THIS DIAMOND BOND GIRL IS CUT-GLASS
Click here to access yet another survey, this one from Entertainment Weekly, of the Best & Worst Bond Girls in the history of the series. Again it galls me how Jill St. John as Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) is considered one of the best and Luciana Paluzzi as Fatima Blush in Thunderball (1965) is always ignored. And I also do not think Karin Dor in You Only Live Twice is one of the Worst, but I digress.
Back to Jill St. John. It is most likely without a doubt that the reason shewas offered the role of Tiffany Case was because of her fine work in two previous spy films, The Liquidator and The The Spy Killer. In this alternately appreciated and hated entry in the series, Diamonds Are Forever featured the last ‘official’ appearance by Sean Connery as the British secret agent 007 who is sent to Las Vegas, Nevada to investigate the disappearance of a cache of diamonds. Along the way, he discovers that his old arch nemesis Ernst Stavros Blofeld (Charles Gray) is once again involved. Blofeld and his criminal empire are planning to use the diamonds to affect an orbiting satellite system.
There were many problems with Diamonds Are Forever. It reveals the beginning of a distinct, formulaic structure of a comedic, sometimes campy tone in the series that carried on to and throughout all of the Roger Moore Bond entries. Much of the film looks cheap, garish and ugly and Connery, appearing world weary, delivers a disappointing performance. As for St. John, she undoubtedly was one of the most most voluptuous actresses cast in a Bond Film however she is attired in a tight, form-fitting, sometimes not entirely flattering bikini. Bathingsuit aside, acting-wise she is a disaster delivering a shrill, often one-note performance (especially contrasted with the delightful Lana Wood as perky, busty Plenty O’Toole). She brings no class to the part and plays it like one of her sexy dumb broad roles from her many Sixties sex comedies. But here she is so annoying you could care less if she lives or dies. In my opinion, she ranks as one of the worst of the Bond girls of all time. Where was Raquel Welch or Stella Stevens or Tina Louise when Bond needed her?