DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER is Sean Connery's last official James Bond movie (his very last Bond movie, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, was not produced by Eon Productions). Connery was induced to return to the Bond series with a then-record $1 million salary following his departure after YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.
DIAMONDS is a good but not great Bond movie, with its most redeeming feature being Connery, the definitive James Bond, returning after the dismal performance of George Lazenby in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. Also, John Barry's theme, sung by Shirley Bassey, is one of the very best in the Bond movies.
Its three biggest negatives are excessive campy humor, the disappointing climatic battle scene on the oil rig and co-star Jimmy Dean.
The oil rig battle scene was originally supposed to be a highlight of the movie, but due to the budget (i.e. Connery's huge salary) and a schedule problem, the battle scene was greatly reduced---removed were military frogmen who were supposed to drop from the helicopters and assault the oil rig making it resemble other exciting Bond battle scenes such as YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE and ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. Also, the special effects were also affected by the budget constraints and were cheaply made so that the exploding helicopters are very cheesy-looking. This is certainly not expected from big-budget, mega-hits like the Bond movies.
Lastly, the terrible acting by Jimmy Dean as the Howard Hughes-like billionaire Willard Whyte is a real blemish.
A lesser negative is that explanatory scenes showing how and why Plenty O'Toole is found drowned in the swimming pool were deleted from the movie (the deleted scenes show James Bond and Tiffany Case in bed together as Plenty returns to their hotel room and finds Tiffany's address in her purse. She then visits Tiffany's home to confront her over Bond and is drowned by the two assassins who mistake her for Tiffany).
Charles Grey, who stars as SPECTRE villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, co-starred as a British secret agent in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. Bruce Cabot, star of the original KING KONG, stars as Willard Whyte's evil assistant. Lana Wood, sister of Natalie Wood, plays Bond Girl Plenty O'Toole (Lana and Natalie Wood starred together in John Wayne's THE SEARCHERS in which the sisters played younger and older versions of the kidnapped girl). Bruce Glover, father of Crispin Glover (BACK TO THE FUTURE), co-stars as one of the two assassins.
Overall, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER is one of the better Bond movies, and it is a must-have for the Bond fan who wants to see Sean Connery in his last official Bond movie.