“King” Charlton Heston Guidelines in ‘Diamond Head’

Yvette Mimieux & Charlton Heston have some sibling points in “Diamond Head.”


Diamond Head, the “sprawling saga”
of spoiled plantation house owners and struggling Hawaiian locals, has typically been written
off as a shiny cleaning soap. Diamond Head is
rattling soapy, for certain. But it surely’s not artificial Ross Hunter soapy. Neither is it stylized
like Douglas Sirk’s sudsy cinema. Diamond Head
was taken from the same-named novel by Peter Gilman, who coated Hawaii as a
reporter, and offers it some authenticity. The ’63 movie is about in 1959, when
Hawaii grew to become a US state.

The social points & characters’ problems with “Diamond Head” was within the vein of “Large.”

Spoiler alerts for cleaning soap opera plot factors forward!

What’s shocking
about Diamond Head is how outspoken
it was for a mid-century mainstream film concerning racism, white patriarchy, division
of wealth, and sexism. I am taking a look at this movie through 2022 eyes, however there’s
some fairly sharp commentary by characters who query the late ‘50s standing

Charlton Heston because the aptly nicknamed “King” in 1963’s “Diamond Head.”

The movie stars
Charlton Heston because the nicknamed “King.” Want I let you know who performs
the pineapple plantation proprietor? Over the opening titles, Heston’s Richard
Howland is driving his white horse alongside his kingdom, and when he sees a airplane parked
close to his manse, he offers a small, smug smile. King is aware of the guests are
politicos, courting him to run for state senator. Heston is a tad much less surly
than normal, however is well-cast because the alpha male, with snide quips to his
political ass-kissers. All through Diamond
, King orders everybody round and runs roughshod over anybody who
opposes him.

Yvette Mimieux is Sloane, who needs to marry a Hawaiian man in “Diamond Head.”

This occurs to be the
identical day his sister is coming house from school. Sloane is performed by Yvette Mimieux,
in maybe her most spirited function. Their dad and mom are useless and the siblings are
unusually shut. There additionally appears to be an age distinction between them, nearly
20 years in actual life. He appears extra like her father, who was alive within the
novel. Nonetheless, princess Sloane has a shock for large brother King. 

James Darren is the even-keeled brother who Yvette Mimieux loves in “Diamond Head.”

She plans
to marry childhood pal Paul Kahana, who’s Hawaiian. He is performed by ’60s
coronary heart throb James Darren. King sees himself as a benevolent ruler, so long as
everybody is aware of their place. The Howland siblings are the final of their line and
King would not need combined blood inheriting their empire, since it has been within the household
for over 100 years. King appears to neglect that the Hawaiians have been there only a
bit longer than that. There are echoes of Large
with the reactionary alpha male who likes to get his manner, doesn’t like change, and
tolerates the locals. As a substitute of a willful spouse, King has a strong-willed
sister in Sloane.

“King” has simply given sister Sloane an costly commencement reward in “Diamond Head.”

Paul Kahana’s older half-brother
Dean is introduced in to speak him out of marriage to Sloane. He’s additionally half-Hawaiian,
performed by latest Oscar winner George Chakiris. No fan of the puffed-up
patriarch, island physician Dean tells King that the actual downside is he doesn’t
need any man in his sister’s

George Chakiris is Dr. Dean Kahana, half-brother to James Darren’s Paul in “Diamond Head.” Right here, he spars with Heston’s “King” over Sloane, left.

Paul and Dean’s
mom, Kapiolani, has been married to each a white man and a Hawaiian, and would not
approve of blending races, both. However understanding firsthand that love transcends
race, she offers her blessing. The beloved matriarch is performed by the good character
actress, Aline MacMahon. 

Aline MacMahon performs the mom of the Kahana brothers and Elizabeth Allen
performs  the aunt of Sloane in “Diamond Head.”

The King’s widowed
sister-in-law Laura would not approve both, who’s extra backyard selection white
superior. She’s performed by beautiful Elizabeth Allen, who turns into extra empathetic
because the movie goes on. Like her niece, she idolizes King as properly, and marks time
hoping he’ll see how a lot she loves him.

Nonetheless, King Richard
is a hypocrite, since he is having a secret affair with a Hawaiian girl, Mai
Chen, performed by France Nuyen. An excellent larger shock comes when she tells him that
she’s pregnant. Let’s simply say Heston’s King would not take the information properly. He’s
stone chilly about dedication, as his spouse and youngsters have been worn out in a tidal
wave, leaving him emotionally unavailable, apart from secret trysts. 

France Nuyen’s Hawaiian lover seems to be as if she’d like to stay that cigar up
plantation proprietor Charlton Heston’s again 40 in “Diamond Head.”

What’s opposite about
this film is whereas it is outspoken about race points, the celebrities that play Hawaiians
are nearly all the pieces however: James Darren is Italian and George Chakiris is
Greek, and appear to be sporting tan make-up; Aline MacMahon was white and given
the brown-face remedy; and France Nuyen is French-Asian. Nonetheless, these
actors all give good performances, with out going excessive. Whereas I believe
at this time’s politically appropriate casting goes overboard at instances, this ’63 movie is
on the different finish of the pendulum, when field workplace was the figuring out issue to
casting actors. Therefore, a star bought forged as varied nationalities, as did Diamond Head hunk George Chakiris, who
gained his Oscar for taking part in a Puerto Rican.

George Chakiris glares & Charlton Heston scowls as their characters react to their engaged siblings’ attractive Hawaiian dance in “Diamond Head.”

Yvette Mimieux & James Darren go Hawaiian in “Diamond Head.”

When Mai’s drunken brother
tangles with King at Paul and Sloane’s engagement celebration, Paul fatally tries to
break it up. From right here, Sloane and King conflict, particularly when she rebounds
with Paul’s brother! Extra soapy scenes ensue, however what makes the film
intriguing is how direct it’s in addressing varied social points. Sloane
zings again at among the male characters’ judgment of her habits as sexist,
and she will be able to additionally admit to her personal privilege. The King is aware of he’s kind of having
his cake and consuming it, too, concerning his retrograde race relations whereas additionally
concerned with a Hawaiian girl. But, he falls again on the outdated “that is the way in which
it is all the time been” argument. Chakiris’ character and others name out the King
for pondering he is above reproach. What’s particularly well timed is King, who needed to
be courted into working for senator, now stubbornly refuses to drop out,
regardless of being concerned in an unintentional killing and getting a Hawaiian girl
pregnant! Heston performs hard-headed hubris splendidly.

Charlton Heston’s “King” decides to run for senator in “Diamond Head.”

Director David Inexperienced
often is the cause that Diamond Head
is direct in regards to the points mentioned within the movie. Inexperienced is the director of The Mark and A Patch of Blue, which take care of societal matters. The British
director appears to have gotten uniformly good performances out of the forged, as

Charlton Heston as King, clashing w/ favourite topic, his sister, in “Diamond Head.”

Heston is not as sneering
and sullen as he later grew to become, however he is nonetheless well-cast! Charlton’s King has
some delicate moments, as when he recounts his household’s sudden loss of life or reacts to
his later son’s beginning. Heston makes use of his physicality to indicate King’s privileged
angle, as if the world revolves round him. Heston makes use of his trademark
scowls, aspect eyes, and curt line readings to nice impact. But, sometimes,
King is proven to be caring, beneath all of the angle, and Heston conveys that
properly. It’s additionally to the star’s credit score that he was keen to play such a job; off-camera,
Heston was actively concerned with civil rights. Noteworthy, Charlton Heston was
37 when Diamond Head filmed and he’s
on the absolute peak of his bodily prime right here. That Roman coin profile is put
to good use as King!

Yvette Mimieux is beautiful and spirited as wealthy woman Sloane in “Diamond Head.”

Yvette Mimieux, who
typically performed child-like characters, will get to faucet into that childishness right here as
the headstrong Sloane. But, she additionally stands as much as the bull-headed males in her
life, which jogged my memory a little bit of Elizabeth Taylor in Large, when she snaps again on the alpha males round her. At 20,
Yvette is kind of stunning right here, in addition to beguiling.

George Chakiris as Dean, the half-Hawaiian physician in “Diamond Head.”

George Chakiris and
James Darren often is the hunkiest brother act in film historical past. And each aged
superbly and are nonetheless alive at this writing, 90 and 86, in 2022! Chakiris
offers a robust efficiency because the coolly appraising brother, who has come up
the onerous manner as a half-Hawaiian. He holds his personal towards Heston’s hot-headed
character fairly properly. And Chakiris and Yvette Mimieux make a good-looking couple,
although their characters spend most of their time quarreling. Darren’s brother
is extra good-natured and whereas not essentially the most thrilling function, James makes him
likeable and it’s a jolt when he’s killed.

James Darren as Paul Kahana, a Hawaiian who needs to marry exterior his race,
in “Diamond Head.”

Aline MacMahon was
heat and authoritative because the Kahana brothers’ mom. This wasn’t her first
unique function, both. Aline performed Chinese language together with Katharine Hepburn in Dragonseed!  Elizabeth Allen and France Nuyen do their
finest, enjoying thankless characters that suffer for being in love with Heston’s
unbearable King.

Aline MacMahon performs Kapiolani, the Kahana brothers’ mom in “Diamond Head.”

The manufacturing takes
benefit of location taking pictures with Diamond
and there’s an amazing Johnny Williams rating. In reality, the one main
fault with this epic is the sudsy incestuous brother-sister angle. The makers
of this film might have dropped this titillating subplot, which serves no actual
objective, however gave the impression to be stylish through the ‘60s: The Final Sundown, Bunny Lake
is Lacking
, Secret Ceremony, and many others.
Sure, it was a “surprising” promoting level of the e book and film, however the movie
might have dug even deeper into the extra common problems with racial and sexual
equality, and energy and wealth. The one really camp second is the water fall
dream sequence. Sloane goals of her youthful days, when she skinny dipped in
her favourite fall. First, she tries to persuade George Chakiris’ Dean to hitch
her. He simply stares morosely. Then James Darren’s Paul walks into the
water—totally clothed!—to hitch. After he kisses her, Paul steps again, and he
turns into Heston’s King—additionally totally dressed. Naturally, Sloane wakes up startled!  And whereas some could discover the engagement
Hawaiian soiled dancing camp, too, stunning Darren and Mimieux acquit
themselves properly, I believe.

First Sloane goals of her useless fiancee in “Diamond Head…”

Then the late lover morphs into sister Sloane’s brother, in “Diamond Head.”

If you may get previous
the whitewashing of the “Hawaiian” characters and the soapy incest subplot, Diamond Head is properly value watching.

What actual Hawaiians seemed like in “Diamond Head,” as extras!

A decade later,
Charlton Heston was in full sullen and sneer mode because the cynical cop within the
futuristic Soylent Inexperienced. My take
right here:


One final shot of that on-screen charmer, Charlton Heston! From “Diamond Head.”