The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

 |  Crime, History  |  15 May 1960 (Japan)
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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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Complete credited cast:
Alice Scott
Monica Drake
Jesse White ...
Leo 'Butcher' Bremer
Lt. Moody
Judson Pratt ...
Fats Walsh
Eddie Diamond
Syndicate Chairman
Sgt. Joe Cassidy
Matt Moran
Dixie (as Diane Cannon)
Richard Gardner ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Hudson ...
Undetermined Supporting Role (scenes deleted)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Wildest Mobster of the Roaring Twenties! See more »


Crime | History


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| | |

Release Date:

15 May 1960 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

J.D., der Killer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Julie Wilson was nominated for the 1989 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actress in a Musical for "Legs Diamond". See more »


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 »


Jack 'Legs' Diamond: You can't kill me, I'm Legs Diamond.
See more »


Featured in Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That (2005) See more »


I'm Just Wild About Harry
Written by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle
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User Reviews

One of the Best of the sixties Depression Era Crime Films
4 March 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

For the record, this film is historically inaccurate: not for the events, but for the true life character portrayals and interactions.

For instance, there is no evidence in the record of the time that Arnold (The Big Bankroll) Rothstein ever formally met with Jack "Legs" Diamond. Nor is there any record of Diamond having anything to do with Rothstein's girlfriend or his gangland assassination.

Despite these gaps in historical fact, this is one of the most highly entertaining ( of the 1960's crop) of films ever made of that era. In fact many film critics hold to the opinion that most, if not all, of the gangster films of the sixties, were poor attempts to copy the style and success of this one. The production is tightly written, well paced and beautifully filmed by a director (Bud Boetticher) who knew his way around black and white photography. And they couldn't have picked a better subject of the Prohibition Era than Jack "Legs" Diamond.

Jack Diamond was not called "Legs" because he worked for a short time as a dancer, but for the fact that he was initially a highly successful 'snatch and run' thief in the garment district. But he did eventually get caught and served a stint in prison. But forget the historical inaccuracies and enjoy this never boring gangster film.

Ray Danton, one of the most highly underrated actors of his time, gives a riveting fast paced portrayal of Diamond that will be hard to surpass. Not only is he believable in the outrageous stunts he pulls, but he just as easily exposes a manic and tragic side to his character as well: all without missing a beat.

This unusual film also allows you to see some of the screens most memorable character actors at their best. But most of all, you get to see two soon to be famous actors on their way up.

This was actress Dyan Cannon's first film, in a memorable role as the character,Dixie. And soon to be veteran character Warren Oates makes his third appearance in the movies as "Legs" Diamond's brother, Eddie. A careful study his early acting skills in this role, clearly defines why he went on to become one of the most endearing and recognizable character actors of all time.

Trust me on this one, fans. Whether you like Depression Era gangster films or not, you will be constantly entertained by this one. Don't miss it!

23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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