Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Doris Payne

The story of Doris Payne is most likely one no one would have heard of if not for the planned film entitled 'Who is Doris Payne?' bringing her fascinating story to life.

In 2005 an immaculately dressed woman in her mid-seventies walked into the Neiman Marcus jewellery store in California.
As usual she tried on numerous items, including earrings and rings and chatted to the sales person with an effortless warmth and ease, keeping their attention with the stories she would tell.

After deciding not to buy anything she appeared to leave empty handed. In fact, she walked out wearing a $31,500 ring.
After doing just that for nearly 50 years the stop at Neiman Marcus may have been the final act of one of America's most prolific jewel thieves. By then the internet and modern communications made her job all the more difficult, plus her face was getting known.

She is now serving out a sentence in Denver after two years in a Nevada prison.

She stole her first diamond at 27 to help her mother get enough money to leave her abusive husband. Her formula was a simple one. She would pick a fine store, and dress like she belonged. “I knew how to dress, I never did like ruffles and frills. I just like a simple-cut fine material that moves when I move.” says Payne. Can I have an Amen please!?

This story is begging for the big screen, and it is heading our way with Halle Berry planned for the lead. Perhaps it is because she has not consistently proved her acting chops but I am not sure if Berry has the ease and charm of say Angela Bassett or Lynn Whitfield to play this role. I could even see Lynn's 'Eve's Bayou' co star Debbie Morgan (pictured and who, although is over 50, can easily play 30) playing this role with relish - seriously...someone give these power house women some good roles soon!

Anyway, the film is getting made and that is that. Here is hoping whoever gets directors duty do not try and make it a heist film, but instead inject it with enough charm, class and drama to make Doris Payne proud. Read the rest of her story here

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