Top Ten Diamond Heist Movies 


Pilfering diamonds is a great way to make a buck.  Think about it: in order to snatch a significant amount of loot, by robbing a bank for instance, you need a lot of people carrying a lot of bags.  Cash is really bulky, and gold is just too darn heavy.  Diamonds on the other hand, are incredibly compact and relatively lightweight.  Just a handful of the right ones could yield somewhere in the 7 figure range.  As a result, a lot of people have attempted (and gotten away with) stealing diamonds; for instance the $136 Million in such stones stolen from The Carlton Hotel in Cannes last year.  Hence, anything that people do in real life that is both cool and illegal, a movie gets made about it.  Here are the top ten best Diamond Heist flicks of all time.

To Catch A Thief (1955)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
StarringCary Grant, Grace Kelly

To Catch A Thief film poster
Photo via Wikipedia

Filled with classic Hitchcockian trademarks, this cinematic “gem” stars icons Grant and Kelly marauding around Paris, attempting to nab a phony burgler who is impersonating Grant.  The main jewels in question here are a collection of rubies and sapphires, and of course, a healthy dose of the clear, sparkly ones (…diamonds).

Pink Panther (1964)

Directed by Blake Edwards
Starring: Peter Sellers220px-Pink_panther63

In keeping with the pink theme, the titular feline-esque detective is trying to rescue a gigantic 182 carat, fancy pink diamond.  As Inspector Clouseau, Sellers confirms many a French stereotype and trips his way to laughs.

Rififi (1974)

Directed by Jules Dassin
Starring: Jean Servais, Magali Noël220px-Rifififrenchposter

While this classic French noir may not be specifically about diamonds, per se, it’s too superb a jewel nabbing, cinematic masterpiece to leave out.  Four elite burglars conspire to rob a super snazzy Rue di Rivoli jewelry shop.  The robbery plan here was so well thought out that real criminals have used it as a template for knocking over jewel stores around the globe.

Thief (1981)

Directed by Michael Mann
Starring: James Caan

Thief film poster
Photo via Wikipedia

This Chi-town con-man movie, starring the ultimate Caan-man himself, shows the intricate inner workings in the life of a career criminal. Also, there are explosions.  Caan’s “Frank” is anything but, as he ‘liberates’ 4 mil in loose diamonds…then gets shafted out of his full cut…then gets revenge.

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

Directed by Charles Crichton
Starring: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Kevin KlineA_Fish_Called_Wanda_DVD

Hands down one of the funniest comedies to come out of the 80’s.  Kevin Kline jaunts about trying to steal 20 million dollars worth of diamonds, and does just about everything wrong you could possibly imagine.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen

Reservoir Dogs film poster
Photo via Wikipedia

Never has listening to the Jeff Healey track “Stuck in the Middle with You” been more terrifying.  This tale of a caper-gone-wrong follows a crew of color-named Mr.’s as they shoot everyone in their way path while trying to score a sack of diamonds of undisclosed value.

Snatch (2000)

Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring: Benicio del Toro, Brad Pitt, and Dennis FarinaSnatch_Movie_PosterThis film is quite entertaining, if near impossible to understand anything the cockney’d characters are mumbling.  As a host of different criminals of varying levels vie for the ultimate piece d’resistance of jewelry, a ginormous 84 carat diamond, things get a little kooky.

Along Came a Spider (2001)

Directed by Lee Tamahori
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Monica PotterAlong_came_a_spider_poster

A slight departure from the other films in this gemstone plotting pantheon, this story starts out with a creepy kidnapper as the main bad guy, and then shifts to the gorgeous but lethal Monica Potter, who’s now in it for a thermos chocked full of sparkling “0.5 carat, color D, clarity S-I 2…non rigged or irradiated” diamonds.  Ten million bucks worth, to be exact.

Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy García, Julia RobertsOcean's_12_soundtrack

This remake-sequel gleams from the star power of its huge cast as well as the pretty diamonds encrusting the Russian Fabergé Imperial Coronation Egg they are after.  George and Co. are at it again, trying to repay their casino debt by lifting this fancy egg.  These clever, thieving characters are definitely hard boiled…

Flawless (2007)

Directed by Michael Radford
Starring: Michael Caine and Demi Moore

Flawless film poster
Photo via Wikipedia

The title reflects the quality of the clarity of the real star of this film, a 123 carat diamond, valued at $4,000,000.  Here Michail Caine is a frustrated janitor in 1960’s London who, with the help of a similarly disenfranchised worker, Ms. Moore, has decided to give himself a pretty solid retirement package.  The lesson: you’re never too old to dream big.

If any of these films have inspired you to plot your very own diamond heist, don’t delay.  Always remember the “4C’s” when planning your larceny; don’t risk jail time for inferior stones.  Once you’ve successfully stolen your diamonds, you’re going to need a place to unload them.  That’s where we come in.  With over 30 years in the business and a stellar reputation, Diamond Lighthouse will help you sell your diamonds to the best buyers in the business – Learn More.


-Joe Leone


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