The Poseidon Adventure (1972 movie)

The Poseidon Adventure is a 1972 American disaster movie directed by Ronald Neame , produced by Irwin Allen , and is based Paul Gallico ‘s eponymous 1969 novel . It features anensemble cast , including five Academy Award winners: Gene Hackman , Ernest Borgnine , Jack Albertson , Shelley Winters , and Red Buttons . Parts of the movie were filmed aboard the RMS Queen Mary . The plot centers on the fictional SS Poseidonan old luxury liner on her final trip from New York City to Athens before being sent to the scrapyard. On New Year’s Eve , she is overturned by a tsunami . Passengers and crew are trapped inside, and a rebellious preacher attempts to lead a small group of survivors to safety.

It is in the vein of other all-star disaster films of the early-mid 1970s such as Airport (1970), Earthquake (1974), and The Towering Inferno (1974). By the end of 1974, it was considered a successful film. The film won two Academy Awards , [3] a Golden Globe Award , a British Academy Film Award , and a Motion Picture Sound Editors Award . [4] A 1979 sequel, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure , was a commercial and critical failure.


The SS Poseidon , an ocean liner slated for retirement, is on her way to Athens . DESPITE protests from the captain, Who fears for the ship’s safety, the new owner’s representative insists he go full speed to save money, Preventing from _him_ TAKING ON ballast .

Reverend Scott, a minister believing that ” God helps those who help themselves “, is traveling to a new parish in Africa as a punishment for his unorthodox views. Detective Lt. Rogo and wife Linda, to form prostitute , deal with her seasickness. Susan and younger brother Robin are traveling to meet their parents. Robin is interested in the ship and frequently visits the engine room. Retired Jewish store owner Manny Rosen and wife Belle are going to Israel to meet Their young grandson for the first time. Haberdasher James Martin is a love-shy, health-conscious bachelor. The ship’s singer, Nonnie Parry, rehearses for the New Year’s Day celebration.

Passengers gather in the dining room to celebrate. The captain is called to the bridge in response to an undersea earthquake . He gets word from the lookout that a huge tsunami is approaching from the direction of Crete , at 60 knots. He may have a distress signal and commands a “hard left” turn, but the wave hits the ship and she capsizes.

In the dining room, survivors take stock of their predicament. Acres, an injured waiter, is trapped at the galley door now high above. Scott surmises that the escape route will be found upwards, at the outer hull, now above water. Robin tells him the shaft is only one inch (2.54 cm) thick. The Rosens, the Rogos, Susan, Robin, Acres, Nonnie, and Martin agree to go with Scott, using a Christmas tree as a ladder. Scott unsuccessfully tries to convince more passengers to join them. After the group climbs to the galley, there is a series of explosions. As seawater floods the dining room The water fills the room and the Poseidon begins sinking.

Scott leads his group upward through the ship’s hull, towards the engine room. While climbing a ladder inside a ventilation shaft, the ship rocks from more explosions. Acres falls and perishes. Leaving the shaft, the group meets a large band of survivors led by the ship’s medic, heading to the bow. Scott believes they are heading for their doom, but Rogo wants to follow them and gives Scott 15 minutes to find the engine room. Although he takes longer than allowed, Scott succeeds.

The group discovers the engine room is on the other side of a flooded corridor. She is a great volunteer, but Scott refuses her and dives in. Halfway through, a panel of collapses on him. The survivors notice something is wrong, and Belle dives in. She frees Scott and they make it to the other side, but Belle suffers a heart attack . Before dying, she tells Scott to give her chai to her husband, who will turn to give it to their grandson. Rogo swims over to make sure you’re right, then leads the rest over. When Rosen finds a beautiful body, he is unwilling to go on, but Scott gives him during, reminding him that he has a reason to live.

Scott leads the survivors to propel shaft room’s watertight door, but another series of explosions causes Linda to fall to her death. A heartbroken Rogo blames his death on Scott. A broken pipe releases steam, blocking their escape. Scott rants at God for the survivors’ deaths. He leaps and grabs onto the burning-hot valve, then tells Rogo to lead the group before letting him go, falling to his death in the flaming water below.

Rogo leads the remaining survivors-Rosen, Martin, Nonnie, Susan, and Robin-through the watertight doors and into the propeller shaft tunnel. They hear a noise from outside and bang on the hull to attract attention. The rescuers cut a hole through the hull, assist the group of six survivors from the ship, and fly them to safety.


  • Gene Hackman as the Reverend Frank Scott
  • Ernest Borgnine as Detective Lieutenant Mike Rogo
  • Red Buttons as James Martin
  • Carol Lynley as Nonnie Parry
  • Roddy McDowall as Acres
  • Stella Stevens as Linda Rogo
  • Shelley Winters as Belle Rosen
  • Jack Albertson as Manny Rosen
  • Pamela Sue Martin as Susan Shelby
  • Arthur O’Connell as Chaplain John
  • Eric Shea as Robin Shelby
  • Leslie Nielsen as Captain Harrison
  • Fred Sadoff as Linarcos
  • Byron Webster as Purser
  • Jan Arvan as Dr. Caravello
  • Sheila Mathews as Nurse
  • John Crawford as Chief Engineer
  • Bob Hastings as MC
  • Erik Nelson as Tinkham


Producer Irwin Allen had been an extremely successful television producer during the 1960s but had a hard time making the break into feature films. On coming out of the book and getting it right now. Stirling Writers Silliphant and Wendell Mayesco-wrote the screenplay removing some of the novel’s more unsavory scenes including one where Pamela Sue Martin’s character Susan is a rapier in the aftermath of the capsizing, the sweeping away the loss of her brother Robin in a panicked crew rush (his fate is never known and the seductive, sluttish behavior of Linda Rogo towards Reverend Scott and instead concentrating on a few characters making them all more sympathetic. In the novel almost all the characters were deeply flawed and in most cases unlikeable.

A budget of $ 4.7 million has been set in the field of production. Fox was also losing money as a result of having produced several huge musical productions which mostly hit the box office. Allen managed to get two very wealthy friends with the goal of having a stipulation, that the director be of their selection. Veteran British director Ronald Neame who had directed the critically acclaimed The Prime Of Miss Brodie Jean and Scrooge was then tapped to helm.

The film was shot mostly in a sequence to give the impression of being very good. The two main characters, Rev. Scott and Rogo were portrayed to the hilt by Hackman and Borgnine. In an interview many years later, Neame would really like to let them loose a little bit too much and they both “really chewed the scenery”. Shelley Winters gave one of her best performances as Mrs. Rosen, a role that would bring her great praise. She even performed her own underwater stunts swimming for extended periods.

Both in the book and the film The Poseidon herself was closely based on the Queen Maryand many of the early scenes were taken aboard the ship, as long as they were built in Long Beach The sets were made to simulate the capsized liner were designed as close to the ship’s design as possible. William Creber in such a way that it could be re-dressed to appear upside down. Built on Stage 6 on the Fox is designed to be lifted by large forklifts to simulate the ship being drawn into the giant wave. The set would be lifted up to a 30 degree inclination for a convincing slide for actors and stunt performers. This was further enhanced by tilting the camera in the opposite direction to exaggerate the effect. Once filming for the first half of the scene was completed with the tables being bolted to the inverted “floor” which had begun with the ceiling. Skylights with special padding for stuntmen to fall through the ceiling. Many of the other sets, the kitchen and the barber shop were built inverted.

In order to give the movie a visual effect for a camera and a camera. This has been subtly done throughout the film both before and after the capsizing which gives the subliminal effect of rocking back to the audience. For scenes with more action on the front end of the spectrum, the actors have been coached to lean in the opposite direction of the camera for more effect.

Tidal wave scene thousands of gallons of water and a large model. In order to convincingly shoot the ship turning over in the ocean special head effects LB Abbott Obtained blue prints for the Queen Mary in 1 / 48th scale and based on this built a scale model at a cost of $ 35,000.00 qui Was 21 feet long and Weighed Several tones. The model has been used throughout the world, and has been attached to the world by the manufacturer.

32 feet with two large 1,200 gallons dump tank built above it. The tanks were then tilted into the main tank creating the wave effect. The cameras filming the scene is one of the most important things in the world. When run at normal speed, the slow motion effect is simulated. The scene where Captain Harrison (Leslie Nielsen) looks out on the ocean and sees the approaching wave was actually a shot of the high surf at Malibu also filmed in slow motion. Blowing out the explosions blowing out of the funnels as the boilers blew and the ship settled deeper into the sea.

The ship model Was used in Several other over the years productions comprenant un made-for-television movie produced by Allen Entitled Adventures of the Queen qui Was aussi a pilot for a Proposed goal never picked up series starring David Hedison with Whom He Had Worked with on the TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea qui _him_ allowed to make use of stock footage from “The Poseidon Adventure” as well. It was also re-dressed for a “Titanic” television movie before being donated to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro where it is presently located.


The Poseidon Adventure has received a lot of positive reviews, with a review of Rotten Tomatoes reporting 79% of 24 critics gave the film a positive review, with an above average score of 7.1 / 10. [5] Boxoffice magazine reported The Poseidon Adventure was the # 1 Box Office Champ of 1973. By the end of 1974, it ranked among the six most successful features in film history, along with Gone with the Wind (1939), The Godfather ( 1972), Love Story(1970), Airport (1970), and The Sound of Music (1965). It is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson’s book,The Official Razzie Movie Guide , as one of The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made. [6]

It is in the vein of other all-star disaster movies of the 1970s Such As Airport and later ones like Earthquake (1974) and The Towering Inferno (1974). The film is worth $ 40 million in North America in 1973. [7] Mad ‘ s September 1973 edition satirized the movie as “The Poopsidedown Adventure”. It became the best selling issue in the magazine’s history. [8] When the movie made its network television premiere on ABC on October 27, 1974, it earned a 39.0 household share, making it the sixth highest film to ever air on network television. [9] The Poseidon Adventure has become acult film , particularly among gay audiences. [10] It has been released on DVD and Blu-ray.


It won a Special Achievement Academy Award for Visual Effects and an Academy Award for Best Original Song (for ” The Song from The Poseidon Adventure “, also known as “The Morning After”). Shelley Winters won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Support – Motion Picture and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role. It also received nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Dramafor Best Original Score by John Williams .

Award Category Subject result
Academy Award Best Supporting Actress Shelley Winters Nominated
Best Production Design William J. Creber Nominated
Raphael Bretton Nominated
Best Original Song (” The Morning After “) Al Kasha Won
Joel Hirschhorn Won
Best Visual Effects(Special Achievement Award / non-competitive) LB Abbott Won
AD Flowers Won
Best Original Score John Williams Nominated
Best Costume Design Paul Zastupnevich Nominated
Best Sound Theodore Soderberg Nominated
Herman Lewis Nominated
Best Cinematography Harold E. Stine Nominated
Best Film Editing Harold F. Kress Nominated
ACE Eddie Best Editing Nominated
BAFTA Award Best Actor Gene Hackman Won
Best Supporting Actress Shelley Winters Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Won
Best Original Score John Williams Nominated
Best Original Song (” The Morning After “) Al Kasha Nominated
Joel Hirschhorn Nominated
Best Motion Picture – Drama Irwin Allen Nominated
Motion Picture Sound Editors Award Best Sound Editing N / A Nominated
Satellite Award Best DVD Extras Nominated


A 1979 sequel, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure , which was also based on Gallico, was released with a second star-studded cast, but was a commercial and critical failure. In 1998, several episodes of the daytime soap Sunset Beach entitled “Shockwave” revolved around an earthquake and tsunami in California and major parts of the episodes take place on a cruise ship, the SS Neptune that is capsized by the giant wave. The episode borrowed heavily from the plot of The Poseidon Adventure and garnered huge audiences and spurring NBC to repeat it. The Poseidon Adventure was remade twice, first on a television special in 2005with the same name, and a theatrical release titled Poseidon in 2006.

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