Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Poseidon Adventure, The (1972)

Poseidon Adventure, The (1972)

Before Titanic (1997), there was Shelley Winters, who was the largest of the notable names on the manifest of the luxury liner Poseidon that is capsized by a freak tidal wave caused by an undersea earthquake in this surprisingly well-directed disaster flick.

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Nearly all of the passengers whooping it up in the ship’s dining room on New Year’s Eve are killed, but ten survivors journey through the ship to escape; worthwhile simply to see Winters squeezing through air shafts, and the toppling Christmas tree.

Led by two-fisted liberal priest Gene Hackman, they thread their way through the upside-down world of the liner – from top to bottom – in search of a way out.

The intriguing inverted sets designed by William Creber camouflage most of the movie’s dramatic implausibilities, while the steadily-rising water injects a healthy measure of tension.

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The sets were mounted on slanted tracks which were gradually lowered into water tanks while Ms Winters, Red Buttons and Ernest Borgnine emoted furiously.

Produced by legendary producer Irwin Allen, The Poseidon Adventure was the first major “disaster movie” success putting a weird conglomeration of humanity at peril.

It spawned a terrible sequel, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), and the genre soon gathered momentum with basically the same story taking place on crashing planes, in burning skyscrapers and during major earthquakes.

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Reverend Frank Scott
Gene Hackman
Mike Rogo
Ernest Borgnine
James Martin
Red Buttons
Nonnie Parry
Carol Lynley
Acres
Roddy McDowall
Linda Rogo
Stella Stevens
Belle Rosen
Shelley Winters
Manny Rosen
Jack Albertson
Ship’s captain
Leslie Nielsen
Susan Shelby
Pamela Sue Martin
Ship’s chaplain
Arthur O’Connell
Robin Shelby
Eric Shea
Linarcos
Fred Sadoff

Director
Ronald Neame