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Diamonds Are Forever (1971) is the seventh spy film in the James Bond series by Eon Productions, and the sixth and final Eon film to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond.
The film is based on Ian Fleming’s 1956 novel of the same name, and is the second of four James Bond films directed by Guy Hamilton. The story has Bond impersonating a diamond smuggler to infiltrate a smuggling ring, and soon uncovering a plot by his old nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld to use the diamonds to build a space-based laser weapon. Bond has to battle his nemesis for one last time, to stop the smuggling and stall Blofeld’s plan of destroying Washington, D.C., and extorting the world with nuclear supremacy.
After George Lazenby left the series, producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli tested other actors, but studio United Artists wanted Sean Connery back, paying a then-record $1.25 million salary for him to return. The producers were inspired by Goldfinger, eventually hiring that film’s director, Guy Hamilton, as well as Shirley Bassey performing vocals on the title theme song. Locations included Las Vegas, California, Amsterdam and Lufthansa’s hangar in Germany. Diamonds Are Forever was a commercial success, but received criticism for its humorous camp tone. The film marked the final appearance of the SPECTRE organization (though not by name) in Eon’s Bond films until the 2015 film of the same name.
Directed by Guy Hamilton
Produced by Harry Saltzman
Albert R. Broccoli
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum
Based on Diamonds Are Forever
by Ian Fleming
Starring Sean Connery
Jill St. John
Music by John Barry
Cinematography Ted Moore
Edited by Bert Bates
Production company Eon Productions
Distributed by United Artists
14 December 1971 (West Germany)
17 December 1971 (USA premiere)
30 December 1971 (UK, premiere)
Running time 120 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Budget $7.5 million
Box office $120 million