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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:
...
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
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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:

An Average Joe. An Adventurous Comedy. 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)

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

There are at least four references to losing one's soul:
  • in the song "Sixteen Tons" played at the start of the movie, the lyric "I sold my soul to the company store"


  • Joe responds to DeDe's question in the factory while inspecting his damaged shoe


  • Patricia's reference to being soul sick the first night on the yacht


  • several lines involving the Waponi's Tobi Chief such as when Joe states that he hopes the chief will not lose his Tobi (soul).


See more »

Goofs

In the storm scene, Joe and Patricia are facing each other (having just kissed) when the boom hits Patricia in the back of the head. In the subsequent cut, she is flung (face-first) into the ocean, but Joe is nowhere to be seen - she would have taken him with her, or at least knocked him over. He's also taller than she is, so he would have been hit too (clearly, nobody had time to duck). See more »

Quotes

Joe Banks: I bribed them to sing a song that would drive us insane and make our hearts swell and burst.
See more »


Soundtracks

Marooned Without You
Music by Georges Delerue
Lyrics by John Patrick Shanley
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User Reviews

 
One of the most overlooked movies ever
29 November 2004 | by (Hurricane, W.Va.) – See all my reviews

In complete seriousness, I can say "Joe Versus The Volcano" is one of the best movies ever to come out of Hollywood. Sadly, it's also one of the most overlooked movies ever made. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan both are absolutely fantastic in this movie that really is an allegory about life. The movie has a fantastic script, is directed beautifully and stands up to the test of time. Hanks is at his comedic best as the soul-sick Joe, and Ryan is fantastic in her three roles. Why this movie didn't do better (despite a lack of promotion) is beyond me. It is one seems like one of those word-of-mouth movies that just keep getting bigger. I saw it three times in the theater, watched it numerous times on video and purchased the DVD the day it came out. But it's OK, I know a hidden gem when I see it.


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