Romancing the Stone

SHE’S A GIRL FROM THE BIG CITY. HE’S A RECKLESS SOLDIER OF FORTUNE. FOR A FABULOUS TREASURE, THEY SHARE AN ADVENTURE NO ONE COULD IMAGINE… OR SURVIVE. 

romancingthestoneNew York City romance novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) goes to Colombia to help her sister who’s been kidnapped, and gets unexpected aid from a bird smuggler (Michael Douglas). After the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), it’s easy to see why this project was greenlit; the film has the same kind of appealing mix between jungle adventure and comedy. The story may be thin, but director Robert Zemeckis keeps the film very lively, with an entertaining climax featuring crocodiles as an added element of danger (and fun). Douglas and Turner are great together, but Danny DeVito is hilarious as small fry trying to escape justice in Colombia.

1984-U.S. 105 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Michael Douglas. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Screenplay: Diane Thomas. Editing: Donn Cambern, Frank Moriss. Cast: Kathleen Turner (Joan Wilder), Michael Douglas (Jack T. Colton), Danny DeVito (Ralph), Zack Norman, Alfonso Arau, Manuel Ojeda. 

Trivia: Sylvester Stallone and Christopher Reeve were allegedly considered for the part of Jack. Followed by The Jewel of the Nile (1985).

Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical), Actress (Turner).

Last word: “By that time, I’d had a three-year dry spell, and all I got were offers to do teen movies and other projects that weren’t very good. I can’t thank Michael Douglas enough for the courage that he had. He said, ‘I want this guy’s style, this guy’s energy, in my movie.’ He went to bat for me, because obviously hiring me was a real [risk]. The script had the characters, the tone, some good lines and gags, but it really wasn’t a story. It just sort of laid there. I knew how to pull it all together so that everything drove to a climax.” (Zemeckis, DGA)

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