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The Poseidon Adventure

Action & Adventure movie directed by Irwin Allen and Ronald Neame

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the mother of all disaster movies

  • Nov 12, 2001
Irwin Allen's THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE is regarded as being the forerunner of the myriad of disaster movies that reigned supreme at the box-office through the 70's and into the 80's.

In this enjoyable and quite campy film, we see the "stock characters" that would become a fixture in the disaster movie genre; the Jewish couple (Jack Albertson and Shelley Winters), the swashbuckling ah...priest? (Gene Hackman), the rowdy policeman and his ex-hooker wife (Ernest Borgnine and Stella Stevens), the nervous little singer (Carol Lynley), the bachelor (Red Buttons), the leggy teen (Pamela Sue Martin) and the know-it-all little brat (Eric Shea).

Mind you, the ship was bound to sink with Leslie Nielsen (AKA Frank Drebin) at the helm...

When the SS Poseidon capsizes in a tidal wave on New Year's Eve, this motley bunch of survivors try to climb to the thinnest part of the hull to escape. Climbing up a huge Christmas tree to begin the adventure, the Priest first makes some convienient "alterations" to the women's outfits. First he orders Stella Stevens to take off her evening gown and put on a short pink shirt; then he orders Pamela Sue Martin to take off her red mini-skirt, which she does, only to reveal a matching pair of red hotpants beneath!!

Then sit back and watch as our vaccuous and totally unbelievable band of dim-wits try to thwart the crumbling wreckage that is continually exploding around them. I mean really, what is Stella Stevens thinking that she can climb through vents and up ladders in silver stilettos?!!

Featuring the theme song "The Morning After" (mimed convincingly by Carol Lynley) and some marvellous miniature effects techniques.

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More The Poseidon Adventure reviews
review by . May 03, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
In the 1970s, Hollywood had a fascination with disaster movies. So many of them were made that parodies of them were made (AIRPORT and AIRPLANE e.g). However, one of the first and best disaster films of all time is THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE.The movie takes place on the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The Poseidon is on it's final voyage to Athens, Greece. The ship is top heavy and the captain wants to stop and put on more weight, but the new owners won't have it. Time is money and they want the …
About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Ranked #147
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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Hands down, this is the best movie (and was one of the first) to come out of the seemingly endless cycle of disaster movies that dominated box offices during the 1970s. It could even be argued thatTitanicowes some of its success to the precedent set by this 1972 blockbuster starring Gene Hackman as a priest who leads a small group of survivors to safety from the bowels of a capsized luxury liner. From its stellar cast to its cheesy, Oscar-winning theme song,The Morning After, the movie has all the ingredients of a popular classic, beginning with a New Year's Eve celebration aboard the ill-fatedPoseidonand ending as a pop allegory when the Hackman character becomes a Christ-like martyr. Filmed on spectacular sets where everything down is up and the ship's thick hull points in the direction of salvation, this is "a waterloggedGrand Hotel" (in the words ofNew Yorkerfilm critic Pauline Kael) that is as entertaining as it is unabashedly brainless.The Poseidon Adventureis filled with performances that rise above the limits of the screenplay. It's also the only movie--unless you count her underwater corpse inNight of the Hunter--that lets Shelley Winters strut her stuff as an aquatic heroine. Who could ask for anything more?--Jeff Shannon
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Genre: Action, Adventure
DVD Release Date: March 9, 1999
Runtime: 117 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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