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The Poseidon Adventure

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

December. 13,1972
| Adventure Drama Thriller

When their ocean liner capsizes, a group of passengers struggle to survive and escape.


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Taylor Bowe Mcardle

I have seen many disaster films in my day but The Poseidon Adventure is truly a film that will leave you on the edge of your seat because each moment after the being hit by a tidal wave is unpredictable. The survivors have to find a way out of the ship and a preacher (Gene Hackman) has to lead them out that becomes dangerous and often scary situations they face. Each cast member played their parts with emotion that becomes dramatic at times. All in all I thought this was better then the Titanic. I know they did a remake of this film in 2005 but as I always say, stick with the classic.


Here we actually have a well made and entertaining disaster film. "The Poseidon Adventure" contains moments of tension and suspense as the survivors of the cruise ship wreck attempt to reach safety and against overwhelming odds.... Most of the time, the leading man or lady isn't required to act very much. They are required to look either brave or frightened. In this case, Gene Hackman made his character - a maverick priest - a multi-dimensional one. He doesn't feel he is any more brave or heroic than the average person. He never forgets the terrible task that he is faced with, as leader of the survivors on board the cruise liner. A great performance. Ernest Borgnine and Shelley Winters give the best performances in the supporting cast. The screenplay is a lot better than films of this kind usually are. The director Ronald Neame sensibly allows the audience to know the backgrounds of all the main characters before disaster strikes. The introduction of all the characters helps to give them much needed shading. Everything about this film looks frighteningly real. The fact that the "The Poseidon Adventure" was directed by an Englishman can't make it that bad a film! This is the definitive disaster film by a long way.


This film is full of drama and tension.We meet many people, who take a New Year's voyage to Greece that may be their last.The Captain (Gene Hackman) tries to sail his ship,but meets with danger and peril. We meet many passengers like The Rosens ( Jack Albertson and Shelley Winters) or Mike and Linda Rogo (Ernest Borgnine and Stella Stevens). It happens that the ship comes upon a tidal wave that may mark the end of everyone.In the struggle,the ship capsizes and things get risky; We find that the passengers must climb deeper through the boat to reach safety.True courage is knowing how to face what comes in front of you.Wisdom helps you to understand how to face reality head on.


It has been argued which of the 1970's "disaster genre" movies is the absolute best...Poseidon Adventure or Towering Inferno. As some IMDb members have pointed out, "Airport" started the genre, and films like Earthquake and Airport 75 were highly entertaining additions. But when it all boils down to it, PA and TI were the two most popular at the box office, each easily topping $100 million in domestic ticket sales.I saw Towering Inferno upon its theatrical release in December 1974, at the age of 9, and was crazy about it, because a) I wanted to be a fireman, and b) loved all the great action (especially watching the fire trucks racing through the rolling hills of San Francisco, and the Navy rescue helicopters, as well as the amazing John Williams soundtrack).However, as the years have passed by, and having watched the theatrical version of Poseidon Adventure on cable several times, I now feel that it is the better of the two movies.First of all, it is one hour shorter, which means we get more action per minute, and less "fluff".Perhaps most important of all, we get to see and know the main characters in much greater depth than we ever do in Towering Inferno. That alone makes for much greater drama, because we get to care for them more deeply.Also the underlying themes in PA, such as faith, new-found courage, self-sacrifice, overcoming self-doubt and arrogance, and learning to trust a child to help lead us to safety are so well written and acted out, it just adds all the more to the viewing experience.Above all else, what makes for a truly great disaster epic is having people we truly care about / root for.Poseidon Adventure does this in a way that Towering Inferno never accomplishes. In TI, Irwin Allen was going for true thrills, with less emphasis on the individuals. And with the drama / suspense of the blowing up of the water tanks, plus John Williams masterful score, it is a truly great "thrill ride", albeit with at least 30 minutes of excess running time.And, even though I love Steve McQueen's "Chief Michael O'Hallorhan" in TI, I dare say that Gene Hackman's "Reverend Scott" is just as good, if not more powerful and charismatic. If you want a truly epic "1970s disaster film", Poseidon Adventure delivers at every level.