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Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  9 March 1990 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 23,809 users  
Reviews: 188 user | 31 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.

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Title: Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joe
...
DeDe / Angelica / Patricia
...
Graynamore
...
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 | yacht | love | tropical | See more »

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 Versus the Volcano  »

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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The company logo is seen in the entrance to the factory, in the crumbling wall in Joe's house, in the shape of the lightning bolt that sinks the boat, in the way up to the volcano, and, in the film's trailer (included on the DVD) is the lightning bolt that travels up the film's title and strikes the top. See more »

Goofs

Joe buys four steamer trunks, but when afloat in the ocean there are 12 strapped together. Later, when they bob to the surface, there are only four again. See more »

Quotes

Luggage Salesman: Have you thought much about luggage, Mr. Banks?
Joe Banks: No.
Luggage Salesman: It's the central preoccupation of my life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Time Tomorrow (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Ol'Man River
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Jerome Kern
Performed by Ray Charles
used following the doctor's diagnosis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Without a doubt one of the greatest movies ever made.
30 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a very tough critic, and most movies are nothing but incredible disappointments for me. However, Joe vs. the Volcano is a movie that I can honestly say is a cinematic masterpiece. When people call this a romantic comedy, they are committing a great injustice to this film. That is not to say that there is not romantic comedy in the story, but to say that it is the point of the film is monumentally short sighted. The real story in Joe vs. the Volcano is about coming to terms with yourself, finding that spark that we spend our lives searching for. It is about discovering our humanity and what that entails. Normally, this would end up being pretentious and sophomoric crap, but because the heavy subject matter is taken so lightly, we are treated to a modern fairy tale that runs the gamut in terms of emotional impact. The performances are stellar and to this day I have never enjoyed Tom Hanks more, the direction pays tribute to classic films with cinephillic glee, and the soundtrack is simply superb. 10 out of 10!


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Film's esoteric meaning, that only a few truly understand hawk102256
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