Diamonds Are Forever
This is Sean Connery’s weakest entry in his tenure. Note: I am not including Never Say Never Again in this list because I never cared for it. It would be at the bottom of this list and, Connery or not, it is terribly boring. It’s not a licensed 007 film and is often an embarrassing entry (Bond kills a man with his urine at one point). It always felt like a cash-grab and a sort of stick-it to the Broccoli family & Ian Fleming…which is exactly what it was.
Anyway, I can still remember watching this one for the first time. My family was camping (that’s right, the Benders don’t camp without their TV & VCR) and we popped in our friend’s VHS of Diamonds are Forever. I remember being excited because up until this point the only Bond films I had seen were Dr. No, From Russia with Love, and Goldfinger. Finding out that there were more of these adventures for me to discover was a big deal. I remember thinking James Bond looked a little older in this one, but there are a number of sequences here that will stick with me to this day. The car chase in Las Vegas, the brutal elevator fight, Bond fighting Bambi & Thumper, the escape from almost being cremated, and most notably Bond scaling the building & finding Blofeld. That last one I still love to this day, looks like they actually did it and is just a ton of fun. Bond using his gadgets to do something completely crazy and dangerous in order to confront his all-time nemesis!
Speaking of Blofeld, I love the opening to this film as well. Coming hot off On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (the one Connery took a break from), it starts off as a revenge film with Bond desperately seeking out Blofeld. Interrogating, torturing, and even killing his way through his investigation is a great way to start this off. It’s dark, violent, and we see a clearly AWOL & emotional James Bond out for simple revenge. Connery plays this to perfection as well.
Shirley Bassey returns here for her third Bond song (along with Moonraker & Goldfinger) and delivers another great one. As far as the film goes, it’s a lot of fun. We get the magnificent Jill St. John & Lana Wood as our Bond girls, as well as Charles Gray in his turn as Blofeld. How could you possibly forget the creepy hitmen, Mr. Kidd & Mr. Wint (played by Crispin Glover’s father). There is something so unsettling, yet tremendously entertaining, about this pair. They basically stalk Bond throughout the film until they ultimately go out in spectacular fashion. Love or hate this movie, you won’t forget those two. Overall, this is a fun installment and watching Connery as Bond is always fun in itself, the great set pieces are just a bonus.