A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Diamonds Are Forever is the seventh official James Bond 007 movie, and Sean Connery's last outing, until his unofficial comeback in Never Say Never Again (1983). It contains the usual fighting, killing, and dead bodies, plus explosions and characters on fire, though there are fewer guns than usual. Bond slaps a woman in the face. Though no graphic nudity is shown, Bond has two sex partners, and women are shown in bikinis, in underwear, and under bedsheets. There is some strong sexual banter and innuendo. The movie implies that two male characters are gay (they hold hands). Language is stronger than usual in a Bond film, with uses of "goddamn," "bitch," and "hell." ("P---y" is used as a double-entendre, referring to a cat onscreen.) Bond drinks slightly less in this movie, with just a sip of sherry and a sip of whisky. A woman is shown smoking a cigarette. Bond fans know that Connery was the best, which makes this one essential viewing.
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What's the story?
In a prologue, Agent 007, James Bond (Sean Connery), hunts for the evil Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a villain from several previous films, and it looks as if Bond finally catches and kills him. Then, MI6 chief M (Bernard Lee) gives Bond his next assignment: apparently South African diamonds are being smuggled in an attempt to manipulate the market, and Bond is to stop them. His journey takes him from Amsterdam to Las Vegas, tangling with two tricky killers, Mr. Wint (Bruce Glover) and Mr. Kidd (Putter Smith), as well as two duplicitous Bond girls, Plenty O'Toole (Lana Wood) and Tiffany Case (Jill St. John). During an explosive showdown on an oil rig, Bond discovers an even deeper, more sinister plot, as well as the mastermind behind it.
Is it any good?
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER was Sean Connery's final outing as James Bond, except for his unofficial 1983 "comeback," Never Say Never Again, and it's definitely sillier than its predecessors. I also seems to aim more along the lines of broad entertainment than sharp storytelling. The Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd characters are troubling in that they're a bit too offbeat and cartoonish, but also the movie hints at their homosexuality and uses it as a despicable aspect.
However, Connery is still in top form, and with Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger) at the helm, the movie still moves at a clean, energetic pace. Even scenes such as the infamous "moon buggy" chase are handled with dignity. The two Bond girls in this entry come across as slightly stronger and more cunning than other examples; they're more than just pretty faces. Some fans claim that this movie is "too American," but Bond fits right into the Vegas setting with no trouble. It's a solid, recommended entry in the series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. How much is shown and how much is implied? How does the violence in this movie compare to violence in more modern-day movies?
What does it mean for Bond to have a "license to kill"? Does Bond ever feel remorse from any of his victims? Does he learn anything? Would you like to have such a license? Should anyone have one?
How are the women depicted in this movie? Are they smart? Brave? Strong? Or are they victims?
How did you feel about the Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd characters? If the movie suggests that they are gay, do they come across as good role models? Stereotypes?
What is the difference between Bond's appreciation of a fine bottle of sherry, and a character that drinks to get drunk?
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