Under The Volcano

Synopsis: Against a background of war breaking out in Europe and the Mexican fiesta Day of Death, we are taken through one day in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a British consul living in alcoholic disrepair and obscurity in a small southern Mexican town in 1939. The Consul's self-destructive behaviour, perhaps a metaphor for a menaced civilization, is a source of perplexity and sadness to his nomadic, idealistic half-brother, Hugh, and his ex-wife, Yvonne, who has returned with hopes of healing Geoffrey and their broken marriage.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): John Huston
Production: Criterion Collection
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
112 min

Modernist, Folkloric ]

[ Continues ]

- [ Villagers Singing In Spanish: Mourning ]

- [Bell Tolling ]

-[Singing Continues ]

- [ People Chattering ]

[ Children Chattering]

[Singing Continues ]

Anda, perro. Quitese!

[Whimpers ]

[Mariachi In Distance ]

[Vendors Calling In Spanish ]

Festive ]

[Dog Whimpering ]

Buenas tardes.

[ Whimpering Continues ]

[ Peter Lorre ]

Why are you afraid of me?

I love you. I love you.

You came to life for me.

Don't you know me?

[ Continues, Indistinct]

[ Foreigner]

Buenas noches, doctor.

- Ah. Buenas noches, senor Geoffrey.

- Buenas noches.

Just in time. Exactamente.

The ingles is always by the clock.

You go to the Red Cross, I think.

[Movie Score Playing, Muffled ]

Mm-mmm. It's good.

Very good.

[ Chuckles ]

But, no, there is something wrong.

I know, senor.

You have no socks.

Quite. No socks.

With that esplendida vestimenta,

there must be socks.

- You want I should bring you?

- No. Gracias. Not necessary.

By the way, senor Bustamante,

did you find any letters -

cartas - any letters addressed to me?

No. No, senor.

I find no letters for you.

What letters have you lost?

From my wife.

- [ Speech Slurred ] From Yvonne.

- [Woman In Movie Screams ]

You have heard from her then.

What does she say?

Is she coming back to Mexico?

No. I don't think so.

I'm sorry to see you apart.

I have always great admiration

for senora Yvonne.

I think she comes back.

She writes to you,

then she will come back.

I also received a letter

from her lawyer.

It seems we're divorced now.

Uy, amigo.

- Is this true?

- Yes.

It's true.

- [ Whimpering ]

- [ Woman In Movie ] Let me go!

-I promise to come back.

-[Lorre ] You are lying.

- No!

- You won't come back.

-[Lorre ] You hate me. You despise me.

- [ Woman ] No. No.

[ Woman #2 ]

Liar! Hypocrite!

- [ Murmurs ]

- [ Piano:
Frantic ]

Las Manos de Orlac.

The Hands ofOrlac, no?

It's a good story.

A man is a pianist,

but loses his hands under a train.

Is given him another,

but they are the hands of a killer.

Uh, these hands murder people.

But his heart does not,

and he's very, very sorry.

Some things you can't apologize for.

[ Lorre]

The fate of all the world is changed, I think.

[People Laughing ]

Only in Mexico

is death an occasion for laughter.

[ Chuckles ] On Day of the Dead,

when their spirits come back to us...

the road from heaven

must be made- made easy...

and not slippery with tears.

[Brass Band Approaching ]

[ Festive]

[Dog Barks, Whimpers ]

Sorry, old girl.

They won't let you into this occasion.

Your gown's cut far too low.

- Good evening, sir.

- [ Geoffrey] How are you?

- How are you?

- You know the doctor.

Poquito de brandy.

Poquito de anis.

Poquito de tequila.

Mmm. Poquito de whiskey.

Poquito de mezcal.

Oh, no, no. No mescal.

Never touch mescal.

I'd go thirsty

before drinking mescal.

[ Laughs ] Is loco.

Mescal is just the tequila of the poor.

[ Belches ]

Mescal is for the damned.

Oh, good Christ.

Last blast of diplomacy coming up.

- Buenas noches, senor Firmin.

- Buenas noches.

I wish to introduce to you

Herr Krausberg, German attach.

Herr Krausberg, Mr. Firmin.

Former British Consul to Cuernavaca.

It's a great pleasure for me

to meet you, Mr. Firmin.

- Same, I'm sure.

- Un cocktail de champagne.

I hope your next, uh, post

will be as beautiful as Cuernavaca.

- Nothing next. I've retired.

- Oh, have you really?

"Cut is the branch that might have grown

full straight," or something like that.

I'm going to stay on here in Mexico.

Oh, how fortunate for me.

I hope to have a friendship with you...

as close, as cordial, as the friendship

between our two nations.

Actually, Herr Krausberg,

you may be able to do me a great service.

I would be very happy to help

in whatever way I can.

It's to do with my brother -


- Do you understand "halfbrother"?

- Mm-hmm.

F-Father remarried

an American Southern beauty.

Hugh. Uh, newspaperman.

Freelance sort of stuff.

He's chasing some rumor down

right now.

- But you may be able to shed some light.

- Most gladly, if I can.

Is Germany financing a Nazi movement

here in Mexico?

- Of course not. Your brother, Mr. Firmin -

- Half. Half.

Half. Sorry. Your halfbrother...

obviously suffers

from an overactive imagination.

Called the sinarquistas,

if I'm not mistaken.

Nonsense. It's just a rumor, as you said.

In any case,

we are allies now, aren't we?

Since that marvelous agreement between

your prime minister and our fhrer.

- [ Chuckles ]

- So, let's drink together, shall we?

To, uh -To the understanding of our nations.

- [ Orchestra:
Dance ]

- It is a union I'm, uh, convinced...

that will assure peace

for many, many years to come.

Prost, Herr Firmin.

Yes, quite.

The Munich Pact and all that.

"Peace in our time."

But let's not be too hasty.

Let's hedge our bets, what?

After all, the Mexican railroad has.

They don't mean to be taken by surprise.

Just take a look at their newest timetable-

at the fine print.

Corpses must be transported by express.

Each of these express corpses...

must be accompanied

by a first-class passenger.

Now, let's suppose, uh, the treaty fails

and it's bloody Armageddon.

-Just think of it.

- You -You -

Railways stand to make a fortune.

- You're right. You're right.

- But just think of it.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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