007 Casefile: Diamonds Are Forever
The original (and best) Bond returns for one last blast!
The Mission: Prior to his official mission, Bond seeks out Blofeld to exact his revenge for the murder of his wife. Following this, M assigns Bond to investigate a smuggling ring who are responsible for stockpiling South African diamonds. In order to do so Bond takes the identity of Peter Franks, a smuggler.
Locales: Las Vegas, California, Amsterdam and Germany.
Gadgets: Fake fingerprints – used to compliment his secret identity. Pocket mousetrap – a vicious little gadget that takes off noisy fingers. Voice Algorithm Recorder – used to disguise Bond’s voice. Flotation Ball – a large, inflatable sphere that Bond uses to approach the oil rig. Q also makes use of a slot machine ring in Vegas.
Vehicle: Although it isn’t kitted out, Bond does get behind the wheel of a Mustang. For an escape from Blofeld’s laboratories he makes use of a handy moon buggy.
Sidekicks: Felix Leiter has a larger part in this adventure, lending CIA support to the hunt for Blofeld. American entrepreneur and recluse Willard Whyte also lends support after he’s been rescued.
The Girls: Tiffany Case, a diamond smuggler who becomes Bond’s ally, is the first American Bond girl. Tiffany Case is a forward girl who seeks Bond’s attention only to meet a tragic end.
The Enemy: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, head of SPECTRE.
Evil Plot: Although M originally suspected that stockpiling of diamonds was intended to reduce the market value of the product, Blofeld has something much more ambitious in mind. The diamonds are used to concentrate laser fire from an orbiting satellite that SPECTRE intends to use to attack major cities.
Distinguishing Features: Having once again undergone cosmetic surgery to alter his appearance (and create a group of doubles as protection) Blofeld is lacking his distinctive scar and baldness. He does, however, still have his white long-haried cat at all times.
Secret Lair: Blofeld has spread his resources out on this occasion. He has set-up his base of operations atop a Vegas hotel and casino is the home of recluse Willard Whyte, an oil rig used to control his space laser and a lab in the Nevada desert.
Henchmen: There’s quite the line-up of characters here. Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are the most deadly, a pair of extremely polite and culturally refined assassins. Bambi and Thumber are two female bodygaurds protecting Willard Whyte, and manage to give Bond a sound beating. We then have the links in the smuggling ring which includes Tiffany Case (unwillingly), Peter Franks, Shady Tree, Bert Saxby, Morton Slumber, Professor Dr. Metz, Dr. Tynan, Joe the pilot and Mrs. Whistler.
Facts About the Movie
Politically Incorrect Behaviour: Bond continues to give men a bad name. He starts the film by strangling a girl with her own bikini top in order to get information out of her. Then there’s his banter with Plenty O’Toole. Do women like to be wooed with allusions to their fathers genitals?
Notable Firsts: Apart from the first American Bond girl, this is a films that doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
Random Trivia: Watch carefully during the stunt when Bond tilts the Mustang onto two wheel to drive it through a narrow alley – there’s a rather obvious continuity error that was hastily covered up using a logic defying insert shot.
Among the other actresses considered for the role of Tiffany Case were Raquel Welch, Jane Fonda and Faye Dunaway. Jill St. John was originally cast for the role of Plenty O’Toole but the producers reconsidered on the strength of her audition.
Connery cashed a record breaking paycheck to reprise the role of Bond. According to the producers, money was “no object” when it meant bringing their star back.
Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are the first and only opening homosexual characters in the Bond franchise, although some people didn’t pick up on the details. The tells are that they hold hands after their first murder and Kidd notes that Tiffany Case is attractive “…for a lady”. Critics are often divided on whether or not it is a positive or negative representation.