Trivia - Diamonds Are Forever

The death of Bond's wife Tracy was originally planned for the opening sequence of this film, but was later added to the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) to "tidy up loose ends" and because of a decision to stay faithful to the Ian Fleming novel.

The original plot had Gert Fröbe returning as Auric Goldfinger's twin from Goldfinger (1964) seeking revenge for the death of his brother. The plot for the film was originally to be about a villain abducting submarines using a supertanker. This idea was later recycled for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

Richard Maibaum's original idea for the ending was a giant boat chase across Lake Mead with Blofeld being pursued by Bond and all the Las Vegas casino owners who would be sailing in their private yachts, which, apparently, would include mock-ups of a Roman galley, a Chinese junk, etc. Bond would rouse the allies into action with a spoof of Lord Nelson's famous cry, "Las Vegas expects every man to do his duty." Alas, Maibaum was misinformed; there were no Roman galleys or Chinese junks in Las Vegas, and the idea was too expensive to replicate, so it was dropped. Maibaum may have thought the eventual oil rig finale a poor substitute, but it was originally intended to be much more spectacular. Armed frogmen would jump from the helicopters into the sea and attach limpet mines to the rig's legs (this explains why frogmen appear on the movie's poster). Blofeld would have escaped in his BathoSub and Bond would have pursued him hanging from a weather balloon. The chase would have then continued across a salt mine with the two mortal enemies scrambling over the pure white hills of salt before Blofeld would fall to his death in a salt granulator. Permission was not granted by the owners of the salt mine, and it also made the sequence too long. Further problems followed when the explosives set up for the finale were set off too early; fortunately, a handful of cameras were ready and able to capture the footage.

The main villains from the source Ian Fleming novel were called Jack and Seraffimo Spang. In a rare occurrence in an EON Productions official series adaptation of an original Fleming novel, their names were not used for the film. But pretty much all the supporting villains (Shady Tree, Mr Wint and Mr Kidd) were.

The title "Diamonds are Forever" was apparently inspired by an American magazine advertisement which James Bond creator Ian Fleming saw. The tagline for the ad read "A Diamond is Forever", a common catchphrase in both the diamond selling business and saying in the English language. Fleming also based his "Diamonds are Forever" novel on the diamonds because of this ad.

"Diamonds Are Forever" was the fourth Ian Fleming James Bond novel. It was first published on 26 March 1956 and the film is only loosely based on Fleming's novel. Fleming also wrote a 1957 non-Bond book titled "The Diamond Smugglers" which dealt with the same subject of diamond smuggling. The first line of the Ian Fleming James Bond novel read: "With its two fighting claws held forward like a wrestler's arms the big pandinus scorpion emerged with a dry rustle from the finger-sized hole under the rook." The last lines read: "For Bond, it was just the end of another adventure. Another adventure for which a wry phrase of Tiffany Case might be the epitaph. He could see the passionate, ironical mouth saying the words: 'It reads better than it lives.'"

This was the last Bond movie by EON to use SPECTRE or Blofeld. After this, writer Kevin McClory's legal claim against the Ian Fleming estate that he, and not Fleming, had created the organization for the novel "Thunderball" was upheld by the courts. Blofeld is seen but not identified later in For Your Eyes Only (1981), as Eon's arrangements with the Fleming estate do not permit them to use McClory's works.

The plastic surgery story element where Blofeld changes his personality and appearance in this movie is actually in keeping with traits given to him by James Bond creator Ian Fleming. However, Blofeld does not actually appear in the original Fleming "Diamonds are Forever" novel. Ernst Stavro Blofeld was named after Tom Blofeld with whom Ian Fleming went to school at Eton. His son is cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. Blofeld's birthdate as given in the literature is the same date as Ian Fleming's birthday which is 28 May 1908.

Ninth James Bond movie and the seventh movie in the EON Productions official film series. It was the ninth film to both feature Bernard Lee as M and Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny and the eighth to feature Desmond Llewelyn as Q. It was the sixth James Bond film to star Sean Connery as James Bond and the last for him in the EON Productions official film series.

George Lazenby was asked to come back as Bond for this movie but declined.

Burt Reynolds was the original choice to play Bond in the movie but was unavailable. Then American actor John Gavin was signed to play James Bond in this movie. At the time, he had recently played the French Spy OSS 117 in the Eurospy flick Niente rose per OSS 117 (1968). At the last minute Sean Connery agreed to return as Bond for the sixth time in a two-picture deal and at an astronomical salary for the time. Producer Albert R. Broccoli insisted that Gavin be paid-out the full salary called for in his contract.

Michael Gambon had been mentioned by Albert R. Broccoli as a possible candidate for Bond before Sean Connery returned. Although United Artists were reluctant to cast another relatively unknown actor, Gambon himself told Broccoli that he was "in terrible shape" and "had tits like a woman".

The lead role was reportedly turned down by Adam West. He believed that James Bond should only be played by a British actor.

Because of Sean Connery's high fee, the film's special effects budget was significantly scaled back. Connery was reportedly paid $1.25 million (US) to return as James Bond, a figure unheard of in those days.

Actresses considered for the role of Tiffany Case included: Raquel Welch, Jane Fonda and Faye Dunaway. Jill St. John had originally been offered the part of Plenty O'Toole but landed the female lead after impressing director Guy Hamilton during screen tests. St. John became the first American Bond girl.

Producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli cast Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole after seeing her in Playboy Magazine. Lana Wood's voice was dubbed. Lana Wood had to stand on a box for some of her scenes with Sean Connery because, even in high heels, she was too small to fit into the frame with him.

When Guy Hamilton couldn't remember a name he would call it Hergerscheimer. Hence, the appearance of a doctor named Hergerscheimer in this film is an in-joke from writer Tom Mankiewicz.

Willard Whyte is obviously based on Howard Hughes. Hughes, however, played a more substantial role behind the scenes allowing EON to film inside his casinos and at his other properties. His fee was reputed to be one 16mm print of the film.

Stuntwoman Donna Garrett was originally signed to play the character of Bambi.

The two fighting girls in charge of watching Willard Whyte are named Bambi and Thumper. The characters of Bambi and Thumper did not appear in the original novel - they were created exclusively for the film. However, the last one (Trina Parks) had the name of her character changed in the Spanish-dubbed version, for uncertain reasons (apparently the joke would not be so understandable), and was re-named Pluto, due to the yellow bikini she wore.

The film boasts not one but two sets of henchmen / henchwomen who act in pairs, the only Bond movie to do so. These are Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd and Bambi & Thumper. Octopussy (1983) featured a pair of knife-throwing twins Mischka and Grishka which were originally intended for Moonraker (1979) whilst Dr. No (1962) had the triplet assassins the Three Blind Mice.

Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny) wears a hat in her only scene to hide the fact that she had dyed her hair.

The character of Shady Tree (played by comedian Leonard Barr) is a reference to legendary old Las Vegas entertainer Shecky Greene.

Musician Paul Williams was originally cast as Mr.Wint. But when he couldn't agree with the producers on money concerns, Bruce Glover replaced him.

George A. Cooper is often wrongly credited with being in this project; undeniably this is due to confusion with a performer with a similar name.

Though Ernst Blofeld is the villain, the name of his organization, SPECTRE, is never mentioned.

Charles Gray, who plays the master villain Ernst Stavros Blofeld in this film, played a Bond ally called Henderson in You Only Live Twice (1967). David Bauer, who plays Morton Slumber, previously appeared uncredited as an American diplomat in "You Only Live Twice" also.

Joe Robinson, who plays Peter Franks in the film, taught Sean Connery judo in real life.

Bulky blond henchman Peter Franks has been considered one of the many series re-incarnations of the Donald Red Grant character from From Russia with Love (1963) which became a template [See also: Hans in You Only Live Twice (1967); Erich Kriegler in For Your Eyes Only (1981); Venz in A View to a Kill (1985); Necros in The Living Daylights (1987); and Stamper in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)].

Film debut of Valerie Perrine, who appears uncredited in a bit part as one of the "Acorns" at Shady Acres. Final film of Bruce Cabot.

This movie boasts the most number of aliases used by James Bond in a Bond movie. These were as Peter Franks, as Mr. Jones (and Tiffany Case as Mrs. Jones), as Klaus Hergescheimer at White Techtronics and as Burt Saxby on the telephone.

Shane Rimmer as Tom, one the Whyte Techntronic technicians would later play the Commander Carter, Captain of the submarine the USS Wayne in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

The site used for the Willard Whyte Space Labs (where Bond gets away in the Moon Buggy) was actually, at that time, a Johns-Manville gypsum plant located just outside of Las Vegas.

Given all the business with caskets, cremation, etc., it's interesting to note that producer Albert R. Broccoli once worked as a salesman and manager for the Long Island Casket Co., and Sean Connery once worked for an undertaker.

Bond's escape through a moon landing "movie set" refers to the popular conspiracy theory of the time that the real moon landings were faked.

The outdoor elevator scenes were shot at the (now demolished) Landmark casino.

This is one of few Bond movies that has one predominant setting which is Nevada, USA, particularly Las Vegas. It is only briefly set in other locations such as Amsterdam during the early part of the film. Dr. No (1962) was mainly set in Jamaica whilst On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) is the only Bond movie to be completely set in Europe. Although the bulk of the movie takes place in Las Vegas, no character ever says the words "Las Vegas" or even "Vegas".

Instead of building their own oil rig, the production team hired a semi-portable one for $40,000 a day, customized it and then towed it to a location off the Southern California coast.

The home of Kirk Douglas was used for filming in the movie. His house was used for the scene when James Bond and Tiffany Case chat whilst Plenty O'Toole is dead in the swimming pool. This house had previously been used by Leslie Bricusse to compose the Bond title song for the movie You Only Live Twice (1967).

James Bond briefly visits Cairo early in this movie but he would go there more extensively in the later Bond pic The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) six years later.

The film's finale takes place on a rather routine sized oil rig. An absolutely massive oil rig called the Aquapolis was considered as location for Atlantis in the Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). It had a gigantic three-tiered deck with a helicopter pad and was supported by a dozen major pillars. It was rejected for that movie. However, though much bigger than the oil rig in this film, the Aquapolis could not have been used as it was not built until 1975.

The car chase where the red side-rolled car comes outside of the narrow street on the opposite side in which it was rolled, was filmed over three nights on Fremont Street in Las Vegas.

The moon buggy that Bond drives around during the chase in the desert had a problem in that the wheels kept falling off. In one scene where a car turns over you can see one of the wheels that had broken off the buggy rolling in the foreground.

The Willard Whyte kidnap plot was based on a dream of Albert R. Broccoli. He had known Howard Hughes in Hollywood and dreamed he was going to meet his old friend in Las Vegas, but when he entered Hughes's room it was occupied by an impostor.

Albert R. Broccoli hated the line "Alimentary, Dr. Leiter," which Bond says when asked the location of the diamonds in Peter Franks's body. He thought no one would understand it referred to digestion. At the film's premiere, two people in the front row burst out laughing at the line, and Broccoli quipped, "Big deal, they're doctors."

The number of Blofelds that James Bond encountered in the movie totaled four, including the real one. There were three duplicates including incomplete ones. The first was prepared in the clinic, the second pretended to be Blofeld in the clinic, and the third was seen with the real Blofeld on the top floor of the Whyte House.

During the filming of the scene where Plenty O'Toole is shown drowned in the pool, Lana Wood actually had her feet tied (albeit loosely) to a cement block on the bottom. Film crew members held a rope across the pool for her, with which she could lift her face out of the water to breathe between takes. Unfortunately, like most pools, this one had a sloping bottom, and the block was slipping into deeper water with each take. Eventually it reached a depth from which she could no longer get her face out of the water. Alert film crew members noticed this, and quickly jumped into the water to untie her feet, thus saving her from drowning for real. Wood, being a certified diver, remained calm during the ordeal, although she later admitted to a few "very uncomfortable moments" while she was unable to breathe.

The alleyway car roll sequence is actually filmed in two locations. The entrance was at the car park at Universal Studios and the exit was at Fremont Street, Las Vegas.

At the time that she was filming the scene in Bond's hotel room, Lana Wood was unaware that her derrière would be visible through her pink panties.

During the shooting period in Las Vegas, producer Albert R. Broccoli and Dana Broccoli were asleep in their hotel room suite one night when it was broken into and Dana's jewelry stolen.

During one take of the fight in the elevator, actor Joe Robinson pulled off Sean Connery's hairpiece.

Reportedly, the final scene Sean Connery filmed as Bond (at least in the official movie series) was the one in which an unconscious Bond is loaded into a coffin at the funeral home. So, Connery's last ever day of playing James Bond for EON Productions was Friday the 13th August, 1971.

Mashed potatoes were used to replicate the consistency of the brown substance mud bath featured in the opening teaser. What the producers failed to take into account was that after 24 hours and under all the hot lights, mashed potatoes emit an almost unbearable smell.

The laser satellite's reflector is actually the reflector from an old fashioned, non-electronic camera flash attachment.

Shooting in the Las Vegas casinos was only permitted between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Mr. Wint originally killed the dentist by shoving the scorpion into his mouth.

This is one of few Bond movies where the character only has one consummated affair in the movie. The others are Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008) and The Living Daylights (1987)

This is the only instance to date that a leading James Bond villain has been seen cross-dressing in drag [Note: in Thunderball (1965)'s opening sequence, Bob Simmons played a minor male villain henchman impersonating Madame Boitier].

Vehicles included Tiffany Case's red 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 "Fastback"; a silver and white MoonBuggy; a 1968 Cadillac hearse; a Hughes 500/OH-6A Cayuse; various Ford makes including a 1971 Thunderbird driven by Mr. Witt and Mr. Kidd, a 1971 Econoline van, 1969 and 1971 sedans and various 1970 and 1971 Custom 500s as police vehicles; Honda US 90 ATC three-wheeler ATV motorbike; one Bell 206B JetRanger, two UH-1H Huey and three OH-6A Cayuse helicopters for the oil rig attack; Blofeld's one-seater Bathosub mini-submarine; an airplane and cameo appearances of a new yellow Triumph Stag in Amsterdam and Aston Martin DBS in Q's workshop.

Director Guy Hamilton didn't like big American cars and took particular delight in trashing them in the film's numerous car chase scenes.

Product placements, brand integrations and promotional tie-ins for this movie include Lufthansa Airlines; Rolex Watches, James Bond wears a Rolex Submariner; Martini & Rossi Vermouth; Playboy Clubs; Hertz Rent-a-car; Las Vegas strip casinos and nightclubs such as the Riviera Hotel & Casino, Tropicana Hotel & Casino and Circus Circus Casino; Mouton Rothschild Wine; Seaspeed Hovercrafts; Courvoisier Cognac; Honda Motorbikes; Shell Oil; Bell Helicopters; and Ford cars including Mustang, Thunderbird and other makes.

This is the one of few James Bond movied which does not feature the wine beverage champagne. The type of sherry served to James Bond, M and Sir Donald Munger at dinner was a Solera. James Bond mentions solera in relation to sherry. Solera is a method of aging and blending wine beverages in barrels. The year that James Bond says was the original vintage on which the sherry was based, was '51, not 1951 but 1851. The brand of wine served at the end of the movie was a Mouton Rothschild '55, a claret.

The name of the mortuary was Slumber Inc.

The CIA's mission to catch the diamond smuggling operation was called Operation Passover.

Blofeld's min-submarine was known as the Bath-O-Sub.

Blofeld's quote, "Humility is the worst form of conceit", was from French writer François de La Rochefoucauld.

The name-plate on Saxby's ('Bruce Cabot (I)''s) desk says "Albert R. Saxby" -- a reference to producer Albert R. Broccoli.

After the box-office underperformance of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) in the US--although it was a hit in other parts of the world--the producers of this film went all-out to win back American audiences. This partly explains why the bulk of this film is set in the United States.

Paul McCartney was the first choice to write the title song for this Bond movie but this did not eventuate until Live and Let Die (1973).

This is the second of three James Bond title songs sung by Shirley Bassey. The first was Goldfinger (1964) and the last was Moonraker (1979). She also sang a version of the "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" song for Thunderball (1965) which was not used. To date, Bassey is the only singer to have performed a Bond title song more than once.

According to the film's CD Soundtrack sleeve notes, the title song debuted in the UK Charts on 15 January 1972 and it peaked at the No. #38 spot. It debuted in the US Charts on 29 January 1972 and it peaked at the No. #57 spot. The soundtrack album debuted on the US Charts on 8 January 1972 and went to No. #74.

Upon release, this film broke Hollywood's three-day gross record.

The film's title song "Diamonds are Forever" has been extensively covered or sampled. It has been covered by David McAlmont and can be heard on David Arnold's Bond song compilation album, "Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project". It was also covered by the Arctic Monkeys at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival. It has been sampled in the song "Sexy Lady" by Yung Berg and in the song "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" by Kanye West. The song has also been used on the song "Psychology" by Dead Prez.

A number of titles of movies and TV shows went on to spoof or reference this film's title after it was released. These include Bond Girls Are Forever (2002) (TV); "Whodunnit!: Diamonds Are Almost Forever (#6.3)" (1978); Shirley Bassey: Divas Are Forever (2000) (V); Dirty Diamonds Are Forever (2006); Bonds Are Forever (1983) (V); "New Scotland Yard: Diamonds Are Never Forever (#3.2)" (1973); and a number of series named episodes "Diamonds Aren't Forever" such as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Diamonds Aren't Forever (#4.15)" (1989). Two episodes of "James Bond Jr." (1991) were called "James Bond Jr.: Quantum Diamonds (#1.56)" (1991) and "James Bond Jr.: Rubies Aren't Forever (#1.57)" (1991).

A 1986 James Bond novel written by John Gardner has the similarly worded title "Nobody Lives Forever" whilst a 1992 James Bond novel by the same author was called "Death is Forever".

When this film was televised on ABC, Lana Wood had some bra straps digitally printed onto her bare back in her seduction scene with Sean Connery.

Approximately thirty years later, as a series 40th Anniversary homage, diamonds would be used again as a MacGuffin in the James Bond movie Die Another Day (2002).