Krakatoa, East of Java

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Krakatoa, East of Java
Krakatoa east of java.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bernard L. Kowalski
Produced by William R. Forman
Philip Yordan
Written by Bernard Gordon
Clifford Newton Gould
Starring Maximilian Schell
Diane Baker
Brian Keith
Sal Mineo
Sumi Haru
Music by Frank De Vol
Mack David
Security Pictures
Distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation (1968, original) MGM (2005, DVD)
Release dates
  • May 14, 1969 (1969-05-14)
Running time 131 min
Language English

Krakatoa, East of Java (1969) is a disaster film starring Maximilian Schell and Brian Keith.[1] The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.


The story attempts to base events around the 1883 eruption of the volcano on the island of Krakatoa. The characters are engaged in the recovery of a cargo of pearls from a shipwreck perilously close to the volcano.



The film was photographed in Super Panavision 70 (with some scenes filmed in Todd-AO), and presented in 70 mm Cinerama in some cinemas. Some problems with the film include inaccuracy in detail. Krakatoa is, in fact, west of Java. (Mount Tambora, on Sumbawa, is the violent volcano east of Java). The film was retitled Volcano in later releases. While the film was in production, its makers became aware of the geographic error in its title but used it anyway, apparently believing that this was a more exotic title than "Krakatoa, West of Java".[citation needed] Furthermore, the film aided in popularizing the spelling "Krakatoa", as opposed to the Indonesian "Krakatau".

There was a movie-tie novelization with the same title by Michael Avallone.

In pop culture[edit]

In the episode "Someone to watch over me" of the series Frasier, one of the titles between sections reads "KRAKATOA, WEST OF JAVA (THE MOVIE WAS WRONG)".

The film is mentioned by Jerry Seinfeld in the Seinfeld episode "The Truth": "Those brave Krakatoans, east of Java, who sacrificed so much for so long!"

It is parodied in the Monty Python sketch "Scott of the Antarctic" as "Krakatoa, East of Leamington".

In the final episode of Eerie, Indiana, one character can be heard saying on the phone, "Who cares if Krakatoa isn't really east of Java?", referring to getting a bad grade on a test.

This was the first film that British film critic Mark Kermode ever saw.[2]

The phrase "Krakatoa, east of Java" is used in the lyrics to the 1979 song "Lava" by the B-52's, included in their first album "The B-52's:" "My heart's crackin' like a Krakatoa. Krakatoa, east of Java, molten bodies, fiery lava." It also appears in the song "New World Disorder" by Biohazard, from the album of the same name.

The film is mentioned in the Wings episode "Just Say No". When Brian jokes that if his date the previous night had been a movie, "waves would be crashing, rockets would be launching, and volcanoes would be erupting," Lowell replies, "I've seen that movie: Krakatoa, East of Java. There wasn't much sex, but nobody had any time."


Krakatoa, East of Java was released to DVD by MGM Home Video on March 22nd, 2005 as a Region 1 widescreen DVD.


  1. ^ Vincent Canby (June 26, 1969). "Krakatoa East of Java (1969) Eruptions in Cinerama". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Daoust, Phil (March 13, 2010). "It's Only a Movie by Mark Kermode". The Guardian. Retrieved June 13, 2011. 

External links[edit]