Under the Volcano is a film about worlds, and men, trying and failing to effect a careful, teetering balance between order and anarchy. What is the right dose of liquor to administer to an alcoholic attempting to steer a course between the shakes and oblivion? What is the maximum defensible amount of evil we can allow to exist in the world uncontested? Huston asks Lowry's questions through a mouth full of ashes.
I haven't read Malcolm Lowry's book so no comparison here. I found the Mexican scenes very credible, very close to what may still be found in Central or South America if you leave the main cities. I also have the utmost respect for John Huston for having entrusted Katy -High Noon- Jurado and Emilio - 40 films as a director- Fernández with two small parts in Under the Volcano. Highly recommended.
White diplomat in Mexico has been living his "Frida fantasy" and is now suffering from alcoholism. The first two thirds are enjoyable with its casual Mexican fantasy, and gorgeous Mexican photography by Figueroa. The last third falls apart because of its lazy ~EVIL MEXICANS~ subplot.
It starts as the "SPECTRE" James BOND movie, it continues with Peter LORRE's "HANDS of ORLAC" & it goes on with FINNEY's last & drunken day, embellished with sublime & iridescent BISSET === Ça commence comme le film de James BOND "SPECTRE" , ça continue avec P. LORRE dans "Les MAINS d'ORLAC" & ca se poursuit avec 1 journée de soûlographie de FINNEY agrémentée de la sublime & irisée BISSET.
I remember this being on A&E as a kid and being mesmerized. Having just read the novel it dawns one me how interesting an adaptation this is in that Finney has to suggest everything that Lowry did brilliantly in voice over with his gestures and body movement and the political things are insinuated rather well!
Another tale of reckless self-destruction in an exotic locale from director John Huston. Albert Finney gives one of his best performances in a career of great performances, with excellent supporting work by Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews, and a cast of Mexican character actors. The plot is loose and slow-paced at times, but it is always engrossing as it drunkenly lurches from heedlessly comic to violently tragic.