The Hope Diamond Mystery

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The Hope Diamond Mystery
Poster of the movie The Hope Diamond Mystery.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Stuart Paton
Written by John B. Clymer
Charles W. Goddard
May Yohé
Starring Grace Darmond
Boris Karloff
Distributed by Kosmik Film Co.
Release date
  • February 19, 1921 (1921-02-19)
Running time
15 episodes
Country United States
Language Silent
English intertitles

The Hope Diamond Mystery is a 1921 American action film serial directed by Stuart Paton and featuring Boris Karloff.[1] The film survives with a copy at the Library of Congress.[1]


Loosely based on Lady Francis Hope's book The Mystery of the Hope Diamond, the story is told in two eras—in 16th century Burma, Tavanier, a French adventurer, steals the diamond from its place on an idol in the Temple of Sita, and the High Priest of the temple (Boris Karloff) swears vengeance and puts a curse upon the jewel. In 20th century London, a high-class crook with hypnotic powers called Sidney Atherton masquerades as an Asian crime-lord to try to steal it. He tries to mind-control Mary Hilton, secretary to rich collector Marcon, in order to accomplish his goal, and John Gregge, a criminologist, and Dakar, the apparent reincarnation of the High Priest, try to stop him and return the jewel to its proper owner. After several ambushes by Nang Fu's gang at Marcon's home and elsewhere, Gregge, Mary, and Dakar are taken prisoner on a ship by Atherton, but escape and the plot is resolved as the cast members meet in final conflict on a rocky beach.


  • Grace Darmond as Mary Hilton / Bibi
  • George Chesebro as John Gregge / Jean-Baptiste Tavanier
  • Boris Karloff as Dakar / High Priest of Sita
  • Harry Carter as Sidney Atherton / Nang Fu
  • William Marion as James Marcon / Bagi
  • Carmen Phillips as Wanda Atherton / Miza
  • Captain C. Clayton as Lord Francis Hale
  • Ethel Shannon as Lady Francis Hale
  • William Buckley as Reginald Travers
  • Frank M. Seki as Saki
  • Harry Archer as Johnson
  • May Yohe as Lady Francis Hope (Herself)



This serial was shot on the Universal Pictures lot and a custom set, the "Temple of Sita," which reportedly cost $100,000 to build, and was Boris Karloff's first major film role. A blue color tint was used on title cards in the serial with an illustration of the diamond in the background, and legend has it that additional special color effects may have been incorporated into other scenes showing the diamond as well, though no evidence of such remains in the existing print of the film. Color effects have been retained in the 2014 restoration of the serial by Eric Stedman of the Serial Squadron. May Yohe appears as herself in episode opening and closings.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Progressive Silent Film List: The Hope Diamond Mystery". Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  2. ^ THE HOPE DIAMOND MYSTERY original film

External links[edit]