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Poseidon Adventure

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Watched the 71 (original) version today. I've seen this film many times and have never been a huge fan. However, today I was rally touched by Gene Hackman's death scene. It was fantastic drama. Overall, this film is one of the best of the 70's disaster movies. IMO, of course.

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It's a fantastic piece of escapist (no pun intended) filmmaking. I'm glad the OP finally recognizes the quality of Hackman's death scene, my goodness. Its the point of the movie; probably why Hackman did the flick in the first place.

Anyway the whole thing is adroit as hell. The technical feat in putting it on-screen. I got to thinking about it a few years ago --went back to review --and was just blown away by the intensity of everything in it. There's almost no slow scenes in the length and breadth of the thing; it is a narrative powerhouse. Just about every scene has your heart in your throat.

Starting even from fifteen minutes in: check out Leslie Nielsen as the captain suddenly looking up from the sonar scope and realizing the height of the wave headed at them. Look at his face.

And he's just one performer in a roundly solid cast who all handle their chores competently.

Particularly memorable: the raw antagonism between Borgnine and Hackman. It is out-of-HAND. They're ready to tear out each other's throats. I even purchased the screenplay to assess how they were directed. They nail it.

And--my god--are you gonna watch Shelley Winter's famous death scene without getting misty?

By the way: note the author of the original paperback: Paul Gallico. You'd assume that he was just another of the droves of 1970s thriller authors who eked out a hit, right? Yeah I thought so too until I saw his bio. He'd been writing for Hollywood since the 1930s or something!

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The sequel is a disappointing follow-up. Makes you wonder how they could get something "so right" in 1972 and "so wrong" in 1979. Maybe too much time had elapsed?

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