‘She’s got plenty’
If a Bond girls merit is measured by her assets, Plenty O’Toole has got…well, plenty. It’s a pun that’s no easier than Bond himself, his head turned by some well-presented cleavage and come-hither eyes. As Plenty in Diamonds Are Forever (directed by Guy Hamilton, 1971), Lana Wood might not clock up much screen time as Tiffany Case (Jill St. John), but she manges to elevate herself above bit-part status thanks her willingness to show off her curves. Bond (played by Sean Connery) meets Plenty at a craps table in Las Vegas, her attention captured by his ability with the die, his by her ample curves.
Clad in a glamorous, low-cut purple silk-jersey evening dress, Plenty is out to impress. An elaborate gold choker with a perfectly-placed pendant draws attention to those voluptuous charms, all creamy skin and tousled brunette hair. Effortless, revealing and sensual, her costume is the perfect scene-stealer and is designed for maximum and immediate visual impact. Next to O’Toole, Bond (clad in a smart white dress shirt and black bow tie) pales into insignificance.
Following the craps scene (and in a scene deleted from the original film but available as a DVD extra), Plenty and Bond go on a dinner date, during which she invites herself back to his hotel room. Her plans go awry when Slumber Inc’s diamond hunters appear, unceremoniously throwing her out of the window – straight into the hotel’s swimming pool. In another deleted scene, Plenty returns to Bond’s room to retrieve her clothes. She sees Bond and Tiffany in bed together, and takes an address card from Tiffany’s purse, later to show up at Tiffany’s house – with unfortunate results.
Whilst Jill St. John’s costumes were designed by Donfeld, the origins of Plenty’s dress are less clear. A reconstruction is currently on display at Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style, currently on display at the Barbican. A collaboration bewteen Bond costume designer Lindy Hammings, publicist Stephanie Wenborne and historian Bronwyn Cosgrave, the exhibition charts and celebrates the evolution of ‘Bond style’, and encompasses everything from costume to props, set designs and gadgets. Testament to the skill and dedication of the creative crews that have underpinned the franchise, and a well timed appetiser for the long-awaited Skyfall.