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Dante's Peak (1997)

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A vulcanologist arrives at a countryside town recently named the second most desirable place to live in America and discovers that the long dormant volcano, Dante's Peak, may wake up at any moment.



4,871 ( 601)
4 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Reddy ...
Bill Bolender ...
Carole Androsky ...
Mary Kelly (as Carol Androsky)


Volcanologist Harry Dalton and mayor Rachel Wando of Dante's Peak try to convince the city council and the other volcanologists that the volcano right above Dante's peak is indeed dangerous. People's safety is being set against economical interests. Written by Rune Dahl Fitjar <rfitjar@online.no>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

volcano | mayor | lava | ash | escape | See All (141) »


The pressure is building... See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disaster related peril and gore | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Danteov vrh  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$116,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,479,435 (USA) (7 February 1997)


$67,155,742 (USA) (6 June 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


All crater scenes were shot at Mt St Helens. See more »


When Harry and Terry are measuring the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the caldera, the instrument probe is protruding out the open cabin door into the helicopter down wash. Sulfur dioxide is more than twice as dense as air; it may seem highly unlikely that this technique would provide any meaningful results, but the instrument that Harry and Terry are using is a Barrington Correlation Spectrometer (COSPEC), which measures SO2 concentration by comparing the difference in UV spectrum seen by the instrument to a known value. Therefore, the depicted use of the instrument is correct, and is in fact the same way volcanologists measured SO2 levels prior to the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991. See more »


Paul Dreyfus: Harry, listen... for what it's worth... you were right and I was wrong.
See more »


Featured in 30 Greatest Disaster Movies (2015) See more »


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User Reviews

Enjoy the fireworks.
16 July 2007 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

The 'old-fashioned' disaster movie scenario enjoyed a brief resurgence in the latter half of the 90s. After the success of Twister and ID4, films like Hard Rain, Titanic, Armageddon and Deep Impact followed in its wake. Like the two competing asteroid movies, Dante's Peak was in competition with the imaginatively named Volcano as THE Lava flow of 1997. Which one is better? Well, comparing the two is like comparing an atomic blast to a popping pimple.

Pierce Brosnan is Harry Dalton, a Vulcanologist (or James Bond in disguise if you want) who predicts a major eruption in the quaint Pacific-Northwestern town of Dante's Peak. No one wants to listen to him since the town has just been named the 2nd most desirable place to live in America and is in the early stages of a thriving economy. It's the politics from Jaws all over again. Despite being shouted down by his superiors, Harry sticks around to keep his eye on the imposing mountain and woo Mayor Wando (Linda Hamilton), who is the only one who believes the 4000-year dormant volcano might blow its top.

If you've seen one disaster movie, you've seen 'em all in terms of character importance. Yes, it's bloody obvious who is going to die, some of these people might as well have a death clock counting down stuck on their foreheads. And the panicking idiot mobs don't deserve anything less firey. When will nameless extras learn that following the crowd isn't the best way? I guess this is the weakest part of Dante's Peak, it never really distances itself from that single, eternal cliché of disaster films.

But the film is really nothing but a showcase for special effects and it does them surprisingly well. Made before the extreme popularity of CGI, Dante's Peak has a lot of real-life destruction, in-camera effects and stunt-work. Yes, there is a fair bit of CGI and for a 10-year-old film they still hold up really well. All Volano (Zzzz...) had to offer was a very, very slight lava flow and an unintentionally hilarious scene with a melting man but with Dante's Peak we get earthquakes, boiled skinny dippers, lakes of acid, ash blizzards that create a unique atmosphere, thunder and lightning, red hot boulders raining down from the sky, mudslides, lava (of course), a massive pyroclastic cloud and lots of deep, deep bass sound effects.

It's not a life-changing film by any means, but as disaster movies go it's one of the best, has an occasionally spooky score and entertains really well despite Brosnan taking it all so seriously. I would have given it a higher rating if they killed the dog (more original) and deleted the annoying Grant Heslov's utterly pointless character.

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