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Home | Film Review: The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

Film Review: The Poseidon Adventure (1972)


A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.


**** 1/2

Welcome to Disaster Week! For the next 4 days I’ll be reviewing 4 of the most influential Disaster Movies. In order of the year they came out. So with that being said here’s my review of the 1972 film: The Poseidon Adventure.

I have never seen this film before. I had known about it for years. It’s one of those movies people mention when they are talking about disaster movies, but I didn’t even know what I was getting myself in to!

What a fun movie! “Adventure” is the appropriate word. It felt like you were joined in on the ride!

If you don’t know the story I will give you a brief rehash of it. A cruise ship called The Poseidon is on the sea for New Years Eve. There are all different types of people on the liner and all of them are enjoying themselves. The ones we get to know the most are Reverend Scott (Gene Hackman), Mike Rogo (Ernest Borgnine), Belle Rosen (Shelley Winters), James Martin (Red Buttons), Manny Rosen (Jack Albertson), Linda Rogo (Stella Stevens), Susan Shelby (Pamela Sue Martin), Robin Shelby (Eric Shea), Acres (Roddy McDowall), and Nonnie Parry (Carol Lynley).  Yeah that’s a big group of people to get to know. There are a lot of others that occupy the ship  including a Younger Leslie Neilsen as the Captain of the ship. But those were the main people.


When the clock strikes midnight and everyone is enjoying the new year a huge wave sinks the ship. Everyone is in a panic and have to figure out what to do next. Reverend Scott leads an expedition to get out and get help. He recruits as many people that want to follow him. But the rest would rather wait for the help to arrive. However, help doesn’t come fast enough and the remaining people are taken away by the water.

The ten that left to get help experience a lot more struggles and situations that even lead to a few deaths. I won’t go on much more about it. Either you’ve seen it and you know what happens, or you haven’t and I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you. This movie has some strong characters. Each person is their own individual. And you get to know each one on some level. If I had to pick my favorite character it’d be a toss up between Mike Rogo and Belle Rosen. Both of them have interesting qualities about them. They are very 3 Dimensional. The one character I didn’t care for the most was Nonnie. I don’t know if you were supposed to or not. She whined the whole time and even dragged people down. I understand trying to give her some emotion. And she lost someone she loved. However she still just annoyed me. It took me out of the adventure having to see her scenes.

The direction and writing for this film were top notch. It was co-written by Sterling Silliphant who went on to write Towering Inferno which I will be reviewing tomorrow. My only problem with the direction they went with was too much of the boat floating. I actually started to get sea sick watching the film. In glorious high definition it looks and sounds amazing. There was even a scene where a character speaks from the side and it felt like I was there with everyone.

This is a movie that if you get a chance to buy on Blu Ray I suggest you do. The Blu Ray is packed with special features. Docuentaries, 2 commentary tracks, interviews… just loaded. I would highly recommend getting it. All in all this was a fun film. Aside from the couple small issues I had with it I think most people would enjoy it. I’m looking forward to continuing my Disaster movie week!


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