"It's gone berserk!" ~ Diamonds are Forever appreciation

edited March 2011 in Bond Movies Posts: 293
This is a film that takes a lot of flak from people, and deservedly so I suppose. But behind the shenanigans are some excellent Bondian moments that raise the film at least a few notches out the series' lower echelons. Barry's score, Connery's assured and tongue in cheek performance with just a touch of deadly cool, the witty dialogue, Adam's sets and the dusty ambiance of 70s' Vegas all have more to offer than many if not most of the films that followed. There is no excusing the final act, however.
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Comments

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,798
    DAF, on top of your list, which I agree with, GL, also has the benefit of some of the best secondary characters ever. In that respect I find Mankiewitz' screenwriting exciting to say the least. I also agree with your comment about the final act. It's the biggest let-down of the entire film. However, whilst that may be so, other Bond films suffer from the same issues I believe. The third act is one of EON's major weaknesses, you see, as it often boils down to dumb action and some over-the-top Rambo stuff from Bond. That said, I used to complain about DAF, thinking it was a missed opportunity and how it should have been OHMSS 2. In recent times though I've come to appreciate the film for what it is, instead of judging it for what it ain't.
  • I actually saw DAF before OHMSS so I've never innately associated them that way. This, among other things, has allowed me to judge DAF on its own merits, of which we both agree it has many. I agree about the characters, and would also put forward its hefty dose of what PK often referred to as the benign bizarre.
  • HASEROTHASEROT has returned like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season---
    Posts: 4,399
    as i said in my intro i wrote for Diamonds Are Forever for Bond-a-thon, it's a movie that i don't consider the best in the series, but it's a film that is hard for me to hate.. it's camp has a certain charm to it, that when duplicated in other films seems to be out of place, or stupid... it was definitely the signaling of the end of one era, and the beginning of another - and it was (at least for me) the perfect way to usher in Roger Moore as the next Bond..
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,307
    Due to the great wit and charm of this film as well as Connery having a great time - unlike the last time - this is one of the best Bond films there is. Some of the best lines of the series can't help either.
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    Posts: 987
    Like it or loathe it DAF is certinally viewed by the general public (if not us hardened Bond fans) as one of the great classic Bond films, everyone it seems knows the words to Shirley Bassey's title song, the Mustang continuity error, Q's device for tricking gambling machines, Plenty O'toole getting thrown into the pool and even satellites with lasers. Because so much of DAF has slipped into the popular culture it's impossible to just dismiss DAF as a poor example of a Bond film. While personally I have often berated it for not being OHMSS part two perhaps it's not unfair to suggest considering OHMSS relatively poor box office reception ( by Bond film standards) that this change of direction with it's increased camp humour and fantastical scale was exactly the right direction for the films to take at the beginning of the 70's.
    While it will never be one of my favourites, if I watch it on it's own merit rather than judging it as part of the ongoing series I find it's two hours of great escapist entertainment and any Bond film with Sean Connery in it has to worth savouring for that very reason alone.
  • Posts: 2,486
    i dont know why everyone rank this movie so low.i like the movie.it is not the best but i like it.it have some bad points here and there but it is good.and did you noticed the mistake when Bond is escaping from the cops?when he is turning the car?
    i like DAF,i also like LALD i dont know why maybe cause i want to see Bond in USA or some other big city with lot of lights and tall buildings ;)
  • Two Reasons DAF is great -

    1.) Klaus
    2.) Hergesheimer

    All kidding aside, It's the Bond movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. And I don't think Wint & Kidd get their due in the history of the series' henchmen.
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 4,622
    This being the first Bond film I saw, and at 12 years of age, it blew me away and introduced me to the exciting and fantastical world of Bond. Oddly I wasn't impacted one way or the other by Connery in this initial viewing. It was more the vibe, glamour, style and excitement of the film, the campy but deadly supporting cast, the over the top girls (Tiff and Plenty :X are pretty much the idealized female, to the 12 year old adolescent) I only came to appreciate Sean's greatness as Bond when I saw his earlier films. DAF the film works almost as an homage to the classic 60's Bonds. There seems to be a tacit understanding that that era is done and that its time to usher in a new Guy Hamilton era of Bond drawing on the stylings of Hamilton's original Bond extravaganza, GF, the film that truly put Bond over the top and launched the 60's Bondmania.
    What I like about DAF is not only its exploitation of the benign bizarre but the way it tempers the camp and fantastical with genuine danger and suspense. Its like Batman or Uncle, but with real danger. The Mankiewicz dialogue is another hi-lite. I love all three of the extended Bond/Blofeld face to face tete a tetes, especially the stand-off in the Whyte House penthouse. The scene serves as a salute to these two larger-than-life antagonists and their long and violent history. Suitably the initial civil, even friendly tone of the exchange, finishes with deadly action from Bond, jolting Blofeld from his reveries and back to the dangerous business at hand.
    DAF mixes some of the best elements of the Bond series- escapism, the fantastical, girls guns and glamour, with a darker undertone, and balanced by real and palpable danger. Wint and Kidd expertly combine extravagant camp with deadly menace.
    Sean, very much at ease as Bond, just reaches back into his repertoire, and lets the movie play out around him. Sean manages to keep the whole thing grounded, by bringing the danger and tension needed to temper the more fantastical elements.
    The series IMO needs a DAF film about now. And Craig is an actor who could pull it off. Surround him with a similar film in style and tone and like Sean, he'd find a way to bring the wry humour, but not at the expense of the necessary danger and suspense elements.
    The good actors can do this without degenerating into smirking and wink wink.
  • I was looking forward to your contribution to this thead timmer-- well written and I agree entirely!
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 4,622
    Some sharp insights from yourself George, and Saunders and others.
    I think all the Bond films are worthy of appreciation but we all seem to appreciate our own favourites, a whole bunch. :)
  • Posts: 1,081
    I rank it low but only for Bond. It's very fun from start to finish, if you watch it with the right attitude. I don't know the film that well since I only discovered a mere two or three years ago but it has its share of charm and despite being Seanery's weakness, I'd take it over Brosnan's last three anyday.

    It's still Sean in the role, fat and bored as he is at times.
  • He isn't bored in DAF-- that's a myth. The only film where his performance really lacked a spark was YOLT. He appeared to be having the time of his life in DAF.
  • Posts: 4,622
    Connery's performance in DAF I think helps illustrate a subtle difference in how many of us view Bond films.Some of us prefer a more character driven Bond while others prefer that a familiar Bond simply rise to the challenges that each new extraordinary adventure presents. Sean IMO took the latter approach in both YOLT and DAF.
    For example Connery's first four films very much developed the Bond character and then Sean kinda parked it, in terms of character development. Some might interpret this as bored or less enthusiastic in the role.
    However I like that Sean seemed to have considered the character fully developed for the screen, and then drew on his repertoire for his final two films. Lazenby and Moore pretty much stuck with the character that Sean developed as well. The Lazenby and Moore Bond were quite familiar in terms of their attitudes and tastes and general temperament.
    It was post Moore, that we saw attempts from the new actors to re-invent the character somewhat, most notably with Dalton and Craig. Brozzer too, but I think Babs was directing developments moreso than Brozzer. Same can be said for the very character driven Craig era.
    Me I like the Connery character created in the 60's. Even though the character is rooted in both the 50's and 60's, I think the screen character as established by Sean is timeless and not at all anachronistic, however there is a natural tendency as time marches on to try and "update" the character. This I think is folly. The core Bond character need never change. All he need do is address the reality of any given present day.
    For example Bond is not pc in any era. He is essentially apolitical and motivated primarily by duty.
    Bond is also a bit of a square. He's no hipster. In this sense he is conservative, but not in the political sense. Contemporary Bond I think is as disinterested in the Tea Party railings against big government as he would be the leftist peace activists. He's beyond the fray which makes Craig's Haggis inspired pithy political musings so tedious and out of character.
    Bond didn't like the Beatles in 1964 but now he would at least respect their acheivements, but not much more. Bond does not strike me as a fan of rock n roll of any era. He's got other things that interest him. He's got more "mature" tastes. The modern Bond, like his predecessor I think would show the same disdain towards todays youth music, as 60's Bond showed toward the mop topped Beatles.
    So those of us that like character development in the lead role would no doubt be more impressed with the Craig films than others.
    Me, I prefer a character mainteance - advancing the core character as established by Fleming/Connery/Terrence Young (and I think I should toss in Guy Hamilton who helped apply the finishing touch in GF)through the decades and well into the future, and long after all of us have expired.
    I like to see the familiar Bond dealing with extraordinary and new adventures. I like to see how familiar Bond faces the new challenges that each adventure brings as opposed to films that develop the actual Bond character. Bah. Bond is Bond.
    He brings the same stoic fight and Bondian attitudes to any era and any film, whether he be asked to battle Blofeld and his army in a hollowed out volcano rocket base, or engage more grounded challeneges with the likes of Le Chiffre at the casino tables.
  • Posts: 1,081
    Interesting, Timmer but I think you are giving Connery way too much credit. He was finished with the role. Done. He did DAF for the cash and no other reason. He was bored. He was fat. He was uninterested in pursuing the franchise anymore. A matter of opinion? Sure. But this attitude matters as much as anyone's.

    Having said that, I still like the film. But how he looks, acts, etc, lowers my like for it a great deal. Better to have Laz have another shot at the role instead of Sean coasting through the motions.
  • LudsLuds MIA
    Posts: 1,986
    @timmer You know timmer, reading your posts makes me want to watch DAF again. You've pointed positives and honestly even though DAF sits fairly low on my list, it's still very much on the enjoyable side of things, and well, from reading your posts I really don't think of too many negatives. B-)
  • edited March 2011 Posts: 4,622
    @The_Reaper "but I think you are giving Connery way too much credit. He was finished with the role. Done. He did DAF for the cash and no other reason."
    One can never give Sean too much credit. He shall be revered till the end of days.
    Yep of course he came back for the money and earned every penny of it. ;-)

    @Luds Good to know Luds. You are a man of wealth and taste. Set your hogleg down and come on in and join Bond and the Blofelds in Whyte's meeting room. Duck though, when Sean makes his "wrong pussy" move.
  • LudsLuds MIA
    Posts: 1,986
    I certainly enjoy DAF quite a lot. I love the intro about explaining the smuggling, even with the repeated text, I really like most of the flick in general. I think that what bothers me the most, other than the flick not being a revenge flick, I see that as a missed opportunity but I can cope, what nags me is the 3rd Blofeld in 3 flicks. Not that Charles Gray is a bad actor, I just don't buy his drastic change from Kojak to him. And the dress. But overall, like I mentioned before, still very much enjoyable.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,798
    @Luds Same feelings about Blofeld here. Gray isn't a bad actor at all and in fact he somewhat resembles the Blofeld I have in mind when reading Fleming's descriptions of the man, but the truth is that after Scarface, then Kojac and now a clones crossdresser with hair, I'm left confused.

    I would also like to mention that DAF, for me, has the best Bond score Barry could have given us.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,307
    Lazenby, then Connery, the Moore doesn't help matters either. Connery may be having a good time but I do feel as if he still should've have returned and EON should have just gone with Moore to begin with.

    Was Moore unavailable for Diamonds Are Forever by chance, anyone know?
  • BennyBenny ...OctobennyAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 11,972
    Quoting Samuel001: Was Moore unavailable for Diamonds Are Forever by chance, anyone know?
    Yes Sir Rog was making 'The Persuaders' with Tony Curtis at the time of DAF, and had the show been picked up, he would not have been available for LALD or possibly Bond at all.
    Luckily for us, The Persuaders never made it in the USA, and was dropped allowing Sir Rog to make seven Bond films.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,307
    @Benny, thanks for that tip. Makes sense I suppose, though I wish would've found someone other than going back to Connery. I get the feeling they did other because they knew he'd except an awful lot of money.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited March 2011 Posts: 15,534
    DAF is an excellent film. Most certainly the most memorable and colourful characters of the franchise are featured in this film. Connery is in top form, Mankiewicz's script is pure genius, and Barry was on a rampage with a phenomenal score. All in all, a top 6 outing for me !!
  • DiscoVolanteDiscoVolante Stockholm, SwedenModerator
    Posts: 1,347
    I'm gonna give DAF a chance tonight, see if it can escape the ranking bottom.

    Doubt it though ;)
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited March 2011 Posts: 15,534
    @DiscoVolante

    Grab a drink, bring some popcorn, just get comfortable in your couch, turn up the volume, and DAF should skyrocket through your ranking ! ;-) Bring some friends too, and your viewing should be top notch.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,798
    @DiscoVolante Turn off the lights, turn up the volume. Forget for a moment that OHMSS exists. Rather, treat this film as standalone as possible. Remember this film's not as serious as OHMSS or CR, but then it doesn't take itself seriously either, which is a good thing. Focus on the secondary characters and you'll see there's a fairly unique bunch of them in this film. You might have some fun with the film. That's how I get through it. <):)
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,307
    The great Vimmers once said to me, that Diamonds Are Forever will one day just 'click' with you and you'll 'get' what makes it so good. This was when I ranked it ahead of You Only Live Twice which of course I now don't do, as I also realise all that film has going for it is looking pretty with some a great locations and a top score.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,798
    Quoting Samuel001: as I also realise all that film has going for it is looking pretty with some a great locations and a top score
    Are you referring to DAF or YOLT here, my friend?
  • BennyBenny ...OctobennyAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 11,972
    DAF used to rank highly with me.
    Then I saw the light of this polished turd.
  • DAF needs more appreciation, its an enjoyable Bond. It clearly isn't the best Bond movie of the lot but its a lot better than anything Mr Brosnan ever made, infact it ranks around number 11 for me. I really enjoy it. Wint and Kidd are superb for me they make the movie.
  • Posts: 1,081
    Ol' Donny is still my fav Blofeld. Wish he had come back after YOLT.
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