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Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

PG | | Comedy, Romance | 9 March 1990 (USA)
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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.
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Joe
... DeDe / Angelica / Patricia
... Graynamore
... 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

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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,252,232, 11 March 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$39,404,261
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The company logo is seen in the entrance to the factory, in the crumbling wall in Joe's house, in the shape of the lightning bolt that sinks the boat, in the way up to the volcano, and, in the film's trailer (included on the DVD) is the lightning bolt that travels up the film's title and strikes the top. See more »

Goofs

Mr. Graynamore sets out the credit cards atop Joe's stereo, orientating them so Joe can read them. Joe takes one and turns it over as if it were turned upside down. See more »

Quotes

Joe Banks: Marshall?
Marshall: Yeah.
Joe Banks: I was wondering if you'd have dinner with me tonight.
Marshall: I can't do that; I got the wife and kids at the end of the day.
Joe Banks: Yeah...
Marshall: Listen, ain't you got nobody?
Joe Banks: No. But there are certain times in your life when I guess you're not supposed to have anybody, you know? There are certain doors you have to go through alone.
Marshall: ...You're gonna be all right.
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Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Bad Teacher/Cars 2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Ol'Man River
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Jerome Kern
Performed by Ray Charles
used following the doctor's diagnosis
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly Good, Unfortunately overlooked
14 December 2002 | by 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.


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