Jack of Diamonds (1967 film)

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Jack of Diamonds
Jack of Diamonds FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Don Taylor
Produced by Sandy Howard
Helmut Jedele
Lutz Hengst
Written by Jack DeWitt
Sandy Howard
additional dialogue
Robert L. Joseph
Based on a story by Sandy Howard
Starring George Hamilton
Joseph Cotten
Marie Laforêt
Maurice Evans
Carroll Baker
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Lilli Palmer
Wolfgang Preiss
Music by Peter Thomas
Cinematography Ernst Wild
Edited by Hannes Nikel
Sandy Howard Productions
Maran Films
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • November 10, 1967 (1967-11-10)
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
West Germany
Language English
Budget $1.3 million[1]

Jack of Diamonds is a 1967 film directed by Don Taylor filmed in Germany that was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It stars George Hamilton in the lead role of an international cat burglar and jewel thief.


A master thief known as the Ace of Diamonds decides it's time to retire before he gets caught, so he teaches everything he knows to Jeff Hill, his protege.

Jeff begins pulling off heists, singling out glamorous film stars like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Carroll Baker and Lilli Palmer and stealing their precious jewels. On a luxury liner, Jeff, now nicknamed the "Jack of Diamonds," discovers he has a competitor aboard, another burglar pulling the same kinds of thefts.

After the boat docks in Munich, Jeff goes to see the Ace, who advises him to do the same thing he did, quit while he's ahead. Jeff encounters a woman named Olga who introduces him to Nicolai, and after discovering that Olga was the other thief aboard ship, Jeff schemes with them to rob a bank vault in Paris.

They are caught, but the Ace shows up and claims responsibility for the crime, sacrificing himself for Jeff and the others. The thieves agree to return the stolen jewels, but when Jeff and Olga decide to marry, Nicolai reveals he has withheld one gem to present the bride as a gift.



The 1949 Paramount film about jewel thieves, Copper Canyon, was originally known as Jack of Diamonds.[2] It is unclear whether this film has any connection with the George Hamilton film.

The film was based on a story by the producer, Sandy Howard, who said before filming that the movie "may be reminiscent of other films, but we feel, even though we have no releasing deal as yet, that it will be different in style and its budget - $1.3 million - makes it an honest and safe bet."[1]

The film was originally meant to be directed by Herschel Daugherty. Oscar Homolka was meant to play Nicolai but was replaced by Maurice Evans.[1]

The plan was to film in New York for a month and then 12 weeks in Europe in Paris, the Bavarian Alps, Genoa and a Munich studio.[1][3]

Producer Sandy Howard described George Hamilton before filming as "a fine actor, I'm convinced, and he's a hot commodity these days", due in part to the fact he was dating the President's daughter.[1][4] Reports put his fee around this time at $100,000 a movie. He was drafted into the army but received a 3-A deferral notice on the grounds he was the sole financial provider for his mother.[5] (Hamilton's draft deferment was highly controversial at the time because it was thought that his relationship with the president's daughter gave him preferential treatment.[6])

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Who's Afraid Of Togetherness?: More on Movie Matters By A.H. WEILER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 02 Oct 1966: 127.
  2. ^ PARAMOUNT PLANS 'JACK OF DIAMONDS': Comedy Drama About Jewel Thieves Will Be Made Partly in Local Gem Market Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 14 Oct 1949: 33.
  3. ^ GEORGE HAMILTON TO STAY IN EUROPE Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 24 Oct 1966: C24.
  4. ^ Lynda Johnson Gets A Job at McCall's: LYNDA BIRD GETS A JOB AT M'CALL'S By TERENCE SMITH. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 06 Oct 1966: 1.
  5. ^ HAMILTON TELLS OF BUSY CAREER: But Sought-After Actor Is Silent on Role as Suitor By VINCENT CANBY. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 07 Oct 1966: 38.
  6. ^ Carmichael Says He Won't Go if Drafted: CARMICHAEL VOWS HE WON'T SERVE By THOMAS A. JOHNSON. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 29 Oct 1966: 1.

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