After the poor reception given to George Lazenby in Her Majesty's Secret Service
, Sean Connery was no doubt lured back to the series with a gadget-stuffed briefcase full of cash (most of which he allegedly gave to charity) for this wry, snappily made seventh instalment in the series. Some of its secret weapons include a smart script, a Las Vegas setting providing plenty of neon reflections on windscreens for a memorable car chase through the Strip, and the comely Jill St. John as Tiffany Case, a diamond cut-above most of the preceding Bond girls. (Apart from Diana Rigg in Her Majesty's Secret Service
, that is). Blofeld and his fluffy white cat are on hand to menace 007--it's the Nehru jackets and steely surface-look of this one in particular that the Austin Powers
spoofs are sending up. Blofeld's initial cover as a reclusive Howard Hughes-like millionaire points to how the series was catching up with more contemporary figures and issues. Other highlights include two truly ferocious, karate-kicking female assassins and a sizzling moon-buggy chase across the dunes. --Leslie Felperin
On the DVD: The mind boggling possibility of casting Adam West (TV's Batman) as Bond was seriously mooted because the suits at United Artists wanted to Americanise the franchise, th e documentary reveals. Sean Connery was eventually persuaded to return but demanded a record fee to reprise his role, and then donated all the cash to his charitable foundation, the Scottish International Education Trust. The rags to riches story of larger-than-life producer Albert R Broccoli is told in the second documentary. The commentary is another in the series of edited selections from interviews with cast and crew, which are exhaustive in the wealth of detail offered but a little exhausting to sit through. Sundry trailers, radio and TV spots plus a few deleted scenes complete the comprehensive selection. --Mark Walker
With Sean Connery returning to the role after sitting out one instalment, James Bond is ready for his latest mission. And what does M want of him this time? To infiltrate a worldwide diamond smuggling operation. The action - which moves between Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the desert - sees Bond encounter Plenty O'Toole (Lana Wood), steal a moon buggy, get beaten up by a couple of female karate experts known as Bambi and Thumper, before finally bringing him face-to-face with a Howard Hughes-type recluse who is intent on nuclear blackmail and world domination.