to meet contact Tiffany Case (Jill St. John)...Reviews were mixed, and the camp tone had a mostly negative reaction. Critic Roger Ebert criticised the complexity of the plot and "moments of silliness", such as Bond finding himself driving a moon buggy with antennae revolving and robot arms flapping. He praised the Las Vegas car chase scene, particularly the segment when Bond drives the Mustang on two wheels. Twenty-five years after its release, James Berardinelli criticised the concept of a laser-shooting satellite and the performances of Jill St. John, Norman Burton and Jimmy Dean. Christopher Null called St. John "one of the least effective Bond girls - beautiful, but shrill and helpless". Steve Rhodes said, "looking and acting like a couple of pseudo-country bumpkins, they (Putter Smith and Bruce Glover) seem to have wandered by accident from the adjoining sound stage into the filming of this movie." But he also extolled the car chase as "classic". According to Danny Peary, Diamonds are Forever is "one of the most forgettable movies of the entire Bond series" and that "until Blofeld's reappearance we must watch what is no better than a mundane diamond-smuggling melodrama, without the spectacle we associate with James Bond: the Las Vegas setting isn't exotic enough, there's little humour, assassins Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint are similar to characters you'd find on The Avengers, but not nearly as amusing - and the trouble Bond gets into, even Maxwell Smart could escape." IGN chose it as the third worst James Bond film, behind only The Man with the Golden Gun and Die Another Day. Total Film listed Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, and Bambi and Thumper, as the first and second worst villains in the Bond series (respectively). The film was more positively received by Xan Brooks of the Guardian, who said it was "oddly brilliant, the best of the bunch: the perfect bleary Bond film for an imperfect bleary western world.""Diamonds Are Forever" were Sean Connerys comeback as James Bond after George Lazenby managed to make the poor choice of not continue to play the part due to the advice of his agent. After the disappointing box-office performance of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969) in the U.S. - although it was a hit in other parts of the world - the producers of this film went all-out to win back American audiences. This partly explains why the bulk of this film is set in the United States, specifically Las Vegas, and because much of Ian Fleming's source novel takes place in Las Vegas or in the surrounding desert. The film has a lot of classic Bond ingrediences such as intense fights, explosions, spectacular car chases, global evil, intriguing henchmen and henchwomen, stunning Bond girls and a mix of action and tongue-in-cheek comedy. Sean Connery still has the moves and that Bond coolness even if he looks a tad bit older. United Artists' chief David Picker made it clear that Connery was to be enticed back to the role and that money was no object. When approached about resuming the role of Bond, Connery demanded the fee of 1.25 million. To entice the actor to play Bond once more, United Artists offered to back two films of his choice. After both sides agreed to the deal, Connery used the fee to establish the Scottish International Education Trust, where Scottish artists could apply for funding without having to leave their country to pursue their careers. So, I reckon it was a win win for both Sean Connery and United Artists. Main villain Blofeld played by Charles Gray appears in a scattered way in my opinion and becomes a bit underused. And not looking at all as Donald Pleasence and Telly Savalas versions of Blofeld. While in contrast to many others I do like the evil gay henchmen Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd whom I think shouldve had more scenes, and the same goes for Willard Whyte's female bodyguards Bambi (Lola Larson) and Thumper (Trina Parks). I think the casting people made a great choice with the extremely stunning redhead Jill St. John as Tiffany Case and the lovely Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole, even if the latter gets a bit of an unbalanced and not fully logic screen appearance. Good choice as well to bring back the fabulous Shirley Bassey to sing the title song which is a good one. And I do like the settings in lovely Amsterdam and glitzy Las Vegas. I reckon the main minus here is that "Diamonds Are Forever" is a bit unbalanced in the flow of the story. Its a bit here and a bit there and the dots arent fully connected in my opinion. But, its not a bad Bond movie, but just not a 100% Bond movie. Trivia: Until Spectre (2015), this was the last James Bond movie made by EON Production to officially use the SPECTRE criminal organization or the villain character Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The name SPECTRE is not mentioned at all in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) as Blofeld is apparently operating sans SPECTRE. After this film, writer Kevin McClory's legal claim against the Ian Fleming estate that he, and not Fleming, had created the organization for the novel "Thunderball" (1961) was upheld by the courts. Blofeld is seen but not identified later in For Your Eyes Only (1981), as EON's arrangements with the Ian Fleming Estate at the time did not permit them to use McClory's works.