Rent Under the Volcano (1984)

3.4 of 5 from 59 ratings
1h 52min
Rent Under the Volcano Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
November 1st, 1938, the Day of the Dead in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Geoffrey Firmin (Albert Finney), British Consul to Mexico, has just quit his job and takes solace with his best friend - a bottle of booze - in an effort to forget his problems, and that of the world. Whilst the Spanish Civil War and the rise of Nazism in Germany have fuelled Mexican nationalism, he is also still bitter after the divorce from his actress wife,Yvonne (Jacqueline Bisset). Despite writing to him several times, without any reply, about her intentions to rekindle their marriage,Yvonne decides to return to Cuernavaca on the Day of the Dead.
But Geoffrey's younger half-brother, Hugh (Anthony Andrews) also arrives in order to help his brother get sober and live his life again. But a self-destructive drunk is not an easy man to reclaim...
Actors:
, , , , , , Dawson Bray, , , , , , , Araceli Ladewuen Castelun, , Arturo Sarabia, , , Ugo Moctezuma,
Directors:
Producers:
Moritz Borman, Wieland Schulz-Keil
Writers:
Malcolm Lowry, Guy Gallo
Others:
Alex North
Studio:
Mr Bongo
Genres:
Drama
BBFC:
Release Date:
08/09/2008
Run Time:
112 minutes
Languages:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Theatrical trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
20/07/2015
Run Time:
112 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
None
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All

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Reviews (1) of Under the Volcano

Finney masterclass but a minor work from its director - Under the Volcano review by JO

Spoiler Alert
25/09/2018

Set appropriately in Mexico on The Day of the Dead 1938, Geoffrey Firmin, a lonely depressive who has lost his job and whose wife has left him retreats into alcohol to console his sorrows.

A long cherished project for Huston who adapted Malcolm Lowry's acclaimed, multi-layered novel over several years. The resulting screenplay strips the novel of much of its political subtext of Mexico's corruption by Nazi Germany in the run up to WW2 and focuses purely on the character of Firmin, a raging alcohol who deludes himself into thinking he 'drinks himself to sobriety'. A slowly paced drama which struggled to sustain my interest (particularly a result of showcasing such a dislikable, self-absorbed character). However, Finley's performance as the drunken diplomat is astonishing. He really inhabits the character of Firmin, manifesting his mannerisms and tics so credibly that it alone is worth watching. Jacqueline Bisset as his caring wife, Yvonne, delivers a good supporting performance.

The direction is solid but fairly casual. Huston elects not to use innovative camera techniques, or flashbacks , in order to let the acting tell the story. Thankfully, Finley is more than capable of doing that with such a barnstorming performance. But even so it does become quite tiresome as a film lasting 2 hours. Worth watching for Finney as possibly the greatest performance of a drunk ever filmed.

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