Writer: Stirling Silliphant, Wendell Mayes (Screenplay) Paul Gallico (Novel)
Starring: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters, Jack Albertson, Leslie Nielsen
Plot: A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: One True Disaster Film Classic
Story: The Poseidon Adventure starts as we are on board the S.S. Poseidon on route to Athens from New York as they find themselves going through a storm. With the storm calm we get to meet our main characters a priest that has lost his faith Reverend Scott (Hackman) short tempered detective Mike Rogo (Borgnine), lonely man James Martin (Buttons), singer Nonnie Parry (Lynley) and the Captain (Nielsen) trying to keep the cruise ship on time against the representative forcing his hand.
The night is New Year’s Eve when a sub-surface earthquake hits sending a giant wave straight for the linear over turning the ship in the middle of the ocean. Reverend Scott leads a group of survivors through the ship from the dining hall to search for rescue before they find themselves going down with the ship.
The Poseidon Adventure was one of the most influential disaster based movies of all time. It took something that seems so safe cruising in the ocean when a freak weather condition strikes causing the ship to overturn. This works because now it has created a fear in something people can be doing when a disaster could strike, the ‘adventure’ through the overturned cruise ship it a race to survive with characters that we have all come to know from disasters films we know and love.
Hackman shows he is the biggest name in the movie with a brilliant leading man performance while Borgnine was also fantastic in what fast becomes the most important character to have in these styles of film the aggressive angry character against the hero. While Buttons, Winters and Albertson are all great in the supporting roles it is the overreactions caused by the rest of the surviving members that comes off as the weakest point in the movie. The special effects for the time are still standing the test of time to make this a staple of any disaster movie discussion.
Overall: Stands the test of time as one of the greatest disaster movies of all time.