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The Poseidon Adventure Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

Hands down, this is the best movie (and was one of the first) to come out of the seemingly endless cycle of disaster movies that dominated box offices during the Super70s. It could even be argued that Titanic owes some of its success to the precedent set by this 1972 blockbuster starring Gene Hackman as a priest who leads a small group of survivors to safety from the bowels of a capsized luxury liner. From its stellar cast to its cheesy, Oscar-winning theme song, The Morning After, the movie has all the ingredients of a popular classic, beginning with a New Year's Eve celebration aboard the ill-fated Poseidon and ending as a pop allegory when the Hackman character becomes a Christ-like martyr. Filmed on spectacular sets where everything down is up and the ship's thick hull points in the direction of salvation, this is "a waterlogged Grand Hotel" (in the words of New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael) that is as entertaining as it is unabashedly brainless. The Poseidon Adventure is filled with performances that rise above the limits of the screenplay. It's also the only movie--unless you count her underwater corpse in Night of the Hunter--that lets Shelley Winters strut her stuff as an aquatic heroine. Who could ask for anything more?

Academy Awards

The Poseidon Adventure received Academy Awards for Music Best Song (Al Kasha - Music & Lyrics, Joel Hirschhorn - Music & Lyrics) and a Special Achievement Award (L.B. Abbott - Visual Effects, A.D. Flowers - Visual Effects). The Poseidon Adventure also received Academy Awards nominations for Supporting Actress (Shelley Winters), Art Direction/Set Decoration (William Creber - Art Direction, Raphael Bretton - Set Decoration), Cinematography (Harold E. Stine), Costume Design (Paul Zastupnevich), Film Editing (Harold F. Kress), Music Scoring Awards (Best Original Dramatic Score; John Williams), and Sound (Theodore Soderberg, Herman Lewis).

Share Your Memories!

Is The Poseidon Adventure one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"Oh, the song, the upside-down Christmas tree, swimming through parts of the ship. Great movie that we watched every time it came on TV (before VCRs)."

--Lisa B

"Some of the early ship-at-sea effects look more like a boat in a bathtub today, but I can remember the ominous thrill of seeing the tidal wave move in on the doomed ship in a dark and cold theater...the New Year's bells and whistles giving way to distress signals...and that feeling of shock when the ballroom started "rolling"! If a movie deserves a remake (with 21st century effects), it's this, but there will never be another cast as appealing."


"I first saw THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE whaen I was 6 years old. It was amazing. I begged my mom to take me back to see it again so often that she just gave up and toke me to see it every Saturday for it's entire run. I saw it about 20 times in the theater. I have sense seen it hundred of times. It is the best movie ever!"

--Tom Lynley

"I am 41 years old, and love movies. I trace it all back to when I was 10 years old, and saw "The Poseidon Adventure". I remember going to see it at the Cinema in the mall. The line went through the ENTIRE mall, and outside. This was a time when there were single movie theatres showing 1 film, not multplexes like today. I never saw a line like it. The wait was worth it. I loved the movie, and went on to see it 6 times in the movies. I have loved movies ever since!!"


"One of my all time favorite childhood memories. I was about 14 when this movie came out. My brothers and I must have watched this movie in the theater about 20 times. That was back when they didn't kick you out at the end of the movie. You could sit there all day and watch the same movie over and over again. That was the good ol' days. "

--BK Moody

"Saw "The Poseidon Adventure" with my brother (Gary) back in the days of parents going to see a film first, to make sure it was suitable for a 9 and 10 year old child ( back in '72 I was 9 - Gary was 10). Not only does it remain one of my favorite films of all time, and certainly one of my most-watched, but it is a touchstone of the great brotherhood/friendship that I share with my brother. as we email quotes from this film back and forth. back and forth. I've heard there's going to be a remake. Here's hoping it's just a rumour."

--Bob Werner

"I recall seeing the trailer when I was 13 and thinking, I have got to see this movie! A few years later I purchased an original poster which still hangs in my living room. A very excellent film. one you can watch hundreds of times, and not be tired of it. And that is the mark of a timeless film."

--Bob L.

"Better disaster movies followed. but my all time favorite remains the Poseidon Adventure, which I saw in its first release when I was in high school. I especially enjoyed "The Morning After" (who dared call it "cheesy"?), Pamela Sue Martin (especially when she took off the dress part and ended up in hot pants), Stella Stevens (in the awesome gown that hugged that awesome body) and Shelley Winters, who became one of my all-time favorite movie stars (and I was only a teenager!)"


"I am not surprised that this movie is so popular. Carol Lynley has mentioned that even though she's made some 50-odd motion pictures, this is the one everyone associates her with and asks about the most. Perfectly casted. I also think the John Williams, who went on the score Star Wars and the Towering Inferno, amount others, doesn't get enough credit for the Poseidon's score. I loved the music even back then in 1972 when I was 11. This is definately one of those "Where were you in 72" movies. Gene Hackman was only 39 when he made this movie."


"I first saw this movie at age 6. It was 1972 and an icy cold Illinois December. I remember seeing the comericals for this on TV and begging my parents to take me to see it. My mom and grandmother finally gave in and took me even though they were worried about the PG language and images. Up to this point I had only seen cartoons and Disney films on the big screen. Well, needless to say I was blown away. and ended up seeing it 6 more times on the big screen. convincing everyone in my family to go and see it. I have very vivid memories of the wave, ballroom capsizing, the red valve, Shelley Winters big death scene, hot pants, upside-down urinals, fires, floods, etc. This movie had it all. I still watch it at least once a month on DVD and hope and pray that a new DVD with extra features and commentary will finally be released. Maybe with all the news of the Wolfgang Peterson remake that is in the works. FOX will finally realize the cult following this movie has and give it the DVD treatment is so richly deserves."




Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Irwin Allen

Stars: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Roddy McDowell

Released: December 12, 1972

Availability: DVD VHS

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