Under the Volcano


Under the Volcano

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 17


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,799
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Under the Volcano Photos

Movie Info

A strange, hallucinatory adaptation of Malcolm Lowry's novel is set during the Mexican "Day of the Dead" ceremony in 1939. Albert Finney stars as the booze-besotted former British consul to Cuernevarca, who has cut himself off from his loved ones. Finney's half-brother goes on a search for his missing sibling.


Albert Finney
as Geoffrey Firmin
Jacqueline Bisset
as Yvonne Firmin
Anthony Andrews
as Hugh Firmin
Katy Jurado
as Senora Gregoria
Dawson Bray
as Quincey
Carlos Riquelme
as Bustamante
Eleazar Garcia Jr.
as Chief of Gardens
Salvador Sanchez
as Chief of Stockyards
Sergio Calderón
as Chief of Municipality
Arturo Sarabia
as Cervantes
Roberto Sosa
as Few Fleas
Hugo Stiglitz
as Sinarquista
Ugo Moctezuma
as Latin Consul
Isabel Vasquez
as Chicken Lady
Gustavo Fernández
as Transvestite
Eduardo Borbolla
as Don Juan Tenorio
Martín Palomares
as Dead Indian
Mario Arevalo
as Horseman
Günter Meisner
as Herr Krausberg - the German Attaché (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for Under the Volcano

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (5)

  • Although this voyage into self-destruction won't be to the taste of many, there will be few unmoved by Finney's towering performance as the tragic Britisher.

    Oct 23, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Not for the purists, maybe, but the last half-hour, as Firmin plunges ever deeper into his self-created hell, leaves one shell-shocked.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The movie belongs to Finney, but mention must be made of Jacqueline Bisset as his wife and Anthony Andrews as his half-brother.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4
  • Daring as it is to have brought Under the Volcano to the screen in this faithful but incomplete form, Mr. Huston has done so without making compromises in the process.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • As the tortured consul, Albert Finney has moments of technical brilliance, but Huston's direction gives him no inner life.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • There are nips of beauty and terror, but the movie starts small and then shrinks.

    Jan 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Under the Volcano

  • May 16, 2014
    A bitter portrayal by Albert Finney of a man on the road to destruction. It is off the wall and bends reality sufficiently to off put many a viewer.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 26, 2012
    while this is often compared to 'night of the iguana' i found it a much more fulfilling experience. huston was 78 when he made this and proves he still had it in him for a project he cared about. one of the few films that gets mexico right. a decent adaptation of a so-called unfilmable novel, a showcase for albert finney as a last stage alcoholic, and one of jacqueline bissett's best performances too. bravo!
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2010
    Director John Huston's fascinating character study of a self-destructive alcoholic former British diplomat named Geoffery Firmin, played by Albert Finney in a devastating tour-de-force performance that deservedly earn him an Oscar nomination. The story unfolds in a small Mexican village during the Day of the Dead festivities in the late 1930s, it concerns the last 24-hours of the tortured Firmin's life, who is drinking himself to death. He is so guilt ridden over the past and his lost relationship with his lovely estranged wife, wonderfully played by the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset, who he still yearns for. She has returned in the hopes of healing their broken marriage, but he cannot forgive her for her affair with his half-brother nicely played by Anthony Andrew. This is a Intelligent, but downbeat film that rely's entirely on Finney's amazing portrayal of the late stages of alcoholism, which by itself is staggering, he captures the physical mannerisms and emotionalism of a hopeless drunk, his depiction of this is truly unforgettable. Impressively directed by the late great John Huston, with superlative photography by Gariel Figueroa, based on the famous novel by Malcolm Lowry. Highly Recommended.
    Danny R Super Reviewer
  • May 16, 2009
    "That's the way to contend with the grim reaper, offering him a drink and a dance..." Finney, what a performance.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer

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