With Disney’s Jungle Cruise looking to revive the romantic-adventure genre, the filmmakers cited the Michael Douglas/Kathleen Turner classic Romancing the Stone as one of their key inspirations. That film, which holds up beautifully thirty-seven years later, actually got a lesser-known sequel in 1985, The Jewel of the Nile, which reunited Douglas & Turner and co-star Danny DeVito, with cult director Lewis Teague directing.
Unfortunately, however, the production in Morocco was fraught with tension and tragedy. For one thing, many of the people who made Romancing the Stone such a huge hit, including director Robert Zemeckis and writer Diane Thomas, were unavailable for the sequel. As such, Douglas was saddled with an inexperienced director. Meanwhile, Turner was reluctant to return due to Thomas’s absence, and 20th Century Fox had to threaten her with a multi-million dollar lawsuit to get her back for the sequel. Thomas would eventually do rewrites, but in fact, would die in a car accident before the film’s release. At the same time, a pre-production disaster caused the deaths of the production designer and production manager. In the end, the film would be critically maligned but a box-office hit, although thirty-six years later, it’s arguably best known for its hit song, “When the Going Gets Tough” by Billy Ocean.
Join us on this edition of THE BEST MOVIE YOU NEVER SAW as we look back at this too-often neglected sequel which, despite its production woes, holds up as a terrific romantic adventure that’s almost as good as its predecessor. We also do a quick Michael Douglas lightning round, taking you through some of his more neglected but still worth checking-out films, including The Star Chamber, The Sentinel, A Perfect Murder, Shining Through and more.