Diamonds Are Forever ★★★★

I'd never seen Diamonds Are Forever on a big screen* or with an audience, and this was hands down the one "classic" movie scheduled to play in Louisville in 2014 that actually excited me. Sure, it's a second (maybe even third) tier 007 movie, but it's still Bond. And the truth is, there are a lot of things I love about this one.

I was disappointed that my friend and I were clearly among the younger viewers there, not because it suggested younger viewers aren't into the older Bond movies (though, admittedly, on some level that did bug me). Rather, I was irked because there's just no reason for an audience clearly old enough to have seen Diamonds Are Forever numerous times to have let me laugh alone for most of the first hour. Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint crack me up. Sorry, not sorry.

John Barry's eerie score isn't as rich as his stronger works, but it's sure as hell effective and suits the tone of the picture. That elevator fight is fierce and well-staged, and the absence of music heightens its savagery. (A pity it leads up to the "You've just killed James Bond!" gag that completely mocks the very idea of a spy.)

Jill St. John plays Tiffany Case perfectly. We've seen too many Bond Girl actresses become self-caricatures for some reason (looking at you, Academy Award-winner Halle Berry). Not her, though. She knows it's a ridiculous movie, but she also knows the importance of not showing that her character knows how ridiculous things are, and that makes the difference. It's okay for Sean Connery to wink at us...but only him!

I still check out during the nearly ten minute car chase through Vegas (total yawn), Charles Gray has no presence whatsoever as Blofeld, and there are some other disappointments, sure, but come on. Bond steals a moon buggy from the filming of a fake moon landing, in which the "astronauts" are so method they continue to move laughably slowly. Best. Getaway. EVAR.

On a personal note, this was actually my consolation prize for the evening, and you know what? It's hard to complain about a night that works out that way.

Diamonds Are Forever Re-Ranked on My Flickchart (#472/1642)

Diamonds Are Forever > Analyze This --> #472
Diamonds Are Forever > Planet of the Apes (2001) --> #411
Diamonds Are Forever < Mickey's Christmas Carol --> #411
Diamonds Are Forever < Starship Troopers --> #411
Diamonds Are Forever > Mission: Impossible --> #358
Diamonds Are Forever > The Old Dark House --> #333
Diamonds Are Forever > The Family Stone --> #320
Diamonds Are Forever < Harlan County U.S.A. --> #320
Diamonds Are Forever > Shattered [Butterfly on a Wheel] --> #316
Diamonds Are Forever > The Music Man (1962) --> #315
Diamonds Are Forever > WereWolf of London --> #314

Diamonds Are Forever was re-ranked on my Flickchart to #314/1642