MI6 looks back at the New York, London and Edinburgh premieres for Sean Connery's 1971 outing "Diamonds Are Forever"...

Diamonds Are Forever Premiere
14th July 2009

Unlike the previous outing "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" which had overshot by two months, principal photography on "Diamonds Are Forever" wrapped on Friday 13th August, smack on time. The prompt completion was no doubt motivated in part by Sean Connery's contract clause which heaped an additional $145,000 on top of his record-breaking salary of $1.25m for every week the production over-ran.

"Diamonds Are Forever" opened in the States ahead of its British premiere, on 17th December 1971 at the DeMille theater in New York. It was an immediate hit - the return of Connery to the fold rejuvenating a series that was hardly ailing but which had certainly not been doing as well of late as EON might have hoped.

The film opened at the Leicester Square Odeon in London on 30th December for its Royal European Premiere and was again greeted with enthusiasm by Bond fans. Reports said some 700 fans lined the Square to welcome Bond back, and he broke records again at the Odeon, taking £35,000 in its first week (£13,500 more than the previous record).


Sean Connery took along a friend to the London press preview, one who would reportedly hear a cheer from the audience as Connery uttered the immortal line "My name is Bond, James Bond" in the pre-titles sequence. His name was Moore, Roger Moore... and he would take up the 007 code number the following year.

Connery used the money from his record pay day to found the Scottish International Educational Trust. He also attended the Scottish premiere, at the Odeon cinema on Clerk Street, in Edinburgh in the New Year.

Originally called The New Victoria Cinema, it opened on 25th August 1930 - the same day Connery was born. The cinema closed in 2003, but campaigners have been fighting an attempt to demolish the historic cinema to make way for a new hotel. Connery has leant his voice in support.

Right (and below): Sean Connery attends the Scottish premiere of "Diamonds Are Forever" in January 1972.

Ultimately, the film's world-wide gross would be marginally greater than "You Only Live Twice". "Diamonds Are Forever" scooped $15.6m in worldwide rentals during its first 12 days on release, and put 10 million more bums on seats in the US compared to "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", for a total of 26.5m admissions in America. Perhaps due to the film's American locations, "Diamonds" enjoyed more admissions in the USA than any other Bond film after it until "GoldenEye" in 1995.

Related Articles
Diamonds Are Forever