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Diamonds Are Forever (BW Small) NovelFilmRadio dramaComicSoundtrackSongCharactersReleases

Mr. Wint: "The scorpion."
Mr. Kidd: "One of nature's finest killers, Mr. Wint."
Mr. Wint: "One is never too old to learn from a master, Mr. Kidd."
―Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd.

Diamonds Are Forever is the seventh film in the EON Productions film franchise, produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. It was released in 1971. The film stars Sean Connery as James Bond in the actor's sixth and final official film appearance as the spy. Connery would later portray Bond again for the seventh and last time in the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again, 12 years later in 1983, and lend his voice for the character in the 2005 video game adaptation of From Russia with Love.

In the film, a diamond smuggling investigation leads 007 to Las Vegas, where he uncovers an extortion plot headed by his nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Plot summary[]

Relatively little of the original novel survives the adaptation to film, though many characters from the original book, plus the idea of Tiffany Case being a diamond smuggler, are retained, so it isn't a complete "rewrite".

The movie begins with Bond's worldwide pursuit of the head of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld in revenge for the murder of his wife, Tracy Bond, with the implied permission of MI6, at the end of the previous adventure, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (unusually, however, there is no reference to the death of Tracy in the screenplay). In a secret underground lair, Blofeld is with a team of surgeons, demanding that they hurry up with a plastic surgery procedure. Later, his surgeons take one of his henchmen and place him in a bath of liquefied mud. They smother mud over his face and they leave the room and tell another surgeon, who is entering the room, to leave the temperature stable. We then see an unconscious surgeon whose body has been hidden in a bush. Upon entering the room, the surgeon pulls off his surgical mask and clothing, revealing himself as Bond, who has now infiltrated the lair. As Bond looks around the room, the test subject lying in the mud sees Bond and he slowly draws a pistol, which was covered in mud. Bond turns around suddenly, seeing the drawn pistol.

The test subject sits upright, preparing to shoot Bond as he scrambles towards the mud bath. Bond runs towards the mud bath and pulls on a cord which is linked to a huge tank containing more liquefied mud which is directly above the test subject. As the cord is pulled, Bond ducks by the mud bath as a stream of mud is dropped from the tank onto the test subject, who struggles to get out of the mud. He splutters but is unable to escape as the mud suffocates him but just before he sinks under the mud, he grunts. Bond stands up by the mud bath. He pulls his sleeve up and places it in the mud, searching for the test subject. He pulls the head of the submerged corpse above the surface of the mud, but it's still covered in mud. He finds a pistol that produces a jet of water and uses this to wash the mud off the corpse's face. Once it is washed off, he realises the person he killed isn't Blofeld, but a handsome young man. He lets go of the body and lets it sink under the mud, just as Blofeld arrives with two armed guards. Bond overpowers the guards and then manages to tie Blofeld to an operating table which he pushes into a huge lake of steaming mud. "Welcome to Hell, Blofeld," he quips.

Meanwhile, huge quantities of South African diamonds are being stolen but have not been sold on the market. Suspecting that the gemstones are being stockpiled to depress prices or blackmail the mining corporation, M orders Bond to assure the identity of a professional diamond smuggler called Peter Franks to infiltrate the smuggling operation and find out who the stockpilers are. Meanwhile every link in the diamond smuggling pipeline are being systematically executed by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd once they have done their job.

Bond travels to Amsterdam to meet with Franks' contact Tiffany Case, who verifies his identity (Bond is wearing fake fingerprints supplied by Q), but his cover is almost blown when the real Franks escapes capture and turns up at Tiffany's apartment. Bond intercepts Franks and kills him. Bond switches his wallet with that of Franks to continue the ruse to Tiffany that he is Franks, and suggest that they smuggle the diamonds to Las Vegas inside Franks' corpse. The pair board a flight to America, but are unaware that Wint and Kidd are on the same aircraft following them.

Upon arrival, Bond is met by Felix Leiter who reveals that the CIA are also investigating the case. Bond accompanies Franks' corpse to Slumber Inc. - a funeral home in Las Vegas where it is cremated and the diamonds extracted. However, upon collecting Franks' $50,000 payout for the diamond smuggling, Bond is knocked out by Wint and Kidd, who then seal him in a coffin and attempt to incinerate him alive in the crematorium furnace. He is rescued in the nick of time by Shady Tree, the next link in the "pipeline" who discovered the diamonds inside Franks' body were fakes planted by Bond and the CIA. Bond (still posing as Franks) concludes the money must also have been fake if they were willing for it to burn with him in the crematorium and refuses to deliver the real diamonds until he is paid.

Bond tails Shady Tree to the Whyte House - a casino hotel owned by the reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte, where he works as a stand up comedian. Tree is executed by Wint and Kidd, but are told too late by casino manager and Whyte's right-hand man Bert Saxby that Franks had double crossed them and they still don't have the real diamonds. On the casino floor, Bond meets the opportunistic Plenty O'Toole and uses the fake money from the funeral home as collateral in a craps game and wins $50,000 which is the real payout for the diamond smuggling. He takes Plenty back to his hotel room, but a mob of gangsters are already there and throw Plenty out the window with the intention of killing her (but she falls in a swimming pool and survives). Tiffany reappears, and demands that Bond (as Franks) delivers the diamonds. They both agree to try and escape Las Vegas with the diamonds instead of delivering them, and instructs her to go to the Circus Circus casino to collect them, knowing that the CIA are watching her every move. Tiffany shakes off the CIA agents and betrays Bond, delivering the diamonds to the next link in the "pipeline", but returns home to discover that Plenty O'Toole has been drowned in her swimming pool by Wint and Kidd - having mistaken Plenty for her. Now realizing her own life is in danger, she joins forces with Bond to follow the diamonds to the next link.

Bond and Tiffany witness the pick-up of the diamonds by Professor Dr. Metz, and follow him to a remote desert research facility owned by Willard Whyte. Bond infiltrates the base, and poses as a lab technician - discovering that Metz is constructing a Laser Satellite which uses the diamonds to intensify its beam, making it able to hit a target on Earth from outer space. After being detected by the guards, Bond escapes in a moon buggy and evades Whyte's security forces in a desert chase. He and Tiffany return to Las Vegas, and after evading the police a second time in another car chase through The Strip, they return to the Whyte House. Bond ascends to, and then breaks into the penthouse to confront Willard Whyte, but finds the occupant is really Ernst Stavro Blofeld posing as Whyte (whom he has kidnapped) and is using his business empire as a front for his latest scheme. Blofeld only gives cryptic clues as to his intentions with the diamonds, and despite Bond killing yet another one of his doubles, he spares him - sending him away in an elevator, where he is gassed and then buried in a desert pipe and left to die by Wint and Kidd. Bond escapes by short circuiting a pipe welding machine.

With the CIA's help, Bond tracks down and frees the kidnapped Willard Whyte after overcoming his female guards Bambi and Thumper and saves him from an assassination attempt by Saxby - who is shot dead by the CIA agents. Whyte reveals he has no knowledge of ever employing Metz or of the satellite being developed by his company. Shortly afterwards, the satellite is launched and starts to selectively destroy nuclear installations in America, Russia and China, The group return to the Whyte House in search of Blofeld to find that he has fled, and has captured Tiffany in the process. It is later revealed that he is holding the world to ransom, with nuclear supremacy going to the highest bidder, and he threatens to destroy a major city with the space weapon if his demands are not met. Whyte directs Bond to an oil platform off the coast of Baja California as the likely location of the ground base controlling the satellite.

Bond travels to the oil platform with a team of covert CIA forces by helicopter, with the intention of sabotaging the computer controlling the satellite. After being captured by Blofeld, he discovers that Washington D.C is the city to be targeted. Bond escapes and sends a signal to the helicopters to begin attacking the base. Amid the confusion, Tiffany tries and fails to put a false control tape into the computer, but as the base is being battered by mortar fire form the helicopters and his security forces being overcome, Blofeld attempts to escape in his Bath-o-Sub. With time rapidly running out and the satellite bearing down on Washington, Bond commandeers the crane lowering the sub into the water and instead uses it as a wrecking ball to destroy the control center for the satellite moments before it was due to fire.

With Blofeld's scheme foiled (and his fate remaining unclear), Bond and Tiffany set sail for London on a cruise ship. Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are however still at large and also on the vessel. Later that evening, they pose as waiters delivering a banquet, whilst secretly hiding a bomb inside a cake (a "bombe surprise") Bond comments on Wint's aftershave (which he had smelled before during the pipe burial escapade), and points out his ignorance in respect of the Mouton Rothschild wine. Realizing their cover is blown, Wint and Kidd directly attack Bond, whom after a fight, dispatches both of them seconds before the bomb detonates.

Bond and Tiffany embrace, and look up at the night sky. They muse over how the diamonds could ever be retrieved from the satellite, which is still orbiting the Earth.

Cast & characters[]



According to the 'making of' documentary on the DVD, the series producers originally intended Diamonds Are Forever as an extensive reboot of the Bond franchise to appeal to an American audience. Although this didn't happen, the Bond films of the 1970s, up to and including Moonraker would all feature either American settings or significant appearances by American characters.

Albert R. Broccoli claimed to have literally dreamed up the plot for this film. A close friend of Howard Hughes, Broccoli dreamed that Hughes had been replaced by an imposter.

It was originally proposed for the previous film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, to end before it does in its book form. The film would end with Bond and Tracy driving off after their wedding, and then the already-filmed sequence of Bond and Tracy pulling over, only to be shot at by Blofeld and Irma Bunt would provide the pre-title sequence for Diamonds Are Forever. The idea was dropped prior to the theatrical release of OHMSS, possibly because George Lazenby had yet to commit to any more films. As a different actor ultimately played Blofeld in Diamonds, this prevented a major continuity issue.

The climax of the film was changed several times during pre-production. Early drafts included a boat chase on Lake Mead that ended with Blofeld getting trapped above Hoover Dam. When the climax was relocated to an oil rig, producers planned to have scuba divers leap from the attacking helicopters (explaining the presence of frogmen on the movie's poster) and plant mines on the rig's legs to destroy it, but this too was scrapped. Originally the oil rig finale also had Blofeld escape from the rig in his mini submarine, pursued by Bond who would hang from a weather balloon. Bond would eventually catch up to his nemesis in a salt mine where the two would finally fight to the death, with Blofeld falling into a rock crusher. The elimination of this entire sequence, and indeed of any death scene for Blofeld, leaves a major plothole in the film, as Blofeld simply disappears without explanation. A subsequent legal dispute ensured his death would not be seen until For Your Eyes Only.

John Gavin, an American actor, was originally cast as Bond. However, the producers were unhappy with this decision due to their experience with the similarly unknown George Lazenby in the previous film, and when Sean Connery made it known that he would be interested in returning, Gavin's contract was quietly bought out.

When first approached about resuming the role of Bond, Sean Connery half-jokingly demanded the astronomical fee of £2m ($4m or over $20m in 2005) and a production deal. Both demands were met and Connery used part of the fee to establish a charity to help deprived children in Edinburgh.

Connery's final scene to be filmed - his last in an official EON produced Bond film - was the crematorium sequence. Somewhat fittingly, it was shot on Friday 13th, 1971.

Scenes also cut from the theatrical release include Plenty O' Toole sneaking back into Bond's hotel room and searching through Tiffany Case's purse, and Plenty breaking into Tiffany's house.



Main article: Diamonds Are Forever (soundtrack)

Vehicles & gadgets[]

  • Pocket snap trap — A small gadget hidden in a pocket to give a person performing an unwanted search on the wielder a painful surprise that would provide a critical distraction for the wielder to exploit for an attack.
  • Ford Mustang Mach 1 — Tiffany Case picks up Bond after eluding some henchmen.
  • Aston Martin DBS — Bond does not actually drive it, but Q can be seen (while on the phone with Bond) in front of an Aston Martin DBS that's apparently being upgraded.
  • Moon buggy — Used by Bond to escape from the laboratory.
  • Fake Fingerprint — Bond uses a fake fingerprint that clings to his thumb to trick Tiffany Case into believing he is Peter Franks.
  • Slot Machine Ring — Q created a ring that when used ensures a jackpot at the slot machines every time.
  • Grappling braces — When Bond rides on top of the elevator to the suite of Willard Whyte he uses for the last leg of this trip the rappelling cord built into his braces. (A similar gadget is the belt used in GoldenEye.) Bond uses a special gun to fire the pitons needed to rappel, and later demonstrates that this can also be a deadly weapon.


Film locations[]

  • Japan
  • Cairo
  • Las Vegas
  • Baja California
  • Amsterdam

Shooting locations[]


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  • In the first scene, the man that is being attacked by Bond speaks without moving his mouth in any way, suggesting that the voice over was dubbed on top after recording, or the man in question wasn't intended to have any lines.
  • Diamonds Are Forever contains shortest post-gunbarrel moment of peace in a James Bond film. The distance between the white dot revelation and a subsequent clash of chaos is around 10 seconds; it shows a quiet, seemingly tranquil Japanese living room being intruded and crashed by a criminal - possibly a SPECTRE agent - who gets bashed up by Bond who violently demands the information of Blofeld's whereabouts.
  • This is the first Bond film where the film's title is never mentioned even once during the remainder of the storyline.
  • No reference is made to Tracy Bond at all throughout the film, despite her death immediately prior being such an important moment in Bond's life. In fact, owing the film's opening scene taking place in Japan, it has been suggested by some that Diamonds Are Forever is actually intended as a direct sequel to You Only Live Twice, completely ignoring the events of On her Majesty's Secret Service. However, the presence of Bond's Aston Martin DBS in Q's lab appears to contradict this theory, plus Bond's rough handling of the people he interrogrates suggest he is engaging in revenge against Blofeld (although once again no reference is made to this later in the film when Bond again encounters Blofeld). Fans would have to wait until The Spy Who Loved Me for the first post-OHMSS reference to Tracy.
  • In his final scene as James Bond in his last ever EON Bond film, Sean Connery was seen wearing a black dinner suit with blue shirt. Back when he played the 007 agent for the first time in Dr. No, he was firstly seen wearing a standard black-and-white tuxedo in the famous "Bond, James Bond" scene. This made Connery the first Bond who wears tuxedo in both his first and last ever scenes as 007.
  • As was the case with OHMSS, an actor very different from his predecessor was cast as Blofeld. This is in keeping with how Fleming depicted Blofeld in his novels as frequently changing his appearance and even demeanor. The fact his scheming includes using plastic surgery to create doubles of himself further explains his change of appearance (which, among other things, included restoring his earlobes that had been removed as part of his scheme in OHMSS). The film avoids the question of whether the real Blofeld is apparently killed by Bond at the end or another double; when a Blofeld-like character (assumed to be the original) appears in the opening sequence of For Your Eyes Only, his poor physical condition would suggest he is the same individual seen in this film.
  • The exterior for the Whyte House Hotel is the Las Vegas Hilton (then called the Las Vegas International Hotel).
  • The Lufthansa flight that carries Bond and Tiffany, Wint and Kidd from Frankfurt to Los Angeles was LH450. To the present day (2019) this same flight number and route is still operated by Lufthansa.
  • Two villains in the Cartoon Network's animated series Codename: Kids Next Door, Mr. Fibb and Mr. Wink, are spoofs of Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint.
  • Sammy Davis Jr.'s brief cameo appearance was cut from the theatrical release. It would later be restored on the DVD. The scene has Davis and Saxby ridiculing Bond's decision to wear a tuxedo to a Vegas casino, an indication of how standards in Vegas differed from European casinos (Bond wears a tux when visiting a European casino in The World is Not Enough, for example.)
  • The woman in the bikini named "Marie", who was in the beginning of the film who Bond "convinced" to give up the location of Blofeld was Denise Perrier, Miss World 1953.
  • The man who drowns in the mudbath was played by stuntman Max Latimer. The mud was actually bucketloads of mashed potatoes. Latimer had to hold his breath as he submerged under the substance each time. As the studio lamps were very hot, the mashed potato mixture started to cook due to the filming taking a long time, by the end of which it started to smell horrible.
  • The Jay Sarno, owner of the circus seen in this film insisted that he be allowed to display the scene featuring the Zambora attraction, in exchange for letting them use his circus as a set. He also plays a minor role in the film.
  • Beginning with Diamonds are Forever and ending with Octopussy, the franchise would alternate from film-to-film between being scored by John Barry or other composers.
  • The fate of the three people Bond interrogates during the teaser is left ambiguous, with Marie in particular left in the process of being choked by Bond. Whether he lets them go or uses his licence to kill in order to prevent Blofeld from being forewarned is left unconfirmed.


External links[]