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Plot:

The Dutch East Indies, in the late 19th century. Capt. Hanson of the “Batavia Queen” is preparing to embark on a salvage expedition. His mistress, Laura, knows the location of a ship belonging to her late husband, a shipwreck concealing a cargo of rare pearls. A diver and a diving bell are aboard ship. But a government agent coerces Hanson into accepting a shipment of convicts for the ship’s hold. The wreck lies dangerously close to the erupting volcano on the island of Krakatoa, where Laura’s young son attends the convent school…

Also Known As: Krakatoa, a leste de Java, Al este de Java, Krakatoa à l'est de Java, Jawa no azuma, Krakatoa: East of Java, Krakatoa, O Inferno de Java, Krakatoa - Das größte Abenteuer des letzten Jahrhunderts West, Krakatau öster om Java, Krakatoa est di Giava, Krakatoa - Büyük macera, Volcano, La est de Java, Krakatoa East, Krakatoa: Al este de Java, Krakatau plahvatus, Гибель на вулкане Кракатау Soviet, Krakatoa - tulivuorisaari, Feuersturm über Java, Na wschód od Jawy, Krakatoa, al este de Java, Krakatoa, anatolika tis Iava, Krakatoa, istocno od Jave, Krakatau, Krakatoa, øst for Java

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  • ismael-samper-canete
    ismael samper canete

    Not much to say. The film is awful. First, Krakatoa was WEST of Java, you’d think they could get that right. The story is non existant, the acting abysmal. There appears to be no direction and the editing, especially when the boat is trying to get away from the Island, is laughable. One moment the boat is heading away from the island and then towards it, then east, then west. Awful I gave it 1 because you don’t have 0.

  • barsegh-t-adewosyan
    barsegh t adewosyan

    I have seen this film three times, and each time the adventure has been greater. The cinematography, the sound effects, the many plots importuning on each other, the music and the splendid photography makes this a great film in spite of all, in spite of a poor script that really can’t handle all the very different characters and the conflicting plots, that most of them founder on the way, the most objectionable being that of Brian Keith’s inability to keep in control in his addiction to laudanum, while Maximilian Schell as the captain makes a magnificent performance, together with John Leyton as the one scientist on board knowing what is going on, Sal Mineo as the son of Rossano Brazzi, the wonderful diving ladies ( – why do they ultimately choose to follow Keith and his lady ashore instead of staying on board with the captain? This is one thing that does not make sense, as also the revolt and sacrifice of the chain gang.) Fortunately there is aslways the vulcano to return to as the main attraction of the plot, and ultimately the vulcano wins. It happened for real, and this was the first of the great catastrophe films later of the 70s that set the standard.

  • arturo-estela-canales
    arturo estela canales

    This is one I didn’t see when it first came out. With its title what it was, I figured that anyone who couldn’t understand East from West, probably wouldn’t be able to produce a legitimate adventure film.Decades later, I saw a videotape of the film on sale, so I picked it up (it was cheaper than renting it). I’d learned in the meantime that the actual Krakatoa explosion was in the megaton range, so I was wondering how it would be treated in the film.Probable spoilers follow.IMHO, not very well. That close to the island, the ship wouldn’t have survived an explosion that intense. But the fireworks were okay.After having seen a number of disaster films, I was surprised that this early one had a musical number in it. At least The Poseidon Adventure had the excuse that the singer was a performer.Entertaining, but not that credible.

  • yolanda-bell-dvm
    yolanda bell dvm

    Krakatoa: East of Java tells of a boatload of assorted people swanning about in the vicinity of Krakatoa in the period immediately before and during the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded human history.This is the sort of spectacular special effects epic we used to get in the days before film effects were advanced enough to be truly spectacular. Oh, how we loved them in those days. Nowadays, we see a well-built model boat (telltale giveaway being the absence of anyone on deck), less effective model sets, some poor matte lines, big water out of scale with the models, some fun pyrotechnics on a model island on a water tank skyline, far too many obviously repeated shots, and some stock footage of tidal waves.All of this takes place as a backdrop to the tedious goings on between a not-very-interesting group of people, so that you don’t really care who survives and who doesn’t (in fact there are those who you want the volcano to polish off even though you’re not supposed to).I bet this was better back in 1969, when big water was still acceptable.

  • maria-porter
    maria porter

    Inspired by the 1883 eruption of the volcano on Krakatoa, Bernard L. Kowalski’s disaster film is above average but getting to the crux of the picture is something of a bind. Standard rules apply, a group of disparate passengers on board a boat faff around in search of some sunken pearls, all while the volcano rumbles ominously in the background. There’s love interest, lost family members, personal problems, debt mismanagement, addiction – which in turn provides the scope for fights, shifty doings and under water action. Then the carnage comes in a wave of Technicolour/Cinerama and noise. Who will survive? Will you care? And did we really see Barbara Werle serenade and strip for Brian Keith?Disposable but just about above average. 6/10

  • elisabeth-ann-kristiansen
    elisabeth ann kristiansen

    Terrifying, the estimated three powerful salvos of the Krakatoa explosion sounded like the roar of heavy guns from distances hundreds of miles away. On the date of August 27, 1883, at 3:00AM GMT, the world’s second most infamous volcanic explosion detroyed the entire island, leveled surrounding coastlines with towering tsunamis and altered the planet’s weather patterns for years. Nearly 40,000 souls perished in the disaster, most of those drowned in the Sunda Strait by the 100-foot high walls of water. No film can do this cataclysm justice. One movie, however, attempted to portray the Krakatoa event from the vantage point of seafaring treasure seekers caught in the island’s death and tumultuous seas. From a scientific and historical perspective, Krakatoa: East of Java (actually, it would be west) has a number of important features. The fiery vent that ruptures in the middle of the ocean as the adventurers’ ship approached Indonesia was an omen of the horror to come. Sealed for millenia under tons of pressure, the volatile magmatic material and heat was near breaking point. The vent was a deadly breech in a disintegrating dam. The giant waves were the piece de resistance of the film as they were the final crushing blow of the real catastrophe. Set in a dark, greyish-blue background, like the ash colored sky of the historical explosion, the movie tsunamis arrive in three to four successive trains to devastate the coatal village of Anjer. Here, along with thousands of desperate townspeople, Brian Keith makes his last stand behind a building as the waves descend. Maximillian Schell, the seasoned captain, realizes that his ship will end up as kindling if he stays in the Anjer harbor. So, he wisely starts engines and heads out for deeper waters to avoid the waves as they pile up in the shallows. One thing about the tsunamis, though, piques my curiosity. Given the lack of sophistication in seismic forecasting in the late nineteenth century and the limited understanding of tsunamis, not to mention the absence of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, how did Schell and his crew know “tidal waves” were about to hit? How could they have predicted them?As a film that treats this remarkable event with a good degree of historical veracity and scientific facts, it succeeds in educating its audience. We can see on screen, however limited, the tremendous power of God, a display of Force Majeur, that dwarfs man’s presence and leaves him in wonder. The film may not have been an Academy Award winner by far, but it is strikingly poignant as a window to one of the classic moments in earth’s natural history.

  • karen-chung
    karen chung

    This movie was my favorite picture du jour back in 1969. I was 8 years old and went to all the movies I could back then. This one stands out in my mind as a particular favorite because of the explosions! The whole movie led up to it, and you just had to let the plot wend it’s way to the climax (as it were…). Yeah, there were love interests, good guys, bad guys, plot twists and turns, but my main questions was when was everything going to blow up and, secondarily, who would survive. Hey, one didn,t ask for much on a Saturday double-feature matinee…

  • sami-peltoniemi
    sami peltoniemi

    The ship, to which almost all the action is confined, is rather well done as far as design and equipment go. The cast is more than adequate for the limited scenario, and the mediocre special effects. It’s a decent, not great, stock adventure yarn. But one thing has always puzzled me; Krakatoa is WEST of Java. Didn’t anyone look at a map?

  • ase-jorgensen
    ase jorgensen

    KEOJ was not a classic or a particular compelling drama. However it was a visual treat from start to finish. Rich exotic locales and fine special effects along with a little bit of a sea adventure elevate KEOJ slightly above the star studied melodramatic disaster films that were to follow in the 70’s.

  • michelle-williams
    michelle williams

    Being a big Krakatoa buff, and a lover of disaster movies in general, I had great expectations for this film, especially given that it had a decent cast of capable, well-known 60’s actors. However, this movie is an absolutely stunning (as in, being hit with a blunt object) example of why films need editors who know what they are doing. The scenes just seem to be thrown together and change so abruptly that you sometimes wonder if you are still watching the same movie. An example: a scene where Krakatoa is spewing cinders and lava, darkening the sky to almost black, as the passengers of the Battavia Princess look on solemnly – suddenly changes to clear blue sky, with happy people cavorting on the deck while the insipidly upbeat theme song plays cheerfully in the background. There are glaring incongruities, such as scantily clad girls diving happily into an ocean which in a previous scene was littered with dead fish and birds killed by the volcano. Many of the plot elements are ridiculous because they were poorly researched (among them the glaring fact that Krakatoa is actually west of Java), and others which were researched are skimmed over so as to be rendered almost insignificant (such as the piercing whistle created by steam escaping from Krakatoa’s vent – an occurrence which must have been truly terrifying but which is treated as “Well, that was weird, what’s for dinner?”). Way too much time is spent on silly subplots, such as a search for sunken treasure. In the opening scenes, we see a group of school children, frightened by the loud explosions. In a later scene, they are rescued from a dingy – but we never find out how they came to be there (never mind the fact that in reality, they would have been doomed no matter where they were). The saddest thing is, in the hands of a capable editor and research department, this could have been an excellent film, at least in the same category as Titanic. Instead, we get dull action, contrived plot devices, an absolutely horrendous musical score, and very little of what was likely the most spectacular natural disaster in recorded history. I agree with the commentator who suggested that this movie would make a great candidate for a remake. With the right director, a better script, a competent editor and a dash of CGI, the eruption of Krakatoa could be the back drop for some very impressive storytelling.

  • nejc-hafner
    nejc hafner

    One can only imagine that the Todd-AO and Cinerama formats appeared spectacularly on the huge movie theater screens of 1969, because it doesn’t translate very well to even a 50+ inch home theater screen today. The movie contains several aerial scenes (and others featuring back-and-forth camera pans), designed to immerse the audience into the action, which just don’t work for a TV viewer. Hence, without delivering the intended experience, these sequences feel much too long. But it was obviously impressive enough back then to earn this adventure drama an Academy Award nomination for its Special Effects (Best Visual Effects), though the only other nominee that year (Marooned) won, earning Robie Robinson an Oscar for his only work in film. Obviously it was a weak year for the category. Additionally, the DVD version I watched didn’t take advantage of surround sound; my sub-woofer sat silent during the plethora of explosions and volcano eruptions, which made the 131 minutes seem even longer.As for the rest of it, the disaster-adventure’s story is fairly typical, and largely of secondary importance; contrived subplots slog towards the climactic historical event. Unfortunately, the dialog is dismal and the acting is laughable at times (Diane Baker’s character is hysterically hysterical); thankfully Oscar winner Maximilian Schell was able to redeem himself and his career in later films. There’s a painful-to-watch scene in which Barbara Werle sings while performing a G-rated striptease to Brian Keith, and Rossano Brazzi looks much more weathered than his 52 years should have indicated. Sal Mineo, John Leyton, J.D. Cannon and Marc Lawrence also have shallow roles. Then there’s a trio of female pearl divers (who appear only to provide cheesecake) that can swim nearly as deep and stay underwater the same length of time as Schell and Keith can, yet the men are wearing oxygen-supplied diving suits! More nonsense follows: the captain fights a mutiny using a high pressure water hose, probably not available in 1883, yet no one thinks to use it just minutes later to put out the fires caused by the flaming lava rocks falling from the sky. Even the much lauded special effects are repetitious and some were done very cheaply (e.g. the balloon’s propeller is made from a movie reel).

  • ivars-krumins
    ivars krumins

    The television versions of this movie have always frustrated me as have the various releases onto videotape.There are several incidents at sea as the Batavia Queen is making its way to Krakatoa. An underwater eruption, birds behaving oddly, a pressure build-up and excessive heat(more excessive, no doubt, than normal). Now along comes John Leyton to give an explanation to Diane Baker that all of these incidents are leading directly to Krakatoa.Why, oh why, does the explanation inevitably get cut whenever it is shown on TV(as well as on video)? It would be far better were the incidents themselves to be eliminated. At least then the explanation could be left in as a reference to unseen incidents.Apart from that I feel the film is entertaining although not without its faults.I’ve made a great deal out of the above deleted scene but now must attempt to redress the balance, so to speak. Thus far the various(UK) transmissions of the film have, as I have said, omitted this scene. However I recently purchased a newly-issued Region 1 version of the film in which this missing scene has been restored–much to my intense pleasure. This version has a running time of 2 hours and 11 minutes. It would have been slightly longer had the intermission been kept in.My reason for awarding the film only 6 out of a possible 10 is because of the various television transmissions as well as the truncated tape editions. Had they been complete the film would have got at least 9 out of 10.My final analysis? Not one of the greatest disaster movies ever made(The Towering Inferno, for me, would get 10 out of 10) but an entertaining flick nonetheless.Watch it if you get the chance–even the truncated version.

  • amanda-prince
    amanda prince

    When I was a lad, in the Cutler Ridge Cinema, after having paid 10 cents, and spent a buck at the Rexall Candy aisle.. jeez, no wonder my teeth rotted by 14! Anyway, as I was saying, Id sit in the theater among other kids my age, in plush (to me) theater seats, looking at the most marvelous blue screen.. sweeping from side to side in a grand arc, the glory of CINERAMA. The reverse embossed edge of the screen spilled the color into the front 10 rows of the seats. I saw many a good 60’z s sci fi like The Lost World, with David Hedison and Claude Rains, the original Voyage to The Bottom of the Sea movie with Walter Pidgeon as Admiral Nelson.I saw Krakatoa, East of Java in such a theater. Then it was the quintessential volcano movie with spectacular fireworks, a monstrous tidal wave that wipes out all of Sumatra.. and Java and everything else, by the looks of it. The human story is a droll treasure hunt looking for a box full of sacs of large perfect pearls, lost when a woman loses track of her husband and now cast-a-way son. Maximillian Schell plays a crusty but benevolent captain of a steel boat called the Batavia Queen. He is money-whipped into taking a group of convicts that look like they just got up out of the pit at Devils Island.Also are a father son team of balloonists (Sal Mineo’s last film I believe) A deep sea explorer who has brought along an experimental diving bell, and a laudanum junkie ex diver played by Brian Keith and his floozy wife..”and smokers!”. Ooops, I forgot the Japanese pearl divers (Toshi et el), although Sal Mineo says Tushy.. I swear.The cheesy soundtrack is peppered with amateurish musical numbers, a pseudo-Beachboy tenor obbligato.piece.Java Girl.Even when I saw this movie the first time, I knew the plastic volcano mountain was hokey. Krakatoa was a gentle island volcano with a low slope, not the alpine Matter-cano in the film. Also it is located WEST, not EAST of Java, but that would have made a clumsy title.. Krakatoa, West of Java.. doesn’t click does it? Anyway, I bought the DVD cause I collect sorry cheesy B movies like this. That it has such screen greats as Schell, Keith, Brazzi, Mineo and Baker among others, is a definite plus. Well worth the $5.99!

  • franciszek-gabara
    franciszek gabara

    Director Bernard L. Kowalski’s resume reveals that he was more suited to television than movies, and that’s apparent in the distinct lack of grandeur that accompanies this movie. It’s a historical adventure film based on the real-life eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in 1883 and like later, modern-era disaster epics such as THE TOWERING INFERNO the storyline gives us a bunch of characters in a single location forced to deal with the ensuing disaster staples. Unfortunately, for those of us hoping for mucho destruction, it’s not until the last half hour or so that things begin to (literally) hot up, with a plethora of miniature effects used to simulate the eruption. It doesn’t disappoint but it comes far too late.The first hour is s-l-o-w in the extreme. The supporting characters are numerous and not drawn very well, so they end up feeling like clichés: the group of inmates you just know are going to escape at some point; the square-jawed captain with the Steve Reeves beard; the drug-addicted diver and the heroic young Italian. The movie has an episodic feel to it, with one incident following another: there’s the bit with the hot air balloon, the bit with the diving bell, the scene with the divers, then the volcano eruption at the end. When there’s stuff going on it’s enjoyable, but in-between you’ll be chomping at the bit for the next occurrence.Casting could have been better, not that the actors have much to do. Brian Keith bags the most interesting role as the laudanum-swigging diver while Maxmilian Schell plays little more than a clean-cut one-dimensional hero type. Diane Baker is shrill and irrelevant, but Barbara Werle does better, especially in an amusing impromptu song-and-dance/striptease sequence. Other actors, like father/son team Rossano Brazzi and Sal Mineo, barely register. For instance, there just isn’t enough time to develop the latter’s romantic sub-plot with too much time spent on Baker’s uninteresting histrionics.

  • aysema-akise-sensoy-akca
    aysema akise sensoy akca

    If only for its Oscar-nominated special effects simulating the fireworks caused by a very active Krakatoa, the film has enough eye appeal to be worth a look. But it’s a pity that with a cast of talented actors aboard ship, the script and characters are so one-dimensional that after awhile one’s mind wanders to watching for the next special effects sequence–and there are plenty of them to watch.KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA almost looks as if it was designed for the 3D camera, with objects being tossed at the camera from above or below and must have looked even more spectacular on the big theater screen. The studio certainly has spared no expense in handsomely photographing this story of a salvage expedition that turns into a search for buried pearls on a shipwreck at the bottom of the sea. It includes a bevy of convicts aboard ship (a plot device that really makes no sense), while Captain MAXIMILIAN SCHELL stays at the helm of his ship steering it into one perilous situation after another and comforting his distraught passengers, including DIANE BAKER as a worried mother whose son is at a convent school near Krakatoa.BRIAN KEITH, ROSSANO BRAZZI and SAL MINEO have cardboard supporting roles but go through their paces with conviction, never seeming to mind the one-dimensional aspect of their characters. Brazzi makes an ill-fated decision to leave the ship for shore when a tidal wave is about to approach and leaves his son (Mineo) aboard ship with the other characters who survive the storm.There’s virtually no plot to really hook the viewer into caring about the fate of these wooden characters. Even Schell seems much too calm to be amidst such dire situations involving the safety of his ship but manages to look ruggedly handsome in torn shirt as he watches the fireworks that seem to bombard the ship at various intervals throughout.If the fireworks alone are enough to capture your interest, this is escapist adventure at best–but don’t expect a plot that makes much sense. The characters all speak in modern phrases akin to 1969 rather than the late 19th century, an anachronism that gets lost in all the fiery explosions and fireworks of a raging volcano.

  • astghik-poghosyan
    astghik poghosyan

    This one’s definitely a “mixed-bag”; a movie that wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to be. Disaster epic? Musical? Psychological drama? Romance? Adventure? Comedy? The producers threw all these elements into “the old stew pot”, gave it a brisk stir, and hoped for the best. For one thing, this movie was simply made at the wrong time — this just wasn’t “were it was at” for audiences in 1969; it looked badly dated and inconsequential. It would have fit far better among the B-picture adventure yarns that were being churned out in the 1950’s. Yet unfortunately for the producers, it was too early to be part of the “disaster pic” cycle of the mid-Seventies (though they did re-release it under a new name at that time, maybe hoping to recoup their losses?).I don’t know the whole story on the production, but it sounds like the producers were very anxious to get “into the can” all the special effects footage they could of volcano and tsunami, without any concept of how it was going to be pieced together. Apparently they started without anything approaching a finished script, and tried to tack together a story during the filming. Continuity is shaky, the subplots seem underdeveloped, so overall the movie has a sloppy, poorly-edited look. I have to wonder if much of it didn’t end up on the cutting room floor. This slip-shod approach probably explains how a major motion picture release could contain in it’s title such a glaring mistake in geography! The musical score, and especially Mack David’s theme song, is lovely, but it’s simply MUCH TOO “Sixties” for a movie set in the 1880’s. On the whole, the acting is fairly solid. Diane Baker and Barbara Werle share duties in the romance department; unfortunately, Barbara’s character “Charley” is a source of much unintended humor. Worst scene of the movie is where she sings and dances (and strips) around the stateroom she shares with Brian Keith. Was this supposed to be “seductive”? I recall being stupefied at this sudden and unexpected musical interlude; Brian Keith however just looks totally bored. The special effects are okay for their time, and there’s enough adventure in this movie to at least make it watchable.

  • david-rodriguez
    david rodriguez

    The film’s title invites the irresistible observation, and convenient movie review, “Krakatoa is West of Java.” The movie’s story is likewise without direction. For what seems like an interminable length of time, the volcano Krakatoa spurts and sputters — you are teased by the threatening eruption. During this time, the film should be providing its great characterizations; so, you really care about the people who are soon to be blanketed with volcanic lava and/or tsunami waters. That doesn’t exactly happen.Some of the special effects are explosive. Stars Maximilian Schell (as Captain Hanson) and Diane Baker (as Laura) are fine performers, who seem to be trying their best with the material. Brian Keith (as Connerly) is wasted. Sal Mineo (as Leoncavallo) is the best supporting player; though the director cuts away from him a little too soon following a nice “goodbye” scene with father Rossano Brazzi, it shows the most unused potential. Mr. Mineo resembles Marlon Brando in pensive medium shots — too bad he didn’t get more Brando-caliber scripts. **** Krakatoa, East of Java (1969) Bernard L. Kowalski ~ Maximilian Schell, Diane Baker, Sal Mineo

  • christopher-deleon
    christopher deleon

    Resolutely old-fashioned, corny yet undeniably entertaining sea-faring adventure set in 1883. Maximilian Schell is cast as the most polite, soft-spoken ship’s captain I’ve ever seen; he’s on a mission to find a sunken ship off the coast of Singapore and raid it of its treasures. He brings several passengers aboard (a divorcée looking for her young son, father and son thrill-seekers, a deep-sea diver with bad lungs, etc.), as well as thirty shackled prisons whom he keeps down in the ship’s galley. Great-looking movie originally released in the widescreen, three-camera Cinerama process, though the narrative is shaky from the beginning and the second-half is overloaded with repetitive volcanic explosions. The opening multi-screen montage of skin-divers and sunsets is beautifully presented–until you realize it’s actually made up of scenes from the film which have yet to occur! The large cast is alternately wooden and unhappy, though the cinematography and special effects are good and DeVol’s music score is rousing. Not a classic from the disaster movie genre, and saddled with a geographically incorrect title, but one that hopes to provide something for everyone. It’s silly, but still quite a thrilling ride. *** from ****

  • leslie-bauer
    leslie bauer

    Back in the early Fifties, Republic Pictures made a feature film Fair Wind to Java that featured the Krakatoa volcanic eruption and explosion that was a B film and didn’t pretend anything else. Too bad the era of B films was at an end when this one came out.Don’t get me wrong, Krakatoa, East of Java had great special effects, but it would have been nice if there had been a story worthy of those effects.Captain Maximilian Schell is using his tramp steamer to go on a diving expedition to recover lost pearls. He has to locate the ship that they went down in so Max is prepared. He’s got a father and son team of balloonists, Rossano Brazzi and Sal Mineo, a deep sea diver Brian Keith and his sweetheart Barbara Werle and Diane Baker who is the widow of the guy who lost the pearls in the first place.And then the Dutch authorities decide he’s to take on a gang of convicts for transportation. Their leader, J.D. Cannon is a former mate on Schell’s ship and Schell out of friendship gives him the freedom of the deck.I’ll stop here because this thing gets dumber as it goes along. Why in heaven’s name would Schell even take his ship out looking for riches with a group of convicts on is beyond me. If the authorities insisted he take them, I’d have dropped the convicts where they were to go first and then gone for the pearls. Or maybe not taken the thing out at all. And surely not have given Cannon the freedom of the deck. What a moron.Why Brian Keith has Barbara along also doesn’t make sense. Maybe he don’t trust her to behave, but his reasons are obscure. And director Bernard Kowalski gives Werle a musical number. Whose decision was that to include it in the film? It’s not even that good.In a recent biography of Sal Mineo, the author recounts that when this film was having its premiere in Honolulu, Mineo walked out of the premiere, proclaiming to one and all what a piece of trash this film was. I probably think Sal knew it, but at the time he needed the dough.Maximilian Schell is a fine actor, but action adventure hero he’s not. Either he did this as an effort to expand his horizons or he too needed the dough.Maybe one day someone will make a good film about Krakatoa, but this ain’t the one. And who knows, maybe that someone will correctly place Krakatoa west of Java.

  • mackenzie-mcfarland
    mackenzie mcfarland

    Krackatoa, East of Java is a fictional story set against the backdrop of the infamous eruption of Krackatoa in 1883 that triggered huge Tsunamis. This movie involves a ship captain and his crew on a voyage to a ship wreck site close to the shores of Krackatoa where the 200 year dormant Volcano begins waking up in search of treasure. This movie does have excitement but you have to wait through awhile to get the excitement. Most of the action is on the ship. Although intrigueing things happen on the way, like dead fish in the water and unexplained explosions, the action is still too slow. However the special effects were good for a movie this old (1969). I thought the eruption and Tidal wave sequences were well done. 6/10

  • wolfhard-kramer
    wolfhard kramer

    I have been waiting since 1969 to see this, since it wasn’t available on tape, and finally saw it on DVD on widescreen TV, home theater sound, etc, to get as close to the movie theater experience as possible. Too bad, because while the spectacle of all the adventure and effects are grand, the acting, dialog and direction borders on insipid. The director, Kowalski, was interesting with his two 50’s sci-fi horror flicks, he was and has been basically a TV director and it shows here. He never really uses the big screen, not to mention Cinerama, to it’s potential. He doesn’t use the great (like Sal Mineo) and good (like Brian Keith) actors to their full potential. The effects are nice enough, but the same shots are used too often. Where there should be build up of suspense, there’s only tedium and passing the time, much like typical 70s network TV fare. The writing is uninspired and much of the dialog is weak. There’s plenty of dramatic plot elements to bring together and hit us in the gut, such as the woefully unexplored relationship of Mineo and Jacquie Chan, and this would have been great with a director the caliber of David Lean or Robert Wise. The first 15 minutes are very good and made me think it would be as good as, say, The Sand Pebbles, but alas, no. In the hands of an inspired talent, I dare say it could have had several academy award nominations, including Brian Keith for supporting actor, and it could have run nearly 3 hours and still have been engrossing. Well, MGM wasn’t up to snuff in 1968-69, and so this is what we got. Normally, I’d give a 6 to a film like this, but it gets 4 because of all of the wasted potential. Could be a good remake though!

  • helen-nixon
    helen nixon

    Adventure/epic movie with a light and plain plot about a vessel weigh anchor from Singapur and with a motley and disparate crew (Diane Baker, Rossano Brazzi, Sal Mineo, Barbara Werle, among others) looking for a hidden treasure in a shipwrecked long time ago . The ship captain (Maximilian Schell) will have to confront rebels , deep-sea divers (Brian Keith), prisoner breakouts (J.D.Cannon) , mutiny , fire and facing specially the Krakatoa volcanic explosion (1883) , which proved to be the most spectacular natural disaster in history .This jumbled picture was exhibited in big screen called Cinerama . This became one of the last features to use Todd-AO for principal photography . The film unites the Julio Verne’s spirit with melodrama and the action footage is top-notch . There are varied procession of characters , typical shallow roles of catastrophic cinema that a few years later consecrates ¨ Airport ¨ (by George Seaton) , but is hampered by simple characterizations . Breathtaking , spectacular cinematography by Manuel Berenguer , outdoors have been shot in Islands Canarias (Spain) and scenarios are glimmer and glittering as when the ship cross through the cliffs while the volcano erupts . The climax is served by overwhelming special effects by Alex Weldon and the master Eugene Lorie (who had Oscar nomination) , it has main issue the volcano Krakatoa (in the map on the west , no east) and the historical eruption and continuing a demolishing seaquake , climaxed by volcanic explosion , tidal wave or tsunami . Krakatoa Island remained destroyed and died approximately 35.000 people in the catastrophe . The producers learned of the geographic error , Krakatoa was west of Java in the Sundra Strait , only after all of the advertising and publicity materials had been prepared. It was deemed too costly to re-do these materials, and possibly delay the release, for the sake of simple geographic accuracy . Frank De Vol musical score (Robert Aldrich’s habitual musician) is good and evocative . Heavily cut after premiere , leaving tale more muddle than before . The motion picture was regularly directed by Bernard L.Kowalski . Rating : Passable and entertaining .

  • jeffery-mcdonald
    jeffery mcdonald

    The eruption of Krakatoa—an Indonesian volcano on Pulan island between Java and Sumatra—in 1883, is one of the most catastrophic witnessed by man…The volcano’s collapse triggered a series of tsunamis, or tidal waves, recorded as far away as South America and Hawaii… The greatest wave, which reached a height of 120 feet and took 36,000 lives in nearby coastal towns of Java and Sumatra, occurred just after the climactic explosion…The scenes of the natural force (fireballs, typhoon, volcanic eruptions, tidal wave…) are of the most spectacular to charm the huge Cinerama screen…Throughout the extraordinary cataclysm, the film is an epic adventure where we watch: A shipwreck with a hidden treasure; the best underwater man; deep-sea Polynesian divers with shattered lungs and claustrophobia; 30 dangerous convicts; mutiny and fire on the ‘Batavia Queen’; singing nuns with innocent children; and a lost orphan boy looking for his mother…Maximilian Schell is the valiant captain; Brian Keith, the troublemaker; Rossano Brazzi, the stubborn father; Sal Mineo, the rebel; Diana Baker the loving mother; and Barbara Werle, the obedient sweetheart…Bernard L.Kowalski—in his feature film debut as director—achieves with effectiveness and ability an entertaining motion picture of an incredible day that shook the Earth where all life on the Krakatoa island group are buried under a raging river of molten lava with a terrifying tidal wave spreading its very high waters over the poor port of Anjer, and a very wise captain taking his ship to deep waters…

  • ricardo-raquel-almonte-pineda
    ricardo raquel almonte pineda

    Though “Airport” and “The Poseidon Adventure” are most often credited with kicking off the 1970’s disaster craze, this film clocked in just a tad earlier and certainly has its share of catastrophes (though nothing is more disastrous in it than the script!) Set in the late 1800’s, Schell is the treasure-seeking captain of The Batavia Queen, a steamship bound for a sunken boat that promises to contain bags of huge, priceless pearls. Baker plays his love interest, a mentally troubled lady upon whose memory the entire mission rests. She is also seeking her lost son who her husband off-loaded somewhere before dying. Keith plays a Laudinum-addicted diver who is literally near his last breath. He’s toting tacky would-be singer Werle (outfitted in a series of blonde wigs no doubt leftover from her many TV western appearances.) Also on board are father/son balloonists Brazzi and Mineo, bell diver Leyton and a quartet of Japanese female divers, famed for their breath-holding ability. Things get off to a rough start when a sailor falls to his death merely loading the diving bell onto the ship! Then a thoroughly inappropriate song (sounding like The Beach Boys) plays as the ship slips out of port. It gets worse from there as birds mass, fish die, the sky turns orange, smoke descends everywhere and chunks of lava rock are hurled at the boat (and this is before the climactic eruption of the title volcano which, as everyone knows by now, is WEST of Java, not east!) There’s even a gaggle of prisoners placed on board to add to the troubles. In the meantime, a lot of dull, pointless dramatics play out amongst the “Grand Motel”-level cast. Baker frets, alternately wooden and over-the-top. Keith engages in drug-induced violence. Werle sings the planet’s deadliest song while stripping off her horribly non-period, period costume. Mineo flirts with the oldest of the female divers. Schell wanders around with a nipple hanging out of his torn shirt. The bell and the balloon run into trouble. Nothing seems to go right for these hapless salvage-seekers and it only gets worse when Krakatoa decides to blow (and blow!) At this point, the volcano shoots like a Roman candle, filling the air with ash and creating a massive tidal wave that would make George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg jealous. If any of this sounds entertaining, it really isn’t except for some of the special effects. The characters are never properly fleshed out and mostly don’t share much discernible chemistry with each other. The screenplay couldn’t be any more thoughtless and pointless, though there is one memorable line when lower class Werle barks at Brazzi, “Labels are for jelly jars!” That one would even do well in today’s PC environment! The film was heavily edited after its initial release and what remains is so dull it’s hard to imagine what was cut! The opening credits act as a sort of trailer for the film. Some audiences may want to let watching that suffice and skip the rest of the movie!

  • kevin-young
    kevin young

    A guilty pleasure. Krakatoa, East Of Java’s principal claim to fame is its title, infamously and erroneously placing its subject on the wrong side of the island. Directed by Bernard Kowalski, whose rare non-TV credits include Attack Of The Giant Leeches (1959), and SSsssnake (1973), the film is probably his best, aided immensely as it is by some excellent widescreen cinematography, emphasised with convincing location shooting -facts rarely allowed for in usual criticisms of a film which was cut by almost 30 minutes for an American re-release. The special effects, largely achieved through miniatures and blue screen work, range from passable to excellent and even now, in this era of eye watering CGI, there’s still a fascination is seeing how well such a catastrophe was portrayed. The production design, by the veteran Eugène Lourié no less, is worth a discussion on its own.In the face of this impending volcanic disaster is a nicely mixed group and one would expect plenty of steamy drama to be played out beneath sweltering decks. But the main problem the narrative is that, despite some promising elements, the audience has little empathy with the main group. Despite the long running time of the film (130 minutes in the full version), they remain too fragmented, and dramatic interest is often discharged too rapidly. But that’s part of the fun, seeing how various matters are padded and dragged out between tantalising hints of the eruption to come. How some potential for real drama, like the love-hate relationship between father and son balloonists, or the latent sexuality of the Japanese women etc, is left to die by a unfocused script. For every wooden scene between between Hanson and Laura , one would dearly love more about the convict Dauzig’s personal demons or his relationship with his comrades in chains below decks for instance, the resentful tension of which threatens to be every bit as violent as the island they are sailing towards.But there’s some incidental fun to be had along the way: one thinks of Keith and Werle in their cabin early on for instance, where she serenades him with a song as unexpected as it is irrelevant. It’s a shipboard relationship between a heavyweight has-been and a shop worn female recalling that between Ernest Borgnine and Shelly Winters in The Poseidon Adventure of three years later. Keith’s addict-diver with the ‘shot lungs’ provides other of the film’s whacked out highlights too, as when, high on his drug, he hallucinates and attacks one of the Japanese women. Eventually confined to a crate suspended over deck until he regains his senses, Connerly is a man who seems doomed from the moment we see him. A point-of-view shot through the wooden bars during his moment of trial, lensed as he swings helplessly back and forth, suggests a prison in which a condemned man finds himself. Such is typical of a film that has many such moments, those in which characters peer at a world fraught with challenge. Whether through eyepieces, between slats, out of portholes, from balloons and diving bells, down into holds packed full of convicts or steaming volcanic cauldrons, apprehensive observation and anticipation is the norm for those who ride the Batavia Queen. These moments aptly reflect back the concerns of an audience who, in this film more than others, have come principally to observe a promised spectacular.Such a visual motif is one of the few unifying elements in the film, other than the overarching expectation of an eruption. The overwhelming episodic nature of events is obvious, but at least it has the merit of making the film fairly diverse in content and, even in its full length version, time passes quickly enough in Krakatoa. On top of this, the concluding explosions and fireworks from the island aside, Kowalski does manage one or two effective scenes, such as the scenes in the runaway balloon, the near-comedy of which reminds one of the balloon antics in Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (1965), or the eerie sound effects caused by the nascent eruption (although one piece of eruption footage, conspicuously recycled, is a distraction). The simulation of audio effects one of the few times that the film actually reflects the subtle indications of such a massive event realistically as, for the rest of the film, the volcano is stereotyped into the usual ‘burning mountaintop’ image, set in mostly clear air at that, with the phenomenon of falling blankets of ash entirely overlooked. For some reason too, Krakatoa’s eruption brings on a storm at sea – a nice easy, extra, touch of drama to be sure, although quite why volcanism should affect the weather is uncertain. Tossed and buffeted, Hanson’s ship is a place of refuge amongst the impending devastation and, after dropping off one or two of the travellers who decide to sit out the expected tsunami on shore – a mistake in this situation, as any alert audience immediately realises – it faces the momentous tide alone. Like a similar wave that topples the aforementioned SS Poseidon, the one that comes up here seems to break mysteriously as it approaches the ship, but the outcome is never really in doubt. On shore, the results are worse, but reasonably well done, Kowalski’s images suggesting something of a biblical deluge in scenes, which even the film’s doubters still find impressive.In fact so much has been leading up to the grand finale, so many supporting stories established, that one wishes that Krakatoa would go on a little longer than it does, at least so that there was time to gauge the effect of such tumultuous effects on the key participants. Ultimately, what impresses most these days is the absence throughout of the earnestness that attends so many modern disaster movies. The result is a still enjoyable film, one both flawed and innocent at the same time.