Diamond Head (film)

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Diamond Head
Diamond Head 1963 poster.jpg
1963 theatrical poster
Directed by Guy Green
Produced by Jerry Bresler
Written by Marguerite Roberts
Based on Diamond Head
1960 novel
by Peter Gilman
Starring Charlton Heston
Yvette Mimieux
George Chakiris
France Nuyen
James Darren
Aline MacMahon
Elizabeth Allen
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Sam Leavitt
Edited by William A. Lyon
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • January 30, 1963 (1963-01-30)
Running time
107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4.5 million (US/ Canada rentals) [1]

Diamond Head (1963) is a film starring Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, George Chakiris, and James Darren, directed by Guy Green, and released by Columbia Pictures. The original music score was composed by John Williams, Hugo Winterhalter composed the theme, and Darren sang the title song. The soundtrack album was released by Colpix Records (CP 440).

Silent film star Billie Dove makes her last film appearance in a brief cameo.

Plot summary[edit]

Richard "King" Howland is a swaggering bigoted land baron living on the Big Island of Hawaii. He objects when his sister, Sloan Howland, announces she plans to marry Paul Kahana, a native Hawaiian, even though Richard is having a torrid affair with an Asian woman, Mai Chen. During Sloan and Paul's engagement party, Mai Chen's brother attacks Richard with a knife. Paul tries to break up the fight and is killed. Bitter at her brother for Paul's death, Sloan runs off to Honolulu where she is taken in by Paul's brother, Dean, and his family.

Meanwhile, Mai Chen gives birth to Richard's child, but dies during childbirth. Ever the rabid racist, Richard refuses to accept the child and Sloan takes it upon herself to care for the baby. After an angry fight with Sloan and Dean, Richard is confronted with a personal dilemma — whether to continue on with his close-minded ways or to welcome his newborn son into his family.

Although the story is based on the novel by Peter Gilman, the screenplay by Marguerite Roberts makes several significant changes in Gilman's story. Several characters are eliminated, including Richard's father, Richard's wife, and his hapa haole (half-Hawaiian/half white) half-brother. Roberts also changed the ending of the story.

Main cast[edit]

Actor Role
Charlton Heston Richard "King" Howland
Yvette Mimieux Sloan Howland
George Chakiris Dr. Dean Kahana
France Nuyen Mai Chen
James Darren Paul Kahana
Aline MacMahon Kappa Lani Kahana
Elizabeth Allen Laura Beckett
Vaughn Taylor Judge James Blanding
Philip Ahn Mr. Immacona
Edward Mallory Robert Parsons

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69

External links[edit]