May 16th 1972

“went see ‘Diamonds are Forever’ at Pictures”

If you were a British teenager growing up in the seventies, seeing the latest James Bond movie was somewhat mandatory?

With George Lazenby stinking up the screen as 007 in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service“, producers Harry Salzman & Cubby Brocolli succeeded in persuading Sean Connery to again holster the Walther PP for one final time (I never regard 1983’s cinematic pile of plop “Never Say Never Again” as a legitimate Bond movie… and neither, I hasten to add, should you!)

In retrospect, I feel Diamonds Are Forever‘s final massive shoot out – on something as comparatively unimpressive as an oil-rig – to be a let-down in ‘pure’ excitement terms  – after all, we’d become accustomed to vast underground bunkers and hollowed-out volcanoes – but to a 14-year-old boy, in 1972, on a Tuesday night, that probably didn’t matter.

There was the teasingly-smutty opening credits (accompanied by a rousing Burly Chassis theme tune), guns, gadgets, lots of attractive girls in skimpy clothing (including the ravishing Jill St John), some snappy dialogue and non-stop action. With all that I bet I hardly even tasted my Walls Cornetto during the intermission.

Yes, this was at a time when movies were split in two halves, and cinema ushers used the break to sell you ice-creams and sweets from a tray hung round their neck.

I often wonder how that would be treated nowadays? If, for instance, just as Javier Bardem was about to kill his umpteenth victim in “No Country for Old Men“, the film suddenly stopped and someone wheeled a popcorn machine into the auditorium.


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