The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)


Lewis Teague


Mark Rosenthal

Lawrence Konner

Diane Thomas


Kathleen Turner

Michael Douglas

Danny DeVito


When Joan Wilder is abducted while on a trip along the Nile, her boyfriend, Jack Colton, and pal Ralph rush to rescue her and retrieve a fabled jewel.


There are many things wrong with The Jewel of the Nile. One of the biggest things is Michael Douglas. Not just his character, either. Kathleen Turner was right to fight not to be in this film. I own it, I know, but it’s because it came with Romancing the Stone in a collection.

I always forget just how bad Jewel is. I’ll be high off of how much I love Romancing the Stone and decide to pop it in, and I get completely deflated. The story doesn’t make sense. It’s wildly racist and sexist and not fun to watch. Unless you’re watching with a friend and making fun of it the entire time.

Jack, Douglas, is such a giant dick in this movie. He’s low-key abusive. He can’t handle Joan’s fame or that everything he ever wanted is because of her. He resents her and lashes out a few times when he feels threatened. He blames her for his problems, implies that she was sleeping with a dude, and is just an all-around douche bag.

What’s worse, the movie focuses as much on him as it does on Joan. I don’t care about him! I loved the first movie despite him. I loved it because of Joan. Focusing more on Jack made a bad story worse. They should have never wound up together. She should have spent her six months with him, realized she deserved more and left him. She could have had a different love in this movie. They do it all the time for male leads. What’s the issue with doing it here?

I don’t typically want a reboot of an older movie, but I would love to see a reboot of this series. As long as the female character was the lead and the man wasn’t a sexist dick. Maybe don’t even have a dude. Just give me an adventure movie with a female lead who’s a famous romance novelist. Is that too much to ask for???

And now it’s time for Random Facts I learned from the Wikipedia Article!

-Kathleen Turner did not want to make this movie, she thought the scripted sucked, but she was contractually obligated to and was threatened with a $25m lawsuit.

-Multiple crew members died in a tragic plane crash.

-The crew got sick while filming in Morocco and were told it was hepatitis, but then told if they paid a bribe, everything would be okay.

-After hours of setting up an intense night shoot, it was discovered there was no film in the cameras, and they had to scrap the day entirely.

And that’s been another edition of Random Facts I learned from the Wikipedia Article!

After all I learned about Romancing the Stone, I thought that the writer for it, Diane Thomas, had died before Jewel came out, and that’s why she didn’t write it. Come to find out, she was alive and well and could have written the movie, but Douglas felt she wanted too much money. They ended up bringing her in to help with re-writes, but who knows how much she actually did.

It’s a miracle Jewel of the Nile got made. Sadly, it’s a miracle I wish we hadn’t been given.


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