The Rum Diary

Synopsis: Hard-drinking journalist Paul Kemp takes a job at a besieged newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His volatile editor, Lotterman, assigns him to tourist pieces and horoscopes, but promises more. Paul rooms with Sala, an aging and equally alcoholic reporter, in a rundown flat. Sanderson, a wealthy entrepreneur, hires Paul to flack for a group of investors who plan to buy an island near the capital and build a resort. Sanderson's girl-friend, the beguiling Chenault, bats her eyes at Paul. His loyalties face challenges when he and Sala get in trouble with locals, when a Carnival dance enrages Sanderson, and when the paper hits the skids. Is the solution always alcohol?
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Bruce Robinson
Production: The Film District
  2 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
119 min


Oh, oh


Oh, oh, oh, oh

Let's fly way up

to the clouds

Away from

the maddening crowds

We can sing in the glow

of a star that I know of

Where lovers enjoy

peace of mind

Let us leave the confusion

And all disillusion behind

Just like birds of a feather

A rainbow together we'll find


Oh, oh

E cantare

Oh, oh, oh, oh

No wonder

my happy heart sings

Your love

has given me wings






Who is it?

Room service.

Ls it eggs?

I don't know, sir.

I didn't order it.

You want some water with that?

No, no.

No, I don't.

Looks like you had a night.

They look perfect.

Get out.

I intended to bring that

to the attention

of a member of staff.

I had some difficulty

getting it to open.

It's the little key

on the door key, sir.


I was looking for some nuts.

I tend to avoid alcohol.

When I can.


I don't speak Spanish.

Cuatro cincuenta.

No change.







No, no, no, no,

you're not listening.

I said the Pirates,

not the Yankees.

It's going to be

Roberto's year,

I'm telling you.

Looking for Mr. Lotterman.

End of the room.

No, no, the Pirates.

You guys are going

to be all over.

It's Roberto Clemente, man.

And by the way, I

want to talk about...

Not now!

He's having the Friday crisis.

You Kemp?


He was expecting you yesterday.

We had some weather.

Yeah, I heard.

Big snow in New York.

He's still on a call.

You want some coffee?

No, thanks.

What's all the fuss out front?

You came in the front?

We don't use that door.

Not when los jibaros pitch up.

What do they want?

I don't know.

Some f***ed idea

of a living wage.

They've been out there

on and off for months.

By the way, my name's Sala.

Bob Sala, staff photographer.

Pleased to meet you, Bob.


He's off.

You might want to try

another subservient knock.



Don't notice the wig.


Yeah. What?

If you're

who I think you are,

you better sit down.

You find it

a little bright in here?

I'd take them off,

but I have

a medical condition.

What do you mean, you're blind?

Conjunctivitis, sir.

The old red eye, huh?


You arrive at a very,

very trying time, Mr. Kemp.

One of those days stacking up.

So, uh, why don't we cut

through the niceties

and just get right to it, huh?

That's how I like to proceed.


Your resume here.


Very impressive CV.


You worked your way up

some interesting titles.

I really like

the "fluent Spanish."




This CV... This CV is

a bunch of bullshit.

Ls it?

This is two days on the wire.

A day dead.

We don't have it.


What is the matter with Moburg?

He's about as useful

as a dug-up body.


You see, the problem with

this newspaper, Mr. Kemp,

is that I am among many

who don't enjoy reading it.

We have an ailing circulation,

and I just have to

look around this building

to understand why.

Lack of commitment and

too much self-indulgence.

Mmm. Mmm.

So what I'm looking for

is some enthusiasm,

some energy,

some fresh blood.

And the question

that I'm asking myself

is how much alcohol

is usual in yours.

My fresh blood?

How much do you drink?

I suppose at

the upper end of "social."

I'm poised to give up.

Well, Puerto Rico may not be

the best place on Earth

to do that.

Mmm. Mmm.

Don't look so

anxious, Mr. Kemp.

I wouldn't have paid

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Bruce Robinson

Bruce Robinson (born 2 May 1946) is an English director, screenwriter, novelist and actor. He is arguably most famous for writing and directing the cult classic Withnail and I (1987), a film with comic and tragic elements set in London in the 1960s, which drew on his experiences as "a chronic alcoholic and resting actor, living in squalor" in Camden Town. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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