Romancing the Stone (1984) Poster

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One of my favorite adventure movies
Kristine1 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
A lot of great adventure movies came out of the 80's like the Star Wars sequels, Indiana Jones, The Goonies, etc. Romancing the Stone is one of those little gems, no pun intended, that somehow gets lost when we think of a great adventure movie. I just adore this movie, ever since I was a little girl I just wanted to live this movie. Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas had this amazing chemistry that made you wonder how the heck they were not a real couple in life. Though like Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, their friendship shows so well on screen as well as off that you're grateful they could bounce off each other so well. Romancing the Stone is such a fun film that shows off DeVito, Turner and Douglas' talent so well that we saw them all again in War of the Roses. Romancing came first though and what a great movie.

Joan Wilder is a lonely New York romance novelist who receives a treasure map mailed to her by sister, Elaine who calls Joan and begs her to come to Cartagena, Colombia, because Elaine has been kidnapped by bumbling antiquities smugglers Ira and Ralph, and the map is to be the ransom. Hastily flying to Colombia, Joan is detoured from the rendezvous with Ralph by Colonel Zolo, the man who killed Elaine's husband. Joan ends up in the jungle and is almost killed by Zolo, but is saved by the swashbuckling American exporter Jack T. Colton. For getting her to Cartagena, Joan promises to pay Jack for getting her to Cartagena so she can save her sister. But she ends up living one of her romance novels as her and Jack grow closer as they discover the map holds a stone that they will romance.

Romancing the Stone is a perfect mixture of adventure, romance and humor. It is literally like a romance novel, but one that even the guys could get into. I really like how Kathleen's character Joan goes from this anti-social caterpillar into a woman of the world by the end. It had such a great story arch for her. Michael Douglas as Jack, couldn't have been a more perfect choice, like his daddy, he reminds me of one of those old Hollywood actors who has been doing it for years. He's handsome, charismatic, funny and strong, so perfect for the role. Danny DeVito was so funny, I nearly died laughing when his cousin was leaving him to take the fall and Danny screams "When will you come back" his cousin screams "Soon!" he asks "How soon?!" and the cousin replies with "very soon!", how sweet to do that to your family, right? The villains are great and very scary. Everything about this film is just a ton of fun, I guarantee there will be something that you can connect with in this film. Wither it's the action, the romance or the humor, Romancing the Stone is a film not to be missed.

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LuboLarsson7 July 2003
Great action comedy adventure from the mid 80's starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny De Vito. Douglas and De Vito are great but to me the film belongs to Kathleen Turner, she's fantastic and looks absolutely stunning. Its also very well directed from the future director of Back to the Future and Forrest Gump amongst others. Its often mentioned as a rip off of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom but I don't really think it is that apparent, the scenes in the Jungle at the start of the film are really good especially when they find the crashed plane "There's nothing like a good fire"!!!. Danny De Vito is really funny as the comic relief and his cousin has some funny lines "Look at them snappers, would ya". My only small complaint is the romantic stuff is a little corny but I suppose thats for the female audience. They followed this up with "Jewel of the Nile" just a year later! Sadly like most sequels it wasn't nearly as good as this, actually its not really worth bothering about unfortunately, Douglas, Turner and De Vito also teamed up again in another film "War of the Roses" but that film has no connection with this or Jewel of the Nile. So if you haven't seen Romancing the Stone look out for it, it's excellent.
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Still the romantic adventure film to measure all others by.
mackdady26 June 2000
Truth be told: I came a little late to the party when it comes to having seen "Romancing The Stone". I didn't see it for the first time until the Fall of 1993, but had seen it's sequel, "Jewel of the Nile" numerous times since its initial theatrical release in 1985. Normally when it comes to seeing sequels, I almost always prefer the original to the sequel--but for many years I absolutely loved "Jewel of the Nile" not knowing about "Romancing the Stone".

When I finally did see "Romancing the Stone" nine solid years after its theatrical release on some premium cable channel, I was blown away by it. All those years spent raving about "Jewel" should have been spent raving about "Romancing the Stone". The original is leaps and bounds superior to the sequel (even though "Jewel of the Nile" does have its own charms--to a degree upon reflection) and contains what is arguably Kathleen Turner's best on-screen performance. Have we ever seen her better in anything else? Maybe in "Peggy Sue Got Married" or in "Prizzi's Honor" perhaps even in "Body Heat", but, it's safe to say that without her enormously captivating, thoroughly fabulous performance as Joan Wilder opposite Michael Douglas' career best comic performance as Jack Coltin, the movie wouldn't be such the modern-day classic it is and always will be.

As far as I'm concerned, Turner was robbed of the Oscar for Best Actress in 1984 for this film. So often the Academy favors dramatic performances over comedic performances when everyone worth their Screen Actors Guild card knows comedy is infinitely trickier to pull off convincingly than drama. How many actresses could have been as perfect as Turner is as Wilder? Only Susan Sarandon comes to immediate mind--she would have been magnificent come to think of it.

Also, there hasn't been a successful romantic adventure film made since that even comes close to comparing with "Romancing the Stone" I believe. And, I've looked long and hard to find one even compatible to this and have failed. There may be many knock-offs but no real diamonds in the rough.

Danny DeVito as always was a hoot to watch and Holland Taylor as Joan's book editor, Gloria, is simply sensational in a brief but memorable turn at the beginning and tail-end of the movie. It's a mystery why she's never really been a bigger star before now, with her groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning work on "The Practice" at least giving us a taste on what we've been denying ourselves by not making a big noise in support of her landing bigger, juicier starring roles.

So 16 years later, "Romancing the Stone" is still unequivocally the best of its genre and makes you wish the Turner would get the chance to work far more than she's been in recent times. The woman is a comic genius and we need to let the powers that be in Hollywood know that we want more of her and quickly.

One suggestion: If Turner, Douglas and DeVito ever do reteam--let it not be in a second sequel. "Romancing" is just too perfect to capitalize on any further. They couldn't do a sequel to "The War of the Roses" for obvious reasons (if you've seen the movie you already know why). Just imagine how great they would have been in "Primary Colors" as Jack and Susan Stantin. John Travolta (on target for sure) and especially Emma Thompson (in a surprisingly weak performance) take note. It's a shame the film's writer, Diane Thomas didn't live long enough to have written any other films of this magnitude. This one produced gem of hers has given millions of people the world over countless hours of fun-filled escapist delight. A true classic in every sense.

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Hilarious, entertaining, timeless, classic
billybrown417 March 2002
I love this movie. I'm sure that it's in my top-ten somewhere, because ever since I was a kid, I've never gotten sick of watching it. The premise is one of those that's just so damn crazy it actually works. It starts with a successful romance novelist, Joan Wilder, who has just finished her last book, but lacks the sort of love-life that she writes about. When she learns that her sister has been kidnapped and is being held hostage, she takes off to South America to help her out. It seems that the kidnappers want a treasure map that is in Joan's possession. Joan is very much a city girl and doesn't fully realize the bind that she and her sis have gotten themselves into. Once in South America, she takes the wrong bus, which breaks down in the South American jungle. When she's held up by a corrupt Police Chief, a very rugged, unshaven, shot-gun toting, Michael Douglas (Jack Colton) shows up and kicks some ass. See, Jack is a bird-trapper who wants nothing more than enough cash to buy himself a yacht. Realizing that Joan is lost in the jungle and fully incapable of surviving on her own, Jack agrees to take her to the nearest town for $300 in travellers' checks, so off they go. By now, we've learned that besides the two goons who've kidnapped Joan's sister (one of which is Danny DeVito in one of his funniest roles EVER) the South American police are after the map as well. Everyone wants what's at the end of the map. What follows for the next hour and a half is one of the most exciting and funny action/adventure movies ever filmed. Michael Douglas is absolutely perfect in the role of Jack Colton and delivers some of the funniest one-liners I've ever heard. Kathleen Turner is equally great as the naive romantic and, as always, she looks great. A great script is brougth to life perfectly by Robert Zemeckis and his direction is air-tight. Please go watch this movie, even if you've seen it a hundred times already......"Oh YEAH!!!! Now that's a campfire!!!!
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Superb adventure-comedy
jhaggardjr6 January 2001
"Romancing the Stone" is argubly my favorite adventure movie of all-time. Yep, in my opinion it surpasses all three movies in the "Indiana Jones" trilogy (which are right behind in terms of greatness). This movie has action, adventure, comedy, drama, and romance all rolled up into one great motion picture. Kathleen Turner stars as Joan Wilder, a romance novelist who flies to the South American country of Colombia to rescue her kidnapped sister. She's ordered by the kidnappers to bring a treasure map that she received in the mail with her to the Colombian city of Cartegna. Ms. Wilder ends up getting on the wrong bus that ends up taking her deep into the jungle where she meets a fortune hunter who saves her life in more ways than one. He also seems to resemble the hero in her books. Jack Colton, the fortune hunter, is played by Michael Douglas (who also produced the film) and he talks her into using the map to find the treasure. But they're not the only ones who are dying to get their hands on the treasure. A couple of bad guys are in hot pursuit of the two adventurers. There's Zolo (Manuel Ojeda), an evil colonel who's on to Ms. Wilder (and is the real nasty bad guy of the bunch); Ira (Zack Norman), one of the crazed kidnappers who's obsessed with crocodiles (he's always saying "Look at those snappers!"); and Ralph (Danny DeVito), Ira's bumbling cousin who goes to the airport to pick up Ms. Wilder, see's at the last second that she got on the wrong bus, and is forced to go into the jungle to find her. Even Ralph and Ira know that Zolo is bad news. There are also minor supporting characters in the film. There's Gloria (Holland Taylor from TV's "The Practice"), Ms. Wilder's publisher; Elaine (Mary Ellen Trainor), Ms. Wilder's sister; and Juan (Alfonso Arau), a Colombian native who actually turns out to be a huge fan of Ms. Wilder. In one very funny scene, Ms. Wilder and Mr. Colton go to the house of this man and ask him if they can borrow his car. The Colombian tells them to get lost, until he finds out that the woman is actually Joan Wilder the novelist, and admits that he's one of her biggest fans who has read every one of her books. He proceeds to help the two get out of a jam. "Romancing the Stone" has plenty of exhilarating action scenes, and a load of big laughs. This was director Robert Zemeckis' first hit movie (which he made before the original "Back to the Future"), and I still think this is his best film. Zemeckis is one of our best directors working today, and rarely (like Steven Spielberg and James Cameron) does he make a bad film. "Romancing the Stone" is a great movie. Turner is splendid as the novelist up to her neck in trouble; Douglas is terrific as her sidekick; and Norman and Arau are hilarious in smaller roles. But the one who provides the biggest laughs in the movie is Danny DeVito. He is literally a scream in "Romancing the Stone". I kept falling down on my side because he had me laughing so hard. This is one movie that's a must-see for people who like a mix of action, suspense, adventure, romance, thrills, and lots of comedy. One of the '80s best. Followed by the very good sequel "Jewel of the Nile".

**** (out of four)
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A romantic adventure you won't want to miss.
Cylex12 July 2002
This was highly entertaining with humour, danger, romance & likeable leads. Danny De Vito put in a great performance as Ralph and deserved more screen time. The hero and heroine had the right chemistry and were good to watch. The jungle locations were breathtaking and I liked the soundtrack. Never a dull moment. 10/10
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The very best "adventure/comedy" of all time, honest!
TxMike1 June 2000
"Romancing the Stone" came out just 3 years after "Raiders..." and in my mind is cemented as one of the great "watchable" movies. The on-screen chemistry between Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner is wonderful, both playing their parts flawlessly. It is most likely the movie that made Douglas a big star. I can't tell you how many times, with my children, I watched this movie, and still when I catch it on TV I enjoy it almost like it was the first time. I want to own it when it comes out on DVD. For me it is a "9", only because I rate "Raiders..." better and it is a "10".
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Romance novelist Turner finds real life adventure
goya-419 September 2000
Kathleen Turner stars as a romance novelist who receives a mysterious map from her murdered brother in law and then must go to Columbia to save her kidnapped sister by giving up the map for ransom.

After getting on the wrong bus she meets up with Michael Douglas and the adventure Douglas seeks the treasure also..

A fast paced adventure that features great chemistry between Douglas and Turner (they would make two more movies at least after this...including a sequel "jewel of the nile"). On a scale of one to ten...8
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One of the most delightful adventure movies of all time
Atreyu_II17 July 2007
"Romancing the Stone" is an Indiana Jones-like adventure/comedy/romance film. It is everything: entertaining, exciting, thrilling, great fun, hilarious, involving, dark, sometimes scary, very pleasant and a timeless classic.

Adventure is something which isn't missing in this movie by any means. This is adventure/action in the nostalgic 80's style. Lots of 80's elements are in this film: music, cars, the quality of film-making, hair styles, clothes and even in the sounds of the guns (they have a formidable sound). Nothing to do with the excessive violence and noise of nowadays's action films and also with no need of any special effects at all - and it works so well! This movie proves that a simple but good story with no special effects can make a quality film and such thing is certainly much better than a movie with only special effects but no plot.

The movie is supposed to take place in Colombia, but it was filmed in Mexico. Who cares anyway? The scenario is one of the many solid attributes of the film. Cartagena is a beautiful place and the colombian jungles are amazing either. The backgrounds/landscapes are simply brilliant: forests, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, clouds, etc...

This film features the talents of actors such as Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Zack Norman, Alfonso Arau, Manuel Ojeda, Holland Taylor, Mary Ellen Trainor, Kymberly Herrin, Ted White and others. All of them are very well in their roles. It was directed by the great Robert Zemeckis, who also directed "Back to the Future", "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "The Polar Express".

The characters are all well developed and interesting. Jack T. Colton is a funny fortune soldier (the "T" means trustworthy, according to himself) and he's greatly played by Michael Douglas. Joan Wilder is the romance novelist of the story, very well portrayed by a beautiful Kathleen Turner. Zolo is a very dangerous and persistent villain, well played by Manuel Ojeda. Ira is obsessed by crocodiles and often says «Look at those snappers» - he's portrayed by Zack Norman. Ralph is a funny, very tense, nervous and stressful villain, comically played by Danny DeVito. But despite being villains, both Ralph and Ira fear Zolo and his men because they know how dangerous they are. Juan is a very humorous character, beautifully portrayed by Alfonso Arau.

The movie contains some swear language, but with moderation. They don't overdo it, so this detail doesn't ruin a movie with little to be improved for me. This movie also contains some cool Spanish lines. The emerald (called "El Corázon") is a gorgeous precious stone! Romeo (Joan Wilder's cat) is beautiful, adorable and fluffy. I wouldn't mind to have a cat like him (and Romeo is a cute name for a cat).

As a fan of cars, I also have a word to say about some of the cars used in this film. The Ford Bronco is the off-road vehicle that really shines here. It is a bullet-proof pick-up off-road vehicle baptized as "Pepe, the little mule" by its owner Juan. That is a fabulous car! Wow! That is war material. It's also delightful to see the legendary Renault 4L, also known as "quatrelle", but internationally known as simply the Renault 4. The Renault 4 is one of the best cars in the world. It has charming lines, a bullet-proof reliability and is an indestructible and very robust car. There's also a Shelby Cobra replica in this film (a fantastic and charismatic car) driven by a boy who looks like Joaquin Garay III but I don't know for sure if that's him.

"Romancing The Stone" is one of the best movie choices to watch on a Saturday afternoon. It is, without a doubt, one of the best films of the year 1984. Eddy Grant's song "Romancing the Stone" is great, why wasn't it included in the film?

This should definitely be on Top 250.
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fun flick. not a polished gem.
Chris Brown10 April 2008
This film tries to do it all: adventure, comedy, and romance. Romancing the Stone succeeds, but Crocodile Dundee and other films have done it better.

Kathleen Turner stars as romance novelist Joan Wilder, a city girl who unintentionally finds herself stranded in the Colombian wilderness, miles away from modern communication and transportation. She encounters her opposite, a rugged outdoorsy soldier of fortune named Jack. Their clashing personalities are fun to watch. Of course, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom presented a similar relationship and did it better, but let's give Romancing the Stone credit for doing it first (by a few months).

Good cast. Danny DeVito is especially entertaining. I liked how Joan's experiences transform her character. Good plot premise. But parts of the script are a bit sloppy. The story moves forward at a good pace, but the progress of the story relies too often on "coincidences." (Imagine if you read a Superman story where every time Superman is about to catch the bad guy, a piece of kryptonite falls from the sky and knocks him unconscious.)

I was shocked that this film was nominated for best editing. In some getaway scenes, the editors apparently cut the part where the hiding party realizes that their pursuers have just arrived. The editors simply cut to the shot where the hiding party is attempting their escape. Fixing this problem would have extended the film's runtime by about 10 seconds. Also, there are some goofs involving stunt doubles, one of which could have been fixed by simply cutting the shot a second earlier.

I was disappointed that we never learn the history of the treasure or the map. Nor do we learn how or why Elaine's husband acquired the map or why he was in Colombia in the first place.

Despite its flaws, this movie is fun. Check it out if you enjoy adventure flicks.
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A Dated Adventure
pc9518 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I remember watching "Romancing the Stone" directed by Robert Zemeckis when I was in grade school when it first came out. I remember the protagonists being chased often. I just watched it again in it's entirety and find it a bit difficult to rate. Perhaps at one time this was a "7" movie, but it's dated pretty badly now. The chases are pretty standard and the climax is laughably bad. There is a fairly good setup though to the movie's credit including a great introduction. Michael Douglass is his trademark egotistical self while Kathleen Turner is satisfactory. It was some good nostalgia having not seen it for at least 17 to 20 years since, but I probably wont watch it again soon.
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Simple jungle adventure, easy to watch and thoroughly enjoyable despite minor flaws.
Jonathon Dabell30 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Robert Zemeckis serves up an enjoyable, if derivative, South American adventure with Romancing The Stone. The main positive to emerge from the film is the on-screen chemistry between stars Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. They remind one of the old-fashioned tradition of a hero and heroine who bicker their way through an entire movie, while we in the audience know that secretly they're in love with each other. Perhaps the main drawback with the film is the curiously bloodthirsty climax which seems out of keeping with the old-fashioned tone established in the rest of the film.

Shy lady novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner), a hopeless romantic, receives a package from Colombia. Shortly afterwards she discovers that her sister Elaine (Mary Ellen Trainor) has been kidnapped in Colombia and Elaine's husband has been murdered. Seems that someone is particularly keen to get hold of whatever is in the package, and Joan must personally take it to South America if she wants her sister to be freed. From the minute she arrives, Joan is sucked into a world of danger and sudden death. But - like a mysterious hero from one of her many novels - a handsome soldier of fortune, Jack Colton (Michael Douglas), comes to her rescue. Later Jack and Joan discover that the package contains a treasure map showing the route to a priceless emerald. Small-time crooks Ira (Zack Norman) and Ralph (Danny DeVito) are desperate to get hold of the treasure. But they are bungling strangers in a strange land, and they have had to join forces with the ruthless guerrilla Zolo (Manuel Ojeda) in their hunt for the loot. After many narrow escapes, Jack and Joan successfully find the emerald themselves – then make plans to save Elaine from her captors, using the precious stone as bait.

With its fast-paced story and entertaining action scenes, there's nothing boring about Romancing The Stone. It's certainly easy viewing, but beyond the polished surface sheen there's not that much to it. Diane Thomas's script is straightforward slam-bang stuff, offering a simple premise and punctuating the story developments with action set pieces. One benefit that does emerge from having a script penned by a female is that Turner's character has a bit more substance than most screen heroines from these kinds of pictures. Douglas and Turner bounce off each other well, and of the supporting characters DeVito generates some well-judged humour as a crook in over his head, and Alfonso Arau puts in a brief but energetic turn as a helpful driver. The plot is never less than preposterous, but this is one of those films – in a similar vein to the Indiana Jones movies – that never pretends to aspire to realism. The over-the-top action and comedy is meant to do one thing and one thing only:- to entertain…. and that's exactly what it does. Romancing The Stone is fast, humorous, action-packed fun. It might be thin, it might be derivative, and it might climax more violently than necessary, but these are minor flaws in an otherwise well-packaged adventure romp.
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Great adventure/romantic comedy
ArizWldcat17 July 2004
This is a rare film that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. I don't recommend it for really young kids, but early teens and older will enjoy it. Those who prefer adventure (a la Indiana Jones) will enjoy it, as will those who like romantic comedies. In addtion, the great Danny DeVito adds his own brand of humor. This is a movie that we all enjoy as a family over and over. I just wish that the movie company would put out a special edition DVD with commentary by the stars...I'd love to hear what Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito, and Kathleen Turner have to say about the making of this film. I also wonder if there are any outtakes or deleted scenes. What a disappointment the DVD is as far as extras go. We bought it because we enjoy the movie, but would definitely spend more if there was a special edition! I give it 4 out of 4 stars.
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One great blockbuster
bts198428 November 2010
I don't think this underrated film really lacks anything in any way. But still, I can positively say that adventure is something it definitely doesn't lack.

There are no special effects, but who cares anyway? On a movie like this, special effects would have little purpose and add nothing. This film has a good plot, lots of adventure and action but in a way that makes it so much fun to watch and without excessive noise, action and violence (although there are ultra-violent scenes). All of this in a way that only an 80's film could do. In conclusion, a successful case of simplicity over complication.

Alan Silvestri's soundtrack is majestic. Although very calm and relaxing, it is appropriate for the movie in question. Hilariously it takes place in Colombia and yet was filmed in Mexico. I don't mind about that. The exotic settings are beautiful and inviting.

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner shine as the lead actors (Jack Colton and Joan Wilder), with a flawless chemistry. Danny DeVito (Ralph), Zack Norman (Ira) and Alfonso Arau (Juan the bellmaker) are great fun as some of the bad guys and well portrayed by the actors. When it comes to the bad guys, I especially like Ira and Juan. Although a bad guy, Juan suddenly becomes so sympathetic and delightful and even helps the lead characters that you have to love him, to which the actor's impeccable performance is one precious help.

Manuel Ojeda portrays the baddest of all the bad guys, Zolo, but unlike the others, he ain't funny. He is a criminal of the worst species. Zolo and his army are feared even by Ralph and Ira. Nevertheless, the fact that Zolo is so bad only means that the actor is good because he is quite convincing.

Even the actors who play minor roles were selected by finger, including the very few children seen in it, such as the kid who kidnaps Elaine and drives her car.

'Romancing the Stone' is a movie filled with charm. A successful combination of American charm and Latin charm. Latin not only because of where it takes place and was filmed, but also because of the nationalities of certain actors and the use of some Spanish words. Robert Zemeckis directed this great movie but refused to make its follow-up, 'The Jewel of the Nile' which stars once again Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito and Holland Taylor. Much against Douglas's and Turner's will.

Title in Portugal: 'Em Busca da Esmeralda Perdida'.
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Fun and laughs in the jungle
blanche-221 August 2010
Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are "Romancing the Stone" in this 1984 adventure film, well-directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Turner plays romance author Joan Wilder, who in order to ransom her sister Elaine, flies to Colombia to deliver a map sent to her by her late brother-in-law. Joan soon gets involved in a bizarre situation better than anything she's ever written. She gets on the wrong bus and soon meets Jack (Michael Douglas), an adventurer who lives by his wits. He agrees to get her out of the jungle for $375 in travelers checks, as long as they're American Express. Because Joan has the map, several factions are after her, including Ralph (Danny DeVito) and lots more scary people. Jack talks Joan into going after the treasure themselves to give her more of a bargaining chip.

This is a very fun film, with lively performances by Douglas, Turner, DeVito and the rest of the cast. Many funny and suspenseful moments, including Joan being recognized and feted by a Colombian drug dealer, a Tarzan-like swing across a river, and problems with alligators. Not to mention a little romance along the way for Joan and Jack.

Highly enjoyable, very satisfying film with the two stars working very well together.
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Romancing the Stone
Scarecrow-8811 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I had read somewhere that it was rumored that Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner were having a passionate affair while they were making Romancing the Stone, and I must admit that I thought about Mr. and Mrs. Smith as I was watching it because the leads generate serious chemistry, the sparks are visible in all their scenes together.

The movie is a fast-moving, charming romantic adventure that allows the viewer to go along for the ride without worrying with any kind of major story-line to get in the way. It's about a lonely, but beautiful, romance novelist who must return a treasure map to Columbia, in exchange for her sister's safety. Her sister's husband had been murdered and she kidnapped over a map which leads to a priceless stone. Joan Wilder(Turner)flies to Columbia, is sent towards the wrong direction by a violent revolutionary, Zolo(Manuel Ojeda), where she meets up with a rugged loner, Jack T Colton(Douglas)when the bus she was riding crashes into his jeep. On foot, fleeing Zolo's soldiers, Jack and Joan must evade death or capture in order to save Elaine's life. Elaine, Joan's sister, is played by director Zemekis' then-wife Mary Ellen Trainor. Also in pursuit of the map is the kidnapper's cousin, Ralph(Danny DeVito, an inspired bit of casting). Plus, Jack and Joan make the decision to seek out the priceless stone, using is as a bargaining chip(..or so they plan, but of course other factors prevent this from going as smoothly as they'd like).

Essentially, the movie is about two people falling hard for each other as they move through Columbian jungles, fleeing gunfire and certain death. It's fluff, really, an exciting way to spend 90 minutes. It's no wonder the movie was a blockbuster because the leads all turn in entertaining performances and there's plenty of stunts and nicely orchestrated action sequences(..such as a rope swing from one side of a mountain to another, a lengthly mud slide, and a jump from a vehicle into a river). Romancing the Stone is popcorn fodder that goes down nicely and doesn't hurt. This was a wonderful period for Kathleen Turner, she was sexy and had a presence many actresses could die for. I can't imagine anyone not falling in love with her while watching this movie. Douglas is rarely as likable as he is here.
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A shiny 'gem' in the comedy world.
Benjamin Wolfe27 July 2006
This movie won a few awards, and it should have. After I saw this back in 1984 in the theater, I went back and saw it probably 4 or 5 times more. I was only in high school, but I really enjoyed the set up and the execution of this smart, 'Jungle-Love' story. The real test is how does it do over time and watching it 21+ years later, it still holds itself in a practically perfect place. I know it was eighty-four then, but it just still plays out well, everything is still as it should be. It is amazing that the original role of the male lead was offered to Christopher Reeves (Superman) that would have been a whole different Jack Colten, character no doubt about it in my mind.

Two convincing actors and a right on supporting cast, a location that is very odd for a romance to take place, however it takes shape along the way. You understand the story as it unfolds, and does it very well! The acting was vaudevillian at times and very 'festive' at other times, and made for an interesting combination. The 'adversarial' Ira and Devito's Character 'Ralph' was quite a surprisingly wise choice as an assistant Villain. For as much suspense filled activity, really great performance and dialog between the characters in this first, a second installment was made as a continuation of the story.

This was 'The Jewel Of The Nile'. Now this with a few great scenes, set-up shots framed really 'smart' and the 'Jewel', his performance in the movie that was sort of a heart-warming, attribute, beside that what cooled it for me was, taking a natural order of people, and inserting American-pop music into their midst and trying to make as if it was all just happening that way. I didn't understand that. It may be small to someone else, but to me it is an authenticating problem. There was a change of directors for 'Jewel' as well and just a bit too much hustle and bustle, just kind of going through one tribe and nationality to another, then a 'scenery' change at one point, that if it was the same country and area they were filming in, it didn't seem like it was the same area once the change of camera shots had happened. It ended the saga and connected the story, but I am quite satisfied with the original storyline and Zemekis's Directing. (***)
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They don't make them like this anymore
twomoon316 July 2005
You have adventure, comedy, romance, GREAT music, and GREAT locations all in one movie. Why don't they make them like this anymore? Kathleen turner and Michael Douglas had the best chemistry in their movies together in the 80's and 90's. They should definitely revisit that again. This movie is never slow or dull. Danny Devito adds witt and comedy to every thing he says and the bad guys actually make it seem scary and real. And I don't know if they actually filmed it in Columbia but if they did it was worth every penny. You almost want to go hiking through the jungle with them. And don't even get me started on the treasure they find. OMG. I want to go treasure hunting so bad now! GREAT MOVIE.
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A great eighties action-adventure to be enjoyed again and again!
Theo J Hyman20 March 2000
Romancing The Stone plays like a modern-day Indiana Jones film, but can also be seen as something very different - a kind of eighties classic - eighties musical score, eighties clothes, and that common eighties film combination of all genres in one film - comedy, action, adventure, romance. Everyone goes on about Michael Douglas's performances in Wall Street and Fatal Attraction as his best. But take a look at this movie - he is so great in it - really charming and funny. But Kathleen Turner is really the star of the movie - it's her story - and she is just excellent. Plus, besides the two stars, there's the magnificent Danny De Vito - who is so good, you just can't get enough of him - he practically steals the show - especially when he's in the police station and falls off the desk ! (I've seen it a hundred times and still laugh out loud!) Robert Zemeckis must be credited with keeping this film going at an incredible pace, pushing all the right buttons, knowing what the audience wants, and obviously gaining much influence from Spielberg. This is an excellent eighties movie (when you look back, all the most entertaining movies were made in the eighties). Followed by a disappointing sequel, Jewel of the Nile, but still worth watching because the three stars make such a great team (as seen also in The War of The Roses).
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Pretty good!
grahamsj321 July 2003
This is a very entertaining flick! Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are a natural acting pair. They work so naturally together. Speaking of natural, Danny DeVito is so good at portraying slimeballs and he does another great job in this one. The story has been reviewed over and over ad nauseum, so I won't bother with it here. Suffice it to say that the story is believable, the acting first-rate and the film overall an excellent piece of work!
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Not so fine romance...
jc-osms22 February 2010
I remember loving this movie on its original release back in the 80's and didn't want to miss its being shown here as part of an 80's movie season, but sadly learned that like so much other popular culture from that particular decade - music and fashion come just as prominently to mind - "Romancing The Stone" definitely shows its age.

It has its charms, notably the chemistry between leads Douglas and Turner and a little Danny De Vito (or should that just be little Danny De Vito!) goes a long way, but it wasn't the rip-snorting adventure packed, fun-filled romantic romp I remembered, instead now coming across with as much flair and pizazz as a moderate TV adventure episode, a la "Heroes" or the like.

Now my critical eye discerns that the prologue just seems to hold up the action, Douglas takes too long to make his appearance, the baddies aren't bad enough and the supposed excitement, danger and intrigue served up en-route just isn't exciting, dangerous or intriguing enough.

It's still likable, I still laughed at Douglas' throwaway comment about The Doobie Brothers disbanding and I was still pleased to see the couple sail off, if not into the sunset, then certainly down the boulevard, but on reflection I wished I hadn't watched it at all and thus preserved intact my youthful happy, I dare say more innocent recollections of a popular family entertainment which hasn't aged at all well.
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Who would know that a purposely old-fashioned story could be a basis for a film that is so much fun?
TheLittleSongbird3 September 2010
I certainly wouldn't call Romancing the Stone the best adventure film ever or anything, but it is a truly entertaining and fun one at that. The story is admittedly old-fashioned(and I think purposefully so) but the freshness of the material more than compensates. The gags are very tongue-in-cheek, there are some very clever touches in the writing and the action is breathless. The film is great to watch, there is a terrific score and the direction is fine. Michael Douglas is quite world-weary here and his character is nothing special but he also has a lot of charm about his performance, while Danny DeVito is great fun as the inept kidnapper. But it is Kathaleen Turner's movie, she dazzles in the role, and her chemistry with Douglas is in general very good. In conclusion, a lot of fun. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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