Sunday, April 19, 2020

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

The seventh James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever featured the return of Sean Connery and a sense of the absurd that would characterize the franchise as the 1970s evolved. The tonal shift from On Her Majesty's Secret Service from serious action and romance to a camp approach. The plot involves diamond smuggling and Bond once again on the trail of Blofeld. 

The tonal shifts within Diamonds Are Forever are quite jarring. The cold open has Bond on a revenge quest after the events of the last film, when he apparently dispatches Blofeld without much fanfare. Played Charles Gray, an upper class Englishman, Blofeld gets reduced to a sitcom villain. 

Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz created a variety of characters to populate the film. Jill St. John as Tiffany Case starts out the movie as an interesting character, but by the end is a damsel in distress spouting off one liners. There's the mobsters out of central casting and the male couple who happen to be deadly assassins. Connery as Bond borders on glacial as he walks around Las Vegas casinos and rides a moon buggy.

Still, it is cool to see Las Vegas in the early 70s. It seems the producers just wanted fans to have fun, and the movie serves as just that - pure escapism. 


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