Romancing the Stone
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Romancing the Stone can be found here.

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.

No. 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, followed in 1985.

How did Joan get the map?

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.

Where is Cartagena?

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. A map of Colombia showing Cartagena can be seen here. Although Joan Wilder originally planned to go to Cartagena in Bolvar province, she wound up in Cordba province, which is to the south of Cartagena. Cordoba province's capital is Montera, 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.

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. More info on the cars with pictures can be found here.

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 French title for this movie is la Poursuite du Diamant Vert, [translation: In Pursuit of the Green Diamond], so El Corazon must be a green diamond, aka an emerald.

How does the movie end?

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 (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.

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.

ANGELINA out of Colombia.

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 12. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

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.

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 are going to be suspicious of any strangers who even wander into their village because they're 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.

Page last updated by ememjee, 6 months ago
Top 5 Contributors: bj_kuehl, myturn21, hankeegle, Talory, mconde2

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