Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Official Trailer – Sean Connery James Bond Movie HD
Back in 1967, Sean Connery starred as James Bond in You Only Live Twice for what he thought would be the fifth and final time. The Scottish actor had become bored with the role and was dissatisfied with his salary of $750,000 (£589,000) with 25% of merchandise profits. Announcing he would only return for a sixth outing if paid $1 million plus box office profits, producers refused and recast him.
Bond producers Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman went with unknown Australian model George Lazenby, who’d snuck into the 007 audition.
The 29-year-old starred in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and was offered a contract for seven Bond movies, but he turned it all down.
Lazenby’s agent had persuaded him that the Bond franchise was dying out, with the Aussie even moving away from 007’s clean-shaven image by wearing a fashionable beard and long hair at the premiere.
Having lost their new Bond, the producers started contemplating Americans actors from John Gavin and Clint Eastwood to Adam West and Burt Reynolds. However, the latter three said Bond shouldn’t be played by an American actor.
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Next up, future Dumbledore Michael Gambon was considered but said he was in terrible physical shape.
So, in the end, United Artists boss David Picker made it clear that Connery needed to be brought back, saying the money was no object.
As a result, the Scottish star was enticed by a then-record $1.25 million salary to return for 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever.
While to seal the deal, United Artists also offered the 40-year-old two back-to-back movies of his choice.
Shirley Bassey performs 'Diamonds Are Forever' live in 2002
Connery ended up donating his $1.25 million fee to establish the Scottish International Education Trust.
The charity could be applied to by Scottish artists in need of funding without having to leave their country to pursue careers.
The first of Connery’s two passion projects was 1973’s The Offence, directed by his friend Sidney Lumet.
While the second was set to be William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, starring only Scottish actor and with the former Bond in the title role. However, Connery’s Macbeth was soon abandoned since Roman Polanski’s version was already in production.
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Inspired by Goldfinger, the 007 producers brought back director Guy Hamilton and Bond theme singer Shirley Bassey.
Diamonds Are Forever was partly set in Las Vegas and was a box office hit making $116 million on a budget of just $7.2 million.
While reviews were positive the film has since been criticised for its tongue-in-cheek humour and camp style.
Broccoli and Saltzman again tried to persuade Connery to return for 1973’s Live and Let Die but the star declined and previous Bond contender Roger Moore was cast.
Of course, Connery did go on to play Bond one more time on-screen in 1983’s Never Say Never Again.
The unofficial 007 movie was a remake of Thunderball and was released the same year as Moore’s Octopussy.
After this, Connery filmed an unseen video message as Bond for Ralph Fiennes’ birthday on the set of 1998 flop The Avengers.
Before voicing his 007 for the final time in the 2005 video game of From Russia With Love.
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