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    May 19

    Girls have loved diamonds since the beginning of time, so it’s little wonder that men have always sought diamonds-even if it means putting themselves in great danger or on the opposite side of the law. Hollywood, who loves a good romance, has also followed the greatest diamond heists of the century, and has made more than a few memorable movies about diamond hunting. What are some of your favorite diamond heist movies?

    5. A Fish Called Wanda

    This film well illustrates the madness of diamond greed, as the criminals of this elaborate diamond heist, namely straight-faced George Thomason, stuttering Ken Pile, con-artist Wanda Gershwitz, and weapons man Otto West, will stop at nothing to win their spoils. The robbery itself is pulled off exquisitely. Unfortunately, the bizarre characters don’t mix well and soon enough British and American politics get in the way, causing the diamond thieves to bicker, lie and out-scheme one another. What was the cause of all this Python-esque commotion written by British funnyman John Cleese? A collection of diamonds worth $20 million dollars. The collection goes missing but not for long, after it is discovered that Ken left the secret location of the diamonds with his favorite fish named “Wanda.”

    4. The Pink Panther

    While everyone else may remember the bumbling antics of Inspector Jacques Clouseau, you may remember the diamond at the center of all the silliness-the Pink Panther. This panther wasn’t a lanky cartoon character but said to be the largest diamond in the world, a gift to Lugash princess Dala from her rich father. Talk about a “flaw”-this diamond had quite an unusual imperfection: Whenever someone stared into the large pink stone long enough, they would start to see the image of a leaping panther. (Hence the legendary screen name) Before you know it, a sinister fellow by the name of “The Phantom” has stolen the Pink Panther. It’s Inspector Clouseau to the rescue…though the movie ends with an outrageous plot twist that suggests some diamond heists are just too smart to be foiled. The Pink Panther’s description makes it sounds like the Darya-ye Noor Diamond, currently listed as the largest pink diamond in the world, about 186 carats.

    3. Snatch

    While most moviegoers remember Snatch as a small independent movie that went on to score three times its budget (along with heavy critical acclaim), diamond enthusiasts remember it for the stone at the center of all this controversy. The diamond worth stealing according to thieve Frankie ‘Four-Fingers’ (played by Benicio del Toro) was shown to be a valuable 84 carat diamond about the “size of a man’s fist.” After a successful heist, Frankie brings the diamond back to London, where he is hunted by local thieves and fellow criminals who realize just how much this snatch-worthy shiner is worth.

    2. Flawless

    This 2007 film starring Michael Caine tells the story of Mr. Hobbs, a janitor about to retire, but one determined not to leave the workforce empty-handed. He asks Laura Quinn to help him steal from the company that employs them: the London Diamond Corporation. The film takes place in the 1960s and focuses on Laura Quinn, the only woman to have ever been a manager at the company. As Quinn confesses that she stole the diamond, we discover just what was worth stealing: this beauty was 123 carats. Such a beautiful diamond, the characters reason, would guarantee a pension plan for the janitor and make Quinn’s unceremonious departure that much more satisfying. The movie focuses on the heist itself, including details about how the duo surpass the video cameras and how the situation goes haywire, when Hobbs takes more diamonds than was agreed upon-an entire two tons worth! The final payout? 100 million pounds!

    1. Thief

    1981′s Thief, directed by Michael Mann, was definitely a movie dedicated to realism, as it was not only based on an actual jewel heist robbery but was based on a novel that was penned by a real life jewel thief. The name of the author was Frank Hohimer, and the name of the “technical consultant” who advised the director on how to make the movie realistic was John Santucci, himself a former robber. In this film there were legitimate robbery tools used for filming scenes and the actors actually learned how to use them. This flick could very well be the best simulation of an actual robbery ever filmed. Need evidence? Novel author Frank Hohimer was actually in jail serving time while the time the film was in production. Not all the great criminal minds get away…

    Hollywood’s affair with the great diamond heist is still not over as many more comedies, dramas and suspense movies continue to be released year after year. What is it about diamond heists that attract big audiences? As Thief’s original tagline read in 1981, “Tonight, his take home pay is $410,000 tax free.” Flawless, shiny and tax free-what criminal could resist?

    One Response to “Five Great Movies About Diamond Heists”

    1. Zach Says:

      Blood Diamond should deffinately be included.

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