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The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

There are some movies I can watch again and again without ever getting tired of them. I call these “comfort movies”. A lot of these films seem to be older movies so I imagine there’s a fair bit of nostalgia in there adding to my enjoyment of them.

Last night I fancied watching a comfort movie and there’s been one I’ve been wanting to watch again for a while.

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

There’s something infinitely re-watchable about this movie for me, and any movie from the 70s for that matter. I’ve seen this countless times over the years and yet every time I watch it it almost feels like the first time.

If you somehow haven’t seen it, it’s a disaster/action/adventure based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Paul Gallico. It stars Gene Hackman (The Firm), Ernest Borgnine (Escape from New York), Shelly Winters (Alfie) and Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes) among others.

This is what it’s about:

When a cruise liner is capsized by a freak wave, a small group of survivors lead by an unorthodox preacher (Hackman) must head into the upside down bowels of the ship in the desperate hope of rescue.

I always forget that Leslie Nielsen is in this. He plays the captain at the beginning of the film and I’m pretty sure it’s the only non-comedic role I’ve seen him play.

The story is gripping, the performances (from Hackman and Borgnine in particular) are brilliant, the characters are well written and explored considering there are so many and so much else going on, and to top it all off the score is by John Williams. There’s literally nothing to dislike about this movie!

It has action and thrills but also some deeply sad and emotional moments and it’ll keep you gripped from the moment the ship is hit by the wave, right up till the very end.

A sequel called Beyond the Poseidon Adventure was released in 1979 starring Michael Caine, Sally Field and Telly Savalis. Unlike this movie I’ve only seen the sequel once or twice so I’m much less familiar with it than I am this one. Although it’s got a fairly poor rating on IMDb I vaguely remember enjoying it.

A remake of this film simply titled “Poseidon” came out in 2006 with actors such as Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfus and Emmy Rosum heading up the cast. I’ve seen it on TV a couple of times and it’s ok but it’s not a patch on the original in my opinion.

Next time you’re lounging about on a lazy Sunday afternoon and you fancy a movie you can just sit back and enjoy without having to think too hard about, head on over to Disney+ and stick The Poseidon Adventure on. 👌

Seen it? Let me know what you think.👇

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