‘Romancing the Stone’ at 35: How Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner Survived Gators, Rain, and Studio Expectations

Variety | 3/30/1984 | Susan King
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“Romancing the Stone” looks like a fun adventure romp onscreen, but making the Michael Douglas-Kathleen Turner movie that turns 35 this week was no stroll through the jungle. There were alligators, mud and plenty of back-and-forth with the studio — not to mention a tragedy after it opened.

The romantic comedy adventure opened March 30, 1984 and ended up as the eighth-highest grossing film of the year. It won the Golden Globe for best comedy or musical, and Turner took home the Globe for best actress in a comedy or musical.

Footsteps - Blockbuster - Indiana - Jones - Raiders

Following in the footsteps of blockbuster “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Romancing the Stone” was a real game changer career-wise for star-producer Douglas, who became an even more popular leading man; Turner, who proved she was more than a femme fatale; and Douglas’ friend Danny DeVito, who became a bankable actor and director.

Director Robert Zemeckis went on to become one of Hollywood’s major filmmakers, earning an Oscar for 1994’s “Forrest Gump”; DP Dean Cundey worked on several more films with Zemeckis, receiving an Oscar nomination for 1988’s “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”; and composer Alan Silvestri still collaborates with Zemeckis.

Stone - Bear - Location - Jungles - Veracruz

But “Romancing the Stone” was also a bear to make on location in the jungles around Veracruz and Hidalgo in Mexico where the production was beset with rain, mud and creepy crawlies. And of course, all of the stunts and action sequences were done live.

“It was very, very tough,” said Zemeckis. “When the movie was over, I said to my agent who gave me the script, who is now my partner — Jack Rapke — if another script ever comes across your desk that has a slug line in it that says ‘Exterior. Jungle. Night. Rain.’ Never send it to me.”

Kinds - Things - Rain

“We had all kinds of things with the rain,”...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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