Romancing the Stone

1984 film by Robert Zemeckis

Romancing the Stone is a 1984 film about a mousy romance novelist who sets off for Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure hunting for treasure with a mercenary rogue.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Written by Diane Thomas.
She's a girl from the big city. He's a reckless soldier of fortune. For a fabulous treasure, they share an adventure no one could imagine... or survive.  (taglines)

Jack Colton

  • One hell of a morning has turned into a bitch of a day!
  • What did you do, wake up this morning and say, "Today, I'm going to ruin a man's life"?
  • Goddamn it, I knew I should've listened to my mother. I could've been a cosmetic surgeon, five hundred thou a year, up to my neck in tits and ass.


  • [to Jack] Oh, oh I'm the creep, huh? Well at least I'm honest: I'm stealing this stone. I'm not trying to romance it out from under her.

Col. Zolo

  • How will you die, Joan Wilder? Slow, like... a snail? Or fast, like a shooting star?
  • Crocodiles shed tears when they eat their prey. You have heard of these tears I am sure. But have you seen them?
  • They know nothing. They are peasants. Another bus will come along. There are schedules to be kept, even in Columbia.


[Fantasy sequence of a scene from one of her books]
Grogan: What's it gonna be, Angelina?
Joan Wilder: [voiceover narration] It was Grogan: the filthiest, dirtiest, dumbest excuse for a man west of the Missouri River.
Grogan: So, you can die two ways, angel: quick like the tongue of a snake, or slower than the molasses in January.
Joan Wilder: [voiceover narration] But it was October.
Grogan: I'll kill you, goddammit, if it's the Fourth of July! Where is it? Uhh. Get over there!
Joan Wilder: [voiceover narration] I told him to get out, now that he had what he came for.
Grogan: Not quite, angel. [spits] Take 'em off. Do it! Come on!
[Angelina kills Grogan by throwing a concealed knife]
Joan Wilder: [voiceover] That was the end of Grogan... the man who killed my father, raped and murdered my sister, burned my ranch, shot my dog, and stole my Bible! But if there was one law of the west: Bastards had brothers, who seemed to ride forever.

Joan Wilder: Excuse me, mister. Can you tell where can I get to a telephone?
Jack Colton: No, lady. I don't have any idea. I'm sorry.
Joan Wilder: But it's very important that I get to one.
Jack Colton: Well, we've all got our problems today. Don't we?
Joan Wilder: Can you tell me where the nearest town is?
Jack Colton: English speaking? How about Miami?
Joan Wilder: Will there be another bus?
Jack Colton: Another bus? This is it. [looks around a deserted, dirt mountain road] You've got rush hour.
Joan Wilder: I need to get to Cartagena.
Jack Colton: Cartagena? Angel, you are hell and gone from Cartagena. Cartagena's over there on the coast.
Joan Wilder: But they told me this bus...
Jack Colton: Who told you that? Who told you this bus was going to Cartagena?
Joan Wilder: That man...
Jack Colton: That nice man who pulled a gun on you? What else did he tell you?

[Jack and Joan are being fired upon by Zolo and his men]
Jack Colton: Cops! What the hell do they want? I haven't done anything... lately! Wait a minute, he's after you. Who the hell are you?
Joan Wilder: Well, I'm a romance novelist.
Jack Colton: You're what? What are you doing here?
Joan Wilder: I told you, my sister's life depends on me.
Jack Colton: Ah, don't give me that shit. I thought you were donating a kidney or something.

Joan Wilder: [after Jack chops off the heels on her shoes] These were Italian.
Jack Colton: Now they're practical.

Joan Wilder: [inside a crashed plane they find in the jungle] What is all this?
Jack Colton: All this? About five to life in the States, a couple of centuries down here.
Joan Wilder: Oh, marijuana.
Jack Colton: Oh, you smoke it?
Joan Wilder: [defensively] I went to college.

Joan Wilder: What do you want? Seriously, I'd really like to know.
Jack Colton: Came down here in a coffee boat, about a year and a half ago. Right. Christ, what job that was. But, I couldn't get over that ocean, though, you know. Yeah. I love the ocean. You know you just got to get out there - all by yourself - nobody else around. It's beautiful. So, that's what I want. Try to get enough money together to buy a boat and sail around the world.
Joan Wilder: So, you're just gonna sail away? All by yourself?
Jack Colton: Yeah.
Joan Wilder: Sounds lonely, Jack T. Colton. Well, what does the "T" stand for?
Jack Colton: Trustworthy.

Jack Colton: I understand you have a car. We would like to buy it or rent it, we need to get to a town.
Juan: What do you call this I'm living in, a pigsty?
Jack Colton: Oh, no this is great...
Juan: Hit the road.
Jack Colton: No, senor, see we...
Juan: Hit-the-road.
Jack Colton: But we...
Juan: [points a gun at him] Vaya con dios, gringo.
[Jack and Joan back off and turn around, to find that all of Juan's men have pulled guns on them too]
Jack Colton: Okay, Joan Wilder, write us out of this one.
Juan: Joan Wilder... Joan Wilder? The Joan Wilder?
[lowering gun, opening door and walking out]
Juan: You are Joan Wilder, the novelist?
Joan Wilder: Well, yes, I am.
Juan: I read your books! I read all your books! [turning to his men, in Spanish] This is Joan Wilder, who writes the books I read to you on Saturdays!
Bad Hombre: [awestruck] Juanita... Juanita, it's Juanita!
[all the men put away their guns and wave enthusiastically]

Ira: Of all the things you could say to me right now, "I lost her," Ralph, is gonna get the most teeth broken in your mouth.
Ralph: Look, bullethead. If they're hiking through the jungle there's nothing I can do about it. I have a car. I am not Tarzan. I have been through every one-horse shithole for a two-hundred mile radius. You should have seen the river I had to traverse this morning. So don't give me any of your crap, you gutless wonder. You have been an embarrassment to our family ever since the day you were born! And let me tell you something else, Ira... [he turns and sees Joan and Jack getting out of a car] You are luckiest son of a bitch that ever walked the face of the earth! She's here!
Ira: She's there?!
Ralph: She's right here! She's walking towards the phone. She's with some guy. How do I know? She likes guys! So do you, maricon!

Jack Colton: [looking at a photo of his dream yacht whilst lying in bed with Joan] Someday if I had the money, I'd take you... we'd sail away... around the world and back again. I promise you. I promise you we'll do that.
[they kiss and Joan holds Jack more tightly]
Joan Wilder: Why haven't you taken the map away from me?
Jack Colton: What are you talking about?
Joan Wilder: I saw that tree today, the Devil's Fork, it's on the map. You know how close we are?
Jack Colton: Yeah sure I do. What's that got to do with it?
Joan Wilder: I was thinking about something you said... about having more to bargain with.
Jack Colton: Yeah. The best way to help your sister is to get that treasure and if you waltz into Cartagena you're holding all the cards.
Joan Wilder: I'd love to see you on that boat. But Jack if we have to give it up... to save Elaine?
Jack Colton: Then we give it up. I mean it's your sister. Hell yeah. Of course we give it up. That's the point. At least we've got the leverage to do it.
Joan Wilder: OK. OK. Let's got for it.
[they kiss]

Jack Colton: [Jack and Joan find the stone in a cave] Jesus Christ, we're in a lot of trouble.
Ralph: [surprising them, holding a gun] Understatement of the year, asshole.
Jack Colton: [to Joan] Is there anybody who isn't following you?
Ralph: Put the goods in the bag.
[Jack surrenders the stone]
Ralph: Now move it, before Batman comes home.

Joan Wilder: You're the best time I've ever had.
Jack Colton: I've never been anybody's best time.

Joan Wilder: You're leaving? You're leaving me?
Jack Colton: You're gonna be all right, Joan Wilder. [they kiss] You always were.

[after reading Joan's new novel based on her adventure]
Gloria Horne: Joanie, you are now a WORLD-CLASS hopeless romantic.
Joan Wilder: No, hopeful. Hopeful romantic.

[Jack shows off his new crocodile skin boots]
Joan Wilder: I like your boots.
Jack Colton: Yup, that poor old yellow-tailed guy... developed a fatal case of indigestion. He died right in my arms.
Joan Wilder: I can't blame him. If I were to die, there's nowhere on earth I'd rather be.
Jack Colton: I couldn't stop thinking about you. I even read one of your books.
Joan Wilder: Then you know how they all end.
Jack Colton: Yeah. Hi.
Joan Wilder: Hi.
[they kiss passionately]


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