4.9/10
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The Kingfisher Caper (1975)

Not Rated | | Drama | July 1976 (USA)
Young lovers find themselves placed at odds with each other, after reigniting a fued between their families over a valuable diamond mine.

Director:

Dirk de Villiers (as Dirk De Villiers)

Writers:

Roy Boulting (adaptation), Lee Marcus (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hayley Mills ... Tracey Van Der Byl
David McCallum ... Benedict Van Der Byl
Jon Cypher ... Johnny Lance
Bill McNaught Bill McNaught ... Hendrich Van Der Byl
Volenté Bertotti Volenté Bertotti ... Ruby Lance
Barry Trengove Barry Trengove ... Cappy Caporetti
Don Furnival Don Furnival ... Mac
Gordon van Rooyen Gordon van Rooyen ... Kramer (as Gordon Van Rooyen)
Stanley Leeshew Stanley Leeshew ... Osaki
Pieter Geldenhuys Pieter Geldenhuys ... Attorney
Ray Novak Ray Novak ... Joe
Ian Botha Ian Botha ... Sampson
Petr Muzik Petr Muzik ... Chief Engineer
Kenneth Kellman Kenneth Kellman ... Hotel Receptionist
Ken Louis Ken Louis ... Banker
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Storyline

Benedict and Tracey Van Der Byl are the offspring of wealthy Hendrich Van Der Byl, who owns and operates Van Der Byl Diamond Mines, one of the smaller yet still very lucrative diamond mining operations in South Africa. Benedict and Tracey grew up with Johnny Lance, who Hendrich brought into their house when orphaned and has treated him like another son which Benedict has always resented. While Benedict is a ne'er do well who spends his time chasing women, and on the side steals a diamond here and there from the company to give to whoever his female companion at the time, the current being Johnny's gold-digging wife Ruby, Johnny, who has overshadowed Benedict all their lives, has learned the business, and is one of the most respected diamond men in the country. With what Johnny believes is a large cache of diamonds sitting within the reef at Thunderbolt Gap which the larger mining operations have the rights, he has developed Kingfisher, a new vessel which he believes will revolutionize... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

South Africa

Language:

English | Afrikaans | Italian

Release Date:

July 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diamond Hunters See more »

Filming Locations:

Cape Town, South Africa

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kavalier Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Cappy Caporetti: [to Tracey as she bends over] Tell me, when Johnny want to pinch your behind... what he do?
Tracey Van Der Byl: Pinch my behind? But he doesn't.
Cappy Caporetti: Ah! That is what I was thinking. You must eat more spaghetti, more pasta, hah? I promise you, presto, in a short-a time, you got a behind to pinch.
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Connections

Remade as The Diamond Hunters (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Includes The Prosaic Realities Of Possessing Diamond Dredging Know-How.
3 November 2006 | by rsoonsaSee all my reviews

This sporadically engaging action melodrama was prepared as a feature film for television in South Africa before that internationally beleaguered nation was forced into a state of anarchy, and was aired within the United Kingdom and the United States shortly after its completion, with the action set in and about Capetown, and making appropriate use of that venue's picturesque quality in addition to its significant diamond industry. The film's graceless assembly of scenes is composed of two primary segments, thoroughly disparate in their natures. A prominent "diamond man" and corporation executive, Hendrich Van Der Byl (Bill McNaught), after being informed by his doctor that he is soon to die, bequeaths his extensive properties and other assets evenly to his son Benedict (David McCallum), daughter Tracy (Hayley Mills), along with his adopted son Johnny (Jon Cypher), with Benedict selected as new director of the firm. Unfortunately for the other two, Benedict is hungry to acquire ultimate power with the company, hoping to ingurgitate the resources left to his sister and foster brother, among these being the latter's diamond dredging craft Kingfisher. When his hopes to completely take over through guile and cunning are obviously not about to succeed, Benedict decides upon more violent means with which he may achieve his goals. The film's initial portion is the more interesting, as emotions of the three principals are undressed, but when violent action comes to the fore in the storyline, the work is converted into a routine time-passer, although the striking location of Capetown adds pictorial splendour. There are numerous sequences depicting methods by which diamond dredging from shoals is achieved, of principal interest, perhaps, solely to engineers, being simply an example of the fading fount of creativity evidenced within Roy Boulting's final screenplay. Boulting's wife, Mills, is top billed, but it is McCallum who earns acting laurels with an intense performance in this choppily cut film that is further burdened with a grating big band score contributed by John Dankworth.


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