Diamonds Are Forever is the last film we have seen Sean Connery playing the protagonist, James Bond. It is 7th in the film series. It is the second film (after Goldfinger) directed by Guy Hamilton.
Diamonds Are Forever
|Producers||:||Harry Saltzman, Albert R. Broccoli|
|Screenplay||:||Richard Maibaum, Tom Mankiewicz|
|Based On||:||Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming|
|Starring||:||Sean Connery (James Bond), Jill St. John (Tiffany Case), Charles Gray (Ernst Stavro Blofeld), Jimmy Dean (Willard Whyte), Bruce Glover (Mr. Wint), Putter Smith (Mr. Kidd), Norman Burton (Felix Leiter), Joseph Furst (Professor Doctor Metz), Lana Wood (Plenty O’Toole), Bruce Cabot (‘Bert’ Saxby), Bernard Lee (M), Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny), Desmond Llewelyn (Q), Joe Robinson (Peter Franks), Leonard Barr (Shady Tree), Laurence Naismith (Sir Donald Munger), David Bauer (Morton Slumber), Ed Bishop (Klaus Hergerscheimer), David de Keyser (Doctor), and others…|
Someone was looking desperately for someone, at almost all the places, be it a casino, a hotel, a picnic spot anywhere. We found that the man who is searching is no one else but MI6 agent 007. A little aged looking Sean Connery is gain here as James Bond. In the pre-title sequence. We found Ernst Stavro Blofeld pushing the doctors for a specific plastic surgery very hard and was looking to get the result the same night. We later got to know that he was in the process of creating his doubles (or dummies). It is worth to note that this concept was later followed in a remarkable number of movies, not only in Hollywood but Indian film industry as well. Bond by overtaking as the surgeon on night duty overpowers and kills the dummy Blofeld. There was an encounter with the real Blofeld at the same place during the course of events and he was also killed by James Bond on the spot.
Diamonds are the wealthiest stones found from the deep heart of the mother Earth. It fascinates people around the world. Due to the very high price it have and the smaller size, it is the most smuggled thing in the world. It includes people who are working at mines of the same, to the businessmen, bankers, doctors,… well people of almost all professions. It is shining of the diamond that makes people lunatic. There are industrial usage of the diamonds as well, apart from being part of the treasury of wealthy people and ornaments of rich ladies. We see that the people working in the mines smuggles (a very little amount of) diamonds in their mouth, boots etc. There is a doctor who treats them, collects the diamond and pays them. Later the doctor was killed by the assassin duo Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. We later finds that the duo actually systematically kills diamond smugglers one by one.
Are they good at their intentions?! No way! They were not cleaning up the society but simply cleaning up the path of his master to dominate the market. M was brought into notice by the authorities to look into the matter. Bond was not happy to interfere in the small rackets of smuggling etc. But M informs that as he is free as of now (after solving Blofeld problem) and he cannot say “No” to the authority. In addition he suspects some dangerous stuff behind that. With the help of expert Bond and M got to know that almost 80% of the diamonds around the world comes from the mines of South Africa. As the smugglers are getting killed, M suspect that someone might be stacking up the load of diamonds and might be planning to play with the prices of the same or might be with the international economy.
To follow the orders, James Bond travels to Amsterdam, of course not as James Bond, but as Peter Franks, a diamond smuggler. In Amsterdam also we see an old lady was murdered by the assassin duo (same reasons, same intentions). Bond went to house of T. Case in Amsterdam to meet him. A lady in the undergarments was there who asked Bond to feel at home till she is back. When Bond asked about Mr. Case, she revealed that there is no Mr. Case. Its Tiffany Case. The lady herself. She came back in the same cloths, by changing get up from Blond hairs to Black hairs. She took James’ glass to add ice to the same. Later we know that her appearance in tiny cloths is nothing else but to distract the visitor and she intelligently takes photo of the fingerprint on the glass. After handing over the glass to Bond, she went back again to put on the cloths. Here she confirms the fingerprints to cross verify that the person came is Peter Franks indeed! Bond who wore the skin-slide prepared by Q, on his fingers, was able to prove that he is indeed Peter Franks. However Bond received a bad news. Peter Franks was out of custody and Bond suspect the where he could head. He prepared for the battle and welcomed Peter Franks by overpowering and later killing him. Bond intelligently slipped in his passport to Peter’s pocket. Tiffany took that from the dead guy’s pocket to identify him, and she was shocked. She shout on James that you have just killed James Bond!! Now there was no time for them to sit and wait for the police but have to run away. She needed to reveal the place of diamonds at the moment. Case and Bond traveled with the Body of dead Peter Franks by pretending that the murdered one was Peter’s (James was disguised as Peter as we know) inseparable brother. They do smuggle those diamonds within the coffin. The assassin duo followed them in the same plane, by the way.
At the Los Angeles airport James meets his buddy in CIA, Felix Leiter, and goes to a funeral home. The diamonds were passed on to the next smuggler Shady Tree. After collecting the diamonds, now there is no need of Peter Franks (James), so he needs to be killed! Wint and Kidd the assassin duo have almost killed Bond by making him unconscious and putting him inside the cremation oven to burn as the dead body. Though Tree had to stop the cremation as they found that the diamonds were fake ones! Bond and CIA played that for their safety.
So, incidently they all are playing games with each other. When searched for the details for Shady Tree, Bond found that he is working at Whyte House – the casino run by Willard Whyte (the business tycoon). In course of event before Bond can meet and collect information from Tree, he was killed by the assassin duo (who didn’t knew till the point that the diamonds were fake!). Whyte House has some strange connection with diamond smuggling and Bond had to find them out…. The incidents from this point forward is a kind of thrilling chase. We leave it for you to watch the same to enjoy.
Technology is used a lot in the movie and story is interesting too. The female bodyguards (can we say that?) of Mr. Whyte were later copied in to many films including one Bollywood film of Khiladi series, starring Akshay Kumar. Overall a thrilling and enjoyable experience, which one can expect from a James Bond movie.
Interesting information about this movie:
- The original plot had as a villain Auric Goldfinger’s (from earlier James Bond movie, GoldFinger) twin, seeking revenge for the death of his brother. The plot was later changed after Albert R. Broccoli had a dream, where his close friend Howard Hughes was replaced by an imposter.
- George Lazenby originally was offered a contract for seven Bond films, but declined and left after just one; otherwise he could have been seen in this movie as well, playing the protagonist.
- Actresses considered for the role of Tiffany Case included: Raquel Welch, Jane Fonda and Faye Dunaway. Jill St. John, was thought for a small role, however she found excellent in screen test by the director and was given the lead role.
- Filming of the movie begun on 5 April 1971, and finished on 13 August 1971.
- The original climax idea was a boat chase.
- Howard Hughes as noted earlier was a friend of producers hence most of the LA indoor shooting is done in the hotels owned by him.
- The home of Kirk Douglas was used for the scene in Tiffany’s house.
- lrod House in Palm Springs, designed by John Lautner was used as Willard Whyte’s house.
- An actual NASA vehicle served as the inspiration for the Moon Buggy.
- On the condition that James Bond will drive 1971, Mustang Mach 1, Ford provided the cars for car chases (producer needed this arrangement as a remarkable number of cars actually crashed during the chase).
- The fight scene in the lift was choreographed and done by Sean Connery and stuntman Joe Robinson.
- The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound (Gordon McCallum, John W. Mitchell and Al Overton); thought it was unable to won.
- The movie cost around $7 million to the prodcucers and the total earning was more than 110 million.