King Solomon’s Mines (1985)

king solomons mines poster 1985 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 5/10

Retro movie fun

Not a good movie

Movie Info

Movie Name: King Solomon’s Mines

Studio: Cannon Group

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Comedy/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  November 22, 1985

MPAA Rating: PG-13

king solomons mines sharon stone allan quatermain richard chamberlain

The sexual tension is…not really there.

Allan Quatermain (Richard Chamberlain) has been hired by Jesse Huston (Sharon Stone) to track down her missing father (Bernard Archard) who has been on the search for the legendary King Solomon’s mines.  Unfortunately, Dogati (John Rhys-Davies) and a Nazi named Colonel Bockner (Herbert Lom) are also seeking the vast treasure.  Allan and Jesse are on a race against time to get to the treasure first…and fortune and glory are up for grabs!

Directed by J. Lee Thompson, King Solomon’s Mines is an action-adventure comedy.  It loosely adapts the classic 1885 H. Rider Haggard novel and made a slight profit with negative reviews.  It received nominations for Razzies for Worst Supporting Actor (Lom) and Worst Musical Score.

As a kid, anything like Indiana Jones was up for viewing.  If it was an action-adventure, I was probably going to see it.  My dad was a big fan of the 1950 version of the film and brought home King Solomon’s Mines from the video store (which was an exciting and new thing still in 1985 or so).  King Solomon’s Mines borders being an out-and-out rip-off and a parody in its presentation, and I can remember not even enjoying it that much as a kid.

king solomons mines john rhys davies herbert lom

We’re wacky!

The tone of the movie is all over the place.  It seems like it is hedging its bets on how people will interpret it.  While Raiders of the Lost Ark has a lot of humor and comedy, it still is a solid, good looking action film at its core.  I’m not sure what the core of King Solomon’s Mines is.  Chamberlain, John Rhys-Davies, and Herbert Lom seem to be taking it less seriously than Stone who seems to think she is in an Indiana Jones movie.  This isn’t aided by a plot which has scenes that almost match Raiders of the Lost Ark at points…but much cheaper and much less satisfying.

The movie’s cast is partly to blame for the confusion.  As mentioned, it seems like the actors are all acting in different movies.  Chamberlain doesn’t have the charisma that Ford had as Jones, and I see Allan Quatermain as an even more masculine version of Indiana Jones in his creation.  Sharon Stone seems to be combining aspects of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’s Kate Capshaw’s Willie with Karen Allen’s tougher Raiders of the Lost Ark’s Marion…and it doesn’t work.  There is no chemistry between the two.  John Rhys-Davies who appeared in the Indiana Jones series feels like a bad stereotype parody while Herbert Lom’s Nazi is goofier than the crew from Hogan’s Heroes.

king solomons mines 1985 richard chamberlain sharon stone

Maybe we’ll drown and turn this into an interesting film?

The movie doesn’t have the quality production value of Raiders of the Lost Ark nor does J. Lee Thompson have the skill that Spielberg has to present it.  It was produced by the Cannon Group (which is always a bad sign) and does have some value, but then you mix in things like the horrible water monster and other bad sets, and you realize why the film isn’t up to par with better films (I do like the upside down people).

King Solomon’s Mines might impress a kid on a rainy Saturday afternoon, but there are so many better movies that it feels like the movie might as well be forgotten.  As a kid of the ’80s, it is kind of fun to revisit it, but overall, my ho-hum memory of King Solomon’s Mines holds true.  King Solomon’s Mines was followed by Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold in 1986.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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