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?

  

 

 

Comments: 6

Leave a reply »

 
  • John Black

    I just saw Jill St. John in HONEYMOON HOTEL, along with Anne Helm and briefly, Chris Noel.

    Jill wasn’t a great Bond girl, but the worst, to me, was Denise Richards as a “brilliant scientist” in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH.

     
     
     
    • I totally agree. Richards was the absolute worst. I think Halle Berry too is way overrated and I have grown fond of Tanya Roberts in A View to a Kill.

       
  • John Black

    I tend to consider DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER as just about the worst Bond film. Jimmy Dean seems woefully out of place. I think it also has one of the worst Bond henchmen in the supporting cast, one Putter Smith, I think his name was. I have heard that Putter Smith was an accomplished jazz musician, and that may be true, but he didn’t cut the mustard as a henchman.

     
     
     
    • I agree. For me, the movie only comes alive with the scenes with Lana Wood as Plenty O’Toole. Per Lana, a scene with Plenty and Bond having dinner was axed from the movie and another scene where Plenty was to rummage through Tiffany’s belongings was never even shot. This would have explained why Plenty was offed. She was mistaken for Tiffany. And I love Bambi and Thumper scene as well.

       
  • chuck

    I read the article too. Didn’t agree with a lot of it, but the Lynn Holly Johnson comments were right on the money.

     
     
     
    • I agree about Lynn Holly, but For Your Eyes Only is my fave Roger Moore Bond movie. She has grown on me as has Tanya Roberts in A View to a Kill. For me the worse are the aforementioned Jill St. John and Denise Richards. And I think Halle Berry is way, way overrated.

       
  • Leave a Reply
     
    Your gravatar
    Your Name