Location Guide - Diamonds Are Forever


Japan / Egypt / South America
James Bond is in vengeful pursuit of the master-villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld after the death of his wife, Tracy Bond. 007 travels from Japan to Egypt and finally catches up with Blofeld in an unidentified South American locale. Here the villain is experimenting with facial reconstruction in order to 'clone' himself. Bond confronts one villain he assumes to be Blofeld before a second Blofeld walks in on his torture of the double.



South Africa
MI6 is receiving reports of excessive diamond smuggling from mines in South Africa. Whilst the diamonds work their way through the hands of various crooks and goons, as does a series of unexplained and mysterious deaths. Behind this trail of death is the duo Wint and Kidd who delight in devising amusing and sadistic demises for their prey.



London & Dover, UK
In London, Bond is briefed by M and Donald Munger, the Service's diamond expert. Here, James Bond is tasked with tracking down the final destination of the intricate diamond smuggling ring. M insists on sending 007 on the mission for fear that the diamonds are being stockpiled in order to depress the market price and shatter global economy. In Dover with the help of the lavish Moneypenny, Bond outwits Peter Franks, the known diamond smuggler at passport control and boards a hovercraft bound for Amsterdam in his place.



Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bond liaises with the savvy Californian diamond smuggler, Tiffany Case, at her 3rd floor apartment at Reguliersgracht 36 in North Amsterdam. Bond has to improvise a close-quarters battle with the real Peter Franks and perform a quick-switch of identity to impress Tiffany and keep his cover intact. Bond establishes the next port of call for the diamond ring as Las Vegas and calls on the corpse of Peter Franks to transport the valuables.



Las Vegas, USA
Felix Leiter is on hand to help seamlessly ship the diamonds through customs and a shady undertaker collects the coffin as the next link in the chain. At the mortuary, Bond is almost cremated before the goons discover he had planted fake diamonds. Promising to lead the goons to the stash, Bond follows a trail that leads to the high-profile Whyte organization. In the basement of the impressive 'Whyte House', Bond discovers the construction of a high-power laser satellite all but ready to hold the world to ransom. Scaling the Whyte House, Bond breaks into the penthouse to find Blofeld - the puppet-master of the scheme.



Willard Whyte's Home, California, USA
In the Californian desert, Bond pays Willard Whyte a visit to find him held hostage by two feisty femme fatales, Bambi and Thumper. After dispatching with the duo, Bond springs the trapped billionaire free from the entrapment of his own home and pieces together a plan to trap Blofeld and prevent the launch of the villain's space satellite. Seconds too late to stop the launch, Bond, Leiter and Whyte attempt to locate the control station for Blofeld's laser satellite.



Baja California, Mexico
Bond and the CIA mount an operation to overtake the lonely oilrig off the Pacific coast of North America. Bond takes on Blofeld onboard the rig, rescuing the damsel Tiffany Case and destroying the satellite control system. Onboard a Pacific cruise, Bond and Case indulge in a delicious yet explosive dinner, served by the manic assassins Wint and Kidd. Tipped off by the suspicious aftershave, Bond smells a rat and sets light to one goon whilst flipping the other overboard with the bomb.


Shooting Diamonds Are Forever
Bond veterans Sean Connery and Guy Hamilton returned to the larger than life, Americanized, 007 adventure: "Diamonds Are Forever". Hamilton rolled cameras on the seventh Bond adventure on April 5th 1971. Locations for the adventure were primarily stateside with Vegas and LA playing key roles. The director opened with a scene starring Bruce Glover and Putter Smith as the henchmen Wint and Kidd. The South African locale, where the duo set a scorpion on their prey, was actually filmed in the Californian desert.

Above: Bond motors from London to Dover, where he assumes the identity of jewel-smuggling Peter Franks for a voyage to Amsterdam...

Connery arrived in Nevada on the 11th of April and work began in and around the roaring city, Las Vegas, utilizing many hotels owned by the entrepreneur Howard Hughes who was friendly with producer Cubby Broccoli. The character of Willard Whyte was inspired by the reclusive Hughes.

By May '71 the second unit team were back in the desert filming the famed, if curious, sequence in which James Bond drives a stylized moonbuggy in order to escape from the Whyte science centre. Meanwhile, Hamilton and Connery worked at Palm Springs to capture sequences at the Californian home of Willard Whyte - really Elrod House, designed by John Lauter.

Above: Charting the miles across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to glitzy Las Vegas...

After the moonbuggy sequence the second unit worked in downtown Vegas to capture the Mustang's highway pursuit through the night. The crew received special permission to close specific streets in the city in order to perform stunts on the genuine location. The back lot at Hollywood's Universal Studios would also serve in the filming of this extended car rampage. The car parks here were fully utilised and a mock-up of a Sin City back alley was built in order for the stunt drivers to squeeze the Mustang through on two wheels.

Another key location for the crew was Amsterdam, where 007 rendezvous with the smuggler and soon-to-be-ally, Tiffany Case. The crew shot in north Amsterdam and on the canal, where the so-called Skinny Bridge was a key landmark as the body of a diamond smuggler is retrieved from the depths of the Amstel Cannel.

Above: From Vegas to the Whyte house and finally a costal climax off the shores of Baja, Mexico...

James Bond returned home in June 1971 to shoot on the soundstages at Pinewood Studios. Ken Adam's lavish sets, notably the interior of Whyte's penthouse, were mocked up on four stages at the Buckinghamshire studio.

Friday 13th August saw a wrap on the production of "Diamonds Are Forever" - dead on time, unlike its predecessor, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" which was plagued with problems and over-shot by more than two months.