A gold prospector strikes it rich and lives in the lap of luxury on a Caribbean island until his headstrong daughter’s troubles and a gang of Miami thugs cause his downfall.
Gene Hackman (in a scorching performance) stars as the prospector who finds a fortune in gold but no joy in his life, particularly when his daughter (Theresa Russell) takes up with a dissolute playboy (Rutger Hauer).
Confrontation is inevitable and it all takes place at Hackman’s Caribbean mansion where mobsters Mickey Rourke and Joe Pesci violently intrude to get their hands on a piece of the action.
The plot does meander about on occasion but the combination of a terrific cast, some stunning imagery, and a story reeking with primal forces, ensures that the film is never less than interesting.
Nicolas Roeg has been responsible for some great movies – Performance (1970), Walkabout (1970), Don’t Look Now (1973) – and though this torrid tale of greed, gold and gangsters isn’t one of them, there’s still enough of the director’s distinctive style to grab the attention.
Claude Maillot Van Horn