Krakatoa, East of Java (1969)

G | 148 mins | Adventure | 14 May 1969

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HISTORY

The film’s title presents a factual error, as the Indonesian island of Krakatoa is west of Java. The problem was pointed out by various contemporary sources at the time of the film’s release. Cinerama Releasing Corp. executives apparently learned of the mistake only after publicity materials had been produced, and it was determined that a title change would be too costly. The original working title was Krakatoa. In spring 1967, the film was renamed East of Java, before a final title change to Krakatoa, East of Java.
       Philip Yordan was originally attached to produce for Cinerama, with Ty Hardin attached to star, as noted in the 4 Jan 1967 and 1 Feb 1967 issues of Var. On 4 Apr 1967, DV stated that the project would be a co-production between Security Pictures and Pacific Theatres Corp.
       Principal photography began in Spain on 15 May 1967, according to a production chart in the 9 Jun 1967 DV. Locations included Madrid and the island of Mallorca, where filming took place in mid-to-late Jun 1967, the 21 Jun 1967 Var noted. Cast and crew also filmed interiors at the Samuel Bronston studio lot in Hollywood, CA, as indicated in a 14 Feb 1968 Var article, which reported that the studio had since been put up for public auction.
       Filming wound in Spain sometime around 4 Oct 1967, according to that day’s Var. A 22 Nov 1967 Var brief later noted that a special unit had been rushed to the Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia to film a possible volcanic eruption. ...

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The film’s title presents a factual error, as the Indonesian island of Krakatoa is west of Java. The problem was pointed out by various contemporary sources at the time of the film’s release. Cinerama Releasing Corp. executives apparently learned of the mistake only after publicity materials had been produced, and it was determined that a title change would be too costly. The original working title was Krakatoa. In spring 1967, the film was renamed East of Java, before a final title change to Krakatoa, East of Java.
       Philip Yordan was originally attached to produce for Cinerama, with Ty Hardin attached to star, as noted in the 4 Jan 1967 and 1 Feb 1967 issues of Var. On 4 Apr 1967, DV stated that the project would be a co-production between Security Pictures and Pacific Theatres Corp.
       Principal photography began in Spain on 15 May 1967, according to a production chart in the 9 Jun 1967 DV. Locations included Madrid and the island of Mallorca, where filming took place in mid-to-late Jun 1967, the 21 Jun 1967 Var noted. Cast and crew also filmed interiors at the Samuel Bronston studio lot in Hollywood, CA, as indicated in a 14 Feb 1968 Var article, which reported that the studio had since been put up for public auction.
       Filming wound in Spain sometime around 4 Oct 1967, according to that day’s Var. A 22 Nov 1967 Var brief later noted that a special unit had been rushed to the Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia to film a possible volcanic eruption.
       On 16 Aug 1967, DV announced that American Broadcasting Company’s ABC Films had taken a fifty-percent interest in East of Java and another Cinerama picture, Custer of the West (1968, see entry). According to a 24 Jan 1968 Var article, both films were being financed “to the tune of $4,000,000.” However, the 27 May 1968 DV reported the final budget for Krakatoa, East of Java as $6,293,016.
       The film’s world premiere was set to take place on 9 Jan 1969 at three Cinerama theaters in Tokyo, Japan, the 6 Jan 1969 LAT reported. A European premiere was scheduled to follow on 31 Jan 1969 in Paris, France, as noted in the 29 Jan 1969 Var. The U.S. premiere occurred on 14 May 1969 at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, CA. An item in the 18 Jun 1969 LAT announced the picture had set a box-office record for that theater, grossing $96,712 in its first three weeks, surpassing previous record holder Grand Prix (1966, see entry). Following six months as an exclusive, roadshow engagement at the Cinerama Dome, the film was set to open in multiple theaters across Los Angeles on 19 Nov 1967.
       Despite criticisms of the film’s special effects in the 5 Feb 1969 Var and 26 Jun 1969 NYT reviews, special effects director Eugene Lourié and special effects man Alex Weldon received Academy Award nominations for Special Visual Effects. Other accolades included a Certificate of Merit from the Southern California Motion Picture Council to producer William R. Forman, “for his triple role as president and chairman of Cinerama, Inc., Pacific Theaters and as producer of Cinerama’s Krakatoa, East of Java,” as stated in the 30 May 1969 LAT.
       Actress Barbara Werle recorded two songs for the film, both written by Mack David and conducted by Frank De Vol, according to the 12 Apr 1968 DV.
       Although Bernard L. Kowalski claimed in a 19 Aug 1967 LAT interview that Krakatoa, East of Java was his feature film directorial debut, he had previously directed four feature-length motion pictures in the late 1950s.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Apr 1967
p. 4.
Daily Variety
27 Apr 1967
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
10 May 1967
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Jun 1967
p. 1.
Daily Variety
9 Jun 1967
p. 10.
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1967
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
12 Apr 1968
p. 11.
Daily Variety
27 May 1968
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1969
p. 57.
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1969
p. 18.
Daily Variety
14 May 1969
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
19 Aug 1967
p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
6 Jan 1969
Section G, p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
28 Mar 1969
Section I, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
13 May 1969
Section C, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
16 May 1969
Section E, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
25 May 1969
Section O, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
30 May 1969
Section D, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jun 1969
Section E, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
2 Jul 1969
Section C, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
11 Nov 1969
Section D, p. 17.
New York Times
26 Jun 1969.
---
Variety
4 Jan 1967
p. 10.
Variety
1 Feb 1967
p. 16.
Variety
21 Jun 1967
p. 24.
Variety
16 Aug 1967
p. 28.
Variety
4 Oct 1967
p. 23.
Variety
22 Nov 1967
p. 4.
Variety
24 Jan 1968
p. 4.
Variety
14 Feb 1968
p. 24.
Variety
9 Oct 1968
p. 29.
Variety
13 Nov 1968
p. 21.
Variety
29 Jan 1969
p. 4.
Variety
5 Feb 1969
p. 6.
Variety
4 Jun 1969
p. 11.
Variety
14 Jan 1970
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Underwater photog
Cam op
Asst cam
2nd unit cam op
2nd unit cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward master
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff dir
Spec eff
Titles & montage
Titles & montage
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prop master
Casting dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"East of Java" and "A Nice Old Fashioned Girl," words and music by Mack David.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
East of Java
Krakatoa
Release Date:
14 May 1969
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Tokyo: 9 Jan 1969; Paris premiere: 31 Jan 1969; Los Angeles opening: 14 May 1969 at the Cinerama Dome
Production Date:
15 May--late Sep or early Oct 1967
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Security Pictures
26 December 1968
LP38109
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
gauge
35 & 70
Widescreen/ratio
see note
Duration(in mins):
148
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
21332
SYNOPSIS

In 1883 the Batavia Queen leaves Singapore harbor. Her destination is the coast of volcanic island Krakatoa, where a ship laden with pearls has sunk. Among her passengers are Laura, widow of the lost ship's captain; Rigby, a claustrophobic diving bell pilot; the Borgheses, father and son balloonists; and Toshi, the leader of a team of Japanese diving girls. Also aboard are 30 prisoners, including the convict Danzig, who is given freedom of the deck. As the ship approaches Krakatoa, catastrophes occur in rapid succession, including accidents and natural disasters. Caught while aloft in the updraft of Krakatoa, the Borgheses save themselves by diving into the sea. Led by Danzig, the mutinous prisoners briefly control the ship. Captain Hanson retaliates by killing the convict and setting his fellows adrift in lifeboats. Upon recovering the sunken ship's safe, all are shocked to discover it empty, save for a log. Although Laura placates the passengers by assuring them that the diary specifies the treasure's location, she later reveals that she is searching for her son, left by her husband at a Catholic mission. When the Batavia Queen rescues the mission's staff from a sampan, the boy is among those saved. Presented by her son with the coveted pearls, Laura begins division of the treasure. However, Krakatoa erupts, causing a massive tidal wave. To escape certain destruction the ship takes to the open ...

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In 1883 the Batavia Queen leaves Singapore harbor. Her destination is the coast of volcanic island Krakatoa, where a ship laden with pearls has sunk. Among her passengers are Laura, widow of the lost ship's captain; Rigby, a claustrophobic diving bell pilot; the Borgheses, father and son balloonists; and Toshi, the leader of a team of Japanese diving girls. Also aboard are 30 prisoners, including the convict Danzig, who is given freedom of the deck. As the ship approaches Krakatoa, catastrophes occur in rapid succession, including accidents and natural disasters. Caught while aloft in the updraft of Krakatoa, the Borgheses save themselves by diving into the sea. Led by Danzig, the mutinous prisoners briefly control the ship. Captain Hanson retaliates by killing the convict and setting his fellows adrift in lifeboats. Upon recovering the sunken ship's safe, all are shocked to discover it empty, save for a log. Although Laura placates the passengers by assuring them that the diary specifies the treasure's location, she later reveals that she is searching for her son, left by her husband at a Catholic mission. When the Batavia Queen rescues the mission's staff from a sampan, the boy is among those saved. Presented by her son with the coveted pearls, Laura begins division of the treasure. However, Krakatoa erupts, causing a massive tidal wave. To escape certain destruction the ship takes to the open seas.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.