Old Smokey develops a bad temper in this volcanic disaster spectacle. Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) is a volcano expert whose interest became more than academic after he lost the woman he loved in a volcanic emergency. When he is sent to investigate unusual seismic activity in the quiet Pacific Northwest community of Dante's Peak, he discovers people boiled to death in the local hot spring and plant and animal life dying or displaying unusual illnesses near the city's supposedly dormant volcano. Harry becomes convinced that a major volcanic catastrophe is in the cards. Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton), the town's mayor, is a single mother who also runs the local cafe, and now that Dante's Peak has been named one of the most desirable small towns in America, tourists have been flocking to the diner and other local businesses. While concerned with the safety of her community, Rachel takes a cynical view of Harry's warnings about the volcano; she has no desire to alarm either the town's residents or the wealthy visitors lining the city's pockets. Nevertheless, Harry tries to convince Rachel of the potential danger, as they begin to develop feelings for each other that are not strictly professional. The summer of 1997 was a big season for killer volcanoes at the movies, as Dante's Peak and Volcano opened within a few months of each other.
by Mark Deming synopsis