“Hell, Upside Down!”
Take a moment to enjoy what is, without a doubt, one of the greatest movie tag lines of all time, for a classic 1972 disaster epic. The setup is simple: a luxury cruise ship is capsized by a huge tidal wave on New Year’s Eve. Gene Hackman plays Reverend Scott, who must help a small group of survivors climb “up” to the bottom of the overturned luxury cruise ship. It is, indeed, “hell upside down.”
Here are 5 reasons why The Poseidon Adventure is the greatest disaster film of the 70’s!
1. The Upside Down Set
The famous interior “capsizing” sequence was done in two parts. First, the hydraulically-controlled set was tilted to its maximum 45 degrees. After filming the “ringside up” sequence, the set was dressed so the floor became the ceiling. The cast returned to film on the same set, just upside down.
2. A Hollywood Catfight
Empire magazine told of a great “catfight” between two Hollywood legends. Gene Hackman demanded to change a scene, shifting the focus from Shelley Winters to himself. Winters went ballistic:
“That scene is the only damn reason I’m doing the movie and Hackman’s not going to take it away from me!”
Winters lost the argument, and she later said that filming the revised scene was, in her words:
“The most dreadful morning I’ve had since I made a film with Judy Garland.”
That is a classic “catty” comment that managed to slam Hackman AND Garland!
3. The Theme Song Won An Oscar
Even though it’s an action spectacular, The Poseidon Adventure won the Academy Award in the Best Song category for The Morning After. Yes, that is an Oscar-winning song! You know who it beat?
Yes, it beat out the theme song from the rat-horror sequel to Willard, and yes, Ben was performed by Michael Jackson at the Oscars!
4. “Hell, Upside Down!”
Take a moment to enjoy what is, without a doubt, one of the greatest movie tag lines of all time!
5. Five – yes, FIVE Oscars winners are in the film.
There are five Academy Award winning actors The Poseidon Adventure. Gene Hackman had just won the previous year for The French Connection, and he’s joined by previous Oscar winners Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Jack Albertson and Red Buttons.
And while he’s not an Oscar winner, that was Leslie Nielsen as the Captain who takes the ship right into the monster wave – keep an eye out for him as you see this classic trailer:
This is, without a doubt, one of the best “disaster epics” in cinema…enjoy!