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Topic: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

By the by, I know people criticize Connery's performance. They say he "sleepwalks" through the film.

But...I will say this:

His underacting kind of fits. We're presented in this film with a graying, out of shape Bond, in a time far removed from the grander 1960s, a time full of weirdos with long hair and where the world his character was most comfortable in is fading away. Let's imagine Bond is real for a minute. He's been doing this for nearly a decade now, if you take Dr. No as his first big mission; it's implied in Dr. No he's a relatively new 00. In that nine year span, he's saved the world multiple times over. He's bedded numerous women. He's had so many bizarre encounters with seemingly unstoppable, almost supernatural henchman and survived. Connery's Bond always played a straight man - he never winked and went along with the kookyness the way Moore did. If something over the top was happening, Connery kind of reflected the audience's "what the hell" sentiment, whether it be in his facial expression or the look in his eyes.

If you're James Bond in 1971, as portrayed by Connery, you would be tired. You'd be jaded. You'd be worn out. You wouldn't be as interested. At this point, saving the day comes easy to him. It's almost old hat. Physically, the drinking would be getting to him, leading to the paunch we see. So, if you were in his shoes, as a character, wouldn't you kind of sleep walk through it? You could even write it as his way of dealing with Tracy's death. Connery's Bond never let his emotions slip, although you could tell they were there. He had the classic stiff upper lip. Perhaps his lazily walking through the film's events is his way of dealing with it. He thinks he killed Blofeld, and is estatic in the pre-titles sequence, gleefully saying "Welcome to Hell, Blofeld"...Only to learn this catharsis is rendered meaningless when he learns Blofeld is still alive, he killed the wrong guy. You could even imagine Bond is kind of numb, which is why his dealings with Blofeld lack any real anger. He and Spectre have been dancing with each other since 1962. They've come face to face three times, and each time have failed to kill one another. At some point the anger would fade; it's almost like one needs the other to have a reason. Like Lex Luthor and Superman.

I know people will write it off as "Connery didn't care, he was fat, and he didn't try" - yes, that's the real life explanation of the film's characterization of Bond, how he decided to play it. But I'm talking about it from an in-universe perspective. I think the film shows us an older, wiser, jaded and disintered Bond who just wants to get rid of Blofeld already and be done with it.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Well, I don't buy into Connery sleepwalking thru the role, as some say. The emphasis is on humour, and his delivery is impeccable here. The fight scenes have clout and commitment. He does have, as the writer put it, an 'old pro's grace' about him which comes from being older. Also, the ageing thing came in with YOLT, Connery talked about how they played up the ageing and that the fights were becoming difficult, which we see in the fight with the sumo wrestler. You see it again with the lift fight, though that is maybe ripped off Hitchcock's Torn Curtain, the idea that you think you can just kill someone, but it's not so easy.

I can't take the other stuff too seriously, but it's true generally that by the time you get to 1971 it's not so much Bond can't take this for real, but the audience certainly can't, hence the style of the movie. Things can't just stay the same, at the same level of intensity.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Talking of which, from Thunderpussy on Tributes thread:

http://www.express.co.uk/celebrity-news … an-Connery
Sad to hear about the death of Joe Robinson ( DAF) the
Fight in the lift is fantastic.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

I don't know what I can add to this that hasn't been said already.
When he finished his "hearty breakfast", I always felt that the movie felt a bit sleazy and I felt a bit dirty watching that part.
Seeing Sean's Bond being used as an ashtray really shows that he just feels numb and doesn't care anymore. I doubt the macho man we met in '64 would've allowed that.
A stark contrast to the playfulness seen in Russia With Love.
I hope I'm not alone on this.

Last edited by Dirty Punker (11th Jul 2017 22:44)

"...I have the oddest feeling we will be meeting again sometime..."
-Roger Moore's James Bond. RIP.
I have a YouTube channel on all things Bond (amongst other things, coming soon™).
The name's Bond and Beyond. It's currently on hold, though.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

The first time I saw DAF I thought Tiffany was stubbing out her cigarette on Bond's bare chest!  ajb007/lol  Next viewing I realised there was an ashtray there.
https://s4.postimg.cc/necopko95/AA_OLD_MAN_5.jpg

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

The first time I saw DAF, I only noticed Tiffany and from her scenes in the flat forward, I wasn't able to think or notice things again due to my blood flowing from my brain into another big organ  ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol

Dalton Rulez™

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

She never mixes business with pleasure, Jason....

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

What a pity. Such nice cheeks too. If only they were brains.
Oh and by the way, Blofeld is blind.

"...I have the oddest feeling we will be meeting again sometime..."
-Roger Moore's James Bond. RIP.
I have a YouTube channel on all things Bond (amongst other things, coming soon™).
The name's Bond and Beyond. It's currently on hold, though.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

I once was in the audience for an interview with the late Ed Bishop (aka Klaus Hergesheimer) - a lovely and intelligent man who I interviewed on stage several times myself. This time he spoke about the difference between working with Roger Moore - he guest starred several times on The Saint) - and Connery.

Not surprisingly, he said that Moore was very good fun and tried to keep the atmosphere on the set light and relaxed.  Interestingly, he said that Connery was very serious and committed to the role, even on quite a light scene such as the one Ed appeared in. He certainly didn't seem to be phoning it in, according to this account.

For the record, I really like SC's performance in this film - he seems a lot more engaged with the material than in his previous two Bond movies, and I find Tom Mankiewicz's script genuinely witty.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Tiffany said that she never mixed business with pleasure. But she sleeps with Bond, who was impersonating Peter Franks anyway.

Have you ever heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?"

" I don't listen to hip hop!"

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

I love Connery's performance in DAF. He has a playfulness in this one, yet still keeping a tough persona. He's spends a great deal undercover (as Sir Roger had been in AVTAK). Also he has great chemistry with the rest of the cast: Jill, Lana, and Charles Gray's Blofeld.
It's definitely one of the Bonds that, although it gets a lot of flack, I tend to pop it in quite often.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Perhaps I'm reading into it too much, but there just seems to be a great deal of cynicism underlying this movie compared to other Bonds. The film borders on rather conscious self-parody. The film has one of the most cynical and jaded theme songs ever when you really consider it. I'm not saying this film is some masterstroke of genius, but I feel the producers knew what they were doing. It's one of the weirdest (in a good way) Bond movies I've ever seen. There's a lot of self-referencing of the Bond franchise without it being fan-service. It strikes me as cynical, and sort of bleak - everything from Bond being older, the ash tray on his chest, the settings of druggy Amsterdam and sleazy Las Vegas - all of it gives the film a rather dreary, dark undercurrent, which sort of belies the humor and camp nature of the film. Moore's later films were campy - but I feel they were campy just to be campy. Diamonds Are Forever is campy in a very cynical and jaded way, if that makes sense. A sort of cynical embracing of "This is who James Bond is. This is what we're going to do. James Bond is campy, goofy, and you, and I, and the audience, are all in on the joke. Deal with it."

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

I agree with most of the things you said, and the film is so stupidly ingenious in its own loony way but there are some parts where it is campy just to be campy.
Bond pretending to kiss himself is a sparkling (a reference to diamonds, deal with it) example of that.

"...I have the oddest feeling we will be meeting again sometime..."
-Roger Moore's James Bond. RIP.
I have a YouTube channel on all things Bond (amongst other things, coming soon™).
The name's Bond and Beyond. It's currently on hold, though.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Doctor Who wrote:

Perhaps I'm reading into it too much, but there just seems to be a great deal of cynicism underlying this movie compared to other Bonds. The film borders on rather conscious self-parody. The film has one of the most cynical and jaded theme songs ever when you really consider it. I'm not saying this film is some masterstroke of genius, but I feel the producers knew what they were doing. It's one of the weirdest (in a good way) Bond movies I've ever seen. There's a lot of self-referencing of the Bond franchise without it being fan-service. It strikes me as cynical, and sort of bleak - everything from Bond being older, the ash tray on his chest, the settings of druggy Amsterdam and sleazy Las Vegas - all of it gives the film a rather dreary, dark undercurrent, which sort of belies the humor and camp nature of the film. Moore's later films were campy - but I feel they were campy just to be campy. Diamonds Are Forever is campy in a very cynical and jaded way, if that makes sense. A sort of cynical embracing of "This is who James Bond is. This is what we're going to do. James Bond is campy, goofy, and you, and I, and the audience, are all in on the joke. Deal with it."

I'm not sure it is cynicism, it's just a very poor film, and a substandard Bond film IMO. This is amplified by following the superb OHMSS. OHMSS has its own flaws,but transcends them in a way that for me at least makes it a triumph. An as  fit as a Butchers Dog and  youthful Lazenby only serves to highlight the jaded performance from Connery. Don't get me wrong, Big Tam was a superb Bond, just not in DAF. As we must say though, 'each to his own'  ajb007/bond

Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

zaphod99 wrote:
Doctor Who wrote:

Perhaps I'm reading into it too much, but there just seems to be a great deal of cynicism underlying this movie compared to other Bonds. The film borders on rather conscious self-parody. The film has one of the most cynical and jaded theme songs ever when you really consider it. I'm not saying this film is some masterstroke of genius, but I feel the producers knew what they were doing. It's one of the weirdest (in a good way) Bond movies I've ever seen. There's a lot of self-referencing of the Bond franchise without it being fan-service. It strikes me as cynical, and sort of bleak - everything from Bond being older, the ash tray on his chest, the settings of druggy Amsterdam and sleazy Las Vegas - all of it gives the film a rather dreary, dark undercurrent, which sort of belies the humor and camp nature of the film. Moore's later films were campy - but I feel they were campy just to be campy. Diamonds Are Forever is campy in a very cynical and jaded way, if that makes sense. A sort of cynical embracing of "This is who James Bond is. This is what we're going to do. James Bond is campy, goofy, and you, and I, and the audience, are all in on the joke. Deal with it."

I'm not sure it is cynicism, it's just a very poor film, and a substandard Bond film IMO. This is amplified by following the superb OHMSS. OHMSS has its own flaws,but transcends them in a way that for me at least makes it a triumph. An as  fit as a Butchers Dog and  youthful Lazenby only serves to highlight the jaded performance from Connery. Don't get me wrong, Big Tam was a superb Bond, just not in DAF. As we must say though, 'each to his own'  ajb007/bond

Thing is, I enjoy Bond films for their fun factor - not depth.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Doctor Who wrote:
zaphod99 wrote:
Doctor Who wrote:

Perhaps I'm reading into it too much, but there just seems to be a great deal of cynicism underlying this movie compared to other Bonds. The film borders on rather conscious self-parody. The film has one of the most cynical and jaded theme songs ever when you really consider it. I'm not saying this film is some masterstroke of genius, but I feel the producers knew what they were doing. It's one of the weirdest (in a good way) Bond movies I've ever seen. There's a lot of self-referencing of the Bond franchise without it being fan-service. It strikes me as cynical, and sort of bleak - everything from Bond being older, the ash tray on his chest, the settings of druggy Amsterdam and sleazy Las Vegas - all of it gives the film a rather dreary, dark undercurrent, which sort of belies the humor and camp nature of the film. Moore's later films were campy - but I feel they were campy just to be campy. Diamonds Are Forever is campy in a very cynical and jaded way, if that makes sense. A sort of cynical embracing of "This is who James Bond is. This is what we're going to do. James Bond is campy, goofy, and you, and I, and the audience, are all in on the joke. Deal with it."

I'm not sure it is cynicism, it's just a very poor film, and a substandard Bond film IMO. This is amplified by following the superb OHMSS. OHMSS has its own flaws,but transcends them in a way that for me at least makes it a triumph. An as  fit as a Butchers Dog and  youthful Lazenby only serves to highlight the jaded performance from Connery. Don't get me wrong, Big Tam was a superb Bond, just not in DAF. As we must say though, 'each to his own'  ajb007/bond

Thing is, I enjoy Bond films for their fun factor - not depth.

I don't see it as a stark binary  choice or zero sum game. The best Bond films deliver both and I'm certainly in favour of fun. My main disappointment with the current era is that they are mostly joyless. As said though each to his own

Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

zaphod99 wrote:
Doctor Who wrote:
zaphod99 wrote:

I'm not sure it is cynicism, it's just a very poor film, and a substandard Bond film IMO. This is amplified by following the superb OHMSS. OHMSS has its own flaws,but transcends them in a way that for me at least makes it a triumph. An as  fit as a Butchers Dog and  youthful Lazenby only serves to highlight the jaded performance from Connery. Don't get me wrong, Big Tam was a superb Bond, just not in DAF. As we must say though, 'each to his own'  ajb007/bond

Thing is, I enjoy Bond films for their fun factor - not depth.

I don't see it as a stark binary  choice or zero sum game. The best Bond films deliver both and I'm certainly in favour of fun. My main disappointment with the current era is that they are mostly joyless. As said though each to his own

Well, before taking a stab at the Craig era, we should focus on the topic in hand.
I believe that Diamonds isn't exactly a good film but it certainly is fun and it's outlandish by the fact that these things would never happen in a modern Bond film. Which is why I love it so much. That doesn't change the fact that it would be probably at the bottom part of my ranking.

"...I have the oddest feeling we will be meeting again sometime..."
-Roger Moore's James Bond. RIP.
I have a YouTube channel on all things Bond (amongst other things, coming soon™).
The name's Bond and Beyond. It's currently on hold, though.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Dirty Punker wrote:
zaphod99 wrote:
Doctor Who wrote:

Thing is, I enjoy Bond films for their fun factor - not depth.

I don't see it as a stark binary  choice or zero sum game. The best Bond films deliver both and I'm certainly in favour of fun. My main disappointment with the current era is that they are mostly joyless. As said though each to his own

Well, before taking a stab at the Craig era, we should focus on the topic in hand.
I believe that Diamonds isn't exactly a good film but it certainly is fun and it's outlandish by the fact that these things would never happen in a modern Bond film. Which is why I love it so much. That doesn't change the fact that it would be probably at the bottom part of my ranking.

Sorry. Did not fully appreciate the rules about 'staying on topic' or the Hegemony surrounding the sacrosanct Craig era. Perhaps I should review the criteria before contributing in future. I was not taking a stabl at the Craig era' (heaven forbid) just trying to offer some context to counter the subtext and false dichotomy re lighter versus darker tones. Don't want to discuss it any more with you, did not mean to offend. Zaphod out.

Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Happily, I'm not a ranker ( despite  what others may say ) so I enjoy  all the Bonds, as luckily there
Is a Bond film for all moods.  I get as much pleasure from DAF as SF, two very different  movies
but still Bond.  I could do the line about Russian  caviar  and Peking duck  ....... but I won't.   ajb007/wink

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Thunderpussy wrote:

Happily, I'm not a ranker ( despite  what others may say ) so I enjoy  all the Bonds, as luckily there
Is a Bond film for all moods.  I get as much pleasure from DAF as SF, two very different  movies
but still Bond.  I could do the line about Russian  caviar  and Peking duck  ....... but I won't.   ajb007/wink

Bless you TP, ever the Diplomat. ajb007/smile

Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Nonsense, you never offended me or anyone.
It's just that so many people are taking a stab at it these days and it wouldn't be hard to imagine.
If you check every single topic, you will find that I never made a ranking and probably never will.
But...if I ever did it would probably be around there on my list.
Anyway, Bond movies should be action packed movies with a good balance between storytelling and fun (just like you said).
However, there are some which lean more on fun than depth and that's why I like Diamonds so much. Stupidly good fun.
Not appropriate post-OHMSS though.
I would still think that say, Octopussy would be a better movie overall. It still had plenty of jokes and it was all around better made, in my opinion.
zaphod, I apologize.

"...I have the oddest feeling we will be meeting again sometime..."
-Roger Moore's James Bond. RIP.
I have a YouTube channel on all things Bond (amongst other things, coming soon™).
The name's Bond and Beyond. It's currently on hold, though.

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Lord. I am watching all the films in order. I am on DAF now... I am having to break it up. For me I really take issue with the homophobic serial killer villains.

I've always wanted to have Christmas in Turkey

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

VesperMelograno wrote:

Lord. I am watching all the films in order. I am on DAF now... I am having to break it up. For me I really take issue with the homophobic serial killer villains.

Homophobic? I never got the impression they hated themselves.   ajb007/confused

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

Matt S wrote:
VesperMelograno wrote:

Lord. I am watching all the films in order. I am on DAF now... I am having to break it up. For me I really take issue with the homophobic serial killer villains.

Homophobic? I never got the impression they hated themselves.   ajb007/confused

No they are not self loathing. But the idea of two queer men being "off" serial killer types is very homophobic and very Hays Code. It is seriously like they were writing John Wayne Gacey into the film. But two men with strange voices and a lust for death. Stabbing/ shooting / death (in a Shakespeare sense) = penetration is not very creative.

I've always wanted to have Christmas in Turkey

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Re: Diamonds Are Forever - a study in characterization

The Bond films and Books are filled with odd characters. In DAF the killers happen to be gay.
How many straight women killers have we had,..... is that part of some anti female agenda ?
DAF is a camp film, most of the characters reflect  this , even Blofeld.
  It's the old mistake of judging  old movies by todays political standards.  If they were making
DAF today,  I guarantee  it would be a very different film.
  Torchwood  is a favourite of mine, I own all the episodes. The lead character Cpt Jack. Is an
openly gay, heroic,  action hero.   ajb007/martini   so the times are a changing.   ajb007/wink

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”