Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dante’s Peak (1997)

This is a solid movie. Four years ago Dr. Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) and his fiancée were monitoring a volcano in Colombia, when she was killed by falling debris. Now he is tasked with investigating some unusual activity in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. Mayor Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton) agrees to show him around town. When they discover two naked teenagers burned to death while swimming in a hot spring, he concludes that another volcano is about to erupt. His colleagues think he is overreacting to the evidence, but they decide to join him for a few days to evaluate the situation.

The film was inspired by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, Mount St. Helens in 1980, and Mount Pinatubo on an island in the Philippines in 1991. The film was primarily shot in Wallace, Idaho. It was released a few months before Volcano, was more successful, and was praised for being more scientifically accurate. The final scene uses footage from the eruption of Mount St. Helens. David Johnston, a young scientist who had predicted the volatility of Mount St. Helens, perished during that eruption.

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