Diamond City

 

This film which I remember well from childhood – mind you no-one else remembers it – is nowadays shown quite often on Talking Pictures

Director David MacDonald’s 1949 adventure film Diamond City is a  tale conflict  in a South African diamond mine. Diamond City gives the British an interesting chance for a British Western type film.

In the star role, David Farrar plays a self appointed peace-keeping lawman Stafford Parker in the diamond fields of South Africa in the latter half of the 19th century. Niall MacGinnis has a better role as the unscrupulous rum-dealer and illicit diamond buyer Hans Muller.

Honor Blackman (as Mary Hart), Diana Dors, Niall MacGinnis, Andrew Crawford and Mervyn Johns were all on good form here though.

18-year-old Diana Dors plays Dora Bracken, and was lucky to get the role as a last-minute replacement for Jean Kent. She had already acted for director David MacDonald as Lyla Lawrence in her fifth film, Good-Time Girl (1948).

Diamond City also features Phyllis Monkman, Hal Osmond, Bill Owen, Philo Hauser, John Blythe, Dennis Vance, Norris Smith, John Salew, Reginald Tate, Ronald Adam, Harry Quashie, Julian Somers and Ernest Butcher.

Unfortunately Gainsborough Pictures filmed it in black and white when colour is called for. It was shot at  Denham Film Studios, Denham, Buckinghamshire,  although  some of the filming took place in South Africa

Diamond City

Diamond City

This is quite a good film but would have been much better in colour. However for film fans of the day, the main interest is probably in the cast - David Farrar (of Black Narcissus fame) has the lead, with a  supporting cast including a very young Diana Dors and an equally young Honor Blackman.

Honor Blackman plays a prim and proper  type, in stark contrast to some of her later roles.

Diana Dors has her largest role to date in this film and as always is good – she also looks lovely. in fact here she is AS BELOW

Diana Dors in Diamond City

Much of the film was made at Denham Studios where they had the studio space to create almost anything – and the outside grounds again to replicate what they wanted.

Not many studios had the size or the facilities to cope as Denham did.

Thinking about it I doubt if any film studios has the size and space of Denham today

Diamond City 2

 

Diamond City – Later on Richard Todd didn’t fare much better with The Hellions which came over a decade later – and was in Colour and Technirama but somehow even that missed the mark at the Box Office although I thought it a good film.

 

Diamond City 3

 

Diamond City ABOVE – a bar room brawl as it happens

Diamond City 4

 

Diamond City – ABOVE  A Studio set but looking good.

 

Diamond City 5

 

Diamond City – Another Scene ABOVE again probably a Studio Set

Diamond City 7

 

Diamond City - Another Scene ABOVE probably filmed in South Africa where a small unit was sent prior to the main filming – I don’t think any of the actors went out there

 

Diamond City 9

 

Diamond City ABOVE – Again possible from the location filming in South Africa

Diamond City 10

 

Diamond City  ABOVE  Directing a boxing sequence with  David Farrar, Director David MacDonald, amateur boxer Bombardier Billy Wells 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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