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•8/7/69 - 'Krakatoa' Explodes in S.L. Premiere


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'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.

Stupendous Upheaval

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 feet deep.

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 quick-thinking captain.

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.