Friday, September 11, 2009

Know your lgbt history - James Bond goes gay

For today's edition of Know your lgbt history, I wanted to feature something different, eclectic and semi-empowering.

Not too many people are aware of this but the motion picture Diamonds Are Forever (1971) is probably the gayest, most campiest movie in the James Bond series.

It's one of my favorites, although seeing how it fits into the James Bond chronology, campy wasn't necessarily a good way to go.

Diamonds Are Forever came after On Her Majesty's Secret Service starring George Lazenby who took over the role of James Bond from Sean Connery.

I won't even talk about the behind-the-scenes drama that led to Lazenby not doing another James Bond movie and producers wooing Connery back for one last go at Bond.

The onscreen drama was enough. At the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond has just become a groom but quickly became a widower when villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld machine-gunned his bride.

Diamonds Are Forever should have been what later Bond movie License to Kill was - a movie devoted to vengeance. Instead, only the first five minutes was devoted to Bond finding and killing Blofeld.

Then he proceeded to stop diamond smugglers.

And by the power of strange screenwriting, it turns out that he didn't kill Blofeld after all (who do you think was leading the diamond smuggling operations?)

I won't rehash the plot. I just want to focus on my favorite James Bond henchmen, Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint.

Wint (jazz musician Putter Smith) and Kidd (actor Bruce Glover) are definitely a gay couple, as seen by the end of the first scene after they put a scorpion down the back of a diamond smuggler and blow up a helicopter.

Subtlety is not this couple's strong suite and they cut a path of destruction, killing everyone who is a part of the diamond smuggling operation per instructions of Blofeld who will be using the diamonds as a part of a new plan of world conquest.

Although I find their deaths insulting - particularly that of Mr. Kidd, I still have a guilty pleasure of watching the two wreak havoc.

Past Know Your LGBT History postings:

Know your lgbt history - Windows

Know your lgbt history - To Wong Foo and Priscilla

Know your lgbt history - Blazing Saddles

Know your lgbt history - Sanford and Son

Know your lgbt history - In Living Color

Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords

Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?

Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street

Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys

Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy

Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda'

Know your lgbt history - Cruising

Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones

Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up

Know your lgbt history - Fright Night

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

The Jeffersons and the transgender community

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Christopher™ said...

The best movie night I ever had at my place was when I screened this film. Imagine a roomful of gay men just howling with laughter and dishing comments throughout. I literally was on the floor laughing, holding my sides, when this was over.

Over-the-top gay villains? Check.
Nonsensical plot? Check.
Man-hating theme song? Check.
Great one-liners? Check.
Jimmy Dean? Jimmy Dean!!?? Check.

This movie has everything.

Oh, and don't forget Bambi and Thumper. They could be interpreted as a lesbian duo as well.

Diamonds Are Forever may be the campiest Bond, but most of Roger Moore's Bond output was campy. That's why I describe Diamonds Are Forever as "the first Roger Moore Bond film that accidentally stars Sean Connery."

Anonymous said...

The best bits in the movie with the duo are the way they constantly refer to each other in conversation. They always refer to the other as "Mister" and seem not quite bored with the whole world around them, but rather put out by having to do all of this mayhem, their seeming enjoyment of actually doing it aside.
In the end though, they're a second-hand product of Ian Flemming's strong distaste for homosexual (hence their being so vicious and uncaring). In the book, they're little more than caricatures of homosexual men in much the same way that most (if not all) of Flemming's black characters are hoods and toughs without much intellect (even the masterminds are rather slow witted) which becomes frighteningly evident in his treatment of them in Live and Let Die (the movie being seen as an embarrassment to the film series for its overt and readily apparent racism and "pandering' to the blaxploitation genre at the time).

Unknown said...

Bruce Glover is the father of the actor, auther Crispin Glover. Crispin played George McFly, the father of Michael J. Fox.

Jon said...

I'm showing my age here, but I remember when they first broadcast Diamonds Are Forever on TV. They censored out the part where Wint and Kidd are walking away holding hands. Too controversial I guess.

Boy, how things have changed on TV!

Peter said...

Video Link is dead...

BlackTsunami said...

I know. It happens from time to time on some of these posts when they get deleted from youtube.