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Under the Volcano (Criterion) (1984)

Cast: Albert Finney, Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, more...
Director: John Huston, John Huston
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Drama, Criterion Collection
Languages: English
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Under the Volcano (Criterion) (1984)
A strange, hallucinatory adaptation of the Malcolm Lowry novel of the same name, John Huston's bleak drama is set during the Mexican "Day of the Dead" ceremony in 1939. Albert Finney stars as Geoffrey Firmin, the booze-besotted former British consul to Cuernevarca, who has cut himself off from his loved ones, the better to drink himself to death while surrounded by all manner of skull-and-skeleton decorations. At the urging of his wife Yvonne (Jacqueline Bisset), his half-brother Hugh (Anthony Andrews) goes on a "heart of darkness" search for his missing sibling. Novelist Lowry was himself a suicidal alcoholic, who poured every drop of his embittered philosophy into the Firmin character. If any director could bring Lowry's difficult novel to life, it was Huston, whose own record for drunken self-destruction is the source of legend. (Huston was actually the seventh director to tackle the novel, which had originally been optioned in 1957 by actor Zachary Scott.) Artists contributing to the fascinating Under the Volcano include the brilliant Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa, screenwriter Guy Gallo, composer Alex North, and director Emilio Fernandez, cast in a significant cameo as a bartender. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Under the Volcano (Criterion) (Bonus Disc) (1984)

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by film editor Roberto Silvi
  • Audio commentary featuring executive producer Michael Fitzgerald and producers Wieland Schulz-Keil and Moritz Borman
  • Theatrical trailers
  • New video interview with Jacqueline Bisset
  • New audio interview with screenwriter Guy Gallo
  • 1984 audio interview with John Huston conducted by French film critic Michel Ciment
  • Notes from "Under the Volcano" (1984), a 59-minute documentary by Gary Conklin shot on the set during the film's production, featuring interviews with Huston, cast, and crew
  • Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry (1976), filmmaker Donald Brittain's 99-minute, Academy Awardnominated documentary, narrated by Richard Burton, examining the connections between Under the Volcano author Malcolm Lowry's life and that of his novel's main character
  • PLUS: A new essay by film critic Christian Viviani

GreenCine Member Ratings

Under the Volcano (Criterion) (1984)
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6.41 (17 votes)
Under the Volcano (Criterion) (Bonus Disc) (1984)
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6.40 (5 votes)

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