In 1883, ship captain Hanson plans a shipwreck salvage mission in The Dutch East Indies to retrieve a cargo of pearls but an unexpected volcano eruption and a state-ordered transport of convicts upset his plans.
A documentary on the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in the Sunda Strait of Indonesia, bringing tsunamis, rains of pumice and ash, and a deadly flow of hot steam, sulfuric acid, and ash. More than 36,000 died; survivors had bad burns.
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The Dutch East Indies, in the late 19th century. Capt. Hanson of the "Batavia Queen" is preparing to embark on a salvage expedition. His mistress, Laura, knows the location of a ship belonging to her late husband, a shipwreck concealing a cargo of rare pearls. A diver and a diving bell are aboard ship. But a government agent coerces Hanson into accepting a shipment of convicts for the ship's hold. The wreck lies dangerously close to the erupting volcano on the island of Krakatoa, where Laura's young son attends the convent school... Written by
At the time this was in production, Rome was building an extension of its subway system. Some of the excavated dirt was piled on the back lot at Cinecitta. Eugène Lourié made arrangements to use the 70-foot mound of dirt as one of the miniatures of Krakatoa. See more »
When Laura spots Peter through the telescope, Peter is looking off at an angle as if he is waving and smiling at a second ship that is present. See more »
This film was shot using Super Panavision 70 and Todd-AO formats for presentation in single-strip Cinerama. The opening title sequence has the image devided into three frames just like the original three-strip Cinerama. See more »
The film's title invites the irresistible observation, and convenient movie review, "Krakatoa is West of Java." The movie's story is likewise without direction. For what seems like an interminable length of time, the volcano Krakatoa spurts and sputters -- you are teased by the threatening eruption. During this time, the film should be providing its great characterizations; so, you really care about the people who are soon to be blanketed with volcanic lava and/or tsunami waters. That doesn't exactly happen.
Some of the special effects are explosive. Stars Maximilian Schell (as Captain Hanson) and Diane Baker (as Laura) are fine performers, who seem to be trying their best with the material. Brian Keith (as Connerly) is wasted. Sal Mineo (as Leoncavallo) is the best supporting player; though the director cuts away from him a little too soon following a nice "goodbye" scene with father Rossano Brazzi, it shows the most unused potential. Mr. Mineo resembles Marlon Brando in pensive medium shots -- too bad he didn't get more Brando-caliber scripts.
**** Krakatoa, East of Java (1969) Bernard L. Kowalski ~ Maximilian Schell, Diane Baker, Sal Mineo
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