The Poseidon Adventure

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The Poseidon Adventure
Poseidon adventure ver2.jpg
Genre: Action
Directed By: Ronald Neame
Produced By: Irwin Allen
Based On: The Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico
Starring: Gene Hackman
Ernest Borgnine
Red Buttons
Carol Lynley
Shelley Winters
Roddy McDowall
Stella Stevens
Jack Albertson
Pamela Sue Martin
Arthur O'Connell
Eric Shea
Leslie Nielsen
Cinematography: Harold E. Stine
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: December 12, 1972
Runtime: 117 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $4.7 million
Box Office: $125 million
Sequel: Beyond the Poseidon Adventure

The Poseidon Adventure is a 1972 American disaster film produced by Irwin Allen, and based on Paul Gallico's eponymous 1969 novel. Directed by Ronald Neame, and it was distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film received positive reviews from critics, and audiences alike.


In the Mediterranean Sea, SS Poseidon was en route from New York to Athens, Greece for their retirement. On New Year's Eve, Poseidon is taken over by a tidal wave and it turns upside down. Almost all of the passengers die except for a few lucky people, would have to escape the upside-down of the ship.

Why It Rocks

  1. The concept about a few survivors going on an escape from a capsized cruise ship after the disaster is very creative. What's more, having a story about a cruise ship getting struck by a tsunami is very scary for everyone who are in the cruise ship at the sea.
  2. It has dramatic, tragic, and scary moments too, such as a scene where a 60 mph wave hits the Poseidon, capsizing the entire ship, killing a lot of people.
  3. A very solid, and a suspenseful story that tells people to take risks to their own lives during the escape, and survival, during their great escape from a capsizing cruise ship.
  4. John Williams' soundtrack in the movie is pretty good, as always, even so with Joel Hirschhorn, and Al Kasha.
  5. Irwin Allen did a good job producing the film, even his concept as well.
  6. Pretty decent acting, for the most part, especially for the casts of Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, and other cats as well.
  7. Good directing by Ronald Neame.
  8. Great cinematography that was well done by Harold E. Stine.
  9. The ending is good, all of the six survivors finally made it out of the capsized Poseidon and flies away in the helicopter despite the loss of a few dead survivors, ending the film on a sour note.

Bad Qualities

  1. The film can be a bit instance for a PG-rated film.
  2. It has a few paddles that make the movie feel longer than it actually is.
  3. Some characters make idiotic mistakes, such as they don't let the survivors go on a Christmas tree as soon as the Poseidon started to get blown a lot.


Critical response

The Posidon Adventure was released on December 12, 1972, and it was well-received from critics and audiences alike. It received an 80% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 25 reviews, gave the film a positive review, with an above-average score of 6.94/10. The critical consensus reads: "The Poseidon Adventure exemplifies the disaster film done right, going down smoothly with ratcheting tension and a terrific ensemble to give the peril a distressingly human dimension." Metacritic scores a film a 70/100 "Generally favorable reviews" and a 7.1/10 on IMDb.

Along with The Towering Inferno, Airport, and Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure has become a cult film, particularly among gay audiences.

Box Office

The Poseidon Adventure earned theatrical rentals of $40 million in the United States and Canada in 1973 being the highest-grossing film of the year and earned $75 million worldwide, from a worldwide gross of over $125 million.



  • Paul Gallico was inspired to write his novel by a voyage he made on the Queen Mary. When he was having breakfast in the dining room, the liner was hit by a large wave, sending people and furniture crashing to the other side of the vessel. He was further inspired by a true incident which occurred aboard the Queen Mary during World War II. Packed with American troops bound for Europe, the ship was struck by a gargantuan freak wave in the North Atlantic. It was calculated that if the ship had rolled another five inches, she would have capsized like the Poseidon.
  • According to Ernest Borgnine and director Ronald Neame, Shelley Winters loved playing Gin Rummy. To keep her occupied during breaks in filming, Jack Albertson, who played her husband, would play Gin Rummy with her. According to Borgnine, Albertson ended up winning $260,000 from Winters. Both Borgnine and Neame said Albertson never got paid.
  • It is said that 125 stunt people were used during the filming. No one was killed or injured.

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