5.7/10
29,614
201 user 38 critic

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.

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Volunteers (1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Lawrence is a rich kid with a bad accent and a large debt. After his father refuses to help him out, Lawrence escapes his angry debtors by jumping on a Peace Corp flight to Southeast Asia, ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Tom Hanks, John Candy, Rita Wilson
Dragnet (1987)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The equally-straight-laced and "by the book" nephew of Joe Friday must work with his more laid-back partner to solve a mystery.

Director: Tom Mankiewicz
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer
The Money Pit (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young couple struggles to repair a hopelessly dilapidated house.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, Alexander Godunov
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson
Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A man picked randomly out of a crowd is made the target of CIA survelliance and pursuit.

Director: Stan Dragoti
Stars: Tom Hanks, Lori Singer, Dabney Coleman
The 'Burbs (1989)
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An overstressed suburbanite and his fellow neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher
Splash (1984)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not knowing who/what she is.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A soon-to-be-married man's friends throw him the ultimate bachelor party.

Director: Neal Israel
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tawny Kitaen, Adrian Zmed
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A highly successful advertising executive decides to put his job on hold after getting an update from his father that he and his wife are divorced and decides to extend his break after revealing that his father is a diabetic.

Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason, Eva Marie Saint
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After his mistress runs over a young teen, a Wall Street hotshot sees his life unravel in the spotlight, and attracting the interest of a down and out reporter.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A recently widowed man's son calls a radio talk-show in an attempt to find his father a partner.

Director: Nora Ephron
Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger
Punchline (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The ... See full summary »

Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Sally Field, Tom Hanks, John Goodman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joe
...
DeDe / Angelica / Patricia
...
...
Dr. Ellison
...
Chief of the Waponis
...
Mr. Waturi
Barry McGovern ...
Luggage Salesman
...
Dagmar
...
Marshall
Jayne Haynes ...
Nurse
David Burton ...
Mike
Jon Conrad Pochron ...
Tony (as Jon Pochran)
...
Fred - Guard
Antoni Gatti ...
Italian Tailor
Darrell Zwerling ...
Underwear Salesman
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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)

Gross:

$39,404,261 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The lamp that Joe brings into his office displays the future events in the movie, including the yacht, a volcano (with the same twisting road), a large full moon, and plays the film's theme song, "Marooned Without You". See more »

Goofs

When Joe sits on the beach all night and the sun rises in the morning, the light casts onto Joe from the bottom up, rather than the top down as would be expected naturally. See more »

Quotes

Samuel Harvey Graynamore: There's an island in the South Pacific called Waponi Woo. The name means little island with a big volcano. Now, the Waponis are a cheerful people who live a simple existence, fishing in the lagoon, picking fruit. Their one fear is that big volcano. They call it the big Woo. They believe, that an angry fire god in the volcano will sink the island! Unless, once every 100 years he is appeased. It's been 99 years, 11 months and 11 days since the fire god got his propers and the Waponis are scared!
Joe Banks: ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Marooned Without You
Music by Georges Delerue
Lyrics by John Patrick Shanley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Quirky is not a dirty word...
18 March 2001 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

...yet this eccentric comedy never quite found its niche with the public, and I don't know why. It's beautifully produced and written, wonderfully acted and endlessly weird (how many films can you say that about?). When sad-sack Tom Hanks decides to give up his life for a few days of luxury, we understand because his existence may be a lot like ours: glum office job with lime walls, dirty floors, unpleasant co-workers, bad coffee and fluorescent lights on the fritz. When he's out to sea, floating on his luggage, he sees shapes in the sky at night that light up his face; he may be in a precarious position, stranded on the ocean, but he's the happiest and most alive he's ever been. What a wonderful moment in a movie chock-full of smart, sneaky laugh lines and throwaway bits of business that stay with one, growing beloved in the memory. Screenwriter John Patrick Shanley, also making his directorial debut, has a fine sense of pacing and a keen eye for the absurd beauty in our midst. Only in the final reel does the construction of the plot stumble, however this is due to film studio interference. ***1/2 from ****


50 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?