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Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Budget: $7.2 million. Opening dates: UK December 30, 1971; US December 17, 1971
Worldwide Box Office: $116 million
Originally Written
Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sean Connery returns in his final "official" role as James Bond 007 in
Diamonds Are Forever, quite possibly one of the most entertaining James Bond films to date! Bond is called in to go undercover and investigate a large international smuggling ring that has been smuggling diamonds out of Africa. It's Bond's job to track down the diamonds and find out who is behind the operation and what they are doing with the diamonds, which as of yet have not appeared on the black market.

Bond goes in undercover as a professional smuggler who has been hired to safely transport the diamonds into the United States. What is happening to the diamonds once they reach their destination is still unknown even as the mission progresses, but multiple attempts on Bond's life aim to end his mission rather early. It appears that whoever is in possession of the diamonds meets a rather untimely death, and Bond is next on the list.

Escaping with his life on multiple occasions Bond is lead to Las Vegas and the hotel of a very rich and secretive man, Willard White. It is rumored that Willard White hasn't left his penthouse suite in over three years, is there some connection between White and the diamonds? And why would an already rich man want to steal diamonds in the first place? Getting closer to the truth, Bond has reason to believe that the whole world could be in danger, and that it's fate rests in the hands of the mysterious Willard White or someone impersonating him, someone Bond thought to be dead.

Diamonds Are Forever helps to redeem the Bond franchise and bring it back to the quality it was before the let downs of You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This time around while Sean Connery is noticeably older, he's definitely back to his usual Bond self and has gotten even better with age. Bringing back the director who worked on some of the earlier Bond films with Connery, Diamonds Are Forever delivers classic Bond action, Bond girls and an interesting plot, something sorely lacking in the prior installments. Classic Bond moments including a car chase through Las Vegas, propelling off the side of a Hotel, and being chased in a moon vehicle were only a few of the exciting moments that faced the world's greatest secret agent.

Prior to originally writing this review I had never seen the film in it's entirety and found it to be extremely entertaining, more so than all the entries before it. At the same time, I don't think overall its the best Bond film, that honor still rests with Thunderball, but Diamonds Are Forever manages to stay true the franchise while corning it up a little bit. The writers took some risks by not trying to be as serious as previous Connery installments, as the story progresses so does the level of camp, but even then it still continues to be very entertaining. In the end, Diamonds Are Forever is an excellent return to what the Bond franchise is all about, and what the past two Bond films should have been like, I'm glad Connery had the opportunity to leave the franchise officially on a higher note than he did in You Only Live Twice.


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