Boxing champion Harry Agensky, the Polish Prince, now an elderly widower and a stroke victim, takes speech lessons and fears confinement in an old age home. He convinces his son Lance and grandson Michael to take him to Reno to look for diamonds he stashed, his payoff when he threw a fight years before. Lance doesn't believe the diamond story but wants a last trip with dad, and all three have father-son issues to work out. After some gambling, they head for a brothel where each needs psychological intervention from a prostitute. Then it's time to find out if the diamonds really exist and if a road trip together can strengthen familial bonds. Written by
I doubt this movie would ever have been made but for Kirk Douglas. Its plot (generation gap and how to overcome it) has been told hundreds of times - and much better, too. The jokes are usually signalled with a red flag, the character-"development" is hardly in need of a soothsayer, nor are the plot "twists". Add the rather artificial sentimentality and you've got stuff that wouldn't even make it to TV. Thus said - I'd advise anyone strongly to watch "Diamonds". A contradiction? Yes, but the contradictory factor is simply: Sir Kirk. His presence, his strength to carry a film or his brilliance as an actor haven't diminished one bit since his stroke. Neither have his courage and his fighting spirit. Most actors his age would have given up, being bereft of their most important tool - speech. Kirk Douglas thought otherwise, and proved in "Diamonds" that he is still there and going strong. Though Dan Aykroyd and Corbin Allred do their parts credit, the only one to match Douglas' powerhouse performance is another screen-legend: Lauren Bacall. Their (all too brief) sequences bristle with chemistry and the competence of more than half a century in the business. In the end, "Diamonds" is simply proof that Kirk Douglas still can (and always will) overcome mediocre to bad material - and shine. That alone is reason enough to see "Diamonds".
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