The Poseidon Adventure


purser: "Climbing to another deck will kill you all!"
Reverend Scott: "And sitting on our butts isn't going to help us either. Maybe by climbing out of here, we can save ourselves. If you've got any sense, you'll come along with us."



release year: 1972
genre: disaster adventure
viewing setting: home Bluray 7/15/18 and home DVD, 9/18/13 and 4/9/04

synopsis: The luxury liner Poseidon is overturned by a gigantic wave, and those who survive must make their way up (to the bottom of the ship) and escape, or die trying.

impressions: Good disaster movie, and probably demographically realistic. It had mass death, mass stupidity, people who survive but have nothing to offer, people who do nothing but complain, and so on. It was entertaining, if a bit dated; the ever-rising water kept things moving at a brisk and deadly pace, which was good.

things to watch for: When the tidal wave hits.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A reverend who encourages people to find strength from within, rather than without. (Alternate: Leslie Nielsen in a non-comedy role.)

acting: Gene Hackman stands out as a priest who advocates helping yourself, as opposed to just praying that everything will turn out okay. Ernest Borgnine is the grouchy cop on vacation who provides a counterpoint to every good suggestion Hackman makes. Numerous others comprise the band of survivors, but most of them had minor roles (and some were not only minor, but quite helpless as well.) I've concluded that a necessary element of disaster movies is the sheep: people who can't act under pressure and would die if not saved by the strong. One character in this movie, when asked if she was injured, replied "I...I don't think so." Huh? How the hell can you not know if you're hurt?!?

final word: Formulaic but entertaining 1970s disaster movie.

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