A man stands in a London museum admiring a collection of Russian artifacts including the Crown Jewels that were confiscated from the Royal Family during the revolution. He smiles at the fact that painting of the Royal Family rather resemble his own visage. It should as he is Nicholas Wladimirovitch Goduno (Marcello Mastroianni), Grand Duke and descendant of the Imperial Romanov family, who now owns a small boutique shop in London and mountains of debt. When he slips on a banana peel, knocking himself unconscious, he awakes to visions of his ancestor (also Mastorianni) begging him to take back what is rightfully his, or to put it another way, steal the Crown Jewels.
To do this, he hires a crack team of professionals who all just happen to be young, beautiful, and female. Together, they hatch a plan that could only work in a swinging-'60s comedy. It involves convincing the Russians to allow some of the girls to wear the jewels to a charity gala, cutting a hole in a floor, and some classic heist-movie switcheroo. Mostly though, the girls distract the guards by wearing short skirts.
The plot, being just as thin as that sounds, convolutes itself with a lot of unnecessary and not particularly fun or funny silliness. Ther are car crashes and a boat full of gags. It is zany in a Laugh-In sort-of way, but without any good jokes. The production is good, and the direction is solid. The cast is fine. Mastroianni plays it cool, which is pretty much how he plays every role I’ve ever seen him in. The lady thieves are full of energy and fun. It a standard wacky-'60s comedy that’s pleasant enough, but nothing about it stands out in any real way.
At best, it's an artifact of its time. Landing somewhere just after the culture’s morals began to change so that a bit more innuendo and a lot more flesh was acceptable but before that turned into outright raunchiness and full on nudity. It's a quaint time capsule that's more interesting from a historical perspective than a cinematic one.
This new disk from Kino Lorber is presented in its original 1.85:1 ratio, encoded with a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer. It's sourced from a 2k remaster and it looks nice. Colors don’t exactly pop but they are clear, and it's been cleaned up nicely. There is but one audio track, which is an English DTS-HD Master. It sounds pretty good. Some of the dialogue is fast and fastened with thick accents so I missed a few exchanges. There is no subtitle track which is a real shame. The music comes in clear and doesn’t distract. The only extras are a collection of trailers from other Kino releases.
Diamonds for Breakfast is a relic of its time. In every way, it is a comedy straight out of the 1960s. It is silly and and sometimes fun, but not particularly memorable. Recommended for fans of that sort of movie, but everyone should stick with the Pink Panther films which does this sort of thing much better.