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Volcano (1997)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | 25 April 1997 (USA)
A volcano erupts in downtown Los Angeles, threatening to destroy the city.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Police Lieutenant Ed Fox
Norman Calder
Laurie Lathem ...
Bert Kramer ...
L.A. Fire Chief
Bo Eason ...
Terry Jasper (as James G. MacDonald)


Something unspeakably chilling is ultimately starting to heat up at The City of Los Angeles! Beneath the famed La Brea Tar Pits, a raging volcano has formed, raining a storm of deadly fire bombs and an endless tide of white-hot lava upon the stunned city! Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

volcano | earthquake | lava | rescue | fire | See All (99) »


It's Hotter than Hell! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense depiction of urban disaster and related injuries | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

25 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vulkan  »

Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$14,581,740 (USA) (25 April 1997)


$47,474,112 (USA) (1 August 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Amy Barnes tries to determine the time remaining for the lava to arrive at Cedars-Sinai Hospital to make an eruption, she concludes about 29 minutes. Curiously, Alan Silvestri's soundtrack for the movie has a length of about 29 minutes. See more »


When the fire truck that wrecks is on its side, the light bar on the roof is damaged, and stops working. A scene later, when Roark attempts to rescue the fireman trapped inside, the light bar is undamaged and functioning. See more »


Roark: [Roark ordered 200 "K-rails" ]
[freeway dividers]
Roark: to redirect the lava. Trucks arrive with only 82]Where's the rest of 'em?
Truck driver: What "rest of 'em?" This is it!
Lt. Fox: Hey, there only about eighty here!
Truck driver: Eighty-two; everything else is stuck on the 5 and the 10.
Lt. Fox: We're trying to keep the city in one piece, pinhead. Eighty rails ain't gonna do it!
Truck driver: So what are you blaming me for?
See more »


Where the Day Takes You
Written by Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman and Maxine Lapiduss
Performed by Wendy & Lisa
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Television
See more »

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User Reviews

Spews out the usual disaster movie clichés.
6 October 2013 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

In the mid-90s, the disaster movie experienced a revival thanks to the advancement of CGI technology, which made creating scenes of destruction on a massive scale far easier and more convincing than ever before; 1997 was the year of the volcano, seeing both the release of Universal's Dante's Peak, and this rather unimaginatively titled effort from 20th Century Fox, which starred Tommy Lee Jones as Office of Emergency Management director Mike Roark, who must try and prevent downtown LA from being entirely engulfed by lava that erupts from the La Brea tar pits.

A slick, major studio, big-budget summer blockbuster, Volcano naturally benefits from a solid cast and state of the art special effects, but proves less thrilling than the premise suggests thanks to a lack of genuinely exciting or particularly innovative set-pieces: too much of the action centres around Jones's attempts to stem the flow of lava, which travels at walking pace thereby presenting little danger to anyone but the elderly and the infirm; meanwhile, director Mick Jackson ticks off the expected clichés from his disaster movie checklist—personal dramas, heroic sacrifices, a sexy scientist, even a cute dog in peril—before wrapping matters up rather too neatly with a finale that delivers far too low a death toll to be truly satisfying.

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