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Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

PG | | Comedy, Romance | 9 March 1990 (USA)
When a hypochondriac learns that he is dying, he accepts an offer to throw himself in a volcano at a tropical island, and along the way there, learns to truly live.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joe
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...
...
...
...
Barry McGovern ...
...
...
Jayne Haynes ...
Nurse
David Burton ...
Mike
Jon Conrad Pochron ...
Tony (as Jon Pochran)
...
Fred - Guard
Antoni Gatti ...
Italian Tailor
Darrell Zwerling ...
Underwear Salesman
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Storyline

Joe versus the Volcano is a fable which opens with somewhat surrealistic scenes of the dehumanization of Joe Bank's job and work environment (at a company whose product rather literally screws people) with imagery that seems to have been inspired by the classic film Metropolis. Joe is diagnosed with an incurable disease, quits his dehumanizing job, and accepts an offer to briefly "live like a king, die like a man" - but to fulfill his agreement he must willingly jump into a live volcano on the island of Waponi Woo in order to appease the volcano god. En route to the island, Joe meets a series of interesting characters in NYC and LA, then boards a yacht, captained by Patricia Graynamore. During the voyage Joe and Patricia survive disaster, fall in love, and finally arrive at the island where they face their destiny. Written by <talford@mitre.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | volcano | love | tropical | yacht | See All (28) »

Taglines:

A story of love, lava and burning desire. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joe contra el volcán  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,252,232 (USA) (11 March 1990)

Gross:

$39,404,261 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer's (John Patrick Shanley) trademark: one lover telling the other not to leave them 'in the stinkin' earth without them'. See more »

Goofs

When DeDe walks into Joe's apartment at the end of their date, she places her handbag on the floor a few steps across from the door. When she comes back in to get the bag because she forgot it after she leaves, she reaches for the bag just inside the door. See more »

Quotes

Patricia: Whither thou goest, I go.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Bad Teacher/Cars 2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Street Where You Live
Written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe
Performed and Arranged by Peter Gordon
used in the Mexican restaurant; sung in Spanish by the mariachi band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of my all time favorites
11 January 2005 | by (VA) – See all my reviews

I am one of the few who saw this on the big screen TWICE when it opened. This is the movie I would take to the desert island, which miraculously has electricity a big screen and a DVD player. This is one of those rare films where every single character, no matter how minor, has a major impact on the hero and the plot. This film is also rare because the Lion's share of the funny and insightful dialogue belongs to the minor characters and not the protagonists. You have to love a movie where a luggage salesman is a major plot milestone. Ossie Davis is excellent as the wise Limo driver, Lloyd Bridges is hilarious, Tom Hanks is of course everyman, and Meg Ryan, in one of her funniest roles, is actually "every woman". "You know, the first time I saw you I thought that I had seen you before." A witty hero is commonplace and witty cast is truly memorable.

The movie is probably too allegorical for most tastes, but this is a great tale about a character afraid of life, afraid of that next step, who finds his courage and puts his foot forward again.

All in all this is one of the best kinds of movies, Funny and Hopeful.


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