'Krakatoa' Explodes in S.L. Premiere
Salt Lake Tribune, 7 August 1969, page 8D
By Harold Schindler
Tribune Staff Writer
The East Indian island of Krakatoa exploded cataclysmically Wednesday
night in full 70 millimeter Cinerama; it was the grandest motion picture
spectacle since the parting of the Red Sea.
"Krakatoa, East of Java" (actually it is west of Java), premiered
at the Villa Theatre in a special salute sponsored by the Salt Lake Area
Chamber of Commerce to the civic leaders of five counties, Salt Lake,
Weber, Davis, Tooele, and Utah.
A thousand honored guests from these areas saw Maximilian Schell, Diane
Baker, Brian Keither, Barbara Werle, John Leyton, Rossano Brazzi, and
Sal Mineo pursue a sunken treasure into the shadow of the rumbling volcano
until Krakatoa's final stupendous upheaval.
It was high adventure in the best tradition with wonderful special effects
and the magnificence of Cinerama to give the eruption breadth and scope.
It Really Happened
The screenplay was based on the actual Krakatoa eruption in 1883, a disaster
which snuffed out the lives of some 37,000 persons, caused tidal waves
reaching four continents, created a roar heard 3,000 miles, blasted pulverized
rock to heights of 150,000 feet, transformed a cubic mile of ocean into
super-heated steam, dissolved all life on the 18-mile long island, and
left in place of the volcano a chasm several miles in diameter and 1,000
In the film, Schell portrays a sea captain determined to find a sunken
hulk containing what he believes to be a fortune in pearls.
His ship, the "Batavia Queen," carries a cargo of convicts
destined for another island along the route; a father and son balloonist
team (Brazzi and Mineo), a tough washed-up diver (Keith), and a claustrophobic
diving ell operator.
Best of Effects
Thrills mount when the balloonists locate the sunken wreck only to be
caught in a powerful updraft of the seething volcano. Here the audience
is treated to some of the best of the special effects.
In the action which follows, the convicts overpower their guard and seize
control of the "Batavia Queen." But they are subdued by the
Diane Baker, widow of the captain of the sunken vessel presses the search
for her young son who was taken away by the husband, and finds the boy
as the drama roars to conclusion.
Krakatoa reaches the last moments of its internal agony and so begins
the eruptions which ultimately blow the volcano from the ocean. If it's
excitement you like, this is a picture to see.