Diamonds (1999) Poster


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Warm, funny and well worth a watch.
rhannent23 January 2002
Its one of those films that makes an impact on a more subtle level than were used to these days. Its like a classical black and white, but with more sex and swearing. But don't let that put you off, every moment is justified, the emotion and the expression tell the story more than the words alone ever could. I don't think I would ever have watched it had it not been for the lack of anything to do at work (TV broadcaster's master control room), but once I got started I was sorry when it ended. So, I'm not saying throw out the mainstream block buster, but why not try adding it to the B-Roll list and watch it before something else to make you feel good.

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Quietly charming, quite close to the real post-stroke Kirk Douglas
neal-571 December 2002
A quietly charming film that starts slow and builds: Father (Dan Ackroyd) and son (Corbin Allred) take Grandpa (Kirk Douglas) along on a vacation trip, despite the fact that Gramps has had a stroke and his health--physical and mental--is in question. Those who've read Kirk's books, "Climbing the Mountain" and "My Stroke of Luck" will realize just how many of Kirk's real experiences have been written into the role, especially his continuing efforts to improve his damaged speech. (Who will ever forget the 1995 Academy Awards, when Kirk, just weeks after the stroke, came out to accept his honorary Oscar, and forced recognizable speech out of a mouth that was, at the time, very much a ruined instrument?) The film begins with a uneasy tenseness that makes it hard to enjoy, but this moderates as we come to know the characters, and a certain largeness of spirit appears when the three generations enter a brothel, run by Lauren Bacall, whose screen magic hasn't diminished one little bit. Incidentally, this is only the second film Douglas and Bacall have made together; the first was "Young Man With a Horn" in 1949. Does that mean we have to wait until 2O49 for them to do it again?
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A lovely film about fathers and sons
mwengler-114 December 2005
The scenes between Dan Aykroyd and Kirk Douglas where they are working through Dan's disappointment that Kirk was not a better father are fantastic! Every man who has ever been disappointed in his father should watch the old post stroke Kirk Douglas telling his son "I never kicked you in the ass, and I'm proud of that. My father beat me and I didn't beat you and that was a great thing." Maybe the definition of growing up is learning that your parents were children once, and they were hurt and disappointed and did not get enough from their parents, and that we are just all in this together, trying to find love. Maybe I am not a grown up until I have cried for the pain and disappointments my own mother and father have had in their lives, even though they also disappointed me.

It is just lovely to know that even in a movie I never heard of, that never really made it, I can find such moments of genuine humanity.
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Kirk Douglas- WOW!
braddvi17 May 2001
I saw this movie on the rack at the video store and decided to rent it. I thought the movie was well written, and the kid (Allred) was great, BUT Kirk Douglas' performance was superb and overpowering. He made me laugh out loud. I had my next-door neighbors watch it to confirm my thoughts. They couldn't stop laughing. A must-see film!!!
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Familiar trio undergo a journey developing enjoyable relationship
ma-cortes30 November 2007
This road movie deals about Harry(Kirk Douglas), an old retired boxer affected by a stroke. He claims to have a fortune in diamonds hidden in location of Reno into house a mobster(James Russo). Harry along with his estranged son(Dan Aykroyd)and grandson(Corbin)going on a road trip toward Nevada to retrieve it. Throughout travel enjoy various adventures and feeling moments. Meanwhile, they stop in a brothel with a veteran madame(Lauren Bacall) and attractive prostitutes (Jenny McCarthy).

This is an independent road movie developing an agreeable father-son-grandson relationship with intimate bonding moments. Casting is justly excellent. Kirk Douglas is magnificent,in spite of his real stroke, as one-time boxing champion .He appears in a television images about his film titled ¨Champion¨(1949,Mark Robson)and is reunited with Lauren Bacall with whom he played in ¨Young man with a horn¨(1950,Michael Curtiz¨. Appears uncredited in a special cameo, John Landis as a gambler. Appropriate cinematography and sensible music score by Joel Goldsmith( Jerry Goldsmisth's son). The motion picture is professionally directed by John Asher. He's usually actor(CSY, NavyCSI) and director TV and occasionally director for his wife, Jenny McCarthy(Dirty love, Thank heaven), here lively playing a whore. Rating : Acceptable and entertaining.
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A very good heart-felt, family movie. I recommend to everyone.
hiddens_hideout10 October 2000
"Diamonds" was a very good movie. I initially rented it because a former teen crush (Jenny McCarthy) of mine had a starring role in it. As I watched the movie I began to see that there was a lot more substance to it than just being a flick with a former Playboy playmate in it. It was well worth the money and it most certainly was one of the best I have seen to date. Go see it. It was Kirk Douglas's best (and last) movie in my opinion.
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Well acted and entertaining
gladys-26 January 2000
Kirk Douglas' stroke may have impeded his speech but not his acting ability,as he plays the role of a retired world boxing champion who refuses to let the death of his beloved wife and a recent stroke defeat him. Lauren Bacall, likewise, has also retained her acting skill, playing a call-house Madam with both a heart of gold and the wisdom that comes from age and experience.

Dan Aykroid and Corbin Allred skillfully carry out their roles of son and grandson in this entertaining comedy road caper.
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Most of the Critics (external reviews) missed the boat on this one Gem.
Woodie16 April 2001
Normally I will agree with most of the online respected critics (Ebert, etc.). But this time I think they were really wrong. Yes, the movie was a bit predictable and at times slow. Not a great script and the casting might have been a bit better but Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall made the movie shine.

It was a heart warming movie that definitely makes you happy you spent the time watching. Yes, it was probably a device made just for Douglas. But so what.... It worked for me and I would recommend it for all that has a heart and likes to divulge in an occasional sentimental and semi comedy drama. Cheers to "Diamonds"
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Just Another Agensky Family Outing
bkoganbing21 August 2007
I'm willing to bet that Kirk Douglas liked this project so much he decided to do it again with his own son and grandson. Diamonds is a story that finds Kirk in pursuit of some diamonds he hid away in the house of an old hoodlum friend in Reno, Nevada. Back in the day Douglas was a boxer by trade and this was a payoff for throwing a big fight back in the Fifties.

To make his pursuit more interesting he takes along one of his two sons Dan Ackroyd and Ackroyd's son, Corbin Allred. So three generations of the Agensky family go in pursuit of some diamonds.

Of course the trip is a bonding experience for all concerned. Ackroyd just went through a bitter divorce with Allred's mother and he's been estranged from Douglas for several years.

I found Diamonds to be a pleasant film, entertaining and in a few instances quite touching. The Agensky family outing also included a visit to a bordello run by Madam Lauren Bacall.

Before she married Humphrey Bogart, Bacall was an acting student in New York with Kirk Douglas and she persuaded him to come to Hollywood. Back in 1951 they co-starred in Young Man With a Horn so 48 years later they're back together on the screen. They're scenes are precious.

With Diamonds I think Kirk was trying to send a message that all stroke victims aren't helpless. His scene with fellow former boxer Val Bisoglio as the two old ring enemies meet are a delight and later how he obtains his quest proves that while his speech is impaired he hasn't lost one single marble.

Later on Kirk Douglas did It Runs In the Family with son Michael and grandson Cameron. But I kind of like this one better.
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Great Movie!
Alain-203 August 2000
If you and your special one want to sit down on the couch and watch a movie just for the hell of it, pull up the popcorn and watch this one! All the acting is great, and the story-line is more meaningful than most of the stuff that comes out of Hollywood! It's nice to see that stuff like this is getting made. Kirk Douglas is an incredible actor, and even with the stroke, he works out nicely in his role.
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A terrific vehicle for Kirk Douglas
Kind6719 December 1999
I have never seen Kirk Douglas act as well as he does in this film--stroke or no stroke. Lauren Bacall (who starred with Kirk Douglas previously in the 1950 film "Young Man With A Horn"), Dan Ackroyd, and Corbin Allred provide top-notch support, but this is mainly Kirk Douglas' showcase. The only criticism I can perhaps make is the sugar-coated way the film treats prostitution, however a cynical view of prostitution wouldn't fit in this movie. This is a movie that should appeal to all age groups.
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Fun Movie
folkpicker95922 December 2005
A movie doesn't need lots of hi-tech special effects to make it good. In fact, most movies nowadays seem to have been made just to show off the pyrotechnics as being the primary reason for making it, not the story. The only "special effect" this movie needed was the presence of Mr Douglas himself. Rather than trying to hide the effects of his stroke, Kirk Douglas uses it to enhance his character. Dan Akroyd could have phoned in some of his scenes, but all in all I feel he did a creditable job. Best movie of Mr Douglas' career? Nope. But while Mom's home-made chicken soup may not be the best in the world either, it's warm, tasty, and is pretty damned good all the same. So is this movie.
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Corny, forseeable - but what a Kirk!
majortom-312 March 2003
I doubt this movie would ever have been made but for Kirk Douglas. Its plot (generation gap and how to overcome it) has been told hundreds of times - and much better, too. The jokes are usually signalled with a red flag, the character-"development" is hardly in need of a soothsayer, nor are the plot "twists". Add the rather artificial sentimentality and you've got stuff that wouldn't even make it to TV. Thus said - I'd advise anyone strongly to watch "Diamonds". A contradiction? Yes, but the contradictory factor is simply: Sir Kirk. His presence, his strength to carry a film or his brilliance as an actor haven't diminished one bit since his stroke. Neither have his courage and his fighting spirit. Most actors his age would have given up, being bereft of their most important tool - speech. Kirk Douglas thought otherwise, and proved in "Diamonds" that he is still there and going strong. Though Dan Aykroyd and Corbin Allred do their parts credit, the only one to match Douglas' powerhouse performance is another screen-legend: Lauren Bacall. Their (all too brief) sequences bristle with chemistry and the competence of more than half a century in the business. In the end, "Diamonds" is simply proof that Kirk Douglas still can (and always will) overcome mediocre to bad material - and shine. That alone is reason enough to see "Diamonds".
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A very enjoyable movie
TC-418 March 2001
I have always liked Kirk Douglas and to see him now after he had a stroke is sad but that's the way life is. He is not afraid to let the public know that he is alive and doing the best he can. I can associate with this movie because I had a stroke 10 years ago and thankfully fully recovered. This movie might be a little thin in spots but to see him and also Lauren Bacall is a movie-going treat. I hope that he does a lot more movies.
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Very enjoyable
Evita-529 November 1999
I had the chance of seeing this at an advance screening my friend was invited to & I thought it was a very beautiufl, warm and funny film. Seeing Kirk Douglas is amazing & its absolutley wonderful to see him acting at his age. I know this is unusual but I really enjoy seeing older people on screen and we hardly ever get the chance to. Anyway, I'm not sure when this opens but go see it.

Oh! Also, Corbin Allred -the young kid- is very hot & a great actor. I'm not just fixated on older people!
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Pretty cute, even with the sadness
HotToastyRag5 January 2018
While watching Diamonds, you'll probably feel a bittersweet combination of sadness and pride, but you won't be alone. Everyone will feel that way when watching an 83-year-old Kirk Douglas play in a movie where he used to be active and agile and now takes speech therapy lessons to stay sharp after a stroke. Now that we've gotten the sadness out of the way, let's get to the movie.

Using footage from an earlier Kirk Douglas movie, Champion, the audience is shown that Kirk's character used to be a successful boxer. He tells his son that after winning a fight years ago, he was paid in diamonds, and the jewels are still hidden in Las Vegas. Together, Kirk, his son Dan Aykroyd, and his grandson Corbin Allred, go on a road trip to find the diamonds. Rather than just a strict buddy-comedy, the film has an additional dramatic element to the story: Kirk and Dan have a bad father-son relationship, and despite his best efforts, history has repeated itself with Dan and Corbin. So, in between the jokes, there's some family drama to be worked out in the movie.

All in all, this is actually a pretty cute film, and if you feel you're up to watching a very old Kirk Douglas, I recommend you rent it and watch it with your dad, or whichever male family member you're on the outs with. And to the ladies out there, old Kirk's still got it! Just ask Lauren Bacall, who reunites with her costar after they acted together in 1950!
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It's hard to tell whether or not "Diamonds" is forever.
lee_eisenberg10 July 2006
Kirk Douglas, in a role probably reflecting on what happened to him in real life, plays a stroke-afflicted ex-boxer about to go on a journey of self-discovery with his son (Dan Aykroyd). It's good to see that even after his stroke, Douglas hasn't lost any of his acting skills, but the movie doesn't really seem like much that we haven't seen before. Aykroyd and Lauren Bacall also did quite well in the movie, but I personally felt that Jenny McCarthy was sort of unnecessary. Still, it is worth seeing, if only for consideration of what we have to look forward to in our older years.

So are you or have you ever been...?
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thelma and spartacus
pierre-m11 November 2000
OK, there's no Thelma. But it's a road flick with Kirk Douglas post-stroke still acting rings around everyone. And Lauren Bacall for icing...Wife and I just watched it after our first real winter storm so far here in colorado. I give it an 8 or 9. Right up there with "Waking Ned Devine"..
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Kirk's Return To Film...
grabberlime16 April 2002
Here Kirk Douglas appears for all he world to see, still recovering very much from his stroke, with a very pronounced speech defect. Well known for his ego, it never the less takes guts to appear before the camera.

As to the film itself, Douglas is assisted ably by Dan Ackroyd and Lauren Bacall. It is a "road" film of sorts, whereby three generations of a family attempt to mend their fences.

The film unfortunately is immediately forgettable.
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Kirk Douglas in a triumphant return
FlickJunkie-228 July 2000
Kirk Douglas is one of the all time great leading men in the last century. At 83 and having suffered a stroke, I'm sure no one ever thought he would be acting again. Think again. Douglas is back, and although he is hampered somewhat by the effects of the stroke, he is as feisty, energetic and dramatically potent as ever.

Douglas plays Harry, the patriarch of a three-generation family in this bittersweet comedy exploring the relationships between a father, his son and his grandson. Harry is seen early in the film doing exercises to recover his speech and strengthen his facial muscles after a stroke. A former welterweight champion, Harry tells his son (Dan Akroyd) and grandson (Corbin Allred) that when he was younger, he had a friend hold 13 diamonds for him, and if he could find the friend; he could recover the diamonds. So, the three men set out on a mission to find the booty.

The story is bittersweet character study of the three men, their relationships and misadventures. It is a bit overly nostalgic and the dialogue often meanders. However, the good points outweigh the bad. There is some great vintage b/w footage of Kirk Douglas, who played a prizefighter in the movie `Champion' (1949). Douglas gives a plucky performance as the aging patriarch. This is his film, and he dominates every scene. His would have been an excellent dramatic performance for anyone regardless of age and health. When those facts are considered, it makes the performance truly inspirational. It speaks volumes about Douglas' indomitable character. It is obvious that he worked very hard to overcome his disability and he was determined not to let it get the best of him.

Lauren Bacall was also delightful and the scenes that she and Douglas played together were touching and wonderful. Bacall is still lovely, poised and confident, and her portrayal was sensitive and powerful. Seeing the two of them together was like watching two masters at work.

I enjoyed this film, even though the story and characters were somewhat unoriginal. I rated it a 7/10. It brought back two screen legends and more than a few magical moments in watching them perform.
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Lauren and Kirk are wonderful on screen together!
cara-1415 February 2000
The movie is super and very sentimental. I especially love the chemistry on the screen between Lauren and Kirk. It really is touching and makes the movie unique. A very interesting story plot --kind of a chick flick FOR MEN and women believe it or not. Great movie!!! :)
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Good Fun
Michael_Elliott28 February 2008
Diamonds (1999)

*** (out of 4)

Thin but touching drama about an ex-fighter (Kirk Douglas) who was worthless to his son (Dan Aykroyd) but after the fighter's stroke they are brought together again. Along with his grandson (Corhin Allred), the three head to Nevada to collect some diamonds owed the old man after throwing a fight fifty years earlier. This road picture really doesn't contain anything we haven't seen countless times before but this film is very special in the fact that it was made a few years after Douglas suffered his stroke in real life. I was expecting a rather bland performance made memorable by the bravery of the actor trying to act again but I was really floored because Douglas still contains all that energy and fight that we saw from him throughout his career. Clips from his film Champion are shown here to show Douglas as the young fighter and it's rather amazing that his performance here perfectly captures that mood and spirit of that young man. He's given a couple very big emotional scenes and he pulls them off remarkably well and that intense energy is still there after all these years. Both Aykroyd and Allred also deliver fine performances as does Jenny McCarthy as a prostitute. Lauren Bacall has a small role as a whorehouse owner but her scenes with Douglas is priceless. I'm really shocked to see some major critics rip this film to shreds because it's a damn good little film that seems to have a small little following behind it. It's certainly worth watching for Douglas fans. Towards the end of the film there's a twenty-minute sequence in the whorehouse, which got me worried where the film was trying to go but it perfectly captures everything we've been led up to.
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