James Bond Film Review: Lana Wood - The Craps Girl

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lana Wood - The Craps Girl

Lana Wood, James Bond girl from "Diamonds Are Forever"

Lana Wood Diamonds Are Forever jamesbondreview.filminspector.com
Lana Wood.
Lana Wood never really got her due in Hollywood.

Lana Wood Diamonds Are Forever jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

She started out as just Natalie Wood's kid sister, and that's pretty much where she's wound up. She had plenty to offer of her own, of course. Plenty!

The story goes that Lana Wood got the role of Plenty O'Toole in "Diamonds are Forever" (1971) because of the publicity from posing naked for Playboy. She got the Playboy gig because Hugh Hefner saw her on "Peyton Place" and admired her thespian skills. Good thing the man was a soap opera fan! Lana Wood starred in the April 1971 edition, which was during the peak days for the magazine. Now how did I know that Hef was going to figure into this somehow?

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Plenty is James Bond's good luck charm.
Supposedly, when Lana Wood got to Vegas to film her scenes, her room wasn't ready. Sean Connery found out (what a coincidence!) and invited Lana Wood up to his room (how gallant!). He is an excellent golfer, it certainly would have been an ideal opportunity to show Lana Wood his swing. One wonders if she ever did make it to her room that night. I wonder how much that little spy affair cost the suave Sean Connery in tips: to the doorman, to the concierge, to the maid service...

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Lana Wood with Dan Blocker on the set of "Bonanza."
They gave Lana Wood's part away to Jill St. John but crafted a new role just for her. Wasn't that sweet? It involved a lot of leaning over the craps table, I hope she didn't hurt her back. I'm sure an awful lot of thought went into what dress Lana Wood would wear as Plenty O'Toole.

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Lana obviously is proud of the role, as her signature shows.
Lana Wood had a lot of issues over the years. She hasn't come right out and said so, but one may surmise that she thinks that RJ - Robert Wagner - had more to do with her sister's (Natalie Wood) death than he later let on. Lana Wood managed to convince the police to re-open the case thirty years later.

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Lana Wood had a scare in 2012 when she went into anaphylactic shock after eating some cereal. Fortunately, she is all better now.

Her character in "Diamonds are Forever" was not supposed to have a kind of happy ending. In fact, Lana Wood's character was slated to be killed off and was only saved when the director decided to cut out the offending scenes.

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The Wood sisters, Lana is on the right.
It must have been awfully cold standing around wet on that set. They really did have her jump in the pool - but it was from a ladder, not a balcony.

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Off-screen, Sean Connery and Lana Wood were great friends.
Thus, the scene of her being carried to the window and tossed out like a sack of potatoes was simply movie magic.

In the scenes that were cut, Lana's character is fleshed out a bit more. She returns to the hotel room after the mobsters leave, but someone else is with Bond. She is quite jealous (as shown at dinner) and does a bit of snooping. She's quite an inquisitive girl, as Sean Connery as Bond likely would phrase it.

Lana snooping around "DIamonds are Forever" 1971 animatedfilmreviews.blogspot.com

She finds what she is looking for - an address, no doubt put there by the prop guy in the earlier picture - and is off and running. Well, she's only wearing a towel, so maybe a stop at her room to put some clothes on might be in order.

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There are many pictures of Sean and Lana filming their scenes. Obviously, there was a lot of interest from the crew. This is the earlier, famous scene, where Sean Connery masterfully unzips her dress and it magically disappears.

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Lana was a good sport about the whole thing. One imagines that she was a lot of fun behind the scenes, with that casual '70s attitude that could find the humor in just about anything.

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Lana Wood is a fierce lady, hanging out with a cheetah. You don't want to cross this vixen! Lana Wood will always be remembered fondly by true James Bond fans, long live Lana Wood!

Lana Wood Diamonds Are Forever jamesbondreview.filminspector.com

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3 comments:

  1. That is NOT Lana holding a gun towards the end here, just before the two videos

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the heads up, replaced. :)

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  2. Lana Wood is scheduled to appear at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, Sept. 18-20, in Hunt Valley, Md., at the Hunt Valley Wyndham Hotel. Also scheduled to appear are Piper Laurie, Veronica Cartwright, Angela Cartwright, Lee Meredith, George Lazenby, and more. More information is at http://midatlanticnostalgiaconvention.com.

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