Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1987)

PG | 100 mins | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 30 January 1987

Director:

Gary Nelson

Writer:

Gene Quintano

Cinematographer:

Alex Phillips

Production Designer:

Trevor Williams

Production Company:

Cannon Films, Inc.
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HISTORY

Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold is a sequel to 1985’s King Solomon’s Mines (see entry) starring Richard Chamberlain as soldier-of-fortune “Allan Quatermain” and Sharon Stone as archeologist “Jesse Huston.” Both actors reprised their roles for this film.
       The film is based on the 1887 novel Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard, the second novel in a series of books and short stories about the British-born adventurer in Africa. The first book in the Quatermain series, King Solomon’s Mines, published in 1885, was adapted for the screen in 1919, 1937, 1950, and 1985 (see entries). Allan Quatermain had never been adapted to the screen before, however, a low-budget 1979 Canadian-British film, King Solomon’s Treasure, starring actor John Colicos, incorporated story elements from both the King Solomon’s Mines and Allan Quatermain novels. The 2 Feb 1987 DV noted that King Solomon’s Treasure was never released theatrically in the U.S.
       In late 1984, Cannon Pictures announced plans to film two back-to-back Allan Quatermain movies starring Richard Chamberlain. The 26 Dec 1984 Var reported that Cannon would shoot King Solomon’s Mines in Zimbabwe, starting in Jan 1985, with the second film, Quatermain, to get underway as soon as the first one finished.
       At the time, Embassy Pictures also had a movie in the works titled Quatermain, based on three later novels in H. Rider Haggard’s Quatermain series. The 26 Dec 1984 Var noted that Embassy Pictures had registered its Quatermain movie title with the MPAA, ... More Less

Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold is a sequel to 1985’s King Solomon’s Mines (see entry) starring Richard Chamberlain as soldier-of-fortune “Allan Quatermain” and Sharon Stone as archeologist “Jesse Huston.” Both actors reprised their roles for this film.
       The film is based on the 1887 novel Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard, the second novel in a series of books and short stories about the British-born adventurer in Africa. The first book in the Quatermain series, King Solomon’s Mines, published in 1885, was adapted for the screen in 1919, 1937, 1950, and 1985 (see entries). Allan Quatermain had never been adapted to the screen before, however, a low-budget 1979 Canadian-British film, King Solomon’s Treasure, starring actor John Colicos, incorporated story elements from both the King Solomon’s Mines and Allan Quatermain novels. The 2 Feb 1987 DV noted that King Solomon’s Treasure was never released theatrically in the U.S.
       In late 1984, Cannon Pictures announced plans to film two back-to-back Allan Quatermain movies starring Richard Chamberlain. The 26 Dec 1984 Var reported that Cannon would shoot King Solomon’s Mines in Zimbabwe, starting in Jan 1985, with the second film, Quatermain, to get underway as soon as the first one finished.
       At the time, Embassy Pictures also had a movie in the works titled Quatermain, based on three later novels in H. Rider Haggard’s Quatermain series. The 26 Dec 1984 Var noted that Embassy Pictures had registered its Quatermain movie title with the MPAA, but since Cannon had never signed onto the MPAA, it was free to make a movie using the Quatermain title.
       However, Cannon opted to change the title of its film to Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold. Principal photography began in Zimbabwe on 10 Jun 1985, just twelve days after King Solomon’s Mines wrapped. While production charts in DV and Var referred to the film’s title as Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, as evidenced in the 12 Jul 1985 DV, the production charts in HR still used the title Quatermain, as evidenced in the 25 Jun 1985 HR.
       Although J. Lee Thompson directed the first of the two back-to-back films, Gary Nelson took the helm for the second. While Alex Phillips served as director of photography for both films, most of the crew changed between the two films. Gene Quintano wrote the screenplay for both films. Promotional materials in AMPAS library files indicate that writer Lee Reynolds also wrote on the Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold script, but he is not credited onscreen.
       With a $13 million budget and a twelve-week shooting schedule, the film shot near Victoria Falls, in the northwest portion of Zimbabwe, the 7 Sep 1985 Screen International reported. The set for the "Lost City of Gold" was built on the ruins of a hotel that had been destroyed during Zimbabwe’s war of independence in the 1970s. The 4 Sep 1985 Var stated that once filming was completed in Zimbabwe, the production was scheduled to shoot for four days in Oudtshoorn, South Africa.
       While production wrapped in mid-Sep 1985, the actors were called back for an additional three weeks of shooting at Laird International Studios in Culver City, CA, in spring 1986. The 19 May 1986 DV reported that Newt Arnold would direct the new scenes, which involved the Lost City of Gold set. However, the 2 Feb 1987 DV suggested that many of the river-cave scenes were shot in Culver City.
       The 26 Mar 1986 HR announced that the film, titled Lost City of Gold, would open on 16 May 1986, a mere six months after the release of King Solomon’s Mines. Due to the re-shoots, Cannon pushed the debut to the 1986 Christmas holiday season. However, fearing the film was not strong enough to compete during the busy holiday period, Cannon pulled the film just weeks before it was scheduled to open, the 13 Dec 1986 Screen International reported. That move left exhibitors scrambling to find another film to book for the holiday season.
       Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold opened on 1,000 screens on 30 Jan 1987, taking in $2 million in its first three days of release, according to the 4 Feb 1987 DV box-office chart. After ten days of release, the film had grossed a mere $3.2 million, as reported by the 10 Feb 1987 DV.
       In 2003, actor Richard Chamberlain published Shattered Love: A Memoir in which he acknowledged he was homosexual. In an interview with the 13 Jul 2003 NYT, Chamberlain reported that he and actor Martin Rabbett had been a couple since 1976. Rabbett starred alongside Chamberlain in Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold as the title character’s younger brother, “Robeson Quatermain.”
       Actress Cassandra Peterson, better known for playing the horror movie hostess character “Elvira” on television and in horror films, appeared as evil “Queen Sorais,” but did not have any spoken lines.
       End credits state: “The Producers wish to thank: the People and the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe for their cooperation and assistance.; the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications; Dr. Nathan M. Shamuyarira; Beverly Tilly; The Ministry of Defense; The National Railways of Zimbabwe; the Zimbabwe Police Force; the National Parks and Wildlife of Zimbabwe; the National Museums and Monuments; the Airforce of Zimbabwe; the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America, Foothill Region."; and, “Filmed in part at Laird International Studios.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1985.
---
Daily Variety
19 May 1986.
---
Daily Variety
2 Feb 1987
p. 3, 19.
Daily Variety
4 Feb 1987.
---
Daily Variety
10 Feb 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Mar 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 1987
p. 3, 14.
Los Angeles Times
2 Feb 1987
p. 10.
New York Times
31 Jan 1987
p. 14.
New York Times
13 Jul 2003.
---
Screen International
7 Sep 1985
---
Screen International
13 Dec 1986.
---
Variety
26 Dec 1984
p. 4, 19.
Variety
4 Sep 1985.
---
Variety
4 Feb 1987
p. 23, 26
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
The Cannon Group, Inc. Presents
a Golan-Globus Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr, Zimbabwe unit
1st asst dir, Zimbabwe unit
2d asst dir, Zimbabwe unit
2d asst dir, Zimbabwe unit
2d unit dir, Zimbabwe unit
2d unit 1st asst dir, Zimbabwe unit
Addl scenes dir by, Los Angeles unit
Unit prod mgr, Los Angeles unit
1st asst dir, Los Angeles unit
2d asst dir, Los Angeles unit
DGA trainee, Los Angeles unit
PRODUCERS
Line prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st cam asst, Zimbabwe unit
2d cam asst, Zimbabwe unit
Steadicam op, Zimbabwe unit
Gaffer, Zimbabwe unit
Best boy, Zimbabwe unit
Key grip, Zimbabwe unit
Still photog, Zimbabwe unit
2d unit dir of photog, Zimbabwe unit
Dir of photog, Los Angeles unit
Cam op, Los Angeles unit
Cam op, Los Angeles unit
1st asst cam, Los Angeles unit
2d asst cam, Los Angeles unit
Steadicam op, Los Angeles unit
Gaffer, Los Angeles unit
Best boy, Los Angeles unit
Key grip/Dolly grip, Los Angeles unit
Best boy grip, Los Angeles unit
3d grip, Los Angeles unit
Lenses and cams by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir, Zimbabwe unit
Prod des, Los Angeles unit
Storyboard artist, Los Angeles unit
Draughtsman, Los Angeles unit
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed, Zimbabwe unit
Assoc ed
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec, Zimbabwe unit
Scenic artist, Zimbabwe unit
Prop master, Zimbabwe unit
Const mgr, Zimbabwe unit
Set dec, Los Angeles unit
Prop master and weapon des, Los Angeles unit
Set dresser, Los Angeles unit
Const coord, Los Angeles unit
Const foreman, Los Angeles unit
Supv sculptor, Los Angeles unit
Head scenic artist, Los Angeles unit
Foam const, Los Angeles unit
COSTUMES
Cost des, Zimbabwe unit
Ward, Zimbabwe unit
Ward supv, Los Angeles unit
Ward for Mr. Chamberlain, Los Angeles unit
MUSIC
Asst mus ed
SOUND
Sd mixer, Zimbabwe unit
Sd mixer, Los Angeles unit
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR supv
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Spec sd eff
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Mechanical eff supv, Zimbabwe unit
Spec flying eff, Zimbabwe unit
Spec eff supv, Los Angeles unit
Spec eff coord, Los Angeles unit
Spec eff crew, Los Angeles unit
Spec eff crew, Los Angeles unit
Spec eff crew, Los Angeles unit
Spec eff crew, Los Angeles unit
Visual eff supv, Cannon Films Visual Effects Divis
Visual eff prod coord, Cannon Films Visual Effects
Chief mechanical spec eff, Cannon Films Visual Eff
Mechanical eff coord, Cannon Films Visual Effects
Art dir visual eff, Cannon Films Visual Effects Di
Dir of visual eff photog, Cannon Films Visual Effe
Chief model maker, Cannon Films Visual Effects Div
Matte paintings, Cannon Films Visual Effects Divis
Title des
Title des
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Chief spec eff makeup, Zimbabwe unit
Hairstylist, Zimbabwe unit
Makeup supv, Los Angeles unit
Makeup coord, Los Angeles unit
Makeup for Mr. Chamberlain, Los Angeles unit
Women's hairstylist, Los Angeles unit
Men's hairstylist, Los Angeles unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv, Zimbabwe unit
Scr supv, Zimbabwe unit
Casting/Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe unit
Unit loc mgr, Zimbabwe unit
Prod accountant, Zimbabwe unit
Transportation coord, Zimbabwe unit
Unit pub, Zimbabwe unit
Prod coord, Los Angeles unit
Prod auditor, Los Angeles unit
Scr supv, Los Angeles unit
Casting coord, Los Angeles unit
Post prod supv
In-house transportation coord
In-house transportation coord
Transportation capt
Safety and health consultants
Fire safety supv
Extras casting
STAND INS
Stunt coord, Zimbabwe unit
Stunt woman, Zimbabwe unit
Stunt man, Zimbabwe unit
Stunt man, Zimbabwe unit
Stunt man, Zimbabwe unit
Stunt man, Zimbabwe unit
Stunt coord, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
Stunt player, Los Angeles unit
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard (London, 1887).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Quatermain
Lost City of Gold
Release Date:
30 January 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 30 January 1987
Production Date:
10 June--mid September 1985
Copyright Claimant:
Cannon Films, Inc., & Cannon International
Copyright Date:
23 July 1987
Copyright Number:
PA337077
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
South Africa, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28052
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the early 20th century in Colonial Africa, adventurer Allan Quatermain and anthropologist Jesse Huston are engaged to be married and planning to travel to the U.S. for their wedding. An old friend, Dumont, shows up at their farm and collapses with fever. Dumont is pursued by two tribesmen wearing white hooded masks, but Quatermain chases them off. A delirious Dumont reports he saw streets filled with gold and that Quatermain’s missing younger brother, Robeson Quatermain, is alive and living there. Dumont also mutters something about Hudson and Trumond, two of Quatermain’s friends who were always in search of adventure and never worried about danger. Quatermain tells Jesse that Hudson and Trumond are rumored to have gone in search of a great lost city where a tribe of white people lived. That night, the two masked tribesmen break into the house and kill Dumont with a knife. Examining a gold coin they find among Dumont’s things, Jesse notes that it has Egyptian symbols but a Phoenician inscription. Quatermain postpones the wedding trip to rescue his brother and friends. In town, he finds his old friend, Umslopogaas, who agrees to go on the expedition with him. Quatermain’s friend, Reverend McKenzie, known as the “Dutchman,” helps assemble a team of five native Askari warriors, and a spiritual guru, Swarma, to accompany them on the expedition. Although angry about the wedding being postponed, Jesse realizes how important the mission is to her fiancé and accompanies him. The group journeys into the mountains, then finds a walled area across the desert. The walls are covered in Egyptian symbols and Phoenician inscriptions and eventually lead to the Tana River. They take canoes downriver, but ... +


In the early 20th century in Colonial Africa, adventurer Allan Quatermain and anthropologist Jesse Huston are engaged to be married and planning to travel to the U.S. for their wedding. An old friend, Dumont, shows up at their farm and collapses with fever. Dumont is pursued by two tribesmen wearing white hooded masks, but Quatermain chases them off. A delirious Dumont reports he saw streets filled with gold and that Quatermain’s missing younger brother, Robeson Quatermain, is alive and living there. Dumont also mutters something about Hudson and Trumond, two of Quatermain’s friends who were always in search of adventure and never worried about danger. Quatermain tells Jesse that Hudson and Trumond are rumored to have gone in search of a great lost city where a tribe of white people lived. That night, the two masked tribesmen break into the house and kill Dumont with a knife. Examining a gold coin they find among Dumont’s things, Jesse notes that it has Egyptian symbols but a Phoenician inscription. Quatermain postpones the wedding trip to rescue his brother and friends. In town, he finds his old friend, Umslopogaas, who agrees to go on the expedition with him. Quatermain’s friend, Reverend McKenzie, known as the “Dutchman,” helps assemble a team of five native Askari warriors, and a spiritual guru, Swarma, to accompany them on the expedition. Although angry about the wedding being postponed, Jesse realizes how important the mission is to her fiancé and accompanies him. The group journeys into the mountains, then finds a walled area across the desert. The walls are covered in Egyptian symbols and Phoenician inscriptions and eventually lead to the Tana River. They take canoes downriver, but along the way a native tribe attempts to stop them. Umslopogaas convinces the natives to let them pass, but further downriver, another tribe seems ready to torch their canoes. Quatermain fires his gun and scares them away. The river flows into a cave where a whirlpool almost capsizes the boats. Further into the cave, the water becomes boiling hot in an area called “The Devil’s Heart.” An underground volcano explosion causes flames to erupt from the water, but Quatermain shoots his gun at a stalactite, causing it to fall into the water and the resulting wave pushes the canoes away from the fire. When the river comes to an end, they follow a path through the cave, but Jesse falls into a hole where she finds many dead bodies and many blocks of gold. Quatermain recognizes one of the bodies as his friend Trumond. As they crawl out of the hole, giant snakes attack, but Umslopogaas kills them with his axe. Several of the Askari tribesmen are killed along the way, leaving only Quatermain, Jesse, Umslopogaas, and Swarma alive by the time they emerge from the cave near a waterfall. From the mountaintop, they see a road that seems to be paved in gold and a city in the distance. At the gate to the city, a young white boy comes out, but is attacked by a lion. Quatermain shoots and kills the lion. As the people of the city come to greet the visitors, Quatermain sees they are black and white people living in harmony. The people present the expedition survivors with a feast of tropical fruits. Soon, Quatermain is reunited with his younger brother, Robeson Quatermain. However, the festivities end when high priest Agon appears, announcing that Quatermain committed sacrilege by killing a sacred lion. The city’s two queens, sisters Sorais, who is feared by the people, and Nyleptha, who is beloved, come into the temple. The floor opens to reveal a pit with a giant gold smelter deep below the city. Jesse falls into the pit, but Quatermain grabs her and pulls her to safety. Agon throws a weapon at Quatermain, but it bounces off his chest because he is wearing a special flexible armor tunic underneath his shirt. The city’s people decide main must be a God since he can withstand the weapon. Queen Nyleptha welcomes Quatermain and the expedition, saying they are free to roam the city. Robeson Quatermain reports the city was a paradise until Agon showed up a few years ago. Agon was a slave trader selling arms to nearby natives, the savage Eshowe tribe. Agon preyed on the fears of the people and created a cult of lion gods, slavery, and human sacrifice. The gold smelter is off limits to everyone except Agon, who smuggles out gold using the Eshowe tribesmen. In the gold smelter, Agon has slaves create gold bars and figurines. Anyone who disobeys Agon’s orders is killed, then dipped into the gold and transformed into a statue. Jesse wants to study the city and its culture, but Agon and evil queen Sorais want her and the other visitors gone so they can take over. Agon stirs up the Eshowe and plans to attack the city. Quatermain worries they do not have weapons enough to fend off the attack, but seeing the gold smelter, he realizes they can create many weapons. As the Eshowe attack the city gates, the people drop gold bricks on their heads. The tribe continues attacking and eventually breaks down the gate and rushes inside the city. Quatermain tells the residents to retreat to the temple for safety, then goes to the temple roof when it begins to rain. He hits the roof with an axe to create a lightning rod. As lightning strikes the axe, the gold covering the roof turns to liquid and drips onto Agon and the Eshowe tribe below. They are covered in gold and transformed into statues, With the city safe, Quatermain and Jesse say they are ready for another adventure and kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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