Since the early days of film, Hollywood and the movie industry has been enamored by a little stone known as the diamond. These precious stones have been showing up in films and on actors or actresses for years. There are literally hundreds of movies with the word ‘diamond’ in the title and even more with important plot points revolving around them. With their brilliant shine and luxurious appeal, it comes as little surprise that the rich and famous are strongly attracted to the glamor of diamonds.
Believe it or not, many films actually have used real diamonds on their sets, as fake props simply fail to deliver the same awe-inspiring effect. Whether they’re draped on the actresses or act as the main protagonist in a heist film, diamonds will seemingly always have a place in movies. Here’s a look at some of the most famous movies involving diamonds.
Gambling, unlicensed boxing matches, and anything else you can imagine in the seedy British underworld plays a role in this caper. The numerous plot twists and turns eventually lead back to the film’s incompetent criminals and the giant 84 carat diamond they’re after.
9. To Catch a Thief
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller. The film stars Cary Grant playing a retired jewel thief attempting to clear his name after a string of diamond thefts occur near his home in the French Riviera. As “The Cat,” Grant must use all the skills he picked up as a jewel thief to escape the police, find the real diamond thief and clear his name.
8. Marathon Man
Dustin Hoffman stars as a marathon runner and Ph.D. candidate who gets caught up in a Nazi war criminal’s plot to recover and sell a large collection of diamonds taken from Jews at Auschwitz. Minor spoiler: this is the second movie on this list that shows a diamond being eaten. It’s not quite as funny in this one though.
7. A Fish Called Wanda
Made in 1988, this classic diamond caper had it all with double crossings, armed robbery, and a loot of diamonds right in the middle of it. It even garnered several Oscar nominations, with Kevin Kline winning the best supporting actor award.
6. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
A well known Marilyn Monroe classic, this movie might be most famous for her musical performance of ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’. It’s also celebrated for the 25 carat canary diamond, known as the Moon of Barada, that Marilyn wore.
5. Diamonds Are Forever
Even James Bond can’t resist the allure of these sparkling hunks of superheated carbon. Sean Connery’s last official Bond movie has the MI6 agent posing as a diamond smuggler to locate a cache of diamonds stolen from a South African mine. Bond soon learns his old enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld intends to use the diamonds to build a giant laser to destroy Washington D.C. That would be the silliest use of diamonds on this list if it weren’t for…
4. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
In the first sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy comes across an Indian village where a malicious cult has kidnapped all the children and stolen the village’s Sankara stone, a relic containing a diamond with mystical powers. The cult believes that by collecting all five Sankara Stones, they can rule the world. At one point, Indy makes the stones glow red and burn the cult’s high priest, Mola Ram. Sillier than a diamond laser? Probably. Still a fun movie? Definitely.
3. Blood Diamond
This 2006 political thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio follows the mining, trade and sale of conflict diamonds, ending with a depiction of the real-life meeting that led to the creation of the Kimberly Process, which aims to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds. The plot centers on an enslaved fisherman who finds a valuable pink raw diamond and tries to escape slavery while keeping it from falling into the hands of African warlord Captain Poison.
2. The Pink Panther
This classic series of comedies follows the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, most famously played by Peter Sellers. In most (but not all) of the movies, Clouseau attempts to track down the valuable pink diamond “The Pink Panther,” so named for a flaw inside the gem that resembles a panther. That flaw leads to some of the most memorable and entertaining opening credits sequences in film history.
Based on the famous real-life Hope Diamond, “The Heart of the Ocean” was given to Rose Calvert by her fiancé and features heavily in the plot of this historical romance. The jewelry consists of a large blue diamond set in a necklace. Fun fact: the prop was created by London jewelers Asprey and Garrard using cubic zirconia set in white gold.
“Diamonds are a girl’s, and sometimes Hollywoods’, best friends.”
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