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WILLIAM LUCAS AND KENNETH COPE STEAL 'DATELINE DIAMONDS'

Title: DATELINE DIAMONDS Year: 1965 Rating: ***1/2

An otherwise nifty heist caper... with an agenda to promote the British band SMALL FACES... has two fitting actors, old and young, both having starred in several crime b-pictures, beginning with William Lucas, who played every incarnation of criminal... from cold-blooded to cowardly from THE BREAK to CALCULATED RISK to PAYROLL... and the intensely vulnerable Kenneth Cope from JUNGLE STREET, THE CONVICT and THE DAMNED... 

Herein, Cope is the crooked manager of the band, and Lucas has his number... an intense actor never using costumes but here he resembles Inspector Clouseau if originally cast Peter Ustinov played him more straight, and his anti-chemistry with the younger Cope works surprisingly well... yet they mostly work together by remaining apart...

William Lucas and Kenneth Cope in DATELINE DIAMONDS

One scene shows Lucas stealing the diamonds for a suspenseful ten-minutes where it seems anything can happen, especially with detective duo Conrad Phillips and George Mikell garnering more sporadic screen-time than the first-billed crooks: but what's supposed to matter is a rushed ending where the band plays a song or two, and the previous dirty work means nothing (plus the camera only sticks to a boring closeup of the lead singer's face)...

A shame since the terrifically pulpy-titled DATELINE DIAMONDS ultimately wastes a potentially good villain AND cop duo, entangled in an interesting plot... all so a music group could get a number one hit, which never panned-out: at least not because of this mostly forgotten programmer.

William Lucas and Kenneth Cope in DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas and Kenneth Cope in DATELINE DIAMONDS
Conrad Phillips and George Mikell in DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas and Kenneth Cope in DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas and Kenneth Cope in DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas and Kenneth Cope in DATELINE DIAMONDS
The Chantells in DATELINE DIAMONDSl
Conrad Phillips and George Mikell in DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas and Kenneth Cope in DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas and Kenneth Cope in DATELINE DIAMONDS
The Small Faces in DATELINE DIAMONDS
Kenneth Cope in DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas in DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas in DATELINE DIAMONDS
Credits for DATELINE DIAMONDS
Credits for DATELINE DIAMONDS
Credits for DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas in DATELINE DIAMONDS
William Lucas & Kenneth Cope in 1960's Earlier British New Wave Crime Films

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