Dante's Peak

This is a heck of a lot closer to an active volcano than I ever want to be!

by Michelle A. Hoyle


Dante's Peak is a quiet little town, recently voted as the second best town in America to live. The residents there are justifiably proud of their town and their quality of life. Soon, however, the world will be shaken when the U.S. Geological Service sends out Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) to investigate some minor earth tremors. Dalton visits Dante's Peak and inspects a lake near the top of the mountain with the help of the town's mayor Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton) and her two kids. They stumble upon the dead bodies of two local teenagers, who have been burned to death, in the hotsprings. Dalton also detects signs of plant and animal poisoning from sulphur dioxide. He goes back to the town and calls for a town meeting to discuss the possible evacuation of the town. In his opinion, the residents could expect a major eruption any time.

My name is Dalton,
Harry Dalton.

«You can't take it with you.»

Dalton calls back to home base and his boss, Paul Dreyfus (Charles Hallahan), assembles a team to come out and monitor activity on the Peak. Upon arrival, Dreyfus soothes the worried minds of the town's residents and downplays Dalton's worries. Soon enough, however, the evidence mounts and even Dreyfus is forced to admit that it looks like the Peak is set to blow soon in the future. A town meeting is called, during which a series of earthquakes rocks the auditorium. Chaos ensues when the town residents see a large cloud of ash over the Peak. Buildings start to crumble and panicking citizens try to leave through the town's only exit road, all sense of order completely forgotten.

The mayor

«I'm better at figuring out volcanoes than people and politics.»

Dalton drives back to Mayor Wando's house to pick up the two kids and discovers that the kids have gone to rescue their grandmother (Elizabeth Hoffman) who earlier had refused to budge from her mountain home. With the clock racing against them, the mountain literally a ticking bomb, Dalton and Wando race to save the kids before the mountain blows.

Hell hath no fury like
that of a mountain ignored

The effects in this film are fantastic. It far outdoes the effects in Twister and the story is better written, too. In case you're wondering, the hundreds of kilos of ash you see is really ground up newspaper, which was blown all over a real town in Idaho. The story was meticulously researched with the help of several volcanologists and former members of the United States Geological Survey. For the sceptics among you, the National Guard is always called out to assist during a state of emergency in the U.S. and, since they're mostly people who have signed up voluntarily, they do go into areas where there's a high element of personal risk. In conclusion, you'll find that this is a lot closer than you ever want to be to an active volcano but a gripping and exciting ride!

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Movie Details

Title:Dante's Peak (1997)
Rating:3 (out of 4)
Director:Donaldson, Roger
Writer:Bohem, Leslie
Scott, Allen
Production:Hurd, Gale Anne
Singer, Joseph
Co-production:Murphy, Geoff
Schneider, Marliese
Exec. Prod.:Herzberg, Ilona
Cinematography:Bartkowiak, Andrzej
Editor:Buff IV, Conrad
Hirsch, Tina
Smith, Howard E.
Music:Frizzell, John C.
Howard, James Newton
Design:Washington, J. Dennis
Costume Design:Mussenden, Isis
Cast:Brosnan, Pierce
Hamilton, Linda
Smith, Jamie Renee
foley, Jeremy
Hoffman, Elizabeth
Hallahan, Charles
Heslov, Grant
Trutner, Kirk
Length:109 Minuten
Negativ:35 mm
Prints:35 mm Scope (Farbe)
Prod.-firm:Universal Pictures
Pacific Western
CH Distributor:United International Pictures (UIP)

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Copyright © 1997 United International Pictures (UIP) (Bilder)
Copyright © 1996, 1997 CineNet (Text)