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The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

The Poseidon Adventure


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 19
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 1
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 1


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 46,966


Movie Info

The Poseidon, an ocean liner larger than the Queens Elizabeth and Mary combined, is charting its course on New Year's Eve. Just after midnight, Captain Harrison (Leslie Nielsen) spots the mother of all tidal waves. It is the last thing that Harrison and practically everyone else onboard sees before drowning -- the Poseidon is turned upside down, with only a handful of survivors. The ten lucky ones -- including Mike Rogo (Ernest Borgnine), Linda Rogo (Stella Stevens), Acres (Roddy McDowall), … More

PG (N/A)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Stirling Silliphant , Wendell Mayes
In Theaters:
Dec 18, 2001
20th Century Fox - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Poseidon Adventure

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (5) | DVD (19)

Titanic without the smarm.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
Common Sense Media

Classic of disaster movie genre with memorable cast.

July 26, 2007

"timo filme-catástrofe que, além do habitual elenco estelar e da excepcional direção de arte, conta com tensas seqüências de ação.

June 22, 2006
Cinema em Cena

The Poseidon Adventure was one of the first disaster flicks and it arguably remains the best.

Full Review… | May 18, 2006
Creative Loafing

What the glittering, star-driving survivalism of Poseidon Adventure actually presents is a nightmarishly schematic fantasia of guiltless discomfort.

Full Review… | May 8, 2006
Slant Magazine

If we're making picks for the most entertaining disaster flicks ever made -- my enthusiastic vote goes to The Poseidon Adventure. Easily.

Full Review… | April 28, 2006

Neither as exciting nor as unintentionally funny as one would like it to be.

Full Review… | April 19, 2006
Lessons of Darkness

Pure '70s Hollywood.

December 19, 2005

One of the best of the 1970s all-star disaster movies.

September 21, 2005
Fantastica Daily

superb guilty pleasure

May 13, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

Now you've done it; high concept disaster movies, especially those of Irwin Allen, are one of the chinks in my critical armor. Just can't watch them enough.

July 15, 2003

Classic disaster movie. Still holds up today as the survivors climb up a capsized boat.

July 14, 2003

A great, cheesy voyage that is grandly entertaining.

July 6, 2003
Your Movies (

One of the best disaster movies of all time!

July 29, 2002
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

If only the dialogue weren't so putrid, this could have been an outstanding adventure film.

July 26, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

probably the best of Hollywood's seventies-style disaster hokum

Full Review… | February 27, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for The Poseidon Adventure


While the "disaster flick" moniker certainly applies, here is actually a pretty good adventure tale of escape as a old luxury liner capsizes, forcing an intrepid few to attempt their own rescue through the ravaged remains of the topsy turvy steel boat. A guilty pleasure!

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

Incredible, i saw this movie at a screening in Chicago, where three of the actors from the movie were there, Stella Stevens, Ernest borgenine, and someone else but i dont remember her name. I wasn't expecting much from this movie but i was blown away by how spectacular it was. It was very realistic, the drama was so human, that it was spectacular. The actors all played fantastic roles, and the movie really had guts to kill off 5 main characters. Plus when one of them dies, the husband of said dead person (played by grandpa joe from willy wonka) said her name and weeped over her body i burst into tears, and i did that several times in this movie. And i liked it better than titanic for two reasons, one it has more main characters that you like so much that you don't want them to die, and two i personally think that it was better because of how it got straight to the punch, and not have to wait for 2 hours just waiting for the iceberg to hit, because like 20 minutes in it just smacks you with the ship turning over by an unexpected tidal wave after an earthquake. It shows how these 13 people (about 100 didnt go with) have to struggle with each other in order to get out of the ship and find safety, and you latch on to each of the characters as the movie progresses.

michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer


When most people think of disaster films today they'll think 2012 or Disaster Movie, but The Poseidon Adventure completely revolutionized the genre. It has all the elements: Group of survivors, big budget special effects and as you may have guessed, a disaster. This particular disaster happens to be a huge wave crashing into a cruise liner called the Poseidon and it ends up being turned upside down. Now a group of survivors have to make their way out and that's the story. The story plays out really well as a matter of fact, which is saying a lot considering all the special effects that could have just as easily overshadowed the plot. One of my favorite things about the film were the characters. I cared about each character and I wanted them to survive. Something like that doesn't usually play out as perfectly as in this film. The acting is also terrific by each and every actor. My personal favorite performance was Gene Hackman as the untraditional reverand. He does have faith in God, but he doesn't think that an afterlife is an excuse to just die. He wants to lead the survivors out of the overturned cruise liner and he most definitely has the will to live. The special effects for this film won the Oscar for best special effects and rightfully so. The scene where the ship overturns is just awesome to watch with all the people smashing into stuff and hanging onto the tables that are now attached to the ceiling. (Technically it's still the floor, but you know what I mean.) A lot of people like to compare this movie with Titanic, and I do understand that, but I prefer Poseidon Adventure over Titanic. I did like Titanic, but it's a flawed movie. Just for the sake of comparing, Titanic's sinking scene was more emotional and dramatic, but the sinking in this movie was more realistic with the confusion, chaos and more practical special effects. If you like disaster movies then you're most likely going to like The Poseidon Adventure. It has all the characters, talent and entertainment any avid movie buff would want in a movie like this.

Tyler Robertson
Tyler Robertson

Super Reviewer


During the seventies a slew of disaster films were made with large ensemble casts, including Airport and Towering Inferno, all of which have decrepit Hollywood icons from forty years back, blockbuster stars of the time, and many unknowns who overact with overblown watery eyes and whimpering deaths. This iconic disaster film is one of the most quoted, satirized, and parodied of the genre, and one of the most memorable. Based on a best selling novel, Poseidon follows a group of survivors of an overturned ocean liner, the only ones left after the bow starts to flood. Led by an unconventional and especially alternative preacher who swears, pushes, and grates on everyone's nerves, the group's numbers dwindle with a long line of deaths. Much of the acclaim or at least the fascination with this film are the visually distinct images of the overturned ship. While explosions, flooding, and many bloodless deaths go on around them, they grumble, lose hope, and keep persevering with the praise of the preacher. Some amazing casting let us see the Jewish mother character played by the bottle blonde gypsy herself Shelley Winters, the always bawdy Gene Hackman, obstinate and hard headed Ernest Borgnine as a no nonsense detective who questions Hackman's preacher at every turn, a wispy Red Buttons, and a quick cameo from Roddy McDowall, most famous for Planet of the Apes. The sets themselves aren't quite as spectacular as the updated version must be, and the effects all either include rushing water or falling debris from the bottom of the ship down to the top. The plot wasn't significant, and the action wasn't anything tense or unnerving, but the over the top death scenes, the effects, and the strange performances from Winters and Hackman kept us watching. It was great to watch screen legends debase themselves to put on a show for the audience and the concept for the story was actually pretty well followed through. I just wish this had been done years later when they could have built the proper suspense with decent effects.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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