The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

Jewel of the Nile

The Jewel of the Nile made money and it had some amusing interplay between Douglas and Turner that can raise a smile. Aside from this, The Jewel of the Nile is a horrible, regressive, xenophobic pile of junk that needs to be forgotten.

Wasting no time to capitalise on the magic of Romancing the Stone the character of Joan Rivers is back to being pushed around by the dominant males, unable to take matters into her own hands and needs her heroic lover to save her at every turn.

Danny DeVito returns looking well, however, his character is given a collection of horrible “wisecracks” that are either against the “African savages” he is having to deal with or the impoverished foreign beggars he hates with a passion. The character has been thrown in at a moments notice and there is little to justify his inclusion save for the DeVito credit on the poster to put extra bums on seats. He is much, much better than this.

Robert Zemeckis has stepped aside preferring a little time travel fare called Back to the Future instead. Cujo director Lewis Teague stepped in, a bland director with only a few fondly remembered credits.

Then there is the Jewel. As the movie is over 30 years old I would like to think the twist is known, if not then skip this paragraph. Jewel is woefully underwritten. The writers obviously want to avoid any controversy or similarity with Jesus, yet the whole movie is folded around the character’s wisdom and ability to perform miracles. Certainly there is a clever idea following the first movie’s precious, valuable stone. A human can be just as precious and valuable to people, however, there needs to be a logical reason for our heroes to go to such lengths for him. Yet they are putting their faith in Jewel and landing the film right back in biblical territory.

Even back in the 80’s when the film arrived on TV my response was totally underwhelmed. There was a large ad campaign to get the family together. A memorable occasion for sure, a movie night with my parents. The toxicity of this sequel has polluted my enjoyment of Romancing the Stone for so many years following. I have returned to this film twice in my life and can safely say I will not make that mistake again.

The Jewel of the Nile is a horrible experience that undoes almost everything Romancing the Stone does well to establish the growth of a stronge female character. Do yourself a favour and forget this movie is out there, it is desperate!

A third film was planned and thankfully shelved, a couple of times.

Poster art for The Jewel of the Nile was excellent, however, there was only one piece… given it’s rush to market.


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