Diamonds Are Forever (1971) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

After a one film hiatus Sean Connery returns to the iconic role of James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever the seventh film of the series. It would be Connery’s last appearance in an official Bond film swearing off the role and publicly stating that he would “never play Bond again”. In This entry 007 is placed in Las Vegas and mixed up with the retrieval of precious diamonds. Along the way he becomes involved with a beautiful smuggler and a Howard Hughes type billionaire recluse staked out atop a massive hotel suite.

The element most notably lacking from this rather dull film is the big stunt sequences. Sure, we get a nice car chase around the Vegas strip but nothing that compares with the thrilling ski sequences of OHMSS or the cabin fight in From Russia with Love. Instead we get a more subdued Bond in a story that meanders far too much and provides only the most basic pleasures audiences have come to expect from the series. It’s a shame too because the producers had the foresight to place Bond in Las Vegas a natural fit for the suave spy and avid gambler. Unfortunately the film at times lingers on the Vegas sights for too long and the picture takes on the feeling of a sales brochure for the glittering city.

Even Connery who’s normally fit and lively in the role comes off here as bloated and bored, the sense of joy in playing the world’s most famous secret agent only shines through on a few occasions. This film boasts more gimmicks and silliness than it’s predecessors,often at the expense of the storyline. However true 007 purists will be happy to see their hero pitted once again against his nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his plans for world domination. Twelve years later in 1983 Warner Bros. produced the appropriately titled Never Say Never Again a retelling of Thunderball with Connery making his final appearance in the role.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Sean Connery, Jill St. John, Charles Gray

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