15 user 32 critic

Diamonds of the Night (1964)

Démanty noci (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 14 March 1968 (USA)
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 »


Jan Nemec


Arnost Lustig (story "Darkness has no Shadows"), Jan Nemec

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A small group of adult bourgeois friends are on a day outing in the country, that outing which includes having a picnic. While they are going for a walk after the picnic, they encounter a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Nemec
Stars: Ivan Vyskocil, Jan Klusák, Jiri Nemec
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Ondrej, a young boy who loves bees and bats, is introduced to his new mother, a woman much younger than his father. He brings her a basketful of flowers which she starts to throw in the air... See full summary »

Director: Frantisek Vlácil
Stars: Petr Cepek, Jan Kacer, Vera Galatíková
Comedy | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A series of loosely connected shorts comprised of three tales representing different aspects of love: temptation, dreams, and adventure.

Director: Jan Nemec
Stars: Lindsay Anderson, Jaroslav Bota, Alena Cepková
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A poetic film about a dove getting lost on its way to Prague getting shot down by a paralyzed boy. An artist who finds the dove becomes friends with the boy. Together they take care of it bringing it back to recovery.

Director: Frantisek Vlácil
Stars: Katerina Irmanovová, Karel Smyczek, Vjaceslav Irmanov
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

One of the most important images of the Czech New Wave 60s, which was ranked among the top ten domestic films of all time. Feature debut screenwriter and director Ivan Passer is currently ... See full summary »

Director: Ivan Passer
Stars: Zdenek Bezusek, Karel Blazek, Miroslav Cvrk
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The film tells the life story of its director, Jan Nemec, one of the most known and important filmmakers of Czech New Wave.

Director: Jan Nemec
Stars: Jirí Bartoska, David Bowles, Lucia Gajdosík
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A grim portrayal of the shift from Paganism to Christianity in medieval Czechoslovakia - as a young virgin promised to God is kidnapped and raped by a marauder who her religious father seeks to kill in return.

Director: Frantisek Vlácil
Stars: Josef Kemr, Magda Vásáryová, Nada Hejna
The Ear (1970)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Husband (senior ministry official) and wife find their house is riddled with listening devices put there by his own ministry. A harrowing night follows (reminiscent of 'Who's Afraid Of ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Kachyna
Stars: Jirina Bohdalová, Radoslav Brzobohatý, Gustav Opocenský
Cremator (1969)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Set in World War II, a demented cremator believes cremation relieves earthly suffering and sets out to save the world.

Director: Juraj Herz
Stars: Rudolf Hrusínský, Vlasta Chramostová, Jana Stehnová
Adelheid (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the aftermath of World War II, a former Czech soldier takes charge of a manor formerly owned by a German family. He falls in love with the daughter, who is now a maid, and is forced to ... See full summary »

Director: Frantisek Vlácil
Stars: Petr Cepek, Emma Cerná, Jan Vostrcil
The Joke (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the 1950's, Ludvik Jahn was expelled from the Communist Party and the University by his fellow students, because of a politically incorrect note he sent to his girlfriend. Fifteen years ... See full summary »

Director: Jaromil Jires
Stars: Josef Somr, Jana Dítetová, Ludek Munzar
Short | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

By the end of 2nd World War 3 prisoners wish to escape from the train. To make it real, they need to get food first...

Director: Jan Nemec
Stars: Jan Bartusek, Oldrich Bláha, Ivan Renc


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ladislav Jánsky Ladislav Jánsky ... 1st Boy
Antonín Kumbera Antonín Kumbera ... 2nd Boy
Ilse Bischofova Ilse Bischofova ... The Woman (as Irma Bischofova)
Ivan Asic Ivan Asic
Jan Riha Jan Riha
August Bischof August Bischof
Josef Koggel Josef Koggel
Oscar Müller Oscar Müller ... (as Oskar Müller)
Anton Schich Anton Schich
Rudolf Stolle Rudolf Stolle
Josef Koblizek Josef Koblizek
Josef Kubat Josef Kubat
Rudolf Lukásek Rudolf Lukásek
Bohumil Moudry Bohumil Moudry
Karel Navratil Karel Navratil


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »





German | Czech

Release Date:

14 March 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diamonds of the Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

27 August 2010 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

This movie does weird things to me. Not weird in the way of the surrealists, in the way incomprehensible that is like listening to someone talk to a microphone in a large empty hall from a different room, most of it is booming echo and static hiss but if you pause and concentrate now and then a word becomes audible so that after a while the bits and pieces of information form a whole that may not be coherent but is meaningful and whole upon its partial self. This does weird things to me in the way that there's no microphone and no one to talk to it if there was one and you're just sitting there in the large empty hall and you begin to hear words out of thin air.

When it came out mainstream cinema didn't know that language. It's a bit like what a captured Aztec chieftain in chains could tell Spanish audiences of the jungle. Diamonds of the Night tells a story, but that's not all it does, and that's not all it cares about. It tells an experience of life as lived dreamed or hallucinated. It doesn't even describe it to the viewer, it lets the viewer inhabit the experience. The movie opens and we're running through the forest, guns go off in the distance, we're being chased and we're digging our nails in the dirt running uphill and scrambling for cover. Now we're huddling together for warmth in the cold of the night and now we're back in time and memory to relive a broken shrapnel of life as it once was or as we now think it to have been.

Czech New Wave films were usually lighthearted and humorous snapshots of everyday life and they were not removed from their audience. To the extent that they were avantgarde business, they were rarely contrapuntal to a cinema that could be enjoyed by the average Czech who could pay the price of a movie ticket. When Milos Forman or Jiri Menzel showed the foibles of the common folk, they showed it not to amuse or inform the intellectual, they showed it to that same common folk who may still have a father living back in a village. They confirmed life as the people who lived it knowed it to be. Diamonds of the Night is not like that.

It's hard, demanding, cinema that will not appeal to everyone. There's very little dialogue and the storytelling does not follow arcs. It's cyclical and elusive and suggestive of other things that may or may not have happened or happen again as they did, like somebody is after us and we're running in the forest, we're running in circles and now and then we run through the same clearing that we recognize and we see ourselves running through that clearing.

I love this movie so much because it relates an experience of life that I may have dreamed, or an experience of life that I didn't dream but that's how I would dream it. Two escaped inmates of a Nazi concentration camp run from their unseen captors, in the end we see the captors and director Jan Nemec (in a masterstroke of irony, his last name translates to "German") is saying all manner of beautiful things, about innocence torn asunder and about the regenerative cycle of life, about things that will happen again as they did because that's the way of nature. I like it so much because it suggests things about stakes and games, in this case the hunt is the game and human life is the stake, and a game without stakes is no game at all. If the players don't stand to lose something, the game is a game not worth playing, and if the players didn't enter the game of their own accord, as seems to be the case here, yet we find them on the game table does that mean they are not there by some other accord? I adore movies that deal with fatalism in dreamlike terms and Diamonds of the Night does that.

The beauty of it for me is that it doesn't even matter that they escaped a concentration camp and that Nazi hunters are involved. It leaves out the pomp and circumstance and solemn contemplation of the "WWII drama". This could be about any two young people being hunted through any forest for any set of reasons. But someone is being hunted and there's "truth with malice" in that hunt...

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Michelle Williams Talks Portraying Gwen Verdon

Michelle Williams reveals the challenges she faced in developing her Emmy-winning performance in "Fosse/Verdon" and the significance of equal pay in Hollywood.

Watch now

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed