Film Review – DIAMONDS (1975)

DIAMONDS (1975, Switzerland/Israel/USA/UK, 108m, PG) **½
Crime, Drama
dist. AVCO Embassy Pictures (USA), Fox-Rank (UK); pr co. AmeriEuro Pictures / Euramat Films; d. Menahem Golan; w. Menahem Golan, David Paulsen; pr. Yoram Globus, Menahem Golan; ph. Adam Greenberg (Eastmancolor | 1.85:1); m. Roy Budd; ed. Dov Hoenig; ad. Kuli Sander.
cast: Robert Shaw (Charles / Earl Hodgson), Richard Roundtree (Archie), Barbara Hershey (Sally (as Barbara Seagull)), Shelley Winters (Zelda Shapiro), Yosef Shiloach (Mustafa), Shaike Ophir (Moshe), Gadi Yagil (Gaby), Yona Elian (Zippi), Yehuda Efroni (Salzburg), Yossi Graber (Rabinowitz), Bomba Tzur (Momo), Aryeh Moskona (Avram), Tali Goldberg (Policewoman), Arik Dichner (Arik), Chen Plotkin (Danny Rabinowitz), Naomi Blumenthal (Ruth Rabinowitz (as Naomi Greenbaum)).
This minor heist movie sees Shaw as a British aristocrat who decides to become a thief as a way of embarrassing his security expert twin brother, who has built the supposedly impregnable Diamond Exchange in Tel Aviv. For the caper, Shaw enlists ex-con Roundtree, a heist expert, and his girlfriend Hershey (here billed as Barbara Seagull) to assist. Golan’s direction and shot setups are haphazard and the pacing is inconsistent as it gets bogged down with the need to add location colour. Shaw is much too good for the material, whilst Budd’s excellent pulsing score helps to add some tension to the heist climax. Winters’ role as an American woman looking for a suitor is superfluous. The theme song over the end credits is sung by The Three Degrees.