Dante's Peak

February 7th, 1997

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Dante's Peak

Tia Carrere and Elie Samaha at event of Dante's PeakLinda Hamilton at event of Dante's PeakJames Woods at event of Dante's PeakJoely Fisher at event of Dante's PeakPierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith at event of Dante's PeakCourtney Thorne-Smith at event of Dante's Peak

A vulcanologist arrives at a countryside named Dante's Peak after a long dormant volcano, which has recently been named the second most desirable place to live in America, and discovers that Dante's Peak, may wake up at any moment.

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 5.7/10 (31,360 voted)

Critic's Score: 43/100

Director: Roger Donaldson

Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Jamie Renée Smith

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.

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 - Mary Kelly (as Carol Androsky)
Peter Jason - Norman Gates

Taglines: Whatever you do, don't look back

Release Date: 7 February 1997

Filming Locations: Agua Dulce, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $116,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $18,479,435 (USA) (9 February 1997) (2657 Screens)

Gross: $178,127,760 (Worldwide) (1 January 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits.

Continuity: When the National Guard arrives and Sheriff Turner talks to the Lieutenant, the latter is wearing goggles on his helmet; in the reverse shot however the goggles are gone.

Stan: Isn't this beautiful, nestled all nice and cozy right up against the mountain?
Nancy: Yeah, just like Pompeii.

User Review

Dude, you need to calm down...


After reading this last guy's review, I'd like to stick up for this movie and offer a BALANCED review. In my opinion, Dante's Peak does a good job of developing the characters (Dalton, R. Wando, the volcano as a character, even the townsfolk), giving convincing backstory as to how volcanos behave compared to scientists' expectations, making us care about the characters, building tension through conflict between Dreyfus and Dalton, and using effects to ramp up the intensity of the action scenes.

Yes, there were things in the script and the story which seemed a little contrived and strained believability. The attitudes and behavior of the USGS team were a little too informal and "hip" to seem real. The driving-through-the-river and driving-through-the-lava scenes were really too far out to be believed. Ruth's selfishness and patent stubbornness were unbelievable but understandable. The scene where the pyroclastic cloud chases them into the mine is pure hollywood fluff but still livable, mainly because WE CARE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. I found the character of Dr. Paul Dreyfuss to be right on. He explained the dilemma well during the city council meeting scene. All of the characters are believable at least, convincing at most.

I think the chemistry between Dalton and Wando is believable : Here you have a scientist who is analytical and professional, but who is still in touch with the lives of laypeople, and has a tender side. He has loved and lost before and he senses that this new volcanic threat is akin to the last one which "took" his love away. This re-enforces the precept that THIS TIME, HE WON'T LET THE VOLCANO HURT THE ONES HE LOVES. Wando is the warm, slightly ditsy mayor of Dante's Peak who displays the identifiable traits and values of a northwesterner. She feels slightly overwhelmed by her mayoral duties, raising her kids properly, and running her coffeeshop. She's had a previous marriage to a deadbeat who left her at a vulnerable point. The arrival of Dalton is very catalytic in her life. She's met the only man who has the right answer about the volcano, likes her kids, likes her, is intriguing, and is everything her ex wasn't. THIS IS THE MAKINGS OF A ROMANCE...DUH.

I'm really impressed that the filmmakers were able to pack this much character development, backstory, romance, suspense, personal conflict, with an intense end-sequence in under 1 1/2 hours! "Volcano" is a film with a similar premise that,IMHO, doesn't even come close to Dante's Peak. While this film is not deserving of an Oscar, IT IS A SOLID FILM, HAVING BEEN WELL-CONCEIVED, WELL-DIRECTED, FAIRLY WELL-ACTED, AND AS SUCH IS SUBSEQUENTLY WELL-DESERVING OF SOME CRITICAL ACCLAIM rather than getting a baseless pummeling from reviewers who obviously expect to see a 5-star gem everytime they go to the movies.

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