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The Hope Diamond Mystery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Hope Diamond Mystery
Poster of the movie The Hope Diamond Mystery.jpg
Film poster
Directed byStuart Paton
Written byJohn B. Clymer
Charles W. Goddard
May Yohé
Produced byGeorge Kleine
StarringGrace Darmond
Boris Karloff
May Yohe
George Chesebro
CinematographyWilliam Thornley
Edited byJames Wilkinson
Distributed byKosmik Film Co./ Howells Sales Co.
Release date
  • February 19, 1921 (1921-02-19)
Running time
15 episodes
CountryUnited States
English intertitles

The Hope Diamond Mystery is a 1921 American 15-chapter action film serial directed by Stuart Paton and featuring Grace Darmond, George Chesebro, May Yohe, and Boris Karloff. (Karloff is actually showcased on one of the film's publicity posters, so he must've had a sizable role.)[1] The screenplay was written by Charles Goddard and John B. Clymer, based on an autobiographical story by May Yohe (who also co-stars as herself in the serial).

Chapter One premiered on Feb. 19, 1921, and the final chapter was shown on May 29, 1921. The film survives with a copy at the Library of Congress, which includes all of the hand-tinted color sequences as well.[1]


The curse of the legendary blue Hope Diamond on all its owners is dramatized, beginning with the gem's discovery in 17th Century India. Lord Francis Hale inherits the Hope Diamond and marries showgirl May Yohe. He later gambles away the family fortune, and May deserts him.



This serial was shot on the Universal Pictures lot and a custom-built set, the "Temple of Sita," which reportedly cost $100,000 to build. The film was Boris Karloff's first major film role. A blue color tint was used on title cards in the serial with an illustration of the diamond in the background, and additional special color effects may have been incorporated into other scenes that showed the diamond as well, and evidence of such remains in the existing print of the film. Color effects have been retained in the 2014 restoration of the serial by Eric Stedman of the Serial Squadron. The color effects of this film are so unique and ahead of their time that no other film tried to imitate them. Not until two-strip Technicolor was invented could similar visuals be attained. When watching the film, there are multi-colored tints in a single scene, reminiscent of the old hand-colored shorts of Georges Méliès. The last six chapters almost exclusively feature them. May Yohe appears as herself in each episode's opening and closing.

Chapter Titles

  • 1. The Hope Diamond Mystery
  • 2. The Vanishing Hand
  • 3. The Forged Note
  • 4. The Jewel of Sita
  • 5. A Virgin's Love
  • 6. The House of Terror
  • 7. Flames of Despair
  • 8. Yellow Whisperings
  • 9. The Evil Eye
  • 10. In the Spider's Web
  • 11. The Cup of Fear
  • 12. The Ring of Death
  • 13. The Lash of Hate
  • 14. Primitive Passions
  • 15. An Island of Destiny

See also


  1. ^ a b "Progressive Silent Film List: The Hope Diamond Mystery". Retrieved April 6, 2008.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 December 2021, at 20:05
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