Diamonds Are Forever
|Diamonds Are Forever (1971) is the seventh spy film in the Eon Productions James Bond series, and the sixth and final Eon Productions film to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film is based on Ian Fleming’s 1956 novel of the same name, and is the second of four James Bond films directed by Guy Hamilton. The story has Bond impersonating a diamond smuggler to infiltrate a smuggling ring, and soon uncovering a plot by his old nemesis Blofeld to use the diamonds and build a giant laser.
After George Lazenby left the franchise, producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli tested other actors, but studio United Artists wanted Sean Connery back, paying a then-record $1.25 million salary for him to return. The producers were inspired by Goldfinger, eventually hiring that film’s director, Guy Hamilton. Locations included Las Vegas, California, Amsterdam and Lufthansa’s hangar in Germany. Diamonds Are Forever was a commercial and critical success, but received criticism for its humorous camp tone.
James Bond – agent 007 – pursues Ernst Stavro Blofeld and eventually finds him at a secret facility, where Blofeld look-alikes are being created through surgery. Bond kills a test subject, and later the ‘real’ Blofeld, by drowning him in the pool of superheated mud.
While assassins Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd systematically kill several diamond smugglers, M suspects that South African diamonds may be being stockpiled to depress prices by dumping, and orders Bond to uncover the smuggling ring. Disguised as professional smuggler Peter Franks, Bond travels to Amsterdam to meet contact Tiffany Case. The real Franks shows up on the way, but Bond intercepts and kills him and switches IDs to make it seem like Franks is James Bond. Case and Bond then go to Los Angeles, smuggling the diamonds inside Franks’ corpse.
At the airport Bond meets his CIA ally Felix Leiter and goes to a funeral home, where Franks’ body is cremated and the diamonds passed onto the next smuggler, Shady Tree. Bond is nearly killed by Wint and Kidd when they put him in a cremator oven, but Tree stops the cremation when he discovers that the diamonds in Franks’ body were fakes, planted by Bond and the CIA.
Bond tells Leiter to ship the real diamonds as he goes to Las Vegas. There Bond goes to the Whyte House, a casino-hotel owned by the reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte, where Tree works as a stand-up comedian. Then Bond discovers Tree has been killed by Wint and Kidd, who do not know that the diamonds were fake. At the craps table, Bond meets the opportunistic Plenty O’ Toole, and after gambling, brings her to his room. Gang members are waiting there and throw O’Toole out the window and into the pool. After they leave, Bond spends the rest of the night with Tiffany Case. Bond then tells Tiffany, who wants to steal the diamonds for herself, to retrieve the diamonds at the Circus Circus casino.
Tiffany picks up the diamonds, but reneges on her deal and flees, passing off the diamonds to the next smuggler. However, seeing that O’Toole was killed after being mistaken for her, Tiffany changes her mind and drives Bond to the airport, where the diamonds are given to Saxby. Following Saxby’s van, Bond eventually enters the car which drives to a remote facility. Posing as a lab worker, Bond enters the apparent destination of the diamonds – a research laboratory owned by Willard Whyte, where he finds that a satellite is being built by a laser refraction specialist. When Bond’s cover is blown, he escapes by stealing a moon buggy and then an ATV and reunites with Tiffany.
After a car chase back to Vegas, Bond and Tiffany return to the Whyte House. Bond scales the walls to the top floor to confront Willard Whyte. Inside, 007 is instead confronted by two identical Blofelds who use an electronic device to sound like Whyte. Bond kills one of the Blofelds, but it turns out to be a look-alike. Bond is then knocked out by gas in a lift, where he is picked up by Wint and Kidd and taken out to Las Vegas Valley where he is placed in a pipeline and left to die. After Bond escapes, he calls Blofeld posing as Saxby. He finds out Whyte’s location and rescues him, but in the meantime Blofeld abducts Case. With the help of Whyte, Bond raids the lab and uncovers Blofeld’s plot to create a laser satellite using the diamonds, which by now is already in orbit. With the satellite, Blofeld destroys nuclear weapons in the United States, Soviet Union, and China, then proposes an international auction for global nuclear supremacy.
Whyte identifies an oil rig off the coast of Baja California as Blofeld’s base of operations. After Bond’s attempt to change the cassette containing the codes fails due to a mistake by Tiffany, Leiter and the CIA begin a helicopter attack on the oil rig. Blofeld tries to escape on a mini-sub, but Bond gains control of it, crashing it into the control room, causing the satellite control along with the rest of the base to be destroyed. Bond and Tiffany then head for Britain on the cruise ship Canberra, where Bond also foils Wint and Kidd’s attempt to kill them with a hidden bomb.