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The Sinking Ship That’s Still Afloat 50 Years Later

Gene Hackman is midway up a towering metal Christmas tree with his hands pressed firmly on Shelley Winters’ derriere. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And those desperate measures include Winter’s ample fanny. So begins a harrowing race to the bottom that is now the top — What a disaster! —And movie fans couldn’t get

Gene Hackman is midway up a towering metal Christmas tree with his hands pressed firmly on Shelley Winters’ derriere.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And those desperate measures include Winter’s ample fanny.

So begins a harrowing race to the bottom that is now the top — What a disaster! —And movie fans couldn’t get enough.

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of “The Poseidon Adventure” sailing into theaters.

In case you have a phobia of watching films with water, here’s a blueprint of the 1972 disaster flick.

An aging luxury liner, The S.S. Poseidon, is making its final voyage before heading to a scrap yard in Greece. On New Year’s Eve, the ship is hit by a massive wave and turns upside down. The film follows ten passengers from varied backgrounds haphazardly, making their way through this upside-down hell.

Their goal is the engine room and their only slim chance of being rescued. That’s if they can stay ahead of the seawater pouring into the crippled ship.

Who will survive and who will not?

Since the film is basically an action flick, “Poseidon” isn’t known for its eloquent and moving dialog, even though the cast includes five Academy Award-winning performers: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Jack Albertson, and Shelley Winters.

Even though the 1971 film “Airport” was the first of the big block-buster disaster films, “The Poseidon Adventure” is considered the film that started the morbid race to escape film craze that folks in the 1970s loved.

The film is also considered the most harrowing and suspenseful film in the disaster genre.
– “The Poseidon Adventure” was the second highest-grossing film of 1972, with $93 million in ticket sales. That’s $650 million in today’s money.
– Jack Albertson was one of a few performers to receive all three top awards for acting. An Oscar, Tony, and Emmy.
– To play the role of older and out-of-shape Belle Rosen, Shelley Winters gained 35 pounds. She was never able to lose the extra weight.
– Irwin Allen’s wife Sheila had a bit part playing the ship’s nurse.
– Shelley Winters’ character, Belle, was an older, retired woman with grandchildren. At the time the film was made, Winters was only 51.
– George C. Scott and Burt Lancaster both turned down the role of Reverend Scott; Gene Wilder turned down the role of haberdasher James Martin.
– 125 stunt people worked on the film.
– When the film’s theatrical release ended, ABC paid $1 million for the broadcast rights. At the time, it was the highest amount ever paid.
– After reading the script, Stella Stevens, the actress that played Linda Rogo, said the woman that plays the “fat lady” Belle Rosen will get an Oscar nomination. Shelley Winters did receive a nomination but lost to Eileen Heckart.
– The Queen Mary was used for a few exterior shots of the deck and early interior shots of the staterooms.
– There’s been four films featuring a luxury liner called The S.S. Poseidon, “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972,) “Beyond The Poseidon Adventure” (1979), a TV film, “The Poseidon Adventure” (2005), and “Poseidon” (2006) with Richard Dreyfus and Kurt Russell.