Updated: December 10, 2018
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 films.
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 POSEIDON ADVENTURE.
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.