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.
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.
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.
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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