Why Tiffany Case follows Blofeld through the Casino...

edited May 2011 in Bond Movies Posts: 1,497
It has been said that the plot of Diamonds Are Forever is confusing. But it is possible to connect the dots and draw some conclusions to what is really going on by reflecting and piecing together all the information that has been presented in the story. One could argue this is poor direction or unpolished writing, while on the otherhand, it could be argued this approach lends itself to deeper thought and interpretation rather than spoon feeding the viewer the plot. A non-Bond example is Pulp Fiction, where the story jumps chronologically from scene to scene, which could potentially confuse the viewer on initial viewing. There is also the unexplained briefcase, which one can infer possible meaning from various clues from throughout the film. There are several scenes throughout DAF that were lost on me the first time through. But on repeated viewings I was able to gather enough clues to make sense of what was going on: such as why the gangsters leave the hotel and why they tossed Plenty out of the window for example.

One particular scene that stands out is the Tiffany Case scene in the casino as Blofeld-in-drag walks by. Tiffany is having a chat with Q about working for the 'good guys'. Meanwhile, Q uses his RPM detector to score the jackpot on the slots. Suddenly, Blofeld in drag with cat walks through the room, which catches Tiffany's attention. She immediately pursues him to the outside. She searches for him in the taxi area, and eventually finds him, only to be shoved into the car. To which Blofeld says he is pleased to <i>meet</i> her.

This scene left me scratching my head for the longest time and I'm still not entirely sure about it. For one, based on what Tiffany said in earlier scenes, she only takes orders from voices on a phone, so she wouldn't have seen Blofeld face to face. So why then would she pursue this person without knowing who he(she) is? Second, how would Blofeld know how to bait her?

Here are my two theories:

Theory #1

Blofeld was wearing one of Tiffany's costumes and wigs: Blofeld wears a blond wig in the scene, and Tiffany's blond wig is alluded to in the scene in her Amsterdam apartment with Bond. Secondly, Kidd and Wint visited Tiffany's Vegas pad to kill her (but instead get Plenty). When Tiffany arrives there, she says "What's my wig doing in the pool?", which suggests she brought at least one wig with her on her trip to the States, so it's plausible she brought her collection of wigs as well. Having visited the Vegas house, Kidd and Wint would have rummaged the place for information on Tiffany, finding her outrageous collection of wigs and outfits. It would make sense that K and W, being androgynous characters themselves would go for the wigs. Blofeld who wishes to keep his identity secret in public uses the wig as disguise and as a way to bait in Tiffany.

Theory #2

Tiffany recognizes the diamonds on the cat's collar: This seems to be the more likely theory. For one, the movie opens to the shot of the diamond cat collar suggesting this is an important symbol that will come up later. The next clue comes in the briefing scene with M and Bond, where M describes the different types of diamonds. This is important, because the diamonds used in the heist by Blofeld are a specific unique high karrat type of diamond. This all ties together because Tiffany is a diamond connoisseur--she's literally named after Tiffany & Co. Plus, she was involved in the diamond smuggling ring first hand. She even had them in her chandelier. So she could probably spot those diamonds a mile away. Being that these were a rare variety of diamond and Tiffany's knowledge of diamonds, she would have <b>spotted the diamonds on the cat collar</b> and followed suit out of curiosity. By this theory, the DIAMONDS are the bait and Blofeld dressed as an old lady makes him appear less intimidating to Tiffany, so that she follows after her.

What do you think of these theories? Do you think there are other explanations? I want to avoid base reactions such as "this movie sucks" or "the writing is terrible". Obviously those opinions of the film as a whole are certainly held and expressed by many. But I'd like this to be more of a creative discussion of what could possibly be the explanation from the perspective of the story. I appreciate your input!
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Comments

  • Posts: 60
    I think both theories are plausible. I think Tom M. wrote a great script, but the final product got somewhat disjointed (i.e. the scenes with Lana Wood). Maybe this part of the story got disjointed too? I guess that would be Theory 3.
  • saunderssaunders Living in a world of avarice and deceit
    edited May 2011 Posts: 987
    I've always just assumed that Bond has spoken to Tiffany Case at some point before he rescues Wlillard Whyte and the CIA 'hit the penthouse', as she dosen't seem overly concerned in the lobby considering the last time she saw Bond he was climbing out their high rise honeymoon suite window the night before. I assume this happened at the same time as Bond phoned Blofeld pretending to be Burt Saxby, as the room decor would suggest he phoned from a room at the Whyte House Hotel, so it would make sense that they were reunited and he would of mentioned Blofeld and his white cat at that point.
  • Never mind that, how didn't Helga Brandt recognise Bond when he came to Osato's office undercover? She says that his death was 'in all the papers', and a picture of Bond was on the front of the newspapers at the start. Then again, this is YOLT, so not much makes sense.
  • Posts: 1,497
    Quoting Moonraker:


    I think Tom M. wrote a great script, but the final product
    got somewhat disjointed (i.e. the scenes with Lana Wood). Maybe this part of the
    story got disjointed too? I guess that would be Theory 3.
    The meat and potatos of a good story are there. The confusion seems to come from the direction and editing perhaps. The way the final product plays out is that the story tells you what happens, but not necessarily 'how.' With Plenty, all that really matters with her character is that she is a secondary girl to get mixed up for Tiffany. The film shows that she goes to Tiffany's house and is mistakenly killed in place of Tiff. How and why she got there is not explained, but in the grand scheme of the story it is not that important--which is why the filmakers probably left this out. The deleted scenes on the DVD give the explanation--which you could probably figure out anyway: i.e.: Plenty was jealous of Tiffany so she finds out where she lives. Again, though, because she was such a minor character, it wasn't necessary to keep all the scenes with her in it, just to show the continued trail of killings by K & W.
    Quoting Saunders:I've always just assumed that Bond has spoken to Tiffany Case
    at some point before he rescues Wlillard Whyte
    This actually makes the most sense! :) She was already in the company of Q and the gang by this point, so she was probably briefed.
  • Posts: 60
    Quoting anotherbondgeek: Never mind that, how didn't Helga Brandt recognise Bond when he came to Osato's office undercover? She says that his death was 'in all the papers', and a picture of Bond was on the front of the newspapers at the start. Then again, this is YOLT, so not much makes sense.
    I think they were on to Bond from the beginning, especially when the x-ray revealed he was packing heat. Now why Bond assumed he could pose as Mister Fisher without any disguise is what confuses me, but who cares? "YOLT" has explosions and ninjas! :p
  • Posts: 1,497
    Quoting Moonraker: Now why Bond assumed he could pose as Mister Fisher without any disguise is what
    confuses me, but who cares? "YOLT" has explosions and ninjas!
    Related to the topic at hand--to follow that: Why did Bond think he could parade around the Whyte House Casino in an all white Tux pretending to be Peter Franks?
  • PrinceKamalKhanPrinceKamalKhan Monsoon Palace, Udaipur
    edited May 2011 Posts: 3,203
    Quoting JBFan626: Why did Bond think he could parade around the Whyte House Casino in an all white
    Tux pretending to be Peter Franks?
    Because he thought Blofeld was dead and didn't know who his primary nemesis in this adveture was yet. Remember, the viewer is lead to believe Willard Whyte is the main villain until Blofeld is officially revealed to be still alive.
  • Posts: 60
    Quoting PrinceKamalKhan: Because he thought Blofeld was dead and didn't know who his primary nemesis in this adveture was yet. Remember, the viewer is lead to believe Willard Whyte is the main villain until Blofeld is officially revealed to be still alive.
    And I think the diamond smugglers needed Franks (Bond) alive because he didn't deliver the real diamonds yet.

    Of course all of this is silly because James Bond goes around telling everyone his real name in all of his films. Some "secret" agent! The whole world should know who he is by now. Yet, that's the type of silliness that makes Bond so fun!
  • JBFan, I really like your second theory about Tiffany recognizing Blofeld because of the Diamonds. It doesn't make her seem as much of a Bimbo in the second half of the movie.
    On the previous site I was working on a novelization of DAF. Would you mind if I used your theory in my story?
  • Posts: 1,497
    Yeah, please do! Provided I make a cameo! ;-)
  • Of course!, I can make you a casino guest at the table were Bond meets Plenty!
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,796
    I honestly don't think anyone even considered the reason why. Amusing as it may be, DAF had an inconsistent and even incoherent script all the way through. By this point in the story, it's either 'anything goes!' for you or you left the theatre an hour ago.
    Just a few examples. When the real Franks rings at Tiffany’s door, why does she calmly repeat, ‘Third floor.’? Any sane person would go, ‘You know the way, don’t you…?!’ Then there’s the whole circus thing, where Tiffany is taken through an adventurous quest for clues when she could have just been handed the diamonds somewhere, anywhere in fact, by Bond himself. No need to have the CIA track her so obviously. I’m not even going to talk about the Zambala act.
    This film wasn’t written, it was smoked into its eventual form. Seriously, Tom M and co must have been puffing the green stuff when they decided that this was the right way to proceed after OHMSS. That said, I love its campiness, its ‘we-don’t-care-as-long-as-it’s-fun’. Numerous conceits lead us from point A to B, so what’s the point bothering anyway? I play along – caring less about why Tiffany chases Blofeld than about Blofeld in drag. However, some really good theories have been brought up in this thread and though they carry the weight of a good spin and nothing more, it amuses me to read into them and re-interpret parts of the story.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 1,497
    Quoting DarthDimi: I honestly don't think anyone even considered the reason why. Amusing as it may
    be, DAF had an inconsistent and even incoherent script all the way through. By
    this point in the story, it's either 'anything goes!'
    Kids in the 70's and the 80 though, either in the double features at the local theatre or on TV Bondathons or with the VHS's, would watch these films over and over again and ask these questions. At that age critical analysis isn't apart of the equation always, so the issue wasn't "What's up with that plot hole?" or "what were the writers thinking?" It was more like, "Hey, what do you think happened? Why is she there? I don't know, let's watch it again and try to figure it out!" That's part of the fun and innocence of it. Heck, name me one Bond film where there isn't any inconsistency in the plot, or some superfluous scene like the Circus Circus. Sure, it's not always necessary, but it adds so much to the color and richness of the film--like say the Gypsy Fight in FRWL, or the Tarantula on Bond in DN, or Carnivale in TB. Those are one of the many classic traits of the Bond films. But where I think I disagree is that I believe the story of DAF WAS a consistent and coherent plot. The devil is in the details. But perhaps either through the direction or editing or even the distraction of all the "benign bizarre" it's easy to get lost along the way. DAF benefits though, because it is so entertaining, it's still fun to watch more than once, so that you can pick up on what you may have missed the first time through. I guess I was just one of those kids from that era. I would watch a film like Back to the Future--first because it was so much fun, and second because I would continue to pick up on little details even on say the 25th or 30th viewing. DAF to me is like that, which is why I pose the question of this thread.
  • Posts: 4,731
    I never have understood this either! Such a shame that DAF got the short straw when it comes to deleted scenes that didn't need to be deleted! DAF has an interesting history behind it what with its vast collection of deleted scenes that would have given the film more reason and logic. As for this confusing scene, I think JBFan626 cleared it up pretty well with his incredible theory #2. Well done! I would have never though of that. And as for previous posts about YOLT, you're right, it doesn't make sense either!
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 4,622
    @JBFan626, I think your second theory is what we are being asked to believe; that Blofeld baited her with the diamonds.
    Question? Why did the hoods toss Plenty out the window and did they know there was a pool down there? I'm not sure what the correct answer to this question is, despite numerous viewings.

    Re Bond posing as Mr. Fisher in YOLT. I don't think he cared what they knew. Bond is brazen this way. He just wanted an audience with Osato, to see what he could glean and take it from there. If the meeting put him in danger, so be it.
  • Agent007391Agent007391 Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start
    Posts: 7,835
    I can assume she's been briefed about Blofeld, but since we never saw it, that's just speculation. The diamonds on the cat's collar would be the most likely reason, as Tiffany knows what those are, and she's had no exposure to Blofeld until this point.
  • Posts: 1,497
    timmer wrote:
    Question? Why did the hoods toss Plenty out the window and did they know there was a pool down there? I'm not sure what the correct answer to this question is, despite numerous viewings.

    My guess is that they're still under the assumption that Bond is still Franks and they're next in line to collect the daimonds. Bond says, "get me the real money first" at the Mortuary. The gangsters eventually realize Bond (Franks) is pulling a fast one on them, so they show up at the hotel room to collect. I would think they just threw Plenty out the window as intimidation so he would pay up with the diamonds; because they are 'gangsters' afterall. But they are taken back by his reaction when he punches the guy out - they suddenly realize that maybe this isn't Franks afterall but an oustide man who's on to them.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    IMO, @DarthDimi, DAF has one of the best script in the franchise. Just filled with classic scenes, memorable and colourful secondary characters, benign bizarre, strange atmosphere, tons of quotable lines... Yes maybe there's a few error or incoherences in the script, but IMO it doesn't stop me from loving DAF, and thinking it is a masterpiece. IMO the fun, the atmosphere, the iconic one-liners easily trumps the few faults in the script.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 4,622
    JBFan626 wrote:
    My guess is that they're still under the assumption that Bond is still Franks and they're next in line to collect the daimonds. Bond says, "get me the real money first" at the Mortuary. The gangsters eventually realize Bond (Franks) is pulling a fast one on them, so they show up at the hotel room to collect. I would think they just threw Plenty out the window as intimidation so he would pay up with the diamonds; because they are 'gangsters' afterall. But they are taken back by his reaction when he punches the guy out - they suddenly realize that maybe this isn't Franks afterall but an oustide man who's on to them.
    My take is this. The thugs were under orders to let Tiffany Case work her magic on Franks, as Case and the thugs were all positioned in the room, awaiting Frank's arrival. Plenty wasn't part of the picture, so thug tossed her out window, to get rid of her. I think he did know there was a pool down there, but made like he didn't, just for effect, to play with Frank's head. I think they backed off yes, when they saw, that Franks was a tough guy, and yes maybe an outsider, so they backed out, not wanting the hassle and left him for Case to deal with. I think their original role was to soften him up for Case or at least to make sure, that he was alone and available to Case.

  • Posts: 2,341
    DAF suffers from such a patchwork job of editing and that is what makes the film so confusing in places. Why the amatueritst editing for a big budget film escapes me. I don't even try to make head or tails out of that trainwreck known as DAF
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,796
    IMO, @DarthDimi, DAF has one of the best script in the franchise. Just filled with classic scenes, memorable and colourful secondary characters, benign bizarre, strange atmosphere, tons of quotable lines... Yes maybe there's a few error or incoherences in the script, but IMO it doesn't stop me from loving DAF, and thinking it is a masterpiece. IMO the fun, the atmosphere, the iconic one-liners easily trumps the few faults in the script.

    I certainly can't disagree with anything you wrote in this post, @DaltonCraig007. However, given this thread's topic I felt compelled to comment on the many flaws and inconsistencies presently detectable in the script. That said, I wouldn't want them to alter a word in said script. Considering the pleasure and fun I extract from each viewing of DAF, I regard the possibility of a more consistent script with complete equanimity, borderline indifference.

  • Agent007391Agent007391 Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start
    edited December 2011 Posts: 7,835
    memorable and colourful secondary characters,

    Other than Wint and Kidd (only because they're gay) and Shady Tree (stupid name saves his life in my memories, but not in the film), what other memorable/colorful secondary characters are there?

    Professor Doctor Metz (was Doctor his first name? Was Doctor a name? Did he really have two titles and a last name?) was easily duped into Blofeld's scheme, when any idiot would know there's no peaceful objective in mind when somebody's building a laser. No weapon was made for peace.

    Blofeld himself was kind of stupid (and any Bond villain who goes in drag doesn't rate very high in my book). I honestly think the only reason for the "Blofeld double" thing was to explain that he had plastic surgery to look different in every film (Telly Savalas was the best Blofeld after Anthony Dawson's menacing hands from FRWL and TB, and I'm not kidding, those menacing hands stroking a cat sold that character for me).

    Tiffany was, as Bond states, a bitch. She's a stupid twit, again as Bond says. Her only redeeming quality was that two-tone bikini near the end of the movie (God sakes, she fires a machine gun and falls into the ocean, funny but stupid).

    Plenty O'Toole is saved by her name and her name alone, but even with that, I wouldn't call her memorable or colorful.

    I guess Willard Whyte is okay, but I like Jimmy Dean sausages (God rest his meaty soul).

    Felix Leiter in that film was an asshole (please pardon the word, but it best explains him in that film), and that makes him funny, but nothing like the Felix in any film preceding or following (though, I've gotta say, at least after this film, Felix's character stays fairly consistent, but that could be because he was only in three more pre-Craig movies, and was played by David Hedison in two of them).

    M, Q and Moneypenny were the same as they were in pretty much every movie with Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewelyn and Lois Maxwell, so they didn't get better or worse.
  • Posts: 4,622
    I do agree with @JBFan626 suggestion that the film is quite comphrehensible if one takes the time to think it through, but this is not a flaw. I watched this film for years and never spent any time pondering plotholes. I didn't care. Things were clear enough. I think the film is edited perfectly with the emphasis on pacing and momentum, rather than keeping every scene simply for spelling out continuity. Seeming continuity gaps can be thought through later at one's lesiure. Hamilton gave us just enough to keep the story moving.
  • Posts: 533
    Why was Tiffany Case transformed into an idiot in the film's last half hour?
  • Posts: 5,814
    DRush76 wrote: »
    Why was Tiffany Case transformed into an idiot in the film's last half hour?

    That's a good question!
  • edited December 2018 Posts: 2,310
    peter wrote: »
    That's a good question!

    Probably because all of the Mankiewicz Bond films have a thing for bimbo characters--Rosie in LALD, Plenty and second half-Tiffany in DAF, and of course Goodnight in TMWTGG. Never mind that bimbos are inherently un-Bondian concept--there are none in Fleming for example.
  • Posts: 3,311
    Revelator wrote: »
    peter wrote: »
    That's a good question!

    Probably because all of the Mankiewicz Bond films have a thing for bimbo characters--Rosie in LALD, Plenty and second half-Tiffany in DAF, and of course Goodnight in TMWTGG. Never mind that bimbos are inherently un-Bondian concept--there are none in Fleming for example.
    I personally think this has more to do with Guy Hamilton than it does Mankiewicz. Consider the fact that Mankiewicz walked from script-writing duties due to his animosity towards Hamilton, saying he couldn't work with the guy anymore and it paints an entirely different picture. The end result of TMWTGG was Richard Maibaum's doing, plus Wilson's solex agitator idea. Nothing to do with Mankiewicz. Hamilton would be the one in the position to see that Tiffany Case's character arc was undergoing a dumb transformation midway through DAF, so then why did he allow it to happen and not correct it? Because it was something that he wanted to see from his Bond girls. GF being the exception because it followed Fleming much more closely.
  • Posts: 19,339
    Tiffany is chalk and cheese in the 2 halves of DAF.
    She was such a strong,independent,interesting character in the first half.
  • Last_Rat_StandingLast_Rat_Standing South Florida
    Posts: 3,784
    Yeah once the Circus Circus scene happens is when things went bimbo-ish
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,478
    "Why Tiffany Case follows Blofeld through the casino" is the new "Why does the chicken cross the road?" Discuss.
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