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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 23 January 2017
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on 29 May 2017
I never get tired of watching this film. Yes, it has its flaws but if you can look past them you'll find a funny, enjoyable, highly entertaining film.
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on 22 February 2009
I adored this film as a child, seeing it as the (then) fourth Indiana Jones. Watching it now is painfull, the acting and special effects are beyond poor (much like the recent actual indy 4!)
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on 17 June 2013
Watched the 1985 Richard Chamberlain version of King Solomon's Mines last night, for the first time in many years.

Interestingly it's got John Rhys Davies in it, who got his job in Indiana Jones because of his role in Shogun with Richard Chamberlain, who's the principle Indiana Jones type character in King Solomon's Mines.

Weirdly whilst watching it it also becomes apparent that whilst King Solomon's Mines was quite intentionally a homage/pastiche of the Indiana Jones movies (Raiders of the Lost Ark & Temple of Doom preceded its 1985 release), there are a very noticeable number of scenes in King Solomon's Mines that appear to have been fairly directly lifted for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
(train top fights, looking for a father who knows the location of an ancient mythical treasure, two villains where one is seeking treasure for money and power & the other is finding it for Germany etc etc... the list is remarkably long)

King Solomon's Mines is not devoid of merit; despite some very hit & miss dialogue Richard Chamberlain still has considerable charm and in parts the almost pantomime-like approach does work fairly well. John Rhys Davies is satisfyingly horrible, Jerry Goldsmith's romping adventurous score drives the action scenes along very well, the effects are hilariously silly in places and it's really good to see the vastness of Zimbabwe on the screen almost as a star itself.
Some of the stunts are very impressive too, with less blue-screening than you might imagine.

However there are some really really big problems with this movie

1) I really didn't remember it being that, well... racist to be honest.
I think it was trying to poke fun at attitudes from another time but the movie is not written at all tightly enough to pull off satire at that level and it comes across as clunky lazy stereotyping of Africans, and also Germans.

2) Sharon Stone's Character - imagine Willie Scott from Temple of Doom, but with no redeeming features beyond her looks. Jesse Houston is whiny, useless, horrendously reliant on men, thick, physically weak and egocentric. I have a friend who's very pro-feminist who'd probably have put a beer bottle through the screen if she'd been watching it with us.
Sharon Stone knows she's got nothing to work with so doesn't even both to attempt polishing a turd.

3) Sense - This movie makes none. Individual scenes usually run along OK, but they rarely tie together very well. I don't think they got anyone to do re-writes after the storyboarding phases. EG in some scenes fights breakout spontaneously between the principle characters and people in crowded streets and we're just left to assume that they are somehow affiliated with the bad guys, and that somehow Quatermain et al can identify this. Lazy lazy lazy.

So... from me it gets 2 stars: 1 star for the fact that despite having one of the laziest scripts I've seen, some of the actors, 2nd unit photography, stunts and music are pretty good and 1 start for Zimbabwe looking really amazing in the location shots.

Worth a look if you like watching crap movies with your friends and laughing at their silliness, rubbish special effects and flaws otherwise I'd avoid it.
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H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines is one of those stories where it often feels that only the title and the odd character name have been filmed. If there were a prize for the least faithful version, Cannon's 1985 romp would win hands down. Richard Chamberlain's Great White Hunter Allan Quatermain may be a reluctant guide on a quest for the fabled mines, but this time his only companion is Sharon Stone, eager to save her archaeologist father from Herbert Lom's dastardly and cartoonish Wagner-loving German officer (the plot has been updated to pre-WW1 Africa). No prizes for guessing that this is inspired more by Indiana Jones than H. Rider Haggard (it even co-stars John Rhys-Davies as another Arab, this time on the bad guys' side), with the stunts increasingly outrageous and the tone firmly tongue in cheek.

Shot almost back-to-back with the dire Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold and originally brandishing the how-are-they-ever-going-to-fit-that-on-the-marquees title Allan Quatermain and King Solomon's Mines and the Lost Caves of Death, it's a film almost as overloaded as it's rejected title: for the first half or so it's surprisingly entertaining, but eventually the relentless energy starts to wear you down as you realise that the film's used up most of its best stunts and jokes and is running out of clichés to rehash and lampoon. Certainly there's nothing in the second half to match a comic marketplace chase or a very silly train rescue that sees Quatermain work his way through variations of Indy's truck chase before skiing along the rails as he holds on by his bullwhip... In many ways, DVD is an almost ideal way to see it: a little too much to sit through in one go, a self-created intermission certainly helps.

Chamberlain makes an amiable if overly reliant on dynamite Quatermain, though Stone is an irritatingly screeching heroine and Lom too much of an over the top caricature to provide much threat. J. Lee Thompson keeps it moving, Jerry Goldsmith contributes an enjoyably heroic score and there's enough of a sense of fun to paper over the weak spots.
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Jesse Huston (Sharon Stone) is on a mission to find her lost father, she enlists the help of legendary explorer Allan Quatermain (Richard Chamberlain) and both of them set off on their perilous journey.

Bland, routine and deserving of its reputation as an illegitimate sprog cash in of Indiana Jones. Director J Lee Thompson and his writers adapt H. Rider Haggard's classic novel and effectively hope that writing set piece after set piece will make for an exhilarating adventure movie. It doesn't. Bad script, bad acting, poor special effects, roller-coaster pacing, cringe-worthy dialogue and the sets look to have been knocked up overnight. It's not as if Chamberlain & Stone can't act, because they can, it's just that they are reduced to cartoon fodder and both look very uncomfortable in doing so. John Rhys-Davies adds some fun as Dogati but poor Herbert Lom phones it in as an ultimate caricature German villain. There's some interest in the pre-fame Stone's attire for the red blooded male, watch as her shorts grow steadily shorter during the film. And for the girls who like beards, well Richie Chamberlain sports a candidate for the world's tidiest beard throughout the adventure mockery; tho not quite as tidy as the frothy one worn by a big old fake spider.

Don't believe those who say it's in the "so bad it's good" category, it's just terrible and you are strongly advised to seek out either the 1937 or 1950 version instead. 2/10
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on 24 August 2013
The book from which this film gets its title from is probably one of the best adventures ever written. The book gets a pasting from modern critics for its dated Victorian attitudes - BUT it is still a teriffic adventure story, and certainly doesn't have the condescending or patronising attitudes to black people that this film does. In fact a lot of its heroes were black, and even its black villains were given dignity and intelligence.
I think because I rate the book so highly I dislike this film so much, because it bears no resemblance to Rider Haggard's masterpiece. Why do film makers have to monkey around with a good story? A film that remained true to 'King Solomon's Mines' would be worth seeing, but this isn't. It's shoddily made and the acting isn't very good. The hero, Allan Quartermain, is (in the book) a middle-aged, if not elderly, Anglo-African, small of stature, but tough as teak, and there's no love interest. Here you get Richard Chamberlain and some dolly bird, pusued by the Kaiser's Prussian thugs, and instead of the dignified and noble chief, Umbopa/Ignosi, you have a bloke looking like a cigarette seller in Banjul, complete with ragged shorts and a dirty vest who looks as much like a Zulu warrior as Ian Beale from 'Eastenders' looks like James Bond!
Of the other films based on the book, I've only seen the 1950s Stewart Grainger one. Again it's not like the book, but its a better film than this. At least Grainger's got a bit of oomph to him, although apparently animal rights were totally suspended in the making of the '50s film.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 January 2016
In this 1985 adventure, Jesse Huston (Sharon Stone) hires Allan Quatermain [Richard Chamberlain] to find her father, believed lost on an expedition to find the fabled King Solomon's Mines. Discovering that Professor Huston has been captured by a German military expedition on the same quest, the two rival expeditions clash as they shadow each other, but will our intrepid heroes get there first. What do you think?
A rip roaring fun adventure and the third of five film adaptations of the 1885 novel of the same name by Henry Rider Haggard. Full of corny gags, over the top stereo typical characters, obvious plots and slapstick situations, an naive heroine and dashing hero, this is fun all the way. Herbert Lom is superb as the a single-minded knackwurst-munching, bald-headed German Colonel Bockner and John Rhys-Davies makes a fine villainous and ruthless Turkish adventurer and slave-trader.
The single disc opens to language screen [English. German, French, Italian, castellano] before going to a main menu offering play, scene selection, language options [as languages minus the Italian, subtitles in most European languages] and the trailer.
This is a PG rating done in the day when violence was acceptable entertainment as there are some gruesome deaths from the start, face slapping and scenes of hilarious torture. Featuring two of the worlds leading sex symbols of the day, what’s not to like. A definite ***** adventure in the best ‘heroic’ tongue in cheek tradition for all the family.
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on 23 September 2008
nothing was good about this film.
acting was bad.the action was childish and the comedy was forced in the
film but that was also not funny.
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VINE VOICEon 22 March 2005
Vastly superior to its rather lackluster sequel ALLAN QUATERMAIN AND THER LOST CITY OF GOLD (which was actually filmed back-to-back with this production), this entertaining and fun loving tribute (or some might say rip-off) of the Indiana Jones movies benefits (unlike its follow-up) by the sure hand and capable direction of veteran J. Lee Thompson (of the original GUNS OF NAVARONE) and a suberp supporting cast that includes the always entertaining and eminently watchable John Rhys-Davies and Herbert Lom as the two main villains, a Turkish slaver and a World War I era German Colonel respectively.
Based very loosely on the classic H. Rider Haggard adventure novel of the same name, this movie features Richard Chamberlain as adventurer Allan Quaterman who is recruited by the sexy and gorgeous Jessie Huston (played by a pre-famous Sharon Stone) to rescue her father who has fallen into the villains hands in attempt to locate the fabled King Solomon's mines.
What follows is a fast paced, fun and thoroughly entertaining adventure with some eye popping stunts and some truly cheesy special effects.
No matter though, this movie promises high adventure and entertaining escapism. Movie fans will have fun spotting references to other movies of the 1980s from the Indiana Jones adventures to 1983s FOOTLOOSE and that movies game of unintentional chicken.
I was one of the (evidently) few who actually made it to see this movie in the theaters on its release in 1985 and one who instantly picked it up on VHS. Of course when the DVD was released in February of this year I was there to instantly pick it up. Still fun after almost 20 years this DVD comes well recommended.
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