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The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  13 December 1972 (USA)
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Reviews: 245 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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Title: The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hell, Upside Down 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?


The boots and pendant that Carol Lynley wears in the film actually came from her own private collection. See more »


The pressure inside the ship would have been much greater than the outside pressure. With all the doors open inside the ship, when the torch first cuts through the hull the air would have rushed out and the ship would begin sinking faster. See more »


Mr. Linarcos: I did not suggest full ahead, Captain. As the new owner's representative on this ship, I ordered it!
Captain Harrison: Damn it man, the Poseidon is too fine a lady to be rushed to the junkyard on her last voyage!
Mr. Linarcos: We're already three days behind schedule! And it's costing my consortium thousands of dollars every day to maintain a wrecking crew. I demand we dock Monday night!
Captain Harrison: And I can't afford to gamble with the lives of my passengers!
Mr. Linarcos: Your business is to deliver this ship, where we want it, WHEN we want it!
Captain Harrison: ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Milk (2008) See more »


Give Me the Simple Life
(1946) (uncredited)
Music by Rube Bloom
Played softly offscreen by the band aboard ship
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.

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