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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.

Director:

Roger Donaldson

Writer:

Leslie Bohem
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Popularity
836 ( 865)
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierce Brosnan ... Harry Dalton
Linda Hamilton ... Rachel Wando
Jamie Renée Smith ... Lauren Wando
Jeremy Foley ... Graham Wando
Elizabeth Hoffman ... Ruth
Charles Hallahan ... Paul Dreyfus
Grant Heslov ... Greg
Kirk Trutner ... Terry Furlong
Arabella Field ... Nancy
Tzi Ma ... Stan
Brian Reddy ... Les Worrell
Lee Garlington ... Dr. Jane Fox
Bill Bolender ... Sheriff Turner
Carole Androsky Carole Androsky ... Mary Kelly (as Carol Androsky)
Peter Jason ... Norman Gates
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The pressure is building... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The shirt Greg wears on the first day of observing Dante's Peak is a graph showing the eruptions of the Cascade volcanoes in the past 4000 years. See more »

Goofs

The boat engine was water-cooled by taking in water from the lake and running it through the engine. The acid in the lake would have caused the engine to seize very quickly. See more »

Quotes

[in the river]
Rachel: Harry, you see that car coming at us?
Harry Dalton: I see it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Copycat Movies (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon Revisited
Written by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Margo Timmins, Michael Timmins
Performed by Cowboy Junkies
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
Enjoy the fireworks.

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dante's Peak See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$116,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,479,435, 9 February 1997

Gross USA:

$67,127,760

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$178,127,760
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | DTS-Stereo | Dolby SR | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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