Filming Diamonds Are Forever in Las Vegas

Diamonds Are Forever

Released in 1971, Diamonds Are Forever is the last “official” Bond film to star Sean Connery. It’s also noteworthy, as it’s the final chapter in the Blofeld Trilogy … and the only 007 film to take place in Las Vegas.

While opinions vary, the general consensus in the Bond community is that Diamonds Are Forever is an average entry into the James Bond franchise. Blofeld all of a sudden has hair and may or may not be a double. Tiffany Case is completely forgettable, while Plenty O’Toole does little except provide one of the most memorable lines of the series.

Plenty O’Toole: “Hi, I’m Plenty.

James Bond: “But of course you are.

Plenty O’Toole: “Plenty O’Toole.

James Bond: “Named after your father perhaps? 

Like it or leave it, you can’t deny that Bond seems to fit right in amongst the casinos and sin in Sin City. While many of the interior scenes were filmed in a studio, all of the exterior shots were done on-location in Las Vegas. Here are a few fan favorites.


Circus Circus

Circus Circus was opened on October 18, 1968 by Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin, becoming the flagship casino for Circus Circus Enterprises. Architects Rissman and Rissman Associates designed a giant circus tent shaped main structure, which was built by R.C. Johnson Construction of Las Vegas.

In Diamonds Are Forever, the casino provided an amazing backdrop full of eye candy, intrigue, and gambling. In 1971, all of the games were in a casino. However, today, a secret agent might look for Online Casino bonuses at Americancasinoguide … but probably not.

One fun attraction at the casino was the balloon water race game, where Tiffany won a stuffed bear filled with diamonds. Another is Zambora – an illusion act that Tiffany used to escape her CIA shadow. 

Circus Circus today – courtesy of MGM

The Whyte House

By far the least incredible of Blofeld’s hideouts (hello, hollowed-out volcano and research lab atop the Swiss Alps), 007’s nemesis uses the fictitious Whyte House as his lair in Diamonds Are Forever.

According to James Bond Wiki:

The Whyte House is a fictional hotel owned by billionaire Willard Whyte. Whyte is said to have taken refuge in one of the hotel’s penthouse for months. The building hosts a large casino, with notable facilities including a coffee shop, Lincoln lounge, Washington room, Jefferson room, gold room, colonial room, a large outside swimming pool and two bars – the Oval bar and Grants. At the pinnacle of the building is Willard Whyte’s private penthouse.

For the exterior shots of the Whyte House, the International Hotel was used. The tall building behind the original Hilton was edited in by the filmmakers, to make the entire complex look bigger and did not exist.

Diamonds Are Forever: Movie Summary

When Bond investigates mysterious activities in the world diamond market, he discovers that the evil Ernst Stavro Blofeld is stockpiling the precious gems to use in his deadly laser satellite capable of destroying massive targets on land, sea and air. Bond, with the help of beautiful smuggler Tiffany Case sets out to stop the madman, but first he must grapple with a host of enemies.

He confronts offbeat assassins Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, as well as Bambi and Thumper — two scantily clad beauties who are more than a match for Bond in hand-to-hand combat. Finally, there’s the reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte, who just may hold a vital clue to Blofeld’s whereabouts.

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