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Film / Diamonds on Wheels

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Diamonds on Wheels is a 1974 British family comedy film directed by Jerome Courtland and starring Patrick Allen, George Sewell, Derek Newark and Barry Jackson.

After a diamond heist in London, one of the criminals double-crosses the rest of the gang and steals the diamonds. He hides the diamonds in the seat of his MG TC sports car. After leaving London, he is killed in a car crash and his wrecked car ends up in the local junkyard. Three teens buy the seat to install in their own MG that they are restoring. The rest of the crooks eventually track down the wrecked car and, after deducing that the diamonds must be in the seat, go after the teens while they are competing in a 24 hour rally.

This film provides examples of:

  • Armed Blag: The film opens with a gang robbing an armoured car carrying diamonds.
  • Bound and Gagged: Charlie is bound and gagged after being knocked out by Jock at the castle. He spends a good chunk of the final third of the film tied up, until Bobby and Susan manage to rescue him.
  • Camera Abuse: When Bobby sprays one of Ashley's goons with a fire extinguisher in the fight in the warehouse, there is a shot from the goon's POV and the entire lens gets blanked out by fire extinguisher foam.
  • Covered in Gunge: Ashley and one of his goons are covered in a slippery white foam after Bobby sprays them with a fire extinguisher during the fight in the warehouse.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: A villainous version, with Wheeler and Finch dressing in the uniforms of security guards in order to steal the diamonds.
  • Driving into a Truck: After the gang pulls off the Armed Blag at the start of the film, they drive the fake armoured van into the back of a waiting truck and drive off.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Wheeler is insistent that he didn't sign up for murder, and prevents Finch from shooting Inspector Cook.
  • Forklift Fu: The gang uses a forklift to demolish a fence while chasing Bobby outside the warehouse; nearly flattening him with a pile of crates in the process.
  • Fruit Cart: The Mini being driven by one of the teams of feuding drivers crashes through a roadside fruit stand after a disastrous overtaking attempt.
  • Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: When Lady Truesdale starts the rally, she has her car in reverse and backs into the car behind her.
  • Hastily Hidden MacGuffin: Billy hides the bag of stolen diamonds in the seat of his MG. After his car is wrecked and he dies, Bobby buys the seat (and a bunch of other parts) to install in his car. This leads to Mercer and his gang chasing Bobby, Charlie and Susan; knowing that the diamonds are in their car, but not where.
  • Impairment Shot: When Finch receives a Tap on the Head from Billy, there is a blurry shot of Billy making his escape before Finch finally passes out.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: Susan kicks the thug holding her in the shins to make him let go when the kids make their escape from the warehouse.
  • MacGuffin Title
  • No Honor Among Thieves: The gang is double-crossed by one of their members who steals all of the diamonds.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Jock knocks out Charlie and dumps him in the boot of Mercer's car.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Finch is carrying a gun and is very keen to use it, although he doesn't seem to know much about it, and all of the other gang members are horrified he brought a shooter along on the job and keep telling him to put it away. At one stage, he points it at Wheeler's head at laughs like it is a joke. When he is hoist into the air during the fight in the warehouse, he has the gun in his hand and panic fires several times, nearly hitting his comrades.
  • Rescue Equipment Attack: Bobby sprays one of Ashley's goons with a fire extinguisher in the warehouse fight. The entire lens gets covered with foam from the goon's POV.
  • Road-Sign Reversal: The gang uses this in an attempt to waylay the MG, but the rain causes the lime arrow to set on the road and Finch is unable to brush it off, allowing Inspector Cook to see it and follow it.
  • Slippery Skid: Ashley goes charging into the fight only to trip on a broom and go sliding face first on the trail of slippery foam Bobby has sprayed on the floor.
  • Stupid Crooks: Although the crooks manage to pull off a successful Armed Blag of a diamond transport, they spend the rest of the film being outwitted by a trio of teens who don't even realise they are being chased for most the movie.
  • Tap on the Head: Billy knocks Finch out with a karate chop to the neck before stealing the diamonds. Oddly, this is the only time in the movie when someone succumbs to a tap on the head.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jock knocks out Charlie (off-screen) before stuffing him in the boot of Mercer's car.