Diamonds Are Forever

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A 2002 Penguin Books paperback edition

Diamonds Are Forever was the fourth James Bond novel by Ian Fleming, originally published in 1956. In 1971, the book was adapted as the seventh film in the EON Productions Bond franchise, which hailed the return of Sean Connery as the British spy.


The novel

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1964 Pan Books printing.

Diamond smuggling was a topic of great interest to Fleming. In 1957 Fleming wrote a non-fiction book on the subject titled The Diamond Smugglers.

Plot summary

The novel takes place just over two months from the end of Moonraker, which ended with James Bond taking a small vacation. When Diamonds Are Forever begins, M instructs Bond to infiltrate a smuggling ring, which is running diamonds from African mines to the United States. Bond's job is to travel down the "pipeline" as far as he can and find out who is behind it all. Under the name of Peter Franks, a petty crook already known as a diamond smuggler, he meets a mysterious "go-between" named Tiffany Case with whom (of course) he falls in love. Bond discovers that the smuggling ring is operated by a ruthless American gang called "The Spangled Mob", which is run by the brothers Jack Spang and Seraffimo Spang. Also part of the Spangled Mob are Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd who along with Tiffany Case and certain parts of how the smuggling pipeline works are the only things retained for the film.

As Bond learns throughout the novel, the pipeline begins in Africa where a dentist would pay miners to smuggle diamonds in their mouth which the dentist would extract during a routine appointment. From there the dentist would take the diamonds and rendevous with Rufus B. Saye who would transport the diamonds to London via helicopter. In London, Tiffany Case would get an assignment from a contact only known as ABC, she would then meet with "the hire" (in this case, Bond) and explain to that person how to smuggle the diamonds to New York City. The pipeline ends in Las Vegas where Seraffimo Spang owns the Tiara hotel and a ghost town that headquarters the Spangled Mob, named "Spectreville" (Spectreville actually has no connection whatsoever to Bond's nemesis S.P.E.C.T.R.E., which appears later in Thunderball and is established at the start of the James Bond film series in Dr. No).

Felix Leiter plays a major part in the story, assisting Bond with inside information on crooked horse racing. They find that they are both investigating the same people. Leiter has left the CIA due to injuries sustained in Live and Let Die and is working for Pinkerton's as a private detective. Bond is captured by the Mob and tortured, but escapes with the assistance of Tiffany Case. The diamond pipeline is destroyed. Template:Bondbook

Comic strip adaptation

Fleming's original novel was adapted as a daily comic strip which was published in the British Daily Express newspaper and syndicated around the world. The adaptation ran from August 10, 1959 to January 30, 1960. The adaptation was written by Henry Gammidge and illustrated by John McLusky. The James Bond 007 Fan Club published a reprint of the strip in 1981.

See also

The film


Plot summary

Relatively little of the original novel survives the adaptation to film, though many characters from the original book, plus the idea of Tiffany being a diamond smuggler, are retained, so it isn't a complete "rewrite."

The movie begins with Bond's worldwide pursuit of the head of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., Ernst Stavro Blofeld in revenge for the murder of his wife, Tracy Bond with the implied permission of MI6, at the end of the previous adventure, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (unusually, however, there is no reference to the death of Tracy in the screenplay). Cornering Blofeld in an underground lab where the villain is in the process of creating duplicates of himself (via a form of plastic surgery), Bond throws Blofeld into a vat of superheated mud. "Welcome to Hell, Blofeld," he quips.

Meanwhile, huge quantities of South African diamonds are being stolen but have not been sold on the market. Suspecting that the stones are being stockpiled to depress prices, the Government orders Bond to assume the identity of a professional diamond smuggler called Peter Franks to infiltrate the smuggling operation and find out who the stockpilers are.

With the help of fellow smuggler Tiffany Case, and amidst the bright lights of Las Vegas, he uncovers a plot by Blofeld (who didn't die in the cave; Bond had killed another duplicate instead) to create a laser satellite capable of destroying any target on Earth. He uses this weapon to selectively destroy nuclear installations in America, Russia, and China, holding the world to ransom in an international auction, with nuclear supremacy going to the highest bidder.

A notable part of the plot of the movie involves Blofeld's use of the industrial properties of a recluse Nevada multimillionaire (played by Jimmy Dean) by the name of Willard Whyte, the character being a thinly veiled version of Howard Hughes.

The film features a very unusual couple of henchmen: Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd. There is a strong suggestion that they are involved in more than just a professional relationship. Throughout the film, they use several interesting ways of assassinating their victims, from the use of a scorpion to kill a South African dentist, tying the feet of Plenty O'Toole to a concrete boulder and drowning her in a swimming pool, and attempting to incinerate James Bond alive in a crematorium furnace.

Also memorable are the female guards placed by Blofeld over Willard Whyte, named Bambi and Thumper.

Perhaps due to legal wrangling over the rights to Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E., no direct reference to the criminal organization's name is made in the script this time around.

Cast & characters



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Original Diamonds Are Forever soundtrack cover

This movie was the second of three Bond movies to have the theme performed by Shirley Bassey. The other two movies were Goldfinger and Moonraker.

The original soundtrack was once again done by John Barry. This was his sixth time composing for a James Bond film.

Recently, the main title track recorded by Shirley Bassey has been sampled by Chicago rapper Kanye West for his new single aptly titled "Diamonds Are Forever."

Track listing

  1. Diamonds Are Forever (Main Title) - Shirley Bassey
  2. Bond Meets Bambi And Thumper
  3. Moon Buggy Ride
  4. Circus, Circus
  5. Death At The Whyte House
  6. Diamonds Are Forever (Source Instrumental)
  7. Diamonds Are Forever (Bond And Tiffany)
  8. Bond Smells A Rat
  9. Tiffany Case
  10. 007 And Counting
  11. Q's Trick
  12. To Hell With Blofeld
  13. Gunbarrel and Manhunt
  14. Mr.Wint and Mr.Kidd/Bond To Holland
  15. Peter Franks
  16. Airport Source/On The Road
  17. Slumber, Inc.
  18. The Whyte House
  19. Plenty, Then Tiffany
  20. Following The Diamonds
  21. Additional and Alternate Cues

Vehicles & gadgets

  • Pocket snap trap - A small gadget hidden in a pocket to give a person performing an unwanted search on the wielder a painful surprise that would provide a critical distraction for the wielder to exploit for an attack.
  • 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 — Tiffany Case picks up Bond after eluding some henchmen.
  • Moon buggy - Used by Bond to escape from the laboratory.
  • Fake Fingerprint — Bond uses a fake fingerprint that clings to his thumb to trick Tiffany Case into believing he is Peter Franks.
  • Slot Machine Ring — Q created a ring that when used ensures a jackpot at the slot machines every time.
  • Grappling suspenders - When Bond rides on top of the elevator to the suite of Willard Whyte he uses for the last leg of this trip the rappelling cord built into the suspenders. (A similar gadget is the belt used in GoldenEye.) Bond uses a special gun to fire the pitons needed to rappel, and later demonstrates that this can also be a deadly weapon.

See also


Film locations

Shooting locations


  • According to the 'making of' documentary on the DVD the series producers originally intended Diamonds Are Forever as an extensive reboot of the Bond franchise to appeal to an American audience.
  • John Gavin, an unknown American, was originally cast as Bond. However, the producers were unhappy with this decision due to their experience with the similarly-unknown George Lazenby in the previous film, and when Sean Connery made it known that he would be interested in returning, Gavin's contract was quietly bought out.
  • When first approached about resuming the role of Bond Sean Connery half jokingly demanded the astronomical fee of £2m ($4m or over $20m in 2005) and a production deal. Both demands were met and Connery used part of the fee to establish a charity to help deprived children in Edinburgh.
  • It was originally proposed for the previous film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, to end before it does in its book form. The film would end with Bond and Tracy driving off after their wedding, and then the already-filmed sequence of Bond and Tracy pulling over, only to be shot at by Blofeld and Irma Bunt would provide the pre-title sequence for Diamonds Are Forever. The idea was dropped prior to the theatrical release of OHMSS, possibly because George Lazenby had yet to commit to any more films.
  • Albert R. Broccoli claimed to have literally dreamed up the plot for this film. A close friend of Howard Hughes, Broccoli dreamed that Hughes had been replaced by an imposter.
  • The exterior for the Whyte House Hotel is the Las Vegas Hilton (then called the Las Vegas International Hotel).
  • Sammy Davis Jr.'s brief cameo appearance was cut from the theatrical release. It would later be restored on the DVD.
  • Scenes also cut from the theatrical release include Plenty O' Toole sneaking back into Bond's hotel room and searching through Tiffany Case's purse, and Plenty breaking into Tiffany's house.
  • The climax of the film was changed several times during pre-production. Early drafts included a boat chase on Lake Mead that ended with Blofeld getting trapped above Hoover Dam. When the climax was relocated to an oil rig, the original ending had Bond pursue Blofeld who was trying to escape in his mini submarine. They both would have ended up fighting each other in a salt mine.

External links



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