I reviewed the movie. Now here’s the sequel. From Romancing the Stone comes The Jewel of the Nile in 1985. They had the theme. They had the actors. They had the audience. Not wise to let a year go by before doing it again. Once more a comic plot where a bunch of people die. What we have come to expect. We have also come to expect the electricity between Douglas and Turner, and here it is, and Hulu’s got it. Details are from Wikipedia.
- Michael Douglas as Jack Colton
- Kathleen Turner as Joan Wilder
- Danny DeVito as Ralph
- Spiros Focás as Omar Khalifa
- Avner Eisenberg as Al-Julhara
- Hamid Fillali as Rachid
- Daniel Peacock as Rock Promoter
- Holland Taylor as Gloria
- Guy Cuevas as Le Vasseur
- Peter DePalma as Missionary (as Peter De Palma)
- Mark Daly Richards as Pirate
- The Flying Karamazov Brothers
The year before, if you recall, we ended with Jack turning up in his ocean-going boat in front of Joan’s apartment. Now some time has passed, and Joan needs to finish a new romantic novel. Here’s what’s happening with that.
She and Jack are having a shipboard wedding, when uninvited pirates turn up. Of course, pirates are, by definition, uninvited. Jack defeats them. What next.
Joan doesn’t know what next. She and Jack are off the Riviera coast on his boat, and Joan cannot develop the plot. She gives up and tosses the (mechanical) typewriter overboard. Things get interesting. We watch the typewriter sink to the bottom of the harbor, past a diver busy installing a limpet mine to the bottom of Jack’s boat.
But Joan remembers she has an appoint with Gloria, her publisher. They get dressed up and depart the pier. As they go by a dumpster a figure attempts to emerge, but the lid closes on his fingers. We are sure it is Ralph from last year, on a quest to even the score with Jack.
At the reception Omar introduces himself. He wants Joan to come with him to his caliphate on the Nile. She will do a publicity write-up about his rule, ensuring his solidification of control. Joan accepts. Jack is stuck on being a playboy, and Joan yearns for creative outlet.
Joan goes with Omar, but trouble is already apparent, as gunmen attack Omar’s party. One who escapes is Tarak, an Arab with a massive head of long, curly hair. Tarak escapes Omar’s gunmen by jumping into the harbor, and dripping wet he searches out Jack to warn him Joan has hooked up with a dangerous thug. They must rescue Joan and also protect the Jewel of the Nile. Ralph makes his presence known, still intending to horn in and get a piece of the jewel.
Jack will have none of it. He will sail around the world as planned. As he says this the limpet mine explodes, changing Jack’s mind.
Joan arrives in Omar’s caliphate and as the motorcade creeps among cheering crowds the sound of a shot sends everybody ducking for cover. It is only an automobile backfiring, and everybody is again at piece. Joan grows suspicious at the people’s reaction. Omar’s caliphate is not Heaven on Earth.
Jack and Ralph arrive by plane, but they must now make their way across the desert by camel. Tarak’s followers come riding up to the airport.
They all mount up and set off toward the desert caliphate, and they pause for the night, I’m thinking in an oasis somewhere. There the Arabs engage in some merrymaking, singing, dancing, gesturing. It is here Ralph utters that phrase that makes the entire movie. “Look at these guys, Jack. No sheep is safe tonight.”
Joan gets wise to Omar. His is a brutal dictatorship. He wants her to give a glowing report. She insists she will write the truth. Again a signature line from the dialog. “If I had wanted the truth I would have hired 60 Minutes.”
Joan continues her snooping around, which lands her in a prison cell. There she meets Al-Julhara (the jewel). She learns he is a holy man called the Jewel of the Nile. You need to see this quick sequence of shots to get a flavor of the comedy.
Joan immediately attempts to scrape away the concrete holding in the window grating.
But Al-Julhara knows the truth. The grating is not cemented in, and he plucks it from the window frame.
Ralph and Jack attempt to bluff their way into Omar’s place, cashing in on Jack’s prior invite to be his guest. Omar, with a few automatic weapons, announces Joan no longer wishes to see him. They retreat, trying to come up with another approach.
But Joan and Al-Julhara are escaping across the roof of the compound, and when part of the wall collapses, they come tumbling through a vendor’s awning. Joan lands on top of Jack, in a most provocative position.
But Omar’s men are after them. Somebody has been watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, because they notice an F-16 lookalike parked nearby. They get in, and Jack activates the guns and rockets. They make their way across the desert, outdistancing Omar’s men and losing them in a sandstorm.
But presently the sandstorm subsides, and the chase is on again. They are chased up a canyon wall, at the top of which they run into a tribe of Nubians. The chief insists Jack fight his son for Joan, and Jack eyes the bantam-weight critter standing there and decides he can take him. But that’s not the chief’s son. The son is a giant, whom Jack eventually defeats by slugging him with a large clay urn while Al-Julhara distracts the crowd by performing some tricks.
There is a mating ceremony, in which women dance and pick the man of their choice. Joan joins the dance and spends the night with Jack.
They come to a town and look to hitch a ride on the train to safety. But Omar’s men are everywhere, so the plan is to leap onto the roof from the top of the station as the train pulls out.
Joan is slow to make the leap, and she almost gets left behind.
But she finally jumps, needing some rescue from Jack. There follows a sequence of much excitement as they fight off Omar’s men on top of the train.
Tarak and his men spot Al-Julhara on the train, and they give chase.
Jack is in a bad spot, fending off an Omar trooper while Joan holds on.
Jack launches the trooper over the edge, and they all make their way into the train, trying to avoid Omar’s men. Ralph spots Jack in the train as he rides alongside on a camel, and there is comedy you know is coming. Shouting at Jack through the glass, Ralph fails to notice the train is entering a tunnel. The camel notices and stops, but not Ralph.
Just when they think they have eluded Omar’s men, Jack and Joan step into another railway car. It’s Omar’s car, and they are taken prisoner.
Of course, this is movie drama, and they are not to be killed outright. Omar takes them with him to his rally, where he contrives an elaborate death. They are suspended by a rope over a pit filled with hungry rats, and acid drips on the rope.
But Ralph shows up, still wanting a piece of the jewel. He accidentally saves them by knocking over a ladder, which falls across the opening to the pit just as the rope parts.
Omar has hired a British stage effects company for his appearance. But Jack gains control of the crane that animates his platform, and Omar rides it until it crashes in flames.
But Omar survives, and he goes after Joan. He asks her, “Who’s going to save you now?” Of course, it’s Jack, who comes swinging in on the hook of a crane, knocking Omar off the scaffolding and into the flames.
The movie ends with Al-Julhara performing the marriage ceremony.
Apparently this was the final of the two runs for this dynamic duo. Coming next Wednesday, a Newman classic.