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The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

Jack Diamond and his sickly brother arrive in prohibition New York as jewellery thieves. After a spell in jail the coldly ambitious Diamond hits on the idea of stealing from thieves himself... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
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Alice Scott
...
Monica Drake
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Leo 'Butcher' Bremer
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Lt. Moody
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Fats Walsh
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Eddie Diamond
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Syndicate Chairman
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Sgt. Joe Cassidy
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Matt Moran
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Dixie (as Diane Cannon)
Richard Gardner ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Undetermined Supporting Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Jack Diamond and his sickly brother arrive in prohibition New York as jewellery thieves. After a spell in jail the coldly ambitious Diamond hits on the idea of stealing from thieves himself, and sets about getting close to gangster boss Arnold Rothstein to move in on his booze, girls, gambling, and drugs operations. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The Wildest Mobster of the Roaring Twenties! See more »

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Crime | History

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Details

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Release Date:

15 May 1960 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

El fin del rey del crimen  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Dyan Cannon. See more »

Goofs

When Legs Diamond is shot, he falls between two beds face down with his shoes pointed down. The next shot shows him face up. See more »

Quotes

Jack 'Legs' Diamond: You can't kill me, I'm Legs Diamond.
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Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Your Eyes Have Told Me So
(uncredited)
Written by Walter Blaufuss, Gus Kahn and Egbert Van Alstyne
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User Reviews

 
Discarding People Along the Way
23 April 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Jack "Legs" Diamond was the alias of John T. Noland (1897-1931) who had one spectacular career in the underworld of the Roaring Twenties. Though we are far from seeing the real story of Legs Diamond, Ray Danton gives us a riveting portrayal of a totally amoral man who uses and discards people in his rise to the top. Diamond's career and this film about him is very much a harbinger of stuff like Goodfellas in the last decade.

Right around this time Hollywood took a nostalgic interest in the gangster era. A whole lot of films like Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly an early Charles Bronson starrer, Dutch Schultz Portrait of a Mobster, and Murder, Inc. among others came out at this time. There was even a good series from Warner Brothers television that came out called The Roaring Twenties that starred Dorothy Provine. And of course heading the list was The Untouchables. The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond is part of this trend.

This came from Warner Brothers and they certainly had the best gangster films back in the day. Had this been done back in the thirties, James Cagney or Edward G. Robinson would have been the star. However the best guy for the part back then would have been Tyrone Power. That is the Tyrone Power of Nightmare Alley. Ray Danton's portrayal of Diamond borrows a lot from Power's Stan Carlisle.

This part and Danton's role in the George Raft Story should have made Danton a star, but it didn't, who knows why. Danton gave up acting and settled for life behind the camera, directing lots of television shows.

Other good portrayals in this are Robert Lowery as Arnold Rothstein, Warren Oates as Diamond's brother, Karen Steele as his much used and abused wife, and Frank DeKova in one riveting scene as Lucky Luciano. DeKova is only identified as the "chairman" in the film as Mr. Luciano was very much alive when this came out.

However the best supporting part is Jesse White's as a gangland rival. White who normally plays comic tough guys very well really does a fine job as a rival who Diamond makes crawl for mercy.

Good portrayal of the tumultuous Roaring Twenties though not the real story of Legs Diamond.


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