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Alligators and Crocodiles in Movies
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
Crocodiles play an important part in this popular action/adventure/romantic comedy.
I need to spoil the ending in order to explain the crocodile scenes, so stop reading if that's a problem for you. (There's also a good snake scene you can see here.)

Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) is an introverted romance novelist with no romance in her life. She flies to Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister Elaine with a treasure map that Elaine's husband sent Joan just before he was murdered. In Colombia, Joan becomes entangled in a dangerous romantic adventure with a handsome rogue named Jack Colton (Michael Douglas) as they hunt for a giant emerald.

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The two criminals in Colombia who kidnapped Joan's sister, Ralph and Ira, and a corrupt Colombian military man, Colonel Zolo, are also looking for the stone. Ira is fascinated by crocodiles, which he calls "snappers." He feeds a huge chunk of meat to a pair of young crocodiles that are chained up on his yacht, and we see him feeding crocodiles through a grate at a waterfront location where he mentions a striped crocodile. (This prepares us for the climax 90 minutes later, which involves the crocodiles at that exact same location, including the one with yellow stripes on its tail.)

Joan gets stranded in the jungle with Jack, and they are chased by Zolo and his army. They find their way to a town where they go dancing and hook up. That's the romancing part. That's the romancing part. The next day they find the stone. Bad guys try to steal the stone. Joan and Jack fall over a waterfall and separate. Jack has the stone.

Romancing the Stone Romancing the Stone Romancing the Stone Romancing the Stone
Romancing the Stone Romancing the Stone Romancing the Stone Romancing the Stone
Romancing the Stone Romancing the Stone Romancing the Stone Romancing the Stone
The bad guys kidnap Joan. In a climactic confrontation at the waterfront, Zolo demands to know where the stone is, threatening to throw Joan into a pond full of crocodiles. Jack shows up to rescue her and tells Zolo the stone is in a safe place. Then Zolo's man hits Jack in the crotch. We hear a clunking sound, and the stone slowly slides down Jack's pants leg onto his shoe. Jack tries to kick the stone into the pond, but Zolo catches it just above the water. But then the striped crocodile jumps up and bites off Zolo's hand swallowing it along with the stone.

In the confusion, Jack grabs an automatic rifle and a gunfight ensues. Jack watches the striped crocodile that ate the stone leave the pond. He chases it to a gap in a wall above some water it's trying to jump into. He grabs it by the tail and tells it to cough up the stone, but when Joan calls for help, he is forced to choose between her and the stone. He let's the croc go and runs to help help Joan. The croc falls into the water.

Joan is fighting Zolo. He pins her down on top of the large grate we saw much earlier, just above a bunch of crocodiles. She sets him on fire then he falls onto the grate and crashes through it falling down into the crocodiles. We can tell by the sounds we hear and the look on Joan's face that Zolo was torn to pieces and eaten by the crocodiles. The audience applauds wildly. Then Jack kisses Joan goodbye and jumps into the water where the crocodile fell to avoid getting captured by the police.

Joan returns to New York and writes her best novel yet about her Colombian adventures, except that it ends with the couple sailing around the world together. Her editor calls her a hopeless romantic for writing a happy ending. Joan tells her she's a hopeful romantic. In front of her apartment, Joan sees Jack on a large sailboat on a boat trailer parked on the street. She tells Jack she likes his boots, which are made of crocodile skin. He tells her the yellow-tailed crocodile developed a fatal case of indigestion and died right in his arms. In other words, he caught the croc that ate the stone, cut it open to retrieve the stone, sold it, and bought the boat, which he named after a protagonist in Joan's novels - Angelina.

I wish they could have made the description of the crocodile more consistent. It's called striped and yellow-tailed, and we only see some obviously-enhanced stripes on its tail at the end. I had to go back to make sure it was the same one mentioned at the beginning of the movie. They had to do something to make us believe that Jack could recognize the croc that ate the stone from all the other identical crocodiles.

Most of the crocs we see are real. We do see a fake croc bite off Zolo's arm and a fake croc trying to get into the ocean as Jack grabs its fake tail.