With the opening of the film Poseidon, there's been a lot of talk about the original 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure - how it's become a "camp classic," how it's so dated with all of those wide lapels and collars and so forth.
That all may be so, but I speak for millions who came of age in the 70's when I say that it scared the shit out of me. One must separate The Poseidon Adventure from all of the cheeseball disaster clunkers that came in its 90-foot wake - those films elicited unintentional laughter, but Poseidon Adventure just made me hold my breath. Honest. When Shelley Winters, bless her fat-addled heart, braves that long underwater sprint, I just about passed out. There are a number of shots that are tattooed onto my brain for good - the terrific crash of the passenger into the stained glass ceiling-turned-floor, that long shot of the upside-down cocktail tables, Hackman falling to his death while trying to wrest that giant steam valve closed.
Wow, what a film. Don't let anyone tell you it's some kind of kitschy artifact - it made many millions at the time because kids were genuinely thrilled-frightened by it. Years later, it was a very effective cruise vacation deterrent. Well, that and the shuffleboard.