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Jewelry Guide - Culture Mine

Movies and Books

Of course, why should you limit your reading of diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals to educational stuff? Priceless jewelry and gemstones have been the fascination of writers and directors longer than Tiffany & Co. has been on 5th Avenue. Snuggle up to a good book or make this Saturday "Movie Night with Diamonds"! Check out some suggestions below.

Movies:

Breakfast at Tiffany's. (1961)
Director Edward Blake gets it all very right in this sweet, smart comedy set in 1960 New York City. This movie proves why Audrey Hepburn's fans adore her. After you've laughed and cried through the story (and gasped over the gorgeous costumes) read the original - Truman Capote's 1958 novel has a harder, more streetwise Holly Golightly, but she's still a knockout.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. (1953)
Hollywood legend Howard Hawks directed this colorful musical with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell as show girls and best friends on a cruise to catch the right man. Enjoy the great songs, goofy humor, and spectacular dance numbers, and see where Madonna got her ideas for the video "Material Girl."

Pink Panther. (1964)
Director Edward Blake started the series in 1964. Featuring Peter Sellers as the idiotic but oddly triumphant Inspector Clouseau, the man who just barely keeps a notorious jewel thief (David Niven) from stealing an enormous diamond known as the Pink Panther. Also features the world's first glimpse of the slinky cartoon Pink Panther, tiptoeing about to Henry Mancini's opening score.

Romancing the Stone. (1984)
Director Robert Zemeckis (of Forrest Gump fame) takes you on a hilarious and wild ride in Columbia with Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas, and Danny DeVito. If you want to follow the series, move on to Jewel of the Nile (director Lewis Teague, 1985), which features the same cast in more incredible adventures.

Marathon Man. (1976)
John Schlesinger directs Dustin Hoffman in this sometimes downright scary movie about a hapless graduate student who literally has to run for his life. Aging Nazi Szell (Lawrence Olivier) tortures Hoffman into helping him find a lost treasure of diamond gems. Industrial diamonds (favorites for dental drilling tools) are featured in the now notorious scene where Hoffman gets an anaesthetic-free root canal from the sadistic Szell.

Diamonds Are Forever. (1971)
Director Guy Hamilton returns with the fabulous Sean Connery as the dashing and daring James Bond. A cheesy romp set in Las Vegas, Bond has to stop diamond smugglers from their evil plot.

To Catch a Thief. (1955)
Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock casts Grace Kelly and Cary Grant as a rich ice queen and jewel thief who fall in love among the casinos and cliffs of the tiny Mediterranean kingdom of Monaco. Kelly met her future husband, the Price of Monaco, during the making of this suspenseful film.

Books:

Breakfast at Tiffany's. (1958) Truman Capote.
A brilliant novella. See the 1961 movie with Audrey Hepburn, which is delightful, but then promise me you'll read this book. Holly Golightly is not forgotten easily.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. (1926) Anita Loos.
Published in 1926, this comic classic was called "The Great American Novel" by renowned author Edith Wharton. Best known as a musical comedy from director Howard Hawks (featuring Marilyn Monroe's famous song "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend"), the novel is shaped as a diary of two best friend show girls, Lorelei Lee and Dorothy, on a transcontinental cruise for the right man.

Queen of Diamonds. Jean Plaidy.
Incredibly prolific historical novelist Jean Plaidy creates a compelling tale about the theft of the Crown Jewels (including the famed Sancy) from Louis XIV of France, and speculates on events in the court just before the French Revolution.

Diamonds Are Forever. (1954) Ian Fleming.
The fourth book in the James Bond 007 series puts James in the path of malicious diamond smugglers. Set in Las Vegas, it's not known as the best Bond, but a fun read.

The Eustace Diamonds. (1872) Anthony Trollope.
In his day, Trollope was more famous than Austen or Forster, and he is just as funny and astute in this Victorian social comedy. This novel satirizes money's effects on marital and sexual situations, focusing on the strange fate of a lying Victorian woman.

The Crystal Singer. (1982) Anne McCaffrey.
For you sci-fi fantasy fans out there, this novel is a must. McCaffrey sends her heroine, Killashandra Ree -- an opera student with perfect pitch but a broken career -- into space. She gets wildly rich as she discovers and collects tremendously powerful crystals needed as energy sources using only her voice (and some pretty cool tools).

Your Turn

This list is hardly complete. Drop us a line at culture@szul.com and let us know what web sites, reference books, novels, and films -- featuring diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals, of course! - you've enjoyed. We'll include your suggestions and update out list regularly.

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