East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Quest for the Diamond

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519d7vy2qgl-_sy445_You know I’m a sucker for old style adventure movies.
And when I learned there’s an adventure flick I missed, and it’s based on a “lost” story by Louis L’Amour, I started searching.

The Diamond of Jeru, a classic tale of greed and divided loyalties set in Burma in 1955, was shot – under incredibly avverse conditions – in 2001.
It features Billy Zane, Paris Jefferson and Keith Carradine – a solid enough cast, for my tastes1.

So, as I said, I started looking for the movie.

No luck at the local rental DVD place.
A friend said he had a copy.
He did not.
s-The-Diamond-Of-JeruHe had a link for an illegal download.
And it was the movie all right – but here we get to the weird part.
The flick had been… well, not subtitled, but over-voiced in Russian. Meaning there’s a guy, with a flat monotone voice, reading titles and captions, and basically summarizing the dialogue.
In Russian.
The actual soundtrack, dialogue and all, was turned down a little (but not much, or we’d lose music and environmental sounds), so basically you got a guy speaking in a foreign language over people speaking in what is, for me, a foreign language (albeit it’s my second language, so there).
An ugly mess, and utterly unwatchable2.
So much for illegally downloaded movies. Truly, crime does not pay.

Thankfully, my brother found me a copy of the German DVD on Amazon, for the silly cost of 1 euro and 95 cents.
The disc is currently en route from somewhere in Germany and my house.
And as soon as I get it, I will review it.
Stay tuned.

  1. I’m developing a sort of skewed admiration for Billy Zane, whose career features so many pulp-related movies. 
  2. I wonder how they actually make it… the target audience, I mean. And, wouldn’t it be cheaper to simply sub-title the film? 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

One thought on “Quest for the Diamond

  1. Pingback: The Diamond, finally! | Karavansara

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