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Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
Drama, Thriller, Action, Adventure
IMDB rating:
Irwin Allen
Michael Caine as Captain Mike Turner
Sally Field as Celeste Whitman
Telly Savalas as Captain Stefan Svevo
Peter Boyle as Frank Mazzetti
Jack Warden as Harold Meredith
Shirley Knight as Hannah Meredith
Shirley Jones as Nurse Gina Rowe
Karl Malden as Wilbur Hubbard
Slim Pickens as Dewey 'Tex' Hopkins
Veronica Hamel as Suzanne Constantine
Angela Cartwright as Theresa Mazzetti
Mark Harmon as Larry Simpson
Paul Picerni as Kurt
Storyline: After "The Poseidon Adventure", in which the ship got flipped over by a tidal wave, the ship drifts bottom-up in the sea. While the passengers are still on board waiting to be rescued, two rivaling salvage parties enter the ship on search for money, gold and a small amount of plutonium. Written by Tom Zoerner
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Beyond the Boring Adventure!
I remember watching this film about eight years ago. It was completely boring yet somewhat interesting with its characters. I liked all of them except for Salvalas, who's character and his terroristic men shouldn't of been there in the first place. I didn't like seeing Hannah Meredith die in the shaft, it was too painful for me to watch, and Frank Mazzeti's death was meaningless. What fool would go in a middle of the room to get himself killed?! To be honest, the movie shouldn't of been made at all. Although I am a huge Poseidon adventure fan, the film should of been about the other survivors who were trapped and some civilians like Caine and Fields as the heroes. That would of made the movie a lot better to watch. Still in general it's good film, but it could of been better.
Obviously inferior, but fun in a bad way!
This horrifyingly bad and automatically inferior sequel to "The Poseidon Adventure" came and went in theaters so quickly that one could be forgiven for not even realizing that it ever existed! The real victim here was Paul Gallico, the author of the original story. When "PA" was made into a film, the writers changed several things around (as often happens). When plans of a sequel came about, Gallico wrote the sequel to the novel based NOT on his own great little book, but on the FILM's storyline. Then the filmmakers discarded his novel "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure" and went with the version found here. So he adjusted his characters and story to fit Hollywood's version, only to have it abandoned in favor of this rehash. In it, two disparate groups join up to either salvage loot from the overturned vessel or rescue any leftover survivors. Instantly they are trapped as the boat belches and rocks continuously, yet they stay inside to find salvage, linger over conversations with newly discovered passengers and finally run around shooting at each other! The inexplicable cleanliness of the sets and utter illogic of the storyline pale in comparison to the hilariously bad dialogue and the banal music score. Previous, greater disaster movies had majestic scores done by excellent composers. This music has no memorable opening theme and features inappropriate and discordant music during scenes (often a whimsical "Flight of the Bumblebee" type of thing is heard.) Some of the dialogue has to be heard to be believed. One classic scene is when Knight dislocates her shoulder after grappling to save her blind husband Warden. Award-magnet Knight does a terrific job of displaying her injury and is carried over to a corner and revived realistically with smelling salts. Then purportedly-kind nurse Jones reveals an utter lack of bedside manner. Does she resort to the standard "You'll only feel a slight prick" or "This won't hurt a bit"??? Nooooo She grabs Ms. Knight's arm and goes, "This is going to hurt a great deal Mrs. Meredith, I'm so sorry!" Apparently, the violence of this scene was so intense that it had to be filmed through debris (fully obscuring Jones' face!) so as not to shock the audience! The characters are unwaveringly pathetic and annoying (and in many cases, just thinly disguised versions of folks from the original film.) Boyle is mercilessly loud and obnoxious, taking Ernest Borgnine's "type" to a new level of irritation. Cartwright is a little old to be playing the little girl sort of role that Pamela Sue Martin already did. Her costume makes her look like a frump. Pickens is hilarious, drawling out lines like, "Who's Svevo? As a matter of fact, who's Suzanne?" in a thick Texas accent. Jones' character is a drippy nurse and has to dredge up her own long-ago award just like Shelley Winters' swimming medal, to no good effect. Warden and Malden vie for audience sympathy with their afflictions, but don't get any. Field rubs immediate tarnish on her Oscar for "Norma Rae" with her over-the-top, "Three's Company" - level comedic attempts and Caine should have known better, but this was his period of making bomb after bomb. Still, it's fun on a camp level to watch once and future Oscar-winners slumming badly. Hamel, for the brief time she is on screen, is both alluring and amusing. Sadly, this and "When Time Ran Out" would slam the lid on any hopes of a film career, but she rebounded on television. Knight adds some much needed class, desperately trying to underact and say her lines with dignity amidst all the squalid overacting and preposterous situations. She is done no favors for this. Sadly, the old VHS and now the newly released DVD shear 8 minutes off the film's running time, cutting a lot of Warden, Knight and Jones' scenes, even removing the fact that Warden and Knight are authors! These were sentimental moments between all three and must have been spliced out in order to keep the action, such as it is, moving. It's a pointless, grave-robbing hack job intended to wring more money out of the classic original, but which sank like a stone at the box office. At least now it can be enjoyed for the audacious mess that it is!
The Adventure is not quite over!!
Irwin Allen's production of Beyond the Poseidon Adventure was very exciting to watch. It was always intended for Irwin Allen to make the sequel, but some delays caused it to be shelved for seven years. Micheal Caine acted for Allen for the second time giving the same tempered performance as he did with Allen the previous year in The Swarm. He plays a scrapper and with Karl Malden and Sally Feild who discover the Poseidon still floating upside down and decide to go in her. From the moment they get in there the action and thrills never stop. Then as in the first film they realize they have to get out again and go through the ship as the the survivors did in the first Poseidon Adventure. Allen also directed this action packed sequel.
I think it's quite a good sequel.
A lot of people don't like this picture, but, I think it works. It is helmed by a strong cast of principle performers and carried off by a unique twist on the sequel impetus. The idea is fairly original, as opposed to the usual: for this story, one would normally expect they'd just focus on another group of survivors and how they get out. Instead of dealing with people wanting to get out, the plot is spurred on by people wanting to get IN. Then, ironically, they become trapped and become the people who have to get out, along with some of those aforementioned survivors to keep with tradition. I also have to give the film credit for that little bits of continuity, like Linda's body is still lying near the entrance of the ship the crew uses, the same hole the original movie's survivors escaped from. In the end, the movie isn't as bad as it is often called.
For 'disaster' die-hards
I am a huge fan of disaster/peril movies. In the movies I have a tendency to analyze the technical aspects of whats happening as opposed to paying attention to the characters. I'm interested in what's physically happening to the ship (or plane, or building, etc.).

The original was great! I always had a sense of where the characters were in the ship as they moved up and back towards the stern. You got a sense that the ship was taking water more by the bow and flooding from that direction. The lighting was realistic in that you could obviously tell that the emergency lights were all they had.

In 'Beyond', aside from going back in the original hole and into the engine room from the first film, I had no idea where they were going inside the Poseidon. This was frustrating. Also, the lighting was different. Not to mention the obvious blunder flooding situation. What? suddenly the Poseidon has various air pockets on decks we knew to be flooded from the first?? All the while through the first film they are racing to stay ahead of the flooding...where in this one the ship seems to have decided to stop sinking for a while. The large explosions are never explained although I just reason they are the boilers reacting to the water hitting them (which may also account for the whole engine room exploding finally in the end. We saw something similar to this in the new version. Another thing, in the beginning of the film they show a storm and big waves, then the Poseidon gets capsized, then we see the Jenny caught in the same big storm. This implies that the Poseidon was capsized because of the storm instead of how it actually happened, a sudden tidal wave while in CALM seas. Oh well! So for these reasons this movie doesn't quite fit, but, since it is still an upside-down ship in peril, with explosions and suspense, I still liked it.
A boring disaster movie
Irwin Allen ended up exploiting the very genre he had a large part of creating. This movie should have been deemed unwatchable before it even got made. All of the actors are at their most annoying, with special mention to Sally Field and Shirley Jones.
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
Despite the fact that his films weren't all that expertly plotted, scripted with much thought beyond getting to the next disaster-stunt-or- action set piece, or built upon a solid foundation (films with a skeleton but no meat), Irwin Allen could get a cast of high caliber to star in his movies. Beyond the Poseidon Adventure is no exception. Notorious for being one of Michael Caine's paycheck movies, Beyond has him starring as a tugboat captain/salvager. Karl Malden is his second mate while Sally Field (full of plucky energy and providing a great scene with Caine when they are looking for a way out; just balling her eyes out, she just breaks down because the day couldn't be much worse; it is a nice little moment with Caine, who just tries to comfort her) is a passenger on his ship. They board the capsized USS Poseidon, hoping for valuables to save his boat from being confiscated by the bank for unpaid bills. You have Peter Boyle blowing hard as Lost In Space's Angela Cartwright's uptight and always- complaining father, while a young studly Mark Harmon is her love interest (much to Boyle's chagrin). And the cast continues: Telly Savales as a crook with a bunch of gun-toting hoods trying to salvage plutonium, Jack Warden as a blind man while Shirley Knight is his devoted wife, Shirley Jones (of the Patridge Family fame) as a helpful nurse, the foxy Veronica Hamel as a secretive lover of Savales trying to find a manifest to locate the items he needs to claim the plutonium and way off the ship, and Slim Pickens as a supposed Texas Oilman with a boozing disposition and unwillingness to part with his bottle of specific wine.

There's a great deal of journeying through the capsized ship, trying to avoid falling debris and explosions, and the hopes of not drowning or being shot by Savales' men, equipped with machine guns. Savales pretends to be rescuers as a cover for recovering their treasure. At one point a safe literally falls into the presence of Caine and company, with gold no less, but will they be able to hold on to it? Just take a wild guess.

Malden's dealing with a serious illness, Caine sleepwalks as the hero, kind of just going through the motions, skating on his star power (regardless of what you think about him, the guy has always been a star). Field brings her charm and lights up the screen with her winsome personality (without her, I just don't think I'd liked this at all), while Boyle is loud and obnoxious. Hamel is a babe, Savales is here just as a heavy (but he isn't in the film that much to tell you the truth), Cartwright has never been more beautiful while Harmon is a hunk (the two do look good together). Knight and Warden kind of just emerge in the film unnecessarily. Jones is extremely likable but as part of an ensemble, she has little moments but not enough to eclipse the main leads. The cast really does rise above the threadbare material. This is all about explosions and noise, and "walking, walking, walking". Nice sets of a badly damaged ship help...a little bit. The whole thing, though, is really much ado about nothing. Allen will never be considered a director of much depth or dramatic dearth.
Just hopeless
Pointless sequel to "The Poseidon Adventure" that came out 7 YEARS after the original! It opens shortly after the survivors of the original are rescued and flown away. Then a small salvage crew (Michael Caine, Karl Malden and Sally Field) arrives to get what jewels and money they can get from the boat before it totally sinks. Then ANOTHER boat shows up headed by a doctor (Telly Savalas) to find and help any more survivors. So they all head into the ship. They find MORE survivors but their way out is blocked off and they have to find a way out.

Pointless and stupid full of HUGE plot holes (it is never explained what Savalas wants and why) and stock characters. The puzzling thing is they got talented actors to play these one-dimensional roles. There's Peter Boyle (with hair) playing a angry father, his young daughter (Angela Cartwright) and a man who saved her (Mark Harmon). Then there's a married couple (Shirley Knight and Jack Weston) who needs help...but he's blind. Then there's Shirley Jones as a nurse. Next up is a "humorous" drunk played by Slim Pickens. Last is Veronica Hammel who barely figures in this.

Field plays the "comic" relief but some of her lines are downright painful. The situations are dull and the action sequences are just rehashes from the first film. There's a HUGE amount of things that make little sense (good luck trying to figure out what happened between Hammil and Savalas) and it gets frustrating. The acting varies. The whole cast tries but the characters are drab and the dialogue is terrible. Savalas is easily the worst actor here. Caine is the best. But, all in all, a dull pointless movie. Avoid.
A rare gem for those who love unnecessary sequels and crave a little 1970's cheese
Irwin Allen's "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure" does the unthinkable in this follow-up to his blockbuster 1972 film. Instead of people trying to get off the sinking luxury liner, he has two crews trying to get on to it for different reasons. Michael Caine leads one group into it to claim salvage rights to what's been left behind. At the same time, Telly Savalas heads up a team of murderous plunderers in search of a cargo of plutonium. Along the way, they both happen upon survivors frantically trying to get off the ship. Will Caine and Savalas find their treasures and a way to get back off the ship before it plummets to the depths of the sea?

I have to give props where they're due, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. The fact that Irwin Allen had the audacity to attempt a sequel to "The Poseidon Adventure" deserves a strange amount of reverence. Can you imagine the power of suggestion he must have controlled. He walked into the offices of studio executives six years after the original left theaters and said, "Hey, I have an idea for a sequel to that movie where the ship sinks. What if people tried to get on the ship instead of off of it?" "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure" is proof he convinced them to do it!

"Beyond the Poseidon Adventure" is nowhere near as bad as you'd think it would be. It has everything a great disaster movie should. An ensemble cast fighting for their lives as water levels rise. Escape routes becoming blocked as the people fight their way back to the surface before the ship's hull becomes completely submerged. People who you don't want to die do and others you wish would but don't. I wasn't disappointed in it by any means.

A PG rating was given to "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure." It contains violence, language, and intense sequences of peril.

"Beyond the Poseidon Adventure" is one of those movies that never should've happened. All I can say is thanks to all the studio executives with dollar signs in their eyes who greedily greenlit this wonderful piece of cinema history. For those of us who love unnecessary sequels and crave a little 1970's cheese, it's a rare gem that's been found and preserved for us to enjoy over and over again.
Go back. Go...beyond.
Since the original Poseidon Adventure raked in so much dough, Irwin Allen wanted to get a sequel off the ground right away. It would eventually take him 7 years to get it made and in that space of time it would go through many changes.

To begin with, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure was to star Borgnine, Buttons and the rest of the survivors. After being rescued by the French Coast Guard they were to be transported to safety by train through the French Alps. A tunnel cave-in was to trap them all over again amid other, more sinister, drama.

That idea was soon squashed. Hackman didn't want to return (as Reverend Scott's brother!) and even though poster art was created (you can still find the train/gun image out there), that's about as far as production got. Allen focused on making other movies for the time being. Then, in 1978 he asked Paul Gallico to write a sequel. Gallico obliged but died before Beyond was published. His novel had Rogo, Martin and Manny Rosen being forced at gunpoint to return to the ship to plunder its secret cargo. Bandits, pirates, double-crosses and macabre plot developments followed.

Unable to convince Borgnine and the others to return at this point, Allen changed the story to accommodate a bunch of new characters. This Mike Rogo became Mike Turner (Michael Caine) and Bandits and Pirates became Stefan Svevo (Television Savalas) and his group of terrorists.

Beginning just before the storm in which the Poseidon capsized, Turner and his crew (Sally Field and Karl Malden) are out in Jenny the Tugboat. Turner loses his cargo and worries about the bank taking his precious boat away. New Years Day arrives and the sea is calm once again. Turner sees the French Coast Guard chopper buzzing overhead and figures there must be something interesting over the horizon.

Interesting indeed. An abandoned 5-star, world-class super-liner designed to carry hundreds of wealthy passengers. There's sure to be riches to plunder and a quick trip down to the Purser's Office (the idiot who chose to die in the first) might save Jenny from the banks greedy hands.

'Doctor' Stefan Svevo (trying saying that while drunk) and his group of suspicious men dressed in impeccably white clothes follow Turner inside, hoping to save some remaining survivors. Yeah right! Svevo just happens to be after a secret cargo of guns and plutonium and has an agent still stuck on-board.

Turner and his crew find the Purser's safe quite easy and load up on the loot. But they also find a bunch of stranded passengers including a very young-looking Peter Boyle, Slim Pickens, Mark Harmon and Jack Warden as a blind writer. His quick trip to pinch the riches turns into the much more noble task of leading the rest to safety. But once they discover Svevo's plot a fight breaks out.

I think that BTPA has had an unfair amount of criticism. Until the 2006 DVD release the film suffered 27 years of pan and scan TV screenings and videos, which completely screws up the scope photography. Seeing the film in widescreen, as intended, gives it a much slicker look. But I wasn't too impressed with the set-decoration and lighting. The Poseidon was already trashed and unstable before the first survivors escaped. By now it should be seriously threatening to sink or explode and the sets should reflect how much stress the ship is under. But they do look too spotless and the lighting is too bright and un-atmospheric. And, just so you know, a ship of this size would have more than one kitchen. So moans about it 'already being flooded' are invalid.

And I do think that the ending is kind of abrupt and rushed. It was a bit of a let-down having finish with such a lame, flippant finale. And, despite, previous criticisms, I do think that the characters are just as good as before. I felt sorry for Jack Warden when his wife died, or when Michael Caine realised that he lost the gold. Wilbur (Karl Malden) was a good character too and I think that his exit from the film was less than what he deserved. There is also more continuity with the original than the negative reviews proclaim. So don't let that put you off.

It's had a bad reputation, but BTPA isn't as bad as pretentious movie zealots would have you think. If you are a fan of the original then it is at least worth a rental.
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