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JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO – Georges Delerue

March 12, 2020 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

After receiving his first Oscar nomination for Big in 1988, but before he became an established box office draw with titles like Sleepless in Seattle and Philadelphia, Tom Hanks spent a couple of years trying to find his niche. One of the projects he tried which never took off was Joe Versus the Volcano, a highly peculiar comedy written and directed by John Patrick Shanley. Hanks plays Joe Banks, a luckless everyman who works a terrible dead-end job and is chronically sick. One day Joe is told he is dying of a mysterious and incurable rare disease, and accepts a financial offer from billionaire Samuel Graynamore (Lloyd Bridges) – he can live like a king for a short period, but then has to travel to a South Pacific island and throw himself into a volcano to appease the superstitious natives. With nothing to lose, Joe agrees, but when he meets and falls in love with Patricia (Meg Ryan), Graynamore’s daughter, who is captaining the yacht taking him to the island, he realizes he may have something to live for after all. The film was a critical and commercial flop when it was first released, but has become something of a cult film in the intervening years, receiving praise for its offbeat tone and sweet nature, and for the fact that this was the first on-screen pairing of Hanks and Ryan, who would go on to be Hollywood’s romantic comedy golden couple. Read more…