Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bond Is Forever

Diamonds are forever
Hold one up and then caress it
Touch it, stroke it, and undress it
I can see every part
Nothing hides in the heart 
To hurt me

- Shirley Bassey, "Diamonds Are Forever" (EMI, 1971)

George Lazenby's difficulty on set caused him to leave the Bond series after only one film, foolishly thinking that fortune and fame awaited him. All that came his way was handful of films, including some Hong Kong B-movies. With On Her Majesty's Secret Service being one of the best in the series, I am convinced that Lazenby would have been better suited for Diamond Are Forever and that the film itself would have been improved. Instead, Sean Connery was paid a then-record $1.25 million to return. The result is a weak attempt to return to the fun absurdity of Goldfinger. While it contains many staple Connery moments (e.g. the bikini choke scene or his introduction to Plenty O'Toole), the film overall disappoints. 

What does not disappoint is Shirley Bassey's haunting, melancholy theme (borrowed by the likes of Kanye West). John Barry provided an ingenious blend of the main title theme and the James Bond Theme within the film (i.e. prior to Bond meeting Bambi and Thumper). Harry Saltzman apparently was not pleased with the "filthy lyrics" of the song Diamonds Are Forever. And filthy they were:

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