One of the great disaster movies in the history of cinema is the next movie that I wanted to see. The Poseidon Adventure is filled with stars who spend the entire film yelling at each other.
That is a bit of an exaggeration, but Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine absolutely spend the entire film in conflict with one another which took the form of screaming.
A group of people are trapped after their cruise ship gets hit by a tidal wave and flips upside down, sending the passengers into chaotic desperation trying to survive.
Yeller#1 was Reverend Scott (Gene Hackman) who clashed with police officer and yeller #2 Mike Rogo (Ernest Borgnine). The two of them disagreed over just about everything. Somehow, most of the survivors looked to the Reverend instead of the cop and followed him as they struggled to find their way to the engine room.
My favorite character was Mrs. Rosen (Shelley Winters) who was married to Grandpa Joe… err…ummm… I mean Mr. Rosen (Jack Albertson). I related to Mrs. Rosen the most and I really found her sweet and compelling. SPOILER— I actually gasped when she had her heart attack in the movie after swimming to save Reverend Scott. It was easily the saddest part of the film.
In fact, most of the characters are pretty well developed. Sure, the female characters are written (except for Mrs. Rosen) to be victims or weak willed girls, scared and needing to be saved, but it was the 1970s. That is the biggest part of the film that does not hold up.
And… Leslie Nielsen is the ship’s captain. That was weird. I mean… I wonder if he starred in the spoof of the film as well.
The Poseidon Adventure was tense and exciting, with characters that I cared about (mostly) and decent effects. I did spend too much time trying to see if this looked like an upside down ship, though. This was one of the better disaster films around although that may not say much.