According to my reading, 1969's ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, the first James Bond film without Sean Connery, didn't live up to expectations (although I think it's one of the best of the series), so the producers lured Connery back to the role for a million dollars.
Connery, always incensed that the producers made the lion's share of Bond profits, asked for, received and then, out of spite, gave away the million dollars to Scottish charities.
Nobody cared about the payscale then: Connery was back as Bond and that's all that mattered.
Although the previous films had come close at times, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER was the first flat-out camp take on the spy film. Connery looks like he's ready to roll his eyes at times and then having fun at others. The gay killers Wint and Kidd are very funny in several scenes (Bruce Glover, who plays Mr. Wint, is Crispin Glover's dad). Blofeld even shows up in drag at one point!
It's fun to see Las Vegas, circa 1971. During the car chase on Fremont Street, you can see the construction signs for the Union Plaza in the background. One daylight shot shows Bond driving a red Mustang past the Dunes...and he's immediately in open desert!
Jill St. John and Lana Wood certainly fill out their roles and become memorable Bond girls. Bruce Cabot, the studly male lead in the original KING KONG, plays an old henchman. On the DVD, you can catch Rat Pack member Sammy Davis Jr. in a deleted cameo.
I still think the best Bond films are the first three, the one starring George Lazenby, and Pierce Brosnan's first outing.
But, like THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER are among the most fun.
Good time had by all.