How the French Inspired “Romancing the Stone”

Famous actor Jean-Paul Belmondo starred in two movies, directed by Philippe de Broca, which apparently inspired US filmmakers of a 1984’s photoplay featuring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. It was not a case of plagiarism. Rather, the creative team of the American flick somehow paid a tribute to ingenious authors of the French motion pictures. Let us review some similarities between the three films.

Adventure movie L’Homme de Rio (That Man from Rio, directed by Philippe de Broca, produced by Les Productions Artistes Associés and United Artists, 1964) depicts treasure seekers from France, who have passed in front of a magnificent waterfall in Brazil. Then, one of them enters a mysterious cave. More or less similar scenes are present in the US adventure comedy. This time the action takes place in Colombia. Slapstick spoof of spy films, Le Magnifique (The Magnificent, directed by Philippe de Broca, produced by Cine III, 1973), has a male protagonist, who writes pulp fiction dreaming about a sexy girlfriend. His real life and imaginary adventures have been so closely intertwined that one would confuse reality and fiction. A female romance novelist in the US movie faces basically the same situation. Her dream is a brave boyfriend.

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