IMDb > Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
Joe Versus the Volcano
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Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) More at IMDbPro »

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Joe Versus the Volcano -- Laughs erupt when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan fall in love and fall in lava in Joe Versus the Volcano, written and directed by Oscar winner John Patrick Shanley.
Joe Versus the Volcano -- 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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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
John Patrick Shanley (written by)
View company contact information for Joe Versus the Volcano on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 March 1990 (USA) See more »
An Average Joe. An Adventurous Comedy. See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Great talent - but too individual for today's film audience? See more (199 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tom Hanks ... Joe

Meg Ryan ... DeDe / Angelica / Patricia

Lloyd Bridges ... Graynamore

Robert Stack ... Dr. Ellison

Abe Vigoda ... Chief of the Waponis

Dan Hedaya ... Mr. Waturi
Barry McGovern ... Luggage Salesman

Amanda Plummer ... Dagmar

Ossie Davis ... Marshall
Jayne Haynes ... Nurse
David Burton ... Mike
Jon Conrad Pochron ... Tony (as Jon Pochran)

Jim Hudson ... Fred - Guard
Antoni Gatti ... Italian Tailor
Darrell Zwerling ... Underwear Salesman
Jim Ryan ... Bellman
Karl Rumburg ... Ralph
Brian Esteban ... Emo - Waponi Lookout

Nathan Lane ... Baw - The Waponi Advance Man
Wally Ruiz ... Spanish Singer
Guillermo Guzman ... Spanish Singer
Tommy Franco ... Spanish Singer
Tony Salome ... Clerk
Courtney Gibbs ... Saleswoman

Lala Sloatman ... Waitress (as Lala)
Jennifer Stewart ... Statue of Liberty
William Ward ... Salesman - Hammacher Schlemmer

Carol Kane ... Hairdresser (as Lisa LeBlanc)
Paul Michael Thorpe ... God Woo
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Kevin Ash ... Pierre bell hop (uncredited)
Scott Ditty ... Waponi Warrior (uncredited)
Jack E. Herman ... Waponi Warrior (uncredited)
Sidney S. Liufau ... Waponi (uncredited)
Beverly Overstreet ... Female Waponi at Feast (uncredited)

Branscombe Richmond ... Waponi (uncredited)

Directed by
John Patrick Shanley 
Writing credits
John Patrick Shanley (written by)

Produced by
Kathleen Kennedy .... executive producer
Frank Marshall .... executive producer
Roxanne Rogers .... associate producer
Teri Schwartz .... producer
Steven Spielberg .... executive producer
Original Music by
Georges Delerue 
Peter Gordon 
Cinematography by
Stephen Goldblatt (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Richard Halsey 
Kenneth Wannberg 
Casting by
Marion Dougherty 
Production Design by
Bo Welch 
Art Direction by
Tom Duffield 
Set Decoration by
Cheryl Carasik 
Costume Design by
Colleen Atwood 
Robert Chase 
Sue Moore 
Makeup Department
Lon Bentley .... makeup artist: Hawaii
Lyle Carter .... hair stylist: Hawaii
Paulette Crammond .... makeup artist: Hawaii
Leonard Engelman .... makeup artist
Susan Germaine .... hair stylist
Albert Jeyte .... makeup artist: Hawaii
Sheri Lee .... makeup artist: Hawaii
Ellis Lierow .... hair stylist: Hawaii
Barbara Lorenz .... hair stylist
Maya Pruett .... makeup artist: Hawaii
Daniel C. Striepeke .... makeup artist: Tom Hanks
Nancy Wilder .... makeup artist: Hawaii
David Yerks .... hair stylist: Hawaii
Allegra Curtis .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Ian Bryce .... unit production manager
Edward K. Dodds .... unit production manager: Hawaii
Lee Haas .... unit production manager: New York
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yvonne Davis .... second assistant director: Hawaii
Ed Dessisso .... second assistant director: New York
Alan Edmisten .... second assistant director
William M. Elvin .... first assistant director
Jerry Leeds .... first assistant director: New York
Lucille OuYang .... second second assistant director
Frank Davis .... additional second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Carl Aldana .... production illustrator
Paul J. Campanella .... stand-by painter
William D. Derham .... assistant property master (as Bill Derham)
R. Scott Doran .... swing gang
Richard Drake .... set dresser: Hawaii
Ann Harmon .... art department researcher
Rick Heinrichs .... set designer
Jack Johnson .... production illustrator (as John 'Jack' Johnson)
Fred Lucky .... production illustrator
David Manhan .... swing gang
Richard F. Mays .... set designer
Frank McEldowney .... greensman
Chuck McSorley .... lead man
David Moon .... scenic artist: New York (as Dave Moon)
Nick Navarro .... set designer
Mike Sasgen .... carpenter
Tom Shaw Jr. .... property master
Stosh Stern .... set dresser: New York
John Villarino .... construction coordinator
Wallace Wong .... greensman
John Alvin .... poster artist (uncredited)
Irwin 'Eppy' Epstein .... greens (uncredited)
Craig K. Lewis .... set dresser (uncredited)
Valerie Sofranko .... scenic painter (uncredited)
Mike Villarino .... construction foreman (uncredited)
Clyde Zimmerman .... paint supervisor (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gordon Davidson .... dialogue editor
Greg Dillon .... dialogue editor
Joaquin Elizalde .... assistant sound editor
John Elizalde .... sound effects editor (as Jon Elizalde)
Mark C. Grech .... cable person
Jeff Haas .... boom operator: New York
Carl Mahakian .... foley editor
Dennis Maitland .... production sound mixer: New York
Donald O. Mitchell .... re-recording mixer
Dan O'Connell .... foley artist
Lauren Palmer .... adr editor
Gary Parker .... sound recordist: New York
Tally Paulos .... adr editor
Jerry Pirozzi .... assistant sound editor
Troy Porter .... adr mixer
Greg P. Russell .... re-recording mixer
Timothy P. Salmon .... boom operator
Kirk Schuler .... sound effects editor
Gary Shepherd .... sound effects editor
Alicia Stevenson .... foley artist
William L. Stevenson .... supervising sound editor
Elliot Tyson .... re-recording mixer
Keith A. Wester .... production sound mixer
Jack Keller .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Douglas Vaughan .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
David Amborn .... special effects
Stanley Amborn .... special effects foreman (as Stan Amborn)
James Fredburg .... special effects (as Jim Fredburg)
Greg C. Jensen .... special effects
David Kirk .... special effects
Richard Lopez .... special effects
Jeffrey Machit .... special effects (as Jeffrey C. Machit)
Richard Ratliff .... special effects
Paul Tremaine .... special effects: Hawaii
Joseph A. Unsinn .... special effects supervisor
Roland Blancaflor .... special effects technician: Robert Short Productions (uncredited)
Michael Meier .... pyrotechnician (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Carl Assmus .... stage crew
Tom Bertino .... animation supervisor
Anne Calanchini .... visual effects coordinator
Dave Carson .... visual effects supervisor (as David I. Carson)
Jo Carson .... matte photography
Lanny Cermak .... camera engineer
Terry Chostner .... visual effects cameraman
Charlie Clavadetscher .... special effects camera operator
Elyse Couvillion .... visual effects camera assistant (as Elise Couvillion)
Bernie Demolski .... stage crew
Dick Dova .... visual effects key grip
Bob Finley III .... visual effects gaffer
Rolf Fleischmann .... optical effects assistant
Bill George .... model shop supervisor
Brian Gernand .... model maker
Ray Gilberti .... visual effects cameraman
John Goodson .... model maker
Ned Gorman .... visual effects coordinator
Joanne Hafner .... rotoscope artist
Janet Healy .... visual effects producer
David Heron .... visual effects rigger
Philip Heron .... stage crew (as Phil Heron)
Edward Hirsh .... project manager
Tony Hudson .... chief model maker
Tony Hudson .... project supervisor: ILM
Peg Hunter .... optical line-up
Rod M. Janusch .... stage crew
Harley Jessup .... visual effects art director (as Harly Jessup)
Brad Kuehn .... optical photography supervisor
James Lim .... optical camera operator
Keith London .... model maker
Kim Marks .... visual effects cameraman
Patrick McArdle .... visual effects camera assistant
Patrick T. Myers .... special effects camera operator
Lori J. Nelson .... optical line-up
Buck O'Hare .... stage crew
Michael Ohta .... stage crew (as Mike Ohta)
Michael Olague .... stage crew (as Mike Olague)
Alan Peterson .... model maker
Thomas Rosseter .... optical line-up
Mark Siegel .... chief model maker
Thomas J. Smith .... optical camera operator (as Tom Smith)
Mitch Suskin .... optical effects supervisor
Kathleen Swain .... concept illustrator
Tom Sylla .... assistant visual effects editor
Larry Tan .... chief model maker
Yusei Uesugi .... matte artist
Bruce Walters .... special effects camera supervisor
Judith Weaver .... animation coordinator
Debra Wolff .... visual effects editor (as Debra Wolfe)
Susan Adele Colletta .... visual effects post production coordinator (uncredited)
Greg Maloney .... optical lineup: ILM (uncredited)
John Ashby .... stunts
Ted Barba .... stunts
Jeff Bornstein .... stunts
John Cade .... stunts
Ralph D. Carpenter .... stunts (as Ralph Carpenter)
Eric Chambers .... stunts
Phil Chong .... stunts
Clarke Coleman .... stunts
Tom Davidson .... stunts
Brian Davis .... stunts
Christopher Doyle .... stunts
Bill Erickson .... stunt coordinator (as William Erickson)
Sandra Lee Gimpel .... stunts (as Sandy Gimpel)
Mark Ginther .... stunts
Jeff Jensen .... stunts
Brett A. Jones .... stunts
Gary Littlejohn .... stunts
Solly Marx .... stunts
Jim Morange .... stunts (as James C. Morance)
J. Suzanne Rampe .... stunts
Lynn Salvatori .... stunts
Paul E. Short .... stunts (as Paul Short)
Gunter Simon .... stunts
James Rod Stone .... stunts
Robert 'Bobby Z' Zajonc .... stunts (as Bob Zajonc)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jamie Anderson .... additional camera operator
Red Burke .... chief lighting technician: New York
Andrew Casey .... second assistant camera: New York
Ray De La Motte .... camera operator
Angelo Di Giacomo .... first assistant camera: New York
Danny Falkengren .... dolly grip (as Dan Axel Falkengren)
Tim Griffith .... chief lighting technician (as Timothy J. Griffith)
Emil Hampton .... second assistant camera
Robert Ikeda .... electrician
Michael Kelem .... aerial camera operator
Patrick Marshall .... rigging gaffer
Geary McLeod .... first assistant camera
Hal Nelson .... best boy grip
Walter Nichols .... assistant chief lighting technician
Jane O'Neal .... still photographer
Richard Rose .... key grip: New York
Charles Saldana .... key grip
Chris Silano .... second assistant camera: New York (as Chris Salano)
Steven H. Smith .... additional camera operator (as Steve Smith)
Robert L. Blatman .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Vincent Contarino .... rigging gaffer (uncredited)
James M. Cox .... electrician (uncredited)
Gordon Hayes .... electrician (uncredited)
Leonard Romie .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Robert Zullo .... rigging grip (uncredited)
Animation Department
Sean Turner .... animator
Casting Department
Owens Hill .... casting assistant
Franklyn Warren .... extras casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Win Anderson .... costumer: Hawaii
Robert Chase .... costume supervisor: men
Allegra Curtis .... costumer: Hawaii
Patricia Eiben .... costumer: New York (as Patty Eiben)
Sue Moore .... costume supervisor: women
Hartsell Taylor .... costumer: New York (as Hartzell Taylor)
Melissa Antablin .... costumer (uncredited)
Kelly Porter .... costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Catherine Best .... second assistant editor
Ron Fode .... negative cutter
Colleen Halsey .... first assistant editor
Ron Lambert .... color timer
Location Management
Lynn Kuwahara .... location manager
George McDowell Agnew .... location manager
Mike Sampson .... location manager: New York
Tom Summers .... location supervisor: Hawaii
Music Department
Kenneth Wannberg .... music editor
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited)
Robert Fernandez .... scoring mixer (uncredited)
David Van Tieghem .... musician (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Stan Burden .... transportation supervisor: Hawaii
Steve Collins .... transportation coordinator
Daniel Quick .... transportation captain (as Daniel C. Quick)
Charles Renfroe .... transportation co-captain
John Rodrigues .... transportation captain: Hawaii
Ben Salomone .... transportation captain: New York
Bobby Marsh .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Donovan Ahuna .... craft service: Hawaii
Summer Banner .... script supervisor: Hawaii
Stanley Bogest .... production accountant: New York
Stanley Brossette .... unit publicist
Catherine Cederquist .... assistant production secretary
Bob Dunn .... animal handler (as Robert Dunn)
Chris Silver Finigan .... production accountant
Jack Gallagher .... production aide
Roberto Gonzales-Rubio .... production aide
Angela Heald .... production secretary
Kurt Hessler .... production aide
Nancy Hopton .... script supervisor
David P.I. James .... production assistant (as David James)
Sarah James .... assistant production secretary
Jamie Kehoe .... craft service
Grace Kerr .... production secretary: Hawaii
Oliver Konia .... first aid: Hawaii
Adeline Leonard Seakwood .... production secretary: New York
Molly M. Mayeux .... production aide
Isamu Oshiro .... first aid: Hawaii
Ellen Pasternack .... unit publicist
Jason Roberts .... production aide
Richard W. Scarpone .... craft service
Robert Short .... mechanical hammerhead shark designer
Michelle Skoby .... assistant: Ms. Schwartz
Laurie Arnow-Epstein .... construction accountant (uncredited)
Jack E. Herman .... extras set coordinator (uncredited)
Shauna L. Kroen .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Terry Odem .... assistant: Tom Hanks (uncredited)
Robert 'Bobby Z' Zajonc .... aerial coordinator (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

When Joe and DeDe leave the restaurant, there is a billboard on the left with a picture of an erupting volcano and the words "Fire in Paradise".See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Joe Banks:[shouting] Take me... to the volcano!See more »
Movie Connections:
Sixteen TonsSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
38 out of 52 people found the following review useful.
Great talent - but too individual for today's film audience?, 14 November 2004
Author: markmatthew from Kentucky

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


"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


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."


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