The Poseidon Adventure (1972 film)
|The Poseidon Adventure|
film poster by Mort Künstler
|Directed by||Ronald Neame|
|Produced by||Irwin Allen|
|Screenplay by||Stirling Silliphant
|Based on||The Poseidon Adventure
by Paul Gallico
Pamela Sue Martin
|Music by||John Williams
The Morning After:
|Cinematography||Harold E. Stine|
|Editing by||Harold F. Kress|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||117 minutes|
The Poseidon Adventure is a 1972 American action-adventure disaster film, directed by Ronald Neame, produced by Irwin Allen, and based on Paul Gallico's novel of the same name. The film features an all star cast, including Gene Hackman, Carol Lynley, Ernest Borgnine, Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons, Leslie Nielsen, and in an early screen role, Pamela Sue Martin. It won a Special Achievement Academy Award for Visual Effects and an Academy Award for Best Original Song (for "The Morning After"). Shelley Winters won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role. It also received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama.
The plot centers on the SS Poseidon, an aged luxury liner from the golden age of travel, on her final voyage from New York City to Athens before being sent to the scrapyard. On New Year's Eve, she is overturned by a tsunami caused by an underwater earthquake. Passengers and crew are trapped inside and a rebellious preacher attempts to lead a small group of survivors to safety.
Boxoffice Magazine reported "The Poseidon Adventure" as 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, The Godfather, Love Story, Airport, and The Sound of Music. It is in the vein of other all-star disaster films of the 1970s such as Airport and later ones like Earthquake and The Towering Inferno. It was remade twice, first as a television special in 2005 with the same name, and a theatrical release with the name Poseidon in 2006.
A 1979 sequel, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, was released later with an equally star-studded cast, but was a box office and critical failure.
The SS Poseidon, an ocean liner slated for retirement and scrapping, makes her way across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea from New York City to Athens. Despite protests from Captain Harrison (Leslie Nielsen), who fears for the ship's safety, the representative of its new owners, Mr. Linarcos (Fred Sadoff), insists that it make full speed towards its destination, preventing it from taking on additional ballast for stabilisation purposes. Although Captain Harrison is aware that the lack of ballast means the ship is top-heavy (thereby increasing the risk of capsizing in rough seas) he is forced to obey Mr Linarcos's order.
Reverend Frank Scott (Gene Hackman), a minister questioning his faith and believing God helps those who help themselves, delivers a sermon at Mass. Susan (Pamela Sue Martin) and her younger brother Robin (Eric Shea) are traveling to meet their parents. Robin is interested in how the ship works and frequently visits the engine room. Retired Jewish hardware store owner Manny Rosen (Jack Albertson) and his wife Belle (Shelley Winters) are going to Israel to meet their two-year-old grandson for the first time. Haberdasher James Martin (Red Buttons) is a love-shy, health-conscious bachelor. Mike Rogo (Ernest Borgnine) is a New York police officer travelling with his wife Linda (Stella Stevens), a former prostitute. The ship's singer, Nonnie Parry (Carol Lynley), rehearses for the New Year celebrations with her band.
That evening, New Year's Eve, passengers gather in the dining room to celebrate. Harrison is called to the bridge because of a report of an undersea earthquake. He receives word from the lookout that there is a huge wave coming from the direction of Crete at 60 mph. He issues a mayday and commands a "hard left" turn, but it is too late. The wave hits the ship and it capsizes.
In the dining room, survivors take stock of their predicament. Acres (Roddy McDowall), an injured waiter, is trapped at the galley door now high above. With information from Martin, Scott surmises that the escape route will be found "upwards", at the outer hull, now above water. Robin tells him that the hull near the propeller 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 convincing more passengers to join them. After the group climbs to the galley, there is a series of explosions. As seawater floods the room the survivors rush to the Christmas tree, but the weight of everyone climbing causes the tree to fall.
Acres and Scott find the galley, and the survivors make their way to a staircase. Scott climbs its underside, then he and Rogo use a firehose to pull the others up before leading them to an access tunnel. While climbing a ladder inside a funnel, the ship rocks from another series of explosions. Acres falls and is lost.
Climbing out of the shaft, the group meets a large band of survivors led by the ship's medic, heading towards the bow. Scott is certain they are heading for their doom, but Rogo wants to follow them and gives Scott fifteen minutes to find the engine room. Although he takes longer than allowed, Scott is successful.
The group discovers the engine room is on the other side of a flooded corridor; someone must swim through with a line to help the others. Belle, a former competitive swimmer, volunteers, but Scott refuses her and dives in. Halfway through, a panel collapses on him. The survivors notice something is wrong and Belle dives in. She frees Scott and they make it to the other side. While Scott secures the lifeline, Belle suffers a heart attack. Before dying she tells Scott to give her "Chai" pendant, representing the Hebrew sign for life, to Manny, who in turn will give it to their grandson.
Rogo swims over to make sure Belle and Scott are alright, then leads the rest over. When Rosen finds Belle's body he is unwilling to go on, but Scott gives him her Chai pendant, reminding him that he has a reason to live.
Scott leads the survivors to the propeller shaft room's watertight door, but there is another series of explosions and Linda falls to her death. An infuriated and heartbroken Rogo blames her death on Scott. More explosions rupture a pipe that releases steam, blocking their escape. Scott rants at God for the survivors' deaths. He leaps and grabs onto the burning-hot valve wheel to shut off the steam, then tells Rogo to lead the group. He loses his grip and falls to his death.
Rogo leads the survivors — Manny, Martin, Nonnie, Susan and Robin — through the watertight door and into the propeller shaft room. They hear a noise above the ship and bang on the ceiling/floor to get the rescuers' attention. The rescuers cut through the hull and help the group out of the ship. The survivors, the only six alive after the disaster, fly to safety by helicopter.
- Gene Hackman as Reverend 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 Mr. Linarcos
- Byron Webster as the Purser
- Jan Arvan as Dr. Caravello
- Sheila Allen (Billed as Sheila Mathews) as the ship's nurse
- John Crawford as Chief Engineer
- Erik L. Nelson as Mr. Tinkham
- Ernie Orsatti as Terry
|The Poseidon Adventure: Limited Edition|
|2.||"Rogo and Linda"||1:34|
|3.||"The Big Wave/The Aftermath"||4:02|
|4.||"Raising the Christmas Tree"||1:28|
|5.||"Nonnie and Red/Up the Tree"||1:59|
|6.||"Death's Door/The Upturned Galley"||2:01|
|7.||"Through the Galley"||1:13|
|8.||"The Other Survivors"||1:37|
|9.||"Search for the Engine Room"||2:51|
|10.||"Barber Shoppe Scene"||1:46|
|12.||"The Death of Belle"||3:25|
|13.||"Hold Your Breath"||3:08|
|14.||"The Red Wheel"||1:25|
|15.||"Rogo Takes Command"||1:38|
|16.||"End Title (The Rescue)"||3:36|
|17.||"Main Title (Alternate #1)"||1:58|
|18.||"New Year's Party (Version 1)"||0:58|
|20.||"New Year's Party (Version 2)"||2:11|
|21.||"Main Title (Alternate #2)"||1:59|
|22.||""The Morning After" (Version 1)"||2:10|
|23.||""Love Is A Many Splendored Thing""||2:19|
|24.||""Give Me The Simple Life"/"A Certain Smile""||1:49|
|25.||""The Morning After" Instrumental"||2:09|
|26.||""Auld Lang Syne""||1:34|
|27.||""The Morning After" (Version 2)"||2:10|
|28.||"End Title (Alternate)"||2:38|
The film earned estimated rentals of $40 million in North America in 1973.
The Poseidon Adventure has received largely positive reviews, with review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reporting 79% of 24 critics gave the film a positive review, with an above average score of 6.8/10.
When the film made its network television premier on October 27, 1974, it earned a 39.0 household share making it the sixth highest film to ever air on network television.
In recent years, the film has garnered a strong cult-like following. It has been released on Blu-Ray and DVD.
- Academy Award for Best Original Song - (Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn) for the song "The Morning After"
- Special Achievement Academy Award for Visual Effects - (L.B. Abbott and A.D. Flowers)
- Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture - Shelley Winters
- BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role - (Gene Hackman)
- Motion Picture Sound Editors Award for Best Sound Editing
- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress - (Shelley Winters)
- Academy Award for Best Production Design - (William J. Creber and Raphael Bretton)
- Academy Award for Best Cinematography - (Harold E. Stine)
- Academy Award for Best Costume Design - (Paul Zastupnevich)
- Academy Award for Best Film Editing - (Harold F. Kress)
- Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score - (John Williams)
- Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing - (Theodore Soderberg and Herman Lewis)
- Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama
- Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score - (John Williams)
- Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song - (Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn) for the song "The Morning After"
- BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role - (Shelley Winters)
- American Cinema Editors Award for Best Edited Feature Film - Harold F. Kress
- Satellite Awards - Best Extras DVD
- The Poseidon Adventure (book)
- Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)
- The Poseidon Adventure (2005)
- Poseidon (2006)
- Poseidon (fictional ship)
- SS Andrea Doria
- Survival film, about the film genre, with a list of related films
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p256
- "The Poseidon Adventure, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "The Poseidon Adventure (Stereo): Limited Edition". La-La Land Records. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 19
- The Poseidon Adventure at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 805. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
- Vinciguerra, Thomas (2006-05-07). "Underwater, and Over the Top in 1972". The New York Times.
- "The 45th Academy Awards (1973) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
- "NY Times: The Poseidon Adventure". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Poseidon Adventure|
- The Poseidon Adventure at the Internet Movie Database
- The Poseidon Adventure at AllRovi
- The Poseidon Adventure at the TCM Movie Database
- The Poseidon Adventure at Rotten Tomatoes