7.1/10
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Under the Volcano (1984)

The last 24 hours in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a lonely, depressed English consul who retreats to alcohol for solace.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Malcolm Lowry (novel), Guy Gallo (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Finney ... Geoffrey Firmin
Jacqueline Bisset ... Yvonne Firmin
Anthony Andrews ... Hugh Firmin
Ignacio López Tarso ... Dr. Vigil (as Ignacio Lopez Tarzo)
Katy Jurado ... Senora Gregoria
James Villiers James Villiers ... Brit
Dawson Bray Dawson Bray ... Quincey
Carlos Riquelme ... Bustamante
Jim McCarthy Jim McCarthy ... Gringo
José René Ruiz José René Ruiz ... Dwarf (as Rene Ruiz 'Tun-Tun')
Eleazar Garcia Jr. Eleazar Garcia Jr. ... Chief of Gardens
Salvador Sánchez ... Chief of Stockyards (as Salvador Sanchez)
Sergio Calderón ... Chief of Municipality (as Sergio Calderon)
Araceli Ladewuen Castelun Araceli Ladewuen Castelun ... Maria
Emilio Fernández ... Diosdado (as Emilio Fernandez)
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Storyline

Against a background of war breaking out in Europe and the Mexican fiesta Day of Death, we are taken through one day in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a British consul living in alcoholic disrepair and obscurity in a small southern Mexican town in 1939. The Consul's self-destructive behaviour, perhaps a metaphor for a menaced civilization, is a source of perplexity and sadness to his nomadic, idealistic half-brother, Hugh, and his ex-wife, Yvonne, who has returned with hopes of healing Geoffrey and their broken marriage. Written by Eric Wees <eric_wees@ccmail.chin.doc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No se puede vivir sin amar. (One cannot live without love.)

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Mr Bongo Films

Country:

Mexico | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

13 June 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Under the Volcano See more »

Filming Locations:

Acapantzingo, Morelos, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,000, 17 June 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,556,800
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Conacite Uno,Ithaca See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

78 year old (at the time) director John Huston was the seventh and first successful person to option and film Malcolm Lowry's novel "Under the Volcano". Huston's predecessors who unsuccessfully had options on the book included directors Luis Buñuel, Ken Russell, Joseph Losey, Jules Dassin and actor Zachary Scott who had been the first way back in 1957 around ten years after the source book had been first published. See more »

Goofs

The story takes place in 1939, but the car driven by James Villiers that almost hits Albert Finney as he is lying in the road is an MG-TF, which was manufactured between 1953 and 1956. See more »

Quotes

Hugh Firmin: Geoff, what possess you?
Geoffrey Firmin: Sobriety, I'm afraid. Too much moderation. I need drink desperatly to get my balance on.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Baja (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
dignified drunk and very convincing
24 March 2002 | by raar-1See all my reviews

This is one of those movies that made an unerasable impression in my memory. I've never seen a total drunk remaining his dignity and (remains of) aristocracy the way Finney is able to pull off so convincingly. The scene that stands out in portraying this (imho) is when he's flat out unconscious on a dusty road, almost being run over by a car and still somehow saves his face.

The way this man's life is being placed against the background of the fading European colonial system with the upcoming of fascist movements on the colorful and dreadful Mexican day of the dead celebrations is almost delirious in itself. The slow evolving of the why's and how's of the story and the questions and discrepancies in it complete the dream/drunken-like atmosphere. I had the feeling I never knew whether the story was being told as was or whether it all was just coming from within Firmin's mind.

As Dr-Bob stated in his comment, Under the Volcano doesn't leave you with a light-hearted feeling. However dignified, Firmin is a sad character. He knows it, he just doesn't seem to care.


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