6.1/10
90
4 user 2 critic

Diamond City (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Adventure | 1950 (Austria)
Set in the diamond fields of South Africa, Stafford Parker is a lawman trying to maintain a semblance of law and order in the "Wild South".

Director:

David MacDonald (as David Macdonald)

Writers:

Roger Bray (from an original screen story by), Roland Pertwee (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Farrar ... Stafford Parker
Honor Blackman ... Mary Hart
Diana Dors ... Dora
Niall MacGinnis ... Muller
Andrew Crawford Andrew Crawford ... David Raymond
Mervyn Johns ... Hart
Phyllis Monkman Phyllis Monkman ... Ma Bracken
Hal Osmond Hal Osmond ... Brandy Bill
Bill Owen ... Pinto
Philo Hauser Philo Hauser ... Piet Quieman
John Blythe ... Izzy Cohen
Dennis Vance ... Rogers
Norris Smith Norris Smith ... Jan Bloem
John Salew John Salew ... Dr. Wood
Tony Quinn Tony Quinn ... Vanderbyl
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Storyline

The story of Diamond City takes place in the South African diamond fields during the latter half of the 19th Century and indeed much of the filming took place on the actual land where the events actually took place. Stafford Parker (David Farrar) is a self appointed peace-keeper in Hopetown, nearest settlement to the diamond fields. It is 1870, and when news spreads of a big find Stafford Parker hurries off to see the old chief, in whose land the find was made. Stafford asks the old chief (Norris Smith) to grant him the concession to work the new diamond fields as the sole agent. Whilst they are talking, the old man's nephew arrives with a counter proposal from his employer, the unscrupulous rum-dealer and illicit diamond buyer, Muller (Niall McGinnis). Stafford gets the concession but has to convince Muller to accept his authority in a fist fight. Muller appears to agree to Stafford registering the claims and administering the town, however he continues to plot and scheme. When ... Written by Charles Brickley

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

diamond | digger | africa | 1870s | gamble | See All (5) »

Genres:

Drama | Adventure

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1950 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Männer, Mädchen, Diamanten See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Diana Dors was a late replacement for Jean Kent. See more »

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User Reviews

 
".....want to buy some sparklers..?... Here's one to be going along with...."
8 September 2018 | by Brucey_DSee all my reviews

This film is set in the newly discovered diamond fields of Southern Africa, in the 1870s, and is loosely based on real events. This area was arguably wilder than the wild west, for a while. The discovery of diamonds alongside the Vaal river created quite a rumpus at the time; in a disputed area, claimed by various parties, the only law and order was one that the 10000-odd diggers made for themselves. Eventually the region was annexed by the British and later became part of the Orange Free State, but in the meantime, following an attempted takeover by the Transvaal Boers, a short lived "Digger's Republic" was declared.

Instrumental in the creation and administration of the Digger's Republic was Cpt Stafford Parker; that much is historically accurate, beyond that however it is most likely artistic licence having precedence over historical fact. However that few of the protagonists speak with anything like a South African accent is probably quite accurate; most of the diggers were British emigrants and the characters that are variously Boers and Native Africans do have accents that are not a million miles from those they might have had in reality.

As a film, it isn't a bad film; it would have been immeasurably improved by being shot in widescreen colour, but presumably the budget did not permit this; the arid landscape is pretty much lost in shades of grey here. However for modern movie buffs the main interest is probably in the cast; David Farrar (of Black Narcissus fame) has the lead, with a decent supporting cast including a very young Diana Dors and an equally young Honor Blackman. Bill 'Compo' Owen has a decent role too. Honor Blackman plays a prim, "butter-wouldn't-melt-in-her-mouth" type, in stark contrast to the later roles such as 'Pussy Galore' and in the Avengers for which she is better known. Dors has her largest role to date in this film; here she throws a mean bottle! Although there is a plot with more than one love triangle that could have been explored in subtlety and depth (as per Black Narcissus), all played out to the harsh backdrop of the African scenery, here it is something of an opportunity missed.

So a film that is worth watching for sure, but not for the reasons for which it was originally made. For once I think the average score (6.0 at the time of writing) isn't a bad reflection of this film's quality.


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