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Diamonds of the Night (1964)

Démanty noci (original title)
Diamonds in the night is the tense, brutal story of two Jewish boys who escape from a train transporting them from one concentration camp to another. Ultimately, they are hunted down by a ... See full summary »



(story "Darkness has no Shadows"),

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Credited cast:
Ladislav Jánsky ...
1st Boy
Antonín Kumbera ...
2nd Boy
Ilse Bischofova ...
The Woman (as Irma Bischofova)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ivan Asic
August Bischof
Josef Koblizek
Josef Koggel
Josef Kubat
Rudolf Lukásek
Bohumil Moudry
Karel Navratil
Evzen Pichl
Frantisek Procházka
Jan Riha
Anton Schich


Diamonds in the night is the tense, brutal story of two Jewish boys who escape from a train transporting them from one concentration camp to another. Ultimately, they are hunted down by a group of old, armed home-guardists. The film goes beyond the themes of war and anti-Nazism and concerns itself with man's struggle to preserve human dignity. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | War


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Release Date:

14 March 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diamonds of the Night  »

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Referenced in Krásný ztráty: Episode dated 2 November 2009 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Visceral Czech Holocaust movie with superb editing
21 July 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The movie follows the diamonds of the night, two plucky lads from Prague. The Nazis are giving off bad vibes to our brace of youngins, they're on a train wearing coats with letters KL painted on the back, which look suspiciously like they could be standing for Konzentrationslager (concentration camp). So the geese attempt to climb out of the sauce and jump train. That's the first scene of the movie which is a brilliant tracking shot that should be cinematic history if it's not already regarded as such. They run/stumble to the top of a hill whereupon they collapse, and you can feel their bronchi beseeching air, the blood in their mouths, the two different types of saliva, thick on the roof, thin under the tongue. The guys are less acting than living an experience that the director is demanding of them. It's very reminiscent of the Zanzibar film Le révélateur that came four years later in France, and although the use of sound here is good, it could, very much in common with that film, have been shot without. In that sense it's very cinematic.

The film as a whole is one of the best pieces of editing you can see, and shots of survival in what look like the fir-carpeted foothills of the Sudeten mountains are juxtaposed with memories of Prague, where they have just come from. In particular we see the closed doors of people who won't help them, who we don't see, and rather fabulous Wellesian shots of Josefov and other quiet areas of Prague. A lot of the editing is repetitive and short shots are later expanded on. One example is a ghostly love story that is cut off by the purging of the Jewish areas. The use of sound here is quite good, even in shots where there should be no sound you hear muffled glaucous conversations that make everything seem very strange.

It's another Holocaust shock film really, the shock of the Third Reich has never really gone away, apparently civilised modern society all across Europe disintegrated into a quagmire of venality and self interest, which leads one to wonder whether, even on one's own street, there are not folk who would cheerfully dismember you given abrogation of the usual checks and balances of society.

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