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This new agreeable version from H. Rider Haggard adventures follows
again Allan Quatermain (one of the members of the League of
Extraordinary Gentlemen) played by an old-looking Patrick Swayze. He is
leading a safari in search of legendary diamond mines and save the
damsel's father(John Standing). He is accompanied by a gorgeous woman
(Alison Doody)and a captain (Roy Mardsen), among others. They are
pursued by Russian soldiers and must confront natives, animals and
several dangers and risks until they find the King Salomon's mines.
This overlong television picture displays exciting action, numerous shoot-outs, extraordinary adventures and outlandish cliffhanger situations abound. Patrick Swayze (unforgettable in Dirty dancing) as Quatermain is wooden, Stewart Granger in the classic of the 50s( by Compton Bennett,Andrew Marton and with Debora Kerr) is incredibly missed. Alison Doody as his mate and lover is better. Later on , the filming ¨Indiana Jones and the last crusade¨ roller-coaster which made her a successful star, Doody played a few more films and did some publicity but in 1994 she retired and went back to Ireland where she married a magnate. Alison finally came out of retirement since she realized how much she missed acting though she never regretted quitting movies to take care of her family and after divorce she has decided to give another chance to her acting career and is slowly coming back to performance and shooting this remake. Other versions of this known story are directed by Robert Stevenson, Kurt Neumann (titled Watusi with George Montgomery and David Farrar) and J.Lee Thompson (with Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone). The film is well produced by Larry Levinson and Robert Halmi, famous producers of big budget television movies based on historic events or remakes. The motion picture is finely directed by Steve Boyum (Time cop II).
This is a sprawling (4 hours) remake of the Rider Haggard story, with the usual added female and an extraneous subplot with Russian soldiers seeking a "Stone of Power" buried along with the treasure of King Solomon. It's very well shot, giving a vivid sense of the wide open spaces of Africa, and very well acted. Patrick Swayze is an excellent Alan Quatermain, and Allison Doody is attractive as Elizabeth Maitland, who hires Quatermain to help rescue her father. Sidede Onyulo as Umbopa, Gavin Hood as McNabb and the leader of the Russian soldiers (not named in IMDb's listing) are also memorable. For all that Hollywood can't leave a good story alone when they adapt it, this one is well told and, except that it's too long, I enjoyed it. 6/10.
If you a purist, don't waste your time - otherwise, hold onto your hat and enjoy the adventure. I loved the Stewart Granger/Deborah Kerr version - I've seen it dozens of times, but this film is every bit as good, only different. I won't detail the differences because it would spoil the film. Also, it is a pleasure to see Alison Doody again (I'm a huge Indiana Jones fan), Patrick Swayze is good as Quatermain, and the supporting cast is superb. I find the quality of the supporting cast one of the trademarks of a Hallmark Production and this film was no exception. The cinematography is splendid and the score is perfect. If you are looking for entertainment, you won't be disappointed.
King's Solomon's Mines brings us Patrick Swayze (playing Allan
Quatermain)who has spent a lot of time in Africa, but decides it is
time to return to England and be a father to his son. He finds that his
wife's parents have taken custody of his son and that he has very
little chance of getting custody of him with lots of money for a law
suit. In comes Alison Deedy (playing Elizabeth) whose father is in
Africa and being held by an African tribe for ransom of the map
Elizabeth's father had sent her. Elizabeth seeks out Quatermain to take
her back to Africa to find her father.
There is a good cast of supporting characters that go along with Quatermain and Elizabeth and of course there are some enemies (Russians) who want the map also.
The movie holds your attention until the end. Patrick once again plays a ruggedly handsome honorable man who comes to the rescue of the damsel in distress. Patrick is a great dramatic actor who can easily portray passion, loss and despair, the rugged silent good man, anger and strength; In King Solomon's Minds his character actually smiles a few times. I would really like to see Patrick Swayze in a relaxed live-loving story again, one in which he doesn't have to clench his jaws and be quite so strong. Maybe a little dancing would help. But this is a good movie for the entire family and worth the time to watch it.
The problem with the 1985 version of this movie is simple; Indiana
Jones was so closely modeled after Alan Quartermain (or at least is an
Alan Quartermain TYPE of character), that the '85 director made the
mistake of plundering the IJ movies for dialog and story far too
deeply. What you got as a finished product was a jumbled mess of the
name Alan Quartermain, in an uneven hodge podge of a cheaply imitated
IJ saga (with a touch of Austin Powers-esquire cheese here and there).
It was labeled by many critics to have been a "great parody," or "unintentional comedy." Unintentional is the word. This movie was never intended to be humorous; witty, yes, but not humorous. Unfortunately, it's witless rather than witty.
With this new M4TV mini-series, you get much more story, character development of your lead, solid portrayals, and a fine, even, entertaining blend. This story is a bit long; much longer than its predecessors, but deservedly so as this version carries a real storyline and not just action and Eye Candy. While it features both action and Eye Candy, it also corrects the mistake made in the 1985 version by forgetting IJ all together and going back to the source materials for AQ, making for a fine, well - thought - out plot, and some nice complementing sub-plots.
Now this attempt is not the all out action-extravaganza that is Indiana Jones. Nor is it a poor attempt to be so. This vehicle is plot and character driven and is a beautiful rendition of the AQ/KSM saga. Filmed on location in South Africa, the audience is granted beautiful (if desolate) vistas, SA aboriginal cultures, and some nice wildlife footage to blend smoothly with the performances and storyline here.
Steve Boyum totally surprised me with this one, as I have never been one to subscribe to his vision. In fact, I have disliked most of his work as a director, until this attempt. I hope this is more a new vein of talent and less the fluke that it seems to be.
This version rates a 9.8/10 on the "TV" scale from...
the Fiend :.
Watched both parts twice. Enjoyed the story and enjoyed seeing an older Patrick Swayze as the hero. He was very believable as the hunter Alan Quartermaine and certainly bested the performance of Richard Chamberlain. I do admit that I would have preferred seeing someone else as the "Lady in Distress". Alison Doody should stick with modern and not period pieces. She didn't have the look of the woman of the 1800's. The rest of the cast were terrific and followed the plotlines very well. I am glad to see that the actors of this generation are not afraid to try on different characters and are not afraid to be seen as getting older. Age is inevitable, but let's not hide from it. A man at 50+ can be much sexier (and , Patrick truly is sexy) then a green youth, no matter how pretty. Hoorah for character lines to go along with a great smile.
I thought King Solomon's Mines was beautifully done. My only reservation was Alison Doody. Her acting was superb but her makeup and hair was not of the period, and always seemed to make her look out of place next to the other actors. I thought Patrick Swayze was an excellent choice for Alan Quatermain. It was nice seeing a seasoned, rugged looking actor in this role after sitting through movie after movie with the fair haired, fair skinned actors like Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, etc. He was an excellent choice and I enjoyed every minute of this movie. This version cannot be compared with the 1950's version with Stewart Grainger. It was a big screen movie and not a made for TV movie. I thought both Quatermains were believable but the two medias have to be kept separated. I am looking forward to seeing this once more, and I hope Patrick Swayze will again look to these type of roles.
I loved this movie. Great storyline and actors and good movie sets. It told the story in a way I can easily understand and pay attention to without falling asleep. I would like to know where I could get the soundtrack. I can not find it anywhere. Please email me if you know where I could get the soundtrack. Other than not being able to find the soundtrack I thought the movie was fascinating. Swayze did a great job. I think this is some of his best work. His past movies were OK, but this one really told a story for a change. This will go down in history as being one of the best TV films ever aired. Congrats to the producers and writers of such a great piece of work.
True, it does not follow the book very closely, but it's still a very
entertaining take on the story. Swayze was far better in the role than
I expected. And Doody avoided the "silly woman out of her depth in the
wilderness" portrayal most of us probably expected (cf. Kate Capshaw in
"Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom").
At any rate, it's amazingly better than Richard Chamberlain's awful pair of Quatermain flicks.
It is very reminiscent of a western in many ways. About the only thing I didn't care for was all the mysticism, but I guess that is part and parcel of the genre. Like "how can you have an African adventure story without witch doctresses and preternaturally wise wandering tribesmen?" Heh.
Hallmark's 2004 miniseries version of King Solomon's Mines ain't exactly H. Rider Haggard, but it ain't exactly bad either. As usual with Hallmark (and all other screen adaptations of the book) it pays only lip service to the novel, keeping the trek and the fabled mines but shoehorning in female love interest (a still beautiful Alison Doody in a role that mercifully avoids the silly screaming woman spraining her ankle clichés that this kind of film usually attracts), but for the most part doesn't go the Indiana Jones route. It's a tad more politically correct than the source material, with Allan Quatermain (Patrick Swayze - yes, that's right, Patrick Swayze) a reluctant Great White Hunter only persuaded to go on one more expedition because he needs money to fight for custody of his son in England. What he's doing in England is a moot point, since Swayze is more cowboy than Quatermain, but since Roy Marsden and John Standing are the only members of the supporting cast who don't have to attempt (and fail) to hide their native South African accents behind bad Scottish or Russian ones it's best to let that slide. It never really hits the highs and round the two hour mark you realise it's not going to: it maintains a fairly level pace with no appreciable highs or lows. With Russian agents of the Tsar on their trail and World Music on the soundtrack, it's less a nightmare journey to Hell and back and more a somewhat uneventful leisurely walk through some nice tax-friendly South African scenery with occasional stops for exchanges of badly aimed gunfire until the rootin' tootin' sharpshootin' Quatermain Kid saves the day by fighting a white stuntman in rather obvious blackface makeup and makes it to the rather unimpressively tiny mines in a visibly underbudgeted anticlimax. Never less than, or more than watchable, it's an okay time filler if you're in an undemanding mood.
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