Updated: January 19, 2022
THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE #02
Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Carol Lynley, Red Buttons, Shelley Winters,
Jack Albertson, Stella Stevens, Roddy McDowall, Pamela Sue Martin, Arthur
O'Connell, Eric Shea.
Ronald Neame Director
John Williams Composer
Irwin Allen Producer
Stirling Silliphant Screenwriter
Paul Gallico Story
Wendell Mayes Screenwriter
Harold E. Stine Cinematographer
Harold F. Kress Editor
William J. Creber Production Designer
It's New Year's Eve and the luxury ocean liner Poseidon is on a magnificent voyage from
New York to Athens. Unfortunately, disaster befalls passengers and crew when the cruise
ship is capsized by a huge tidal wave brought on by a submarine-induced earthquake. Though
the casualties are many, 10 passengers survive to make a harrowing journey up to the
overturned ship's bottom where they try and escape to safety.
Born in London to photographer-father Elwin Neame and actress-mother Ivy Close,
director-cinematographer Ronald Neame began his work in cinema as an assistant cameraman in
the late 1920s. Neame's first picture was Alfred Hitchcock's blackmail, made in 1929. Neame
worked closely with disaster-movie guru Irwin Allen, who helped direct many of the action
In 1934, Neame made the leap to director of photography when he shot Drake of England. Four
years later, Neame worked on Pygmalion, another noteworthy film of this decade. Neame went
on to become a producer in the 1940s, making important contributions to British and American
When Allen was first trying to get financing for the picture, he was met with much resistance;
the project was referred to in Hollywood as Irwin's Folly. The five million dollars it cost to
make the film was financed half by the studio and half by wealthy acquaintances of Allen's. The
final film came in on schedule and under budget.
The interior design of the ship was based on the Queen Mary.
Nearly all the stunts by the stars were performed by the actors themselves. To prove one of the
stunts could be done, Neame performed a major climb himself.
Shelley Winters gained 35 pounds for her role and took swimming lessons to perfect her part.
The sequel, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, made in 1979, offered an alternative ending to The
The Poseidon Adventure won an Oscar for visual effects and for the song "A Morning After" and
was nominated for several others.
L.B. Abbott and A.D. Flowers won a Special Achievement Oscar for their visual effects; that year
the rules had changed so that this award, which formerly had been a regular Oscar handed out each
year, would be given only when merited.