Diamonds Are Forever (1971): Sean Connery’s Comeback as Bond

After George Lazenby portrayed James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the original 007, Sean Connery, returned to the series in what became his penultimate Bond feature, “Diamonds Are Forever.”

In the pre-credit sequence, which is one of the weakest in the entire series, Bond brutalizes various men in an effort to locate Blofeld, whom he finds in a plastic surgery clinic and then throws into a vat of boiling mud.

Several ideas of Ian Fleming’s original 1954 novel remain, including the characters of the alluring Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) and fey hit men Wint (Bruce Glover) and Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith).

But, as usual, Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz’s script diverges dramatically from the novel. In this tale, Bond is involved in a scheme by the insidious Ernst Blofeld (Charles Gray) to force the world powers to disarm so that he can take over the globe.

Folksinger Jimmy Dean appears briefly as a Howard Hughes-like reclusive billionaire, while Lana Wood (Natalie’s younger sister) participates in one of the film’s cliffhangers.

In the climax, Blofeld kidnaps Tiffany, taking her to his oil-rig base off Baja, California. Bond tracks him down and tries to sabotage the satellite controls. Blofeld then tries to escape in a submarine.
The ending finds Bond and Tiffany attacked by Wint and Kidd, but this time, the hit men are beaten. The couple then sails into the night, musing on the fate of all those diamonds.

Connery agreed to make “Diamonds Are Forever” only because of the huge money offered him ($1.25 million). The producers considered John Gavin for the part, should Connery decline. After this picture, Connery parted company with the role for 12 years. He returned to the role once more in 1983, in Irvin Kershner’s “Never Say Never Again.”

“Diamonds Are Forever” was more commercially successul than””On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” but still less popular than “Thunderball.” The movie grossed domestically $43.8 million, and globally $116 million.

The theme song was again performed by the great Shirley Bassey.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Sound

Oscar Context:

The Sound Oscar went to the musical Fdidler on the Roof.

Credits

MPAA Rating: PG.
Running time: 119 Minutes.
Directed by Guy Hamilton.
Written by Richard Maibaum, Tom Mankiewicz.
Released: December 17, 1971.
DVD: October 17, 2000.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Cast

Sean Connery as James Bond
Jill St. John as Tiffany Case
Charles Gray as Ernst Blofeld
Lana Wood as Plenty O’Toole
Jimmy Dean as Willard Whyte
Bruce Cabot as Saxby

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