Filming Under the Volcano

  • Ronald Binns


‘And shadows of our fate at our meeting in Spain,’ the Consul writes to Yvonne in his unsent letter, adding rhetorically, ‘The Hollywood bar in Granada. Why Hollywood?’ (pp. 39–40).1 One answer might be that by the 1930s the influence of Hollywood movies was worldwide and a Spanish bar-owner could rely on the single word ‘Hollywood’ to carry a resonance of glamour, romance and sex — and as the ‘Motion Picture Research Council of America’ grimly warned at the time, ‘Seventy-eight per cent of all pictures contain liquor situations’. Another answer might be that by introducing a fateful semiotic coincidence Lowry sought to underline the role played by Hollywood and films in both his hero’s downfall and the telling of it.


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  1. 2.
    subsequently published in the Proceedings, ed. Gordon Bowker and Paul Tiessen (London and Waterloo: 1985), pp. 45–61.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See ‘Guillermo Cabrera Infante: An Interview in a summer manner with Jason Wilson’, in Modern Latin American Fiction: A Survey, ed. John King (London: 1987), p. 321.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    See Malcolm Lowry and Margerie Bonner Lowry, Notes on a Screenplay for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night’ (Bloomfield Hills/Columbia: 1976), p. 53.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    See Paul Tiessen, ‘A Canadian Film Critic in Malcolm Lowry’s Cambridge,’ Malcolm Lowry Review, Nos. 19 and 20 (autumn 1986/ spring 1987), p. 41.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    See Eric Rhode, A History of the Cinema From its Origins to 1970 (Harmondsworth: 1978), p. 346.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    See Alfred Appel, Jr., Nabokov’s Dark Cinema (New York: 1974), p.137.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    See Pauline Kael, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (New York: 1969), p. 299.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    Rhode, op. cit., p. 258.Google Scholar
  9. 17.
    Malcolm Lowry and Margerie Bonner Lowry, op. cit., p. 34.Google Scholar
  10. 18.
    See Tony Huston, ‘My Father’s Last Film’, Telegraph Sunday Magazine (13 December 1987), p. 33.Google Scholar
  11. 19.
    See the interview with Huston in the Lilyan Sievernich documentary John Huston and the Dubliners (first shown on Channel 4, 12 December 1987).Google Scholar
  12. 20.
    See Iain Johnstone, ‘Final bequests and promising starts’, The Sunday Times (27 December 1987).Google Scholar
  13. 21.
    Malcolm Lowry and Margerie Bonner Lowry, op. cit., p. 62.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Binns

There are no affiliations available

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