MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 75 this week

Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  9 March 1990 (USA)
5.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.6/10 from 24,629 users  
Reviews: 189 user | 33 critic

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 Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available now. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 29 Dec 2010
 
a list of 25 titles
created 02 Apr 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 06 Jun 2011
 
a list of 34 titles
created 03 Sep 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 12 Sep 2012
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) on IMDb 5.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Joe Versus the Volcano.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An American flyer who joined the RAF before his country was in the war is recovering from a leg injury in Jerusalem. Through an English friend he meets a quiet Jewish girl whose close-knit ... See full summary »

Director: Moshé Mizrahi
Stars: Tom Hanks, Cristina Marsillach, Benedict Taylor
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
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
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
Volunteers (1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A successful ad man (Hanks) must juggle his ever-demanding career while his parents' marriage breaks up.

Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason, Eva Marie Saint
The Money Pit (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young couple struggles to repair a hopelessly dilapidated house.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, Alexander Godunov
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 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 | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 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
The 'Burbs (1989)
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An overstressed suburbanite and his paramilitaric neighbor struggle to prove their paranoid theory that the new family in town is a front for a cannibalistic cult.

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

A 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
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 (27) »

Taglines:

An Average Joe. An Adventurous Comedy. 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

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 books that Joe shows to Mr. Waturi describe the plot of the film: "Romeo and Juliet", "Robinson Crusoe", and "The Odyssey". See more »

Goofs

Joe and Anjelica must have taken an awfully circuitous route to go from LAX to Los Angeles, since the drive is through Culver City, not the Pacific Coast Highway. See more »

Quotes

Joe Banks: And why, I ask myself, why have I put up with you? I can't imagine, but now I know. Fear. Yellow freakin' fear. I've been too chicken shit afraid to live my life so I sold it to you for three hundred freakin' dollars a week!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Family Guy: Stuck Together, Torn Apart (2002) 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

 
Great talent - but too individual for today's film audience?
14 November 2004 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

The work of highly individual artists often prompts extreme

reactions in moviegoers. Based on the evidence of "Moonstruck"

and the woefully underrated "Joe Versus the Volcano," writer/director John Patrick Shanley could have developed into a

vital film figure on the level of a Frank Capra or Woody Allen, a

creator whose personal voice would have given him a distinctive

identity - potentially his artistic and commercial strength (or

undoing).

"Joe Versus the Volcano" has its occasional shortcomings, but its

sheer conceptual audacity set it apart from the film fare of its day.

Now, nearly a decade and a half after its premiere, the quality of

the dialogue alone reminds us how far our THX-ed out, Dolbyed-out, effects-obsessed movie "culture" has fallen.

The plot combines fantasy and satire in equal proportions. Joe

(Tom Hanks), a seemingly passive man who's worked at a

dreadful, abusive, dead-end job for years is told he has an

incurable disease (authoritatively diagnosed by physician Robert

Stack as a "brain cloud.") Joe quits his job and receives an offer

the next morning to go on an all-expenses paid journey to a tiny

island...that will culminate with his leap into a volcano!

Meg Ryan portrays three separate characters, and her glee in

masking her "All-American Sweetheart" screen persona is

palpable, particularly in the first segment. Even the occasional

gambits that fall slightly flat (for instance, Abe Vigoda's turn as a

leader of island natives obsessed with orange soda) cannot

seriously mar the overall brilliance of Shanley's work.

As it turned out, the box-office failure of "Volcano" didn't deter

Hanks and Ryan from reteaming for the enormously popular but

comparatively colorless "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got

Mail." (It's probably no accident that these were far safer

commercial bets than "Joe," both owing large debts to earlier

movies.)

On the other hand, John Patrick Stanley has returned to crafting

plays for live theater, apparently for good; one hopes his finely

tuned ear and immense imagination will flourish in an environment that's largely removed from the demographic

panderings of Wal-Mart Nation. His gain is our loss.

Earlier, I mentioned Frank Capra as a semi-analogue to Shanley.

Perhaps this comparison may help: If you are one of the many who

can't abide Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," you probably should

stay away from "Joe Versus the Volcano" as though you had the

plague...or even a "brain cloud."

9/10


35 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
When does the dream sequence actually begin? spam-183
Film's esoteric meaning, that only a few truly understand hawk102256
Bringing up the ending again. joe-england
Was I the only one who liked this movie? tvdramafreak
My theory on Joe vs. the Volcano ncfrank23
Favorite Quotes ilovemovies2
Discuss Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?