267 user 82 critic

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

1:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Nine people explore a cruise ship at sea in a manner that turns their whole lives upside down.


Ronald Neame


Paul Gallico (novel), Stirling Silliphant (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
4,083 ( 810)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

At the opening party of a colossal, but poorly constructed, office building, a massive fire breaks out that threatens to destroy the tower and everyone in it.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden
Earthquake (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Various interconnected people struggle to survive when an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits Los Angeles, California.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy
Poseidon (2006)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

On New Year's Eve, the luxury ocean liner Poseidon capsizes after being swamped by a rogue wave. The survivors are left to fight for their lives as they attempt to escape the sinking ship.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Kurt Russell, Emmy Rossum
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Adventurers return to the overturned ship, seeking a fortune.

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Michael Caine, Sally Field, Telly Savalas
Airport (1970)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.

Directors: George Seaton, Henry Hathaway
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, George Kennedy
The Poseidon Adventure (TV Movie 2005)
Adventure | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A cruise ship succumbs to a terrorist act and capsizes on New Year's eve. A rag-tag group of survivors, spearheaded by a priest and a homeland security agent, must journey through the upside down vessel and attempt an escape.

Director: John Putch
Stars: Adam Baldwin, Rutger Hauer, Steve Guttenberg
Airport '77 (1977)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Art thieves hijack a 747, hit fog and crash into the ocean, trapping them and the passengers under one hundred feet of water.

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, Joseph Cotten
Airport 1975 (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A 747 in flight collides with a small plane, and is rendered pilotless. Somehow the control tower must get a pilot aboard so the jet can land.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A film that chronicles the events of the Hindenburg disaster in which a zeppelin burst into flames.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, William Atherton


Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Reverend Scott
Ernest Borgnine ... Mike Rogo
Red Buttons ... James Martin
Carol Lynley ... Nonnie Parry
Roddy McDowall ... Acres
Stella Stevens ... Linda Rogo
Shelley Winters ... Belle Rosen
Jack Albertson ... Manny Rosen
Pamela Sue Martin ... Susan Shelby
Arthur O'Connell ... Chaplain
Eric Shea ... Robin
Fred Sadoff Fred Sadoff ... Linarcos
Sheila Allen ... Nurse (as Sheila Mathews)
Jan Arvan Jan Arvan ... Doctor Caravello
Byron Webster Byron Webster ... Purser


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:

View content advisory »





English | Hebrew

Release Date:

13 December 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Poseidon Adventure See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$264,850, 17 December 1972, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Reverend Scott's sermon reflected director Ronald Neame theory on life. See more »


The rope that is used to swim underwater to the engine room is clearly secured, via hooks, in several places. See more »


Mike Rogo: Aww, Jesus!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: At midnight on New Year's Eve, the S. S. POSEIDON, enroute from New York to Athens, met with disaster and was lost. There were only a handful of survivors. This is their story. . . See more »


Featured in I Love the '70s: 1972 (2003) 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 »

User Reviews

Characters You Care About
22 February 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Poseidon Adventure has gotten its reputation as the best of all the disaster films of the seventies, not just for the Special Effects good as they are. It's that select group of people trying to survive, they're a bunch you do get to care about even though some of them can be annoying as all get out.

The film is an adaption of Paul Gallico's novel which was written in the Thirties, but it was updated to the present for the film. While on the luxury liner Poseidon as a New Year's Eve Party goes on, Captain Leslie Nielsen takes note of an undersea earthquake and the tidal wave that will hit the ship in about fifteen minutes. But he's certainly not prepared for the wall of water that smacks the Poseidon broadside and capsizes it.

Before the big event and the special effects that got The Poseidon Adventure its Oscar in that department we are introduced to the group of people who elect to try and climb up to the keel of the capsized Poseidon while the rest remain in the grand ballroom. Leading the group is minister Gene Hackman and the rest are married couples, Jack Albertson and Shelley Winters, Ernest Borgnine and Stella Stevens, musician/singer Carol Lynley, hypochondriac Red Buttons, steward Roddy McDowell, and teenager Pamela Sue Martin and her little brother Eric Shea.

You do get wrapped up and sucked into the conflicts especially with Ernest Borgnine who's simultaneously got a war going with Gene Hackman and with his wife Stella Stevens. She's an ex-hooker who he busted several times and eventually married. He's got a rambunctious nature and Borgnine provides a lot of the interest here.

Jack Albertson and Shelley Winters are the typical elderly Jewish couple who are on a trip to Israel to visit the grandchild they've never seen. They're a calming and steadying influence on the others. So is Red Buttons who finds courage he never thought he possessed and he helps Lynley out who's devastated at the loss of her brother who was in the band performing at the New Year's Eve Party.

Gene Hackman as a minister takes his gospel from that noted skeptic Benjamin Franklin who said that God helps those who help themselves. For those who believe in a divine plan, he seems divinely sent to get these people to safety. Not all of them make it though.

The Poseidon Adventure got another Oscar for Best Song for The Morning After. Maureen McGovern's recording of that tune was playing everywhere in 1972. It's one of the few Academy Award winning songs that is still prized and remembered over the last 40 years.

Maybe Irwin Allen did a wise thing by not directing the film and letting Ronald Neame do it. Spectacle is great and I love it, but a good story with characters you care about is what makes the Poseidon Adventure the fine film it is.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 267 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Recently Viewed