In 1905, the cullinan diamond, the largest diamond in the world, was found near Pretoria, South Africa. General speculation was that it was once part of a larger diamond, that remaining portion still undiscovered. This led to a stampede of prospectors to the area, including a young man named Jacobus Jonker. As other prospectors gave up the search over the years, Jonker continued on this single minded search to the detriment of his family's welfare. But as close to two decades went past, his son, now a young man himself, joined his father's search. But as the elder Jonker gave up because of what he saw as the hardship he had caused his family, his son stumbled across a heavier than normal clay stone, which encased that long missing diamond, and what today is known as the 726 carat jonker diamond. As news of the find spread across the world, many interested buyers submitted bids, the winning bid eventually being that of famed New York jeweler Harry Winston, who received his new buy ... Written by
THE JONKER DIAMOND, a marvelous 726-caret crystal discovered in the Transvaal in 1934, brings happiness to all those associated with it.
This quickly paced little film is both informative & entertaining to watch, as it succinctly unfolds the history of the fabulous gemstone (although why it states the Jonker was cut into twenty smaller jewels, when the correct amount is twelve, is something of a mystery). It is also a good example of the early American work of director Jacques Tourneur, who would gain fame in the 1940's with his horror films at RKO.
Movie mavens should recognize an unbilled Hugh Marlowe, in his film debut, as the younger Jonker.
Often overlooked or neglected today, the one and two-reel short subjects were useful to the Studios as important training grounds for new or burgeoning talents, both in front & behind the camera. The dynamics for creating a successful short subject was completely different from that of a feature length film, something like writing a topnotch short story rather than a novel. Economical to produce in terms of both budget & schedule and capable of portraying a wide range of material, short subjects were the perfect complement to the Studios' feature films.
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