Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

In this classic Irwin Allen disaster epic (with an Oscar-winning song "The Morning After" and a special Oscar for Visual Effects) about the last - and disastrous - voyage of a luxury liner from New York to Athens:

  • the New Years' Eve scene of an immense tidal wave (caused by a submarine-induced, underseas earthquake near Crete) that was watched helplessly by The SS Poseidon's Captain Harrison (Leslie Nielsen); the approaching wave caused guests who were partying in the ballroom/dining room to panic as the ship began to tilt; the tsunami flooded the ship's control area and drowned the officers
  • the incredible special effects shots of the capsized, trans-Atlantic luxury cruise ship turned upside down with celebratory passengers (in the immense ballroom) sliding, falling, and dangling from tables, and the view of one guest falling up/down from a table through a large stain-glass window
Guests Affected by Tilting, Capsizing, and Upside-Down Ship
  • the scene of Rev. Frank Scott's (Gene Hackman) persuasive speech to some of the survivors: ("Everyone above us before the ship turned over is dead. Because now they're under the water....There's nobody alive but us! And nobody's going to help us except ourselves. lt's up to each one of you...The sea's gonna keep pouring in. We're gonna keep settling deeper and deeper. We may even go under before we get up to the bottom to cut our way out. But it's something to try. It's a chance. We might make it. lf you stay here, you'll certainly die!"); he claimed that their only hope of rescue was found 'upwards' at the outer hull, which was now above water
  • in response, only about 10 passengers joined Scott to move to the ship's hull (only 1" thick); after a series of explosions, the ballroom was flooded and those not in Scott's small group began to drown; many frantically attempted to climb a Christmas tree as a ladder to get out of the ship's grand ballroom, but it fell backwards from the weight of too many people
  • the various perils of the journey to the hull, including water rapidly rising, blocked passageways, explosions, and squabbles between survivors
Eight of the Survivors with Rev. Scott
(l to r): Linda (Stella Stevens), the ex-prostitute wife of Detective Lieutenant Mike Rogo (Ernest Borgnine), Manny Rosen (Jack Albertson), a retired hardware store owner with his wife Belle (Shelley Winters), James Martin (Red Buttons), a red-haired bachelor/haberdasher, young Robin Shelby (Eric Shea), Nonnie Parry (Carol Lynley), the ship's singer, and Susan Shelby (Pamela Sue Martin) - Robin's older sister
  • the exciting water-rescue scene when Jewish passenger Mrs. Belle Rosen saved Rev. Scott from drowning when he was pinned down by a collapsed panel, and gasped: "You see, Mr. Scott, in the water, I'm a very skinny lady," and then died of a heart attack after admitting: ("I guess I'm not the champion of the Women's Swimming Association anymore... Enough is enough. Let me go. Please, let me go. Give this, give this to Manny. Tell him he has to give it to our grandson for both of us. You see, that's the sign for life. Life always matters very much"); Rev. Scott grieved over Belle's body: "Oh, God. God, not this woman. Oh, God, not this woman"
Belle's Heart-Attack After Scott's Water Rescue
To Rev. Scott: "I guess I'm not the champion of the Women's Swimming Association anymore"
Manny Grieving His Wife's Death
  • the scene of detective cop husband Mike Rogo's reaction to his ex-prostitute wife Linda's death when she fell after a rocking explosion -- he angrily vented his rage at Rev. Scott and sobbed: ("You! Preacher! YOU LYIN', MURDERIN', SON-OF-A-BITCH! You almost suckered me in! I started to believe in your promises! That we had a chance! What chance? You took from me the only thing l ever loved in the whole world. My Linda. You killed her! You killed her! You killed her. You killed her")
  • Rev. Scott's sacrificial death as he ranted at the heavens and God for their predicament: ("How many more sacrifices? How much more blood? How many more lives?! Belle wasn't enough! Acres wasn't! Now this girl! You want another life? Then take me!"); as he dangled from a circular control valve wheel, he closed a critical steam vent that released scalding hot steam and blocked everyone's way while yelling to the others: "You can make it! Keep going! Rogo! Get them through!" and then let go and fell into a flaming pool of oil and wreckage himself
Rev. Scott Dangling From Valve Control Wheel: "Take me!"
  • the triumpant ending in which the sole six survivors reached the propeller shaft tunnel and banged on the thin hull to attract rescuers to cut through the metal with a blow torch to save them; Mike expressed his changed opinion of Preacher Frank: "The preacher was right! That beautiful son-of-a-bitch was right!"

Ship Captain Harrison (Leslie Nielsen)

Moment Ship Was Struck By a Giant Tidal Wave (Tsunami) and Capsized

Rev. Frank Scott's Plea to the Surviving Passengers

Ball Room Flooded

The Collapsing Christmas Tree

Belle: "You see, Mr. Scott, in the water, I'm a very skinny lady"

Lt. Rogo's Rant at Rev. Scott After Linda's Death

Survivors Extracted Through Hole in Hull and Rescued by Helicopter


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