Director Robert Zemeckis has helmed some of the most beloved and iconic films in recent cinematic history. Like them or not, there is no denying the impact and enduring popularity of films like the “Back to the Future” trilogy or “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” or “Cast Away” or “The Polar Express” or “Forrest Gump” (which, by the way, a friend of mine pointed out teaches viewers that to get along in life it’s important to be passive and unquestioning and everything will turn out fine, whereas if you are willful and fiercely independent – and a woman – you’ll end up dying of some mysterious disease).
Before any of these, though, Zemeckis first made a name for himself with his 1984 action-adventure film “Romancing the Stone” (which plays tonight at Iroquois Amphitheater). “Romancing the Stone” tells the story of romance novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) who receives a treasure map in the mail. Shortly after, she learns that her sister has been kidnapped in Colombia and the ransom is the map. Wilder travels to South America, teams up with the intrepid Jack Colton (Michael Douglas), and the adventure begins, complete with shootouts, car chases, dives off waterfalls, and witty one-liners.
Though projected to be a flop, “Romancing the Stone” actually did quite well with critics and audiences, even winning Golden Globes for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy and for Kathleen Turner’s performance. It also received an Academy Awards nomination for Best Editing (yes, one of the technical awards no one cares about, but if you don’t find this impressive, I challenge you to watch the ending to “Bonnie & Clyde” or the first half hour of “The Wild Bunch” and see if that doesn’t change your mind; good film editing is an art unto itself).
“Romancing the Stone” plays tonight at Iroquois Amphitheater at 8:30. Admission is free. The amphitheater is located at 1080 Amphitheater Road in Iroquois Park.
Image: Internet Movie Database