New York City based Joan Wilder is a highly successful author of adventure romance novels. She is the polar opposite of Angelina, the heroine in many of her novels. Angelina is a strong, confident woman who uses her sexuality to her advantage and who is swept off her feet by the stories' hero, a man named Jessie. Joan, on the other hand, is afraid of life. She lives vicariously through her stories, and hopes that there is a real life Jessie who will someday sweep her off her feet. Joan's world is turned upside down when she receives news from her sister Elaine in Cartegena, Colombia that she has been kidnapped, the ransom being a treasure map which Elaine's now murdered husband, Eduardo, has since sent to Joan. Unprepared to leave the safety of her New York City apartment, Joan nonetheless travels to Colombia with treasure map in hand to save Elaine. In Colombia, Joan is thrown into the middle of something akin to the adventure part of her novels, not primarily through Cartegena, but inadvertently through the jungles of Colombia. She not only has to face the dangers of the jungle, but Elaine's captors - American illegal treasure hunters, cousins named Ira and Ralph - a Colombian military policeman named Zolo who, with his private army, is also after the treasure, and a bunch of drug runners who are solely trying to protect their way of life. To Joan's rescue - for a fee - is Jack Colton, an American in Colombia who has always taken the "fast and easy" way to what he wants in life, which is now enough money to buy a luxury sailboat in which to sail around the world. After Jack learns of the treasure map, he too becomes focused on whatever the unknown treasure - something the cryptic map calls El Corazon - to achieve his goal. Will Jack do whatever he can to get the treasure, even if it ultimately harms Joan and Elaine, or could Jack be Joan's real life Jessie?
The writer of romantic novels Joan Wilder travels to south America to look for and rescue her kidnapped sister. She finds herself stranded in the jungles and finds help in the form of the soldier of fortune Jack Colton. The two go through a number of adventures, deal with the bad villains Ralph and company, and end up falling in love.
In the 1980s there were a number of movies made with a similar idea to this. Deconstructionist adventure stories. How this movie was successful, nobody has ever managed to work out, it is a great mystery.
It was a simple idea. Take a romance novel writer who has never been out of the big city, put her in the jungles of South America. Team her up with an anti-hero and then have them chased by some bad guys.
B-movie stuff is a bad movie all the way through yet manages to entertain. Think about it when you laugh at the joke about "you must mean my little mule" and actually want these 2 characters to fall in love and get together.
Maybe it works because you have the 2 opposite characters who are obviously incomplete and who need each other to grow and become better. Then there is the fact they both work on finding out the good in each other (not endlessly bickering like some other movies). Maybe it is because the action is fun rather than over the top and so we can believe that we might be part of it.
Enjoy, but don't tell your friends you do....it will be our little secret...OK In a movie (and time) that looks like it would rip off Indiana Jones, I was impressed it really didn't. It's a harmless, fun and funny adventure that stood on its own. (For the opposite of these statements, look no further than the movie's own sequel, The Jewel of the Nile.)
I vaguely, and I mean maybe I really didn't, remember seeing this many years (or decades) ago. So, this viewing appeared fresh to me, and I don't regret it. It was charming, incredibly set in the 80s flick and I had fun with the main characters.
While not groundbreaking, even for the 1980s, it's a good throwback for those of us who love movies made with heart and not the CGI of today. If you have seen it and liked it, it's a nice revisit to the good old days. If not, no harm can be done from seeing a movie not restricted by some offended audiences of today. Directed by an unimaginative Robert Zemeckis three years after Raiders of the Lost Ark, it uses Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones franchise as the template through which to bolster Douglas’s public machismo. Mousy romance novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) receives a treasure map in the mail from the recently-murdered husband of her sister Elaine (Mary Ellen Trainor), who has been kidnapped and who asks Joan to bring the map to her in Cartegena, Colombia. Afraid to leave the security of her apartment, Joan nevertheless travels to Colombia but gets lost in the jungle. Swashbuckling American bird-smuggler Jack Colton (Michael Douglas) offers to lead her to Cartegena for $375 (because he's saving to buy a boat), but they soon find themselves pursued by corrupt Colombian policeman Zolo (Manuel Ojeda) and his private army and by treasure-hunting cousins, Ira (Zack Norman) and Ralph (Danny DeVito), all of whom will stop at nothing to get the map. Romancing the Stone is based on an original screenplay by American screenwriter Diane Thomas [1946-1985]. The story goes that Thomas was working as a waitress and pitched her screenplay to one of her customers—Michael Douglas. Thomas was killed in 1985 while riding in her Porsche that had been given to her by Douglas as thanks for her work with him on the movie. The movie was novelized from the script by American author Catherine Lanigan in conjunction with the release of the film in 1984. A sequel, The Jewel of the Nile (1985), followed in 1985. It was mailed to her from Colombia by her sister Elaine's husband Eduardo. He had made some bad deals with some Colombian nasties and had the map in his possession and would not give it up, which is why they killed him. He mailed it to Joan in New York on the day he was killed. Ira and Ralph had somehow heard that Elaine's husband had the map and kidnapped her, hoping that Zolo wouldn't find out. Cartagena, Colombia is on the Caribbean coast of northwestern South America. Colombia is the first South American country you would enter if you were driving from Central America through Panama to South America. Upon entering Colombia, turn north, head up the coast, and you will eventually get to Cartagena. Although Joan Wilder originally planned to go to Cartagena in Bolívar province, she wound up in Cordóba province, which is to the south of Cartagena. Cordoba province's capital is Montería, also visible on the map. Joan and Jack were drinking from a bottle of Jose Cuervo Gold. You can tell from the large square shape of the quart bottle. Yes and yes. The bushmaster (Lachesis muta muta) is the largest venomous snake in the world. They've been known to grow to a length of 14 feet, although their average length is around six feet. The Bushmaster ranges in jungle environments throughout Central and South America. Most likely because their business, producing and selling drugs, was growing. As Joan and Jack walk up to Juan's house, Jack tells Joan that the marijuana-filled plane in which they camped out the night before might have been a lost shipment belonging to Juan. Joan then begins to exclaim that Juan and the men in the village are drug runners, but Jack silences her immediately. Drug runners usually are very suspicious of any strangers who wander into their village, even if they're factually lost. Juan himself is very suspicious of the pair, even pointing a gun at them, but fortunately it turns out that he's a fan of Joan's books. Ralph was driving an old Renault 4, Elaine was driving a shiny red Cobra, and the bellmaker (Alfonso Arau)'s "Little Mule" was a 1982 Ford Bronco. He says, "I lost my langostino." Langostino can refer to several types of seafood but, in the context of the movie, it probably is referring to a type of prawn (shrimp). The Devil's Fork, which Juan pointed out to Joan, is one of the clues on the map. Jack wanted to get into town before Juan could find out that the fork was a marker leading to the treasure. Jack didn't want to share the wealth with Juan if they'd found it, no matter how trustworthy Juan might have seemed, being a fan of Joan's. The French title for this movie is À la Poursuite du Diamant Vert, [translation: In Pursuit of the Green Diamond], so El Corazon must be a green diamond, aka an emerald. After the alligator bites off Zolo's hand and swallows El Corazon, it goes over the wall into the water and Jack dives after it. The scene changes back to Joan's publisher's office in New York. Gloria (Holland Taylor) is reading the ending of Joan's new book about her recent adventure but with a slightly different ending (whereby Jack meets her at the airport). The publisher says, "You're now a world-class hopeless romantic," and Joan corrects her. "HopeFUL romantic," she says. In the next scene, Joan is walking home with a bag of groceries, her hair flowing and a confident look on her face and in her step. She stops outside her apartment building where she sees a big sailboat parked in the street. Jack throws down a ladder, Joan climbs aboard, spots his alligator boots, and says "I like your boots." Jack replies, "Yeah, that poor old yellow-tailed guy developed a case of fatal indigestion. Died right in my arms." Joan says, "I can't blame him. If I were to die, there's nowhere else on earth I'd rather be." They kiss, and the boat "sails" down the street as the credits roll. Angelina out of Colombia. Simply titled End Titles, the music was composed by American film score composer Alan Silvestri and played by the American jazz fusion band called Spyro Gyra. To get the lower rating, two scenes at the end needed to be removed. The theatrical version was cut as well but it only lacked 1 second instead of 9. The uncut version has been released on DVD with a BBFC rating of 12. a5c7b9f00b
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