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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

When DeDe walks into Joe's apartment at the end of their date, she places her handbag on the floor a few steps across from the door. When she comes back in to get the bag because she forgot it after she leaves, she reaches for the bag just inside the door. See more »

Quotes

Joe Banks: [shouting] Take me... to... the volcano!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Más que nada
Written by Jorge Ben Jor (as Jorge Ben)
Performed by Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66
used during the New York shopping spree
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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