Picks and Pans Review: The Diamond of Jeru
From the opening credits—with orange lettering that looks as if it came off the cover of a pulp-fiction magazine—this TV movie presents itself as an old-fashioned adventure yarn. Taken on those terms, it's watchable. The Diamond of Jeru, based on a Louis L'Amour story and scripted by his son Beau, stars Billy Zane as a quick-fisted Yank expatriate in mid-'50s Borneo. A priggish American nuclear scientist (Keith Carradine) arrives on the island with his comely wife (British actress Paris Jefferson) to hunt for a big diamond to dazzle her. Zane secretly tails their party, thinking they may need protection. Sure enough, headhunters appear, and the normally composed Jefferson starts screaming bloody murder.
Zane is too smooth for his rough-and-ready role, despite his all-hours 5 o'clock shadow. Jefferson, though, has ladylike allure, and Carradine—once Mr. Laid-Back—makes a good stuffed shirt.
Bottom Line: No gem but not worthless