A volcano erupts in downtown Los Angeles and a city official and a seismologist try to stop its inevitable flow through the city.


Mick Jackson


Jerome Armstrong (story), Jerome Armstrong (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2,967 ( 650)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Mike Roark
Anne Heche ... Dr. Amy Barnes
Gaby Hoffmann ... Kelly Roark
Don Cheadle ... Emmit Reese
Jacqueline Kim ... Dr. Jaye Calder
Keith David ... Police Lieutenant Ed Fox
John Corbett ... Norman Calder
Michael Rispoli ... Gator Harris
John Carroll Lynch ... Stan Olber
Marcello Thedford ... Kevin
Laurie Lathem ... Rachel
Bert Kramer ... L.A. Fire Chief
Bo Eason Bo Eason ... Bud McVie
James MacDonald ... Terry Jasper (as James G. MacDonald)
Dayton Callie ... Roger Lapher


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 | Plot Synopsis


There are 1,500 active volcanoes that we know about...and one that we don't. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The lava was primarily made of methylcellulose, the thickening agent used in fast-food milkshakes. See more »


The equipment that Dr. Barnes uses indicates temperature in Fahrenheit. Scientists exclusively use Celsius (and other metric system units) in all measurements. See more »


Roark: We're going to put as many people in front of it as it takes. Listen up, people! Let me tell you what's south of us: no more museums, no more department stores, just homes! People! If we turn and run now, they're going to be defenseless! You don't like my plan? That's good. Give me a another plan, but don't tell me we're backing out!
See more »

Alternate Versions

To attract more viewers the German theatrical version was cut to receive a "Not under 12" rating. The German video release contains the complete version and is rated "Not under 16". See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: The Best of Chris Kattan (2003) 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 »

User Reviews

A Disaster of a Disaster Movie
1 November 2015 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Disaster movies have been popular ever since Clark Gable survived the 1906 earthquake in "San Francisco." Decades later, producer Irwin Allen raised the disaster-movie stakes with all-star casts that battled capsized ocean liners and burning high-rises. Unfortunately, Irwin Allen had no hand in "Volcano," and the stars featured are limited to Tommy Lee Jones and Don Cheadle, unless viewers consider Anne Heche a star. Jerome Armstrong and Billy Ray's nonsensical screenplay focuses on the destruction wrought in Los Angeles by the eruption of a newly formed volcano that rises from the La Brea Tar Pits.

Director Mick Jackson keeps the action swirling to distract viewers from the implausible events taking place on screen. "Volcano" is one of those films in which characters have arguments or emotional interchanges while molten lava fast approaches, but apparently does not emit any heat, because the mindless chat continues. Of course, kids and dogs are spared, shattered glass falling from skyscrapers lands harmlessly on the lead actors, hair-breadth escapes abound, fire fighters have time to stand and cheer while buildings burn around them, and the initially antagonistic Jones and Heche form a mutual admiration society at fadeout. Jones and Cheadle must have appeared for the money, and both emerge relatively unscathed. Heche and Gaby Hoffman as Jones's daughter are best left unmentioned; the rest of the cast is best left in the embers.

The essential key to a successful disaster movie is the quality of the special effects, and those in "Volcano" fail to get a passing grade. Fire, lava, explosions, falling glass may sound exciting, but, by the final credits, the film has become a reddish blur, and viewers have long lost interest in who survived and who did not; we never got to know any of them anyway. "Volcano" makes the earlier Los Angeles disaster flick, "Earthquake," seem like "Citizen Kane;" at least that 1974 entry had Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, and George Kennedy leading the cast. "Volcano's" best moment is a fleeting glimpse of Fox News anchor Shepard Smith.

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English | Spanish | German

Release Date:

25 April 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Volcano See more »


Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,581,740, 27 April 1997

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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