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Brilliant ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ Ephemera – Novel and Film

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filming Diamonds Are Forever (16)

Sean Connery during the filming of Diamonds Are Forever. Photo by Terry O’Neill.

The movie Diamonds Are Forever was the seventh of the James Bond series and the sixth to star Sean Connery. It was also the second to be directed by Guy Hamilton who had directed Goldfinger.

The film was based on the Ian Fleming’s fourth Bond novel which he wrote at his Goldeneye retreat in Jamaica in January and February 1955. It was inspired by a 1954 Sunday Times article on diamond smuggling in Sierra Leone. The novel was first published by Jonathan Cape in the United Kingdom on 26 March 1956.

The cover of the first edition of Diamonds Are Forever, published by Jonathan Cape in March 1956.

The cover of the first edition of Diamonds Are Forever, published by Jonathan Cape in March 1956.

Raymond Chandler wrote in the Sunday Times about Fleming’s new novel:

About the nicest piece of book-making in this type of literature which I have seen for a long time… Mr. Fleming writes in a journalistic style, neat, clean, spare and never pretentious… the remarkable thing about this book… is that it is written by and Englishman. The scene is almost entirely American, and it rings true to an American. I am unaware of any other writer who has accomplished this.

The New Statesman wrote about the novel,

This day-dream of male prepotence is written in a most suave and civilised prose, carries not an ounce of conviction and is extremely readable.

First Pan Paperback 1958

First Pan Paperback 1958

Original poster

Original poster

The reviews of the newly released Bond film were mixed. John Russell Taylor in The Times Dec 31 1971 wrote:

Diamonds Are Forever brings back the only proper screen James Bond…the result is not exactly tops in the Bond film canon, but it is more than enjoyable enough to be going on with. Essentially, of course, it is a manifestation of the greater British tattiness – schoolboy fantasies of sex and violence. But at least it gets a move on.

While Derek Malcolm in the December 30 issue of the Guardian in 1971 wrote:

While Connery walks through his part as if just woken from a nap but still determined to show the unlamented George Lazenby how to do it.

In the same newspaper a couple of days before Tom Hutchinson in an article headlined Back in Bondage interviewed  Sean Connery:

His love-hate affair with the character of Bond began ten years ago, when producers Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli signed him up for “Dr No”. He is not exactly in sympathy with the character (“I’ve only read two Bond books: I found Ian fleming himself much more interesting than his writing”), but realise without Bond he would bot be the rich man he is today. He is a director of a Pall Mall bank.

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Diamonds Are Forever.

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Diamonds Are Forever.

Diamonds Are Forever, the title song, was the second James Bond theme to be performed by Shirley Bassey, after Goldfinger in 1964. Producer Harry Saltzman reportedly hated the song, and only the insistence of co-producer Cubby Broccoli kept it in the film. Saltzman’s major objection was to the sexual innuendo of the lyrics. Indeed, in an interview for the television programme James Bond’s Greatest Hits composer John Barry revealed that he told Bassey to imagine she was singing about a penis.

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Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Trina Parks, the first African-American Bond girl, played 'Thumper'.

Trina Parks, the first African-American Bond girl, played ‘Thumper’.

Trina BTS 3

Trina BTS

Jill St. John, born as Jill Arlyn Oppenheim in Los Angeles in 1940, played Tiffany Case.

Jill St. John, born as Jill Arlyn Oppenheim in Los Angeles in 1940, played Tiffany Case.

Sean Connery and Jill St. John, film still by Terry O'Neill.

Sean Connery and Jill St. John, film still by Terry O’Neill.

Sean Connery and Jill St John while filming Diamonds Are Forever

Sean Connery and Jill St John while filming Diamonds Are Forever

Sean Connery and Jill St John BTS

Sean Connery and Jill St John BTS

MacMillan 1956 - USA

MacMillan 1956 – USA

Sean Connery and Lola Larson who played 'Bambi'.

Sean Connery and Lola Larson who played ‘Bambi’.

Diamonds are Forever BTS colour

Trina Parks and Sean Connery during filming.

Trina Parks and Sean Connery during filming.

Trina Parks

Trina Parks

Diamonds Are Forever lobby card 1

Diamonds Are Forever lobby card 5

Danish First Edition

Danish First Edition

diamonds-are-forever Pan

Sean Connery and Jill St. John

Sean Connery and Jill St. John

Sean Connery and Jill St. John

Sean Connery and Jill St. John

filming Diamonds Are Forever (4)

Charles Gray who playing Blofeld.

Charles Gray who playing Blofeld.

filming Diamonds Are Forever (8)

filming Diamonds Are Forever (9)

filming Diamonds Are Forever (10)

filming Diamonds Are Forever (11)

Behind the scenes in Las Vegas.

Behind the scenes in Las Vegas.

Behind the scenes in Las Vegas. Who were more pleased, Sean Connery or the showgirls.

Behind the scenes in Las Vegas. Who were more pleased, Sean Connery or the showgirls.

Jill St. John and Sean Connery.

Jill St. John and Sean Connery.

Pan Edition of Diamonds Are Forever.

Pan Edition of Diamonds Are Forever.

Sean Connery during the filming in Amsterdam.

Sean Connery during the filming in Amsterdam.