The Dante Peak

Dante’s Peak or the summit of Dante in Quebec ( Dante’s Peak ), is an American film , directed by Roger Donaldson , released in 1997 .


Four years after losing her companion Marianne during a volcanic eruption in Colombia , volcanologist Harry Dalton is employed by the United States Geological Survey in Vancouver , Washington , in the north-west from the United States .

One day after that were registered signs of seismic activity on Dante’s Peak , Volcano (fictional) Pelean type of the Cascade (real), in the state of Washington , the service sends conduct a “routine” surveillance mission, the volcano being known to have been extinct for centuries.

Dr. Dalton arrives at Dante’s Peak, a small (fictional) town at the foot of the volcano, during a party where Rachel Wando, local mayor, is awarded the prize for “the second most enjoyable city in the United States.” United in a population of less than 20,000 inhabitants “, while investors are preparing to launch real estate projects in the small town.

The arrival of the volcanologist obviously does not delight Rachel, who fears that the promoters do not care about the signs of volcanic activity. After the discovery of two young people scalded and asphyxiated while swimming in a hot spring on the slopes of the volcano, the geological monitoring service is however forced to send a full team to carry out an increased surveillance and a series of in-depth measures.

The accumulation of clues showing an imminent awakening of the volcano led the authorities to consider, willy-nilly, the evacuation of the small town in calm. But the outbreak of the eruption and the threat of a pyroclastic flow lead to a general save-it-can …

Technical sheet

  • Original title: Dante’s Peak
  • French titles: Le Pic de Dante
  • Quebec title: The Dante Summit
  • Director: Roger Donaldson
  • Screenplay: Leslie Bohem
  • Original music: John Frizzell , James Newton Howard ( love theme )
  • Director of Photography: Andrzej Bartkowiak
  • Editing: Conrad Buff , Tina Hirsch and Howard E. Smith
  • Set design: J. Dennis Washington
  • Costume design: Isis Mussenden
  • Producers: Gale Anne Hurd and Joseph M. Singer
  • Co-producer: Marliese Schneider
  • Executive Producer: Ilona Herzberg
  • Associate producer: Geoff Murphy
  • Associate Co-producer: Staci A. Hunter
  • Production Companies: Pacific Western and Universal Pictures
  • Distribution Company: Universal Pictures
  • Budget: 116 million $
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Language: English
  • Format: colors – 2.35: 1
  • Genre: disaster , action , drama
  • Duration: 109 minutes
  • Release dates:
    •  United States and Canada : 
    •  United Kingdom :
    •  France :


  • Pierce Brosnan (VF: Emmanuel Jacomy ) : Harry Dalton
  • Linda Hamilton (VF: Véronique Augereau ) : Rachel Wando
  • Charles Hallahan (VF: Jean-Claude Sachot ) : Paul Dreyfus
  • Jamie Renee Smith (VF: Kelly Marot ) : Lauren Wando
  • Jeremy Foley : Graham Wando
  • Elizabeth Hoffman : Ruth
  • Grant Heslov (VF: Daniel Lafourcade ) : Greg, USGS technician
  • Kirk Trutner (VF: Eric Etcheverry ) : Terry, USGS technician
  • Arabella Field : Nancy, USGS technician
  • Tzi Ma (VF: Éric Legrand ) : Stan, technician of the USGS
  • Brian Reddy : The Worrell
  • Lee Garlington : r . Jane Fox
  • Bill Bolender : Sheriff Turner
  • Carole Androsky : Mary Kelly
  • Peter Jason : Norman Gates
  • Jeffrey L. Ward : Jack Collins
  • Tim Haldeman (VF: Mathieu Buscatto) : Elliot Blair
  • Hansford Rowe : Warren Cluster
  • Susie Spear Purcell : Karen Narlington
  • Walker Brandt : Marianne
  • David Lipper : the naked man in Hot Springs
  • Heather Stephens : the naked woman in Hot Springs
  • RJ Burns : the man on the helicopter
  • Tammy L. Smith : a woman on city council
  • Christopher Murray : a helicopter pilot
  • Justin Williams : an ambulance attendant
  • Donna Deshon : a journalist
  • Tom Magnuson : a journalist
  • Marilyn Leubner : the babysitter
  • Ed Stone : a technician
  • Adam William Douglas Bennett : a member of the National Guard

Around the film

Most of the “city” and outdoor scenes were shot in Idaho in and around Wallace . The disused silver mine that plays a role in the film is a real part of the history of the small town of Idaho , which directly inspired the film ‘s final adventures.

The sequences supposed to take place in the crater of Dante’s peak were shot on top of Mount Saint Helens , the famous volcano of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State , whose awakening,then especially the pyroclastic flow and the explosion of May 18 following, have lastingly marked all the north-west of the United States : 57 human victims, 1500 elk , 5000 other deer, 11 million fish, the casting having burned everything on an area of about 600 km 2 (a quadrilateral of 20 km by 30 km ).

Charles Hallahan who plays the role of Paul Dreyfus died on November 25, 1997 , 9 months after the release of the film in the United States. Sad irony of fate, the only main character who dies in the film is Paul Dreyfus.


In the film, Harry Dalton uses the fable of the frog to explain why, while the warning signs of the waking up of the volcano are slowly growing, nobody cares very much.

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