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The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  13 December 1972 (USA)
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Reviews: 246 user | 72 critic

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


, (uncredited)


(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Sadoff ...
Nurse (as Sheila Mathews)
Jan Arvan ...
Byron Webster ...


A passenger ship, on her way to the scrap yard is pushed to her limits by the new owners to save on the dismantling fees. A tidal wave hits her, flipping her over so that all the internal rooms are upside down. A priest takes a mixed band of survivors on a journey through the bowels of the ship in an attempt to survive. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Who will survive-in one of the greatest escape adventures ever! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 December 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La aventura del Poseidón  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)


$93,300,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the 2006 DVD commentary, Pamela Sue Martin stated she kept her red sandals after filming completed. See more »


When Reverend Scott rescues Robin from the restroom, the ship rumbles and they are both doused with water. Seconds later, they are both shown with dry hair which they re-wet. See more »


Chief Engineer Joe: Chief here. Go ahead.
Captain Harrison: Joe, what the hell's going on down there? Is there nothing more you can do with those stabilizers?
Chief Engineer Joe: There's nothing wrong with the stabilizers, so there's nothing more I can do with them. Besides, I've got my hands full with this pump! You know damn well what the trouble is - it's the bastard Linarcos!
Captain Harrison: Would you care to repeat yourself? He's standing right here.
Chief Engineer Joe: Good! I hope he heard me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The song "The Morning After" is credited on screen as "The Song From The Poseidon Adventure" See more »


Edited into The Return of the Movie Movie (1972) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Played by the band on New Year's Eve and sung by the passengers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Still Seaworthy
6 June 2001 | by (Hawaii) – See all my reviews

Anyone who has seen as many disaster movies as I have knows that this is absolutely the best one ever made. For a film nearly thirty years old, Poseidon Adventure is still so effective that it would cause anyone planning to take a cruise to think twice. You probably know the plot--luxury liner capsized by a tidal wave. This synopsis is brought to life with suspense, drama, and sometimes, terrifying reality. One of the most effective cinematic touches is that in nearly every scene, the camera is slowly swaying back and forth to give us a sense that we really are at sea. Something "Titanic" completely missed.

We follow the journey of ten survivors through the inverted ship to their hopeful rescue--narrowly escaping fires, explosions, and flooding corridors every step of the way. The sets are epic and nothing less than spectacular. Especially the inverted dining room when the Atlantic Ocean comes crashing in, and the engine room which is now a horrifying twisted metal inferno. The cast is good, however Gene Hackman, Shelly Winters, and Stella Stevens are best. Hackman is our handsome hero, Winters is our unselfish caring mother, and Stevens is absolutely radiant (pre-capsize) and adds a welcome touch of humor to the mess.

No, the movie is not perfect, and it is of course starting to look a bit dated. However the suspense and dazzling effects will keep you glued to your seat and you certainly won't be bored. Poseidon Adventure is a true classic. A must see for everyone--not just disaster movie fans.

58 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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