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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 24,492 users  
Reviews: 189 user | 34 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
...
...
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 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 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  »
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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 enters the factory turnstile (view from the back), the man next in line is not the same man behind him when Joe gets hit by the turnstile (view from the front). This might be deliberate on the part of the film makers. When he walks through the parking lot, most of the people around him are dressed as blue-collar workers (open collars and jackets). When he enters the gate, most of the people behind him are white collar workers (jacket and tie under overcoat). See more »

Quotes

Joe Banks: And Frank, the coffee. It stinks. It tastes like arsenic. These lights give me a headache; if they don't give you a headache, you must be dead, so let's arrange the funeral!
See more »


Soundtracks

Blue Moon
Written by Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers
Performed by Elvis Presley
used during the New York hotel night
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly Good, Unfortunately overlooked
14 December 2002 | by (Richmond, Va) – See all my reviews

Tom Hanks has made many movies, most of which are very funny, emotional, and heartwarming. This movies is different from all his other movies: it is a work of art. Every scene has its own idiosyncrasies. Ordinary characters and settings have subtle emotional undertones that tug at the heartstrings. Dan Hedaya and Sam Waterstone's performances, though humorous, have a tone that is more than the sum of its parts. Color and scenery also have a hidden beauty, such as in the scene with Joe's glowing warm in his cold, blue office, or the scene with the dog and child as he exits the doctor's office, or the scene with him all alone at his table at the hotel. I first saw the movie when I was 11 years old, even then, its beauty struck me. That beauty was well capped off by the montage during the end credits. Apparently, John Patrick Shanley, or someone, put alot of work in an otherwise ordinary movie. Imagine if Stanley Kuprick had directed "You've Got mail." I'm surprised that the movie is not better known, especially that it is a big turning point in Tom Hanks career. Admittedly, his screen presence compensates for Meg Ryan's lackluster acting at times. She was best as a brunette and redhead than acting as herself. Nevertheless, a good movie, one to own and not just rent.


24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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
My theory on Joe vs. the Volcano ncfrank23
Was I the only one who liked this movie? tvdramafreak
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