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.