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Joe Versus the Volcano [1990] (1 disc)

Director:John Patrick Shanley
Writer:John Patrick Shanley
Composer:Georges Delerue
Peter Gordon
Length:102 minutes
(1 hour 42 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:RomCom
IMDB Rating:5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:63%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: 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.

Reaction: Off-beat and bizarre, but there are several segments that will live rent-free in my brain until the day you die.

Personal Rating: 6/10

John Patrick Shanley => Director / Writer
Georges Delerue => Composer
Peter Gordon => Composer
Abe Vigoda => Chief of the Waponis
Amanda Plummer => Dagmar
Barry McGovern => Luggage Salesman
Branscombe Richmond => Waponi (uncredited)
Carol Kane => Hairdresser (as Lisa LeBlanc)
Dan Hedaya => Mr. Waturi
Darrell Zwerling => Underwear Salesman
David Burton => Mike
Lloyd Bridges => Graynamore
Meg Ryan => DeDe / Angelica / Patricia
Nathan Lane => Baw - The Waponi Advance Man
Ossie Davis => Marshall
Robert Stack => Dr. Ellison
Tom Hanks => Joe

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • The handle of Mr Graynamore's cane is a duck's head. A duck also appears as Joe Banks is being prepared by the Waponis for his leap into the volcano. The French word for duck is "canard", which in English also means a ruse or a hoax, symbolically implying that Mr. Graynamore is playing a ruse on Joe Banks. That being, Banks is not really dying, Dr. Ellison is a "quack", and Graynamore is merely using Banks for his own nefarious purposes.
  • At the end, Joe refers to the "crooked road" he traveled. He walked the crooked sidewalk to the factory, drove the crooked road from the airport, then walked the final crooked path to the top of the volcano, all of which were in the same lightning bolt shape. That shape is also on the wall of Joe's apartment.
  • Inspired by the Goofy short "Hello Aloha (1952)."
  • The song the Mexican restaurant band plays is a Spanish language version of {"On the Street Where You Live"} from My Fair Lady (1964).
  • Julia Roberts auditioned for the female lead.
  • Not only did Meg Ryan play all three female leads, but also did the voice of the flight attendant welcoming the flight to Los Angeles.
  • The lamp that Joe brings into his office displays the future events in the movie, including the yacht, a volcano (with the same twisting road) and a large full moon.
  • The mask worn by the Waponi, who is representing the evil spirit, resembles the factory where Joe used to work.