King Solomon's Mines (1985) (part 2 of 6)

Allan and Jesse enter the village, with Jesse getting nervous about going in without anyone backing them up. Allan mentions Dogati, and we rejoin said villain as he’s being annoyed by a gramophone blasting Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”.

The owner of this gramophone is Colonel Bockner, played by Herbert Lom, who’s a long way from the Pink Panther movies. Well, given how Trail of the Pink Panther turned out, maybe not that long.

King Solomon's Mines (1985) (part 2 of 6)

Bockner is pretty much the bog standard German stereotype, save for the Nazi stuff, since again, this film is set before WWII. He’s also a bit of a conundrum as a character, given he’s supposed to be menacing in one or two spots, but for the rest of the film, he’s a clownish caricature. Rhys-Davies, on the other hand, is a straight up nasty son of a bitch all the way through, which also runs rather contrary to the overall tone of the movie.

Obviously, they were going for a movie similar to the Indiana Jones films, but as we’ll see, they had neither the resources nor the skill to pull it off. Instead of a gripping action yarn with a strong element of fun, we instead get an action comedy with several out of place bits of nastiness here and there.

It gets even worse in the sequel, but there’ll be plenty of time to discuss that in the next recap.

Bockner has apparently employed Dogati’s services, but this scene is just them trading insults for a while. One can assume Bockner is looking for the “mines” of the title, but it really is the job of the screenwriter to make this stuff clear. Needless to say, writers Gene Quintano (who also co-wrote the sequel) and James R. Silke don’t do an especially competent job here.

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Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: King Solomon's Mines (1985)

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