A mousy romance novelist sets off for Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure hunting for treasure with a mercenary rogue.


Robert Zemeckis


Diane Thomas
2,038 ( 301)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Douglas ... Jack Colton
Kathleen Turner ... Joan Wilder
Danny DeVito ... Ralph
Zack Norman ... Ira
Alfonso Arau ... Juan
Manuel Ojeda ... Zolo
Holland Taylor ... Gloria
Mary Ellen Trainor ... Elaine
Eve Smith Eve Smith ... Mrs. Irwin
Joe Nesnow ... Super
José Chávez José Chávez ... Santos
Evita Muñoz 'Chachita' ... Hefty Woman (as Chachita)
Camillo García Camillo García ... Bus Driver
Rodrigo Puebla Rodrigo Puebla ... Bad Hombre
Paco Morayta Paco Morayta ... Hotel Clerk


Joan Wilder, a mousy romance novelist, receives a treasure map in the mail from her recently murdered brother-in-law. Meanwhile, her sister Elaine is kidnapped in Colombia and the two criminals responsible demand that she travel to Colombia to exchange the map for her sister. Joan does, and quickly becomes lost in the jungle after being waylayed by Zolo, a vicious and corrupt Colombian cop who will stop at nothing to obtain the map. There, she meets an irreverent soldier-of-fortune named Jack Colton who agrees to bring her back to civilization. Together, they embark upon an adventure that could be straight out of Joan's novels. Written by Denny Gibbons

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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.


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This was Robert Zemeckis's first successful film, and the first not to also involve Steven Spielberg. This finally opened the doors for him to make his next project; Back to the Future (1985). Two of the cast members went on to appear in time travel films. Eve Smith had a small part in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), while Michael Douglas appeared in Avengers: Endgame (2019). See more »


Jack presents Joan with a very elaborate necklace from his pocket. But when she takes it in hand, it's a simple charm on a chain. See more »


[first lines]
Grogan: What's it gonna be, Angelina?
Joan Wilder: [voiceover narration] It was Grogan: the filthiest, dirtiest, *dumbest* excuse for a man west of the Missouri River.
Grogan: So, you can die two ways, angel: quick like the tongue of a snake, or slower than the molasses in January.
Joan Wilder: [voiceover narration] But it was October.
Grogan: I'll kill you, goddammit, if it's the Fourth of July! Where is it? Uhh. Get over there!
Joan Wilder: [voiceover narration] I told him to get out, now that he had what he came for.
Grogan: Not quite, angel.
Grogan: Take 'em...
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Alternate Versions

In some versions of the film, the police officer can clearly be heard saying "Pendejos!", Spanish slang for "*ssholes!", while chasing Joan and Jack. See more »


Spoofed in Dream Lover (1995) See more »


Romancing the Stone
Written, Produced and Performed by Eddy Grant
Courtesy of Portrait/Ice Records
Heard in the patio scene after Joan and Jack are invited into the "bell maker's" house
See more »

User Reviews

Adventures,romance,intrigue,comedy with an exceptional trio: Douglas,Turner and DeVito
25 June 2007 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This exciting adventure tale concerns about a romantic,feisty writer named Joan Wilder-Kathleen Turner-who becomes involved in a dangerous journey to Colombia.He goes to rescue her sister,being kidnapped by a sympathetic mobsters-Danny DeVito-.Into lush jungles of Colombia,she finds a soldier of fortune named Jack Colton-Michael Douglas-who becomes to her ally.

This agreeable comedy-adventure blends unstopped action,rip roaring,love story,cliff hunger,tongue in cheek and is extremely funny and entertaining.For comic relief with delightful bit of humor are supplied by Danny DeVito and continuous jokes about relationship between both stars: Turner and Douglas.The picture contains spectacular scenarios,some nice stunts and funny lines.Colorful cinematography by Dean Cundey,Zemeckis's usual cameraman(Back to the future trilogy,Who framed Roger Rabbit).Noisy though catching music with synthesizer score by Alan Silvestri,posteriorly he made an excellent symphonic soundtrack,he's also Zemeckis habitual(Polar Express,Castaway,What lies beneath,Forrest Gump).The motion picture is well directed by successful director Robert Zemeckis.It's followed by an enjoyable sequel directed by Lewis Teague: Jewel of Nile.The film will have you on the edge of your seat but the adventure and action never let up.It's a winner for Douglas and Turner fans.Worthwhile seeing it but will not displease those seeking likable and rip-snorting stories.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Mexico | USA


English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

30 March 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Romancing the Stone See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,105,741, 1 April 1984

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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