Sean Connery returned for the seventh movie in the Bond series with James matching wits with his nemesis, Blofeld, here played by Charles Gray (pictured below right) – the third Blofeld in as many films, who wants to use the world’s diamond supply to build an orbiting space laser.
This is one of the weakest Bonds, with its plot about diamond smuggling developing rather tiresomely into a chase with Moon buggies and Connery simply going through the motions.
As to sex, Bond – as befits his advancing years – now needs a little more time than he used to and makes (as he never would have done in the old days) quite funny Carry On type jokes about it. Even the rather pushy Miss Plenty O’Toole doesn’t get further than taking all her clothes off, before being thrown out of the window by some visiting thugs into a convenient swimming pool 10 floors below.
The Las Vegas sequences have some dash – including James ripping Vegas apart in a great chase in his Ford Mustang Mach 1 – and Bruce Glover and Putter Smith make an intriguing double act of the gay hitmen, Wint and Kidd. Dishy young Amazons Bambi and Thumper, meanwhile, put James’ chauvinism to the test.
Sadly, it was to be Connery’s swan-song as 007 but came as a welcome (albeit brief) return to Bond form after the dismal performance by George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). Moviegoers turned out in their droves to see Connery’s last performance as Bond and the film made over $43 million at the box office.
Sean Connery had quit the Bond series after 1967’s You Only Live Twice, essentially because he was fed up with all of the 007 hype and hubbub.
He had also apparently experienced strained relations with the producers. The chances of getting him to ever return seemed non-existent, and it appeared that the franchise would actually go for an American – John Gavin of Psycho – as the new Bond.
Connery also wanted to set up a charity, so he negotiated a then-astonishing salary of roughly $1.25 million plus a percentage, all of which went to the Scottish International Education Trust.
Sean Connery died peacefully in his sleep at his home in the Bahamas on 31 October 2020 having been unwell for some time. He was 90.
“Hi. I’m Plenty . . . Plenty O’Toole”
“Named after your father perhaps?”
Jill St. John
Sir Donald Munger