Sunday, April 18, 2010

Movie of the Week

This week,


Starring- Sean Connery, Jill St. John, Charles Gray, Bernard Lee

It is my eventual mission to review each James Bond film individually, and we get started with one of the less popular, but still entertaining, films in the series. Sean Connery had departed the role of 007 in 1967 after You Only Live Twice, but returned for the seventh Bond film after George Lazenby's hasty departure. While it was very welcome to have Connery back as Bond, this is far from his best outing. Unlike the more realistic tone in Lazenby's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever revolves around gadgets, humor and a over-the-top plot.

In Diamonds, 007 is sent to investigate a smuggling ring that leads him into a dubious partnership with smuggler Tiffany Case as well as into the clutches of his old nemesis, Blofeld. It turns out that Blofeld is using the diamonds for a giant space laser so that he can hold the world ransom- sound familiar? While this plot is not the most engaging, and Charles Gray is a very unconvincing villain, there are some good things about this movie.

Connery's presence is good for a lot, as he exudes the charm and menace that endeared him to audiences in the first place. Also, the dialogue penned by Tom Mankiewicz is some of the most clever and witty in the series. Recognition must also go to a few scenes that stand out from the rest. The fight in the elevator between Bond and Peter Franks is a bruising classic, as is the final tussle aboard a cruise ship as Bond finally dispatches the creepy henchmen- Kidd and Wint. Las Vegas and Amsterdam are welcome locales that help with the plot, and the car chase that takes place in Vegas is quite good despite one of the great screen goofs of all time.

In all, this film is not really greater than the sum of its parts, but there are enough good bits that make it a solid Bond outing. It was only a matter of time before two emblems of capitalism, James Bond and Las Vegas, joined together on the screen for a wild adventure.

Things to Watch For-

Jimmy Dean as Willard Whyte
Klaus Hergeschimer- G Section
Bond's "funeral"
The Bomber Surprise
Bambi and Thumper
Shirley Bassey's great theme song

"I'm Plenty." "But of course you are."

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