"The Poseidon Adventure": A few questions:

A couple of nuts-and-bolts questions and a WTH?:

Would you really set a helicopter down on the capsized hull?
When the survivors are in “shaft alley” and have alerted the rescuers and said rescuers have started the cutting torch, would there be a 600MPH blast of air from the first puncture of the hull? Further, how much faster would the ship sink now that the highest air pocket has been breached?

I saw TPA probably eight times in the first six months it was playing theatres, and it has bugged me ever since that every version I’ve seen has, like, 30 seconds of the reverend’s speech cut out. Scott yells things like Butcher of babies, Eater of women and screams a half dozen obscure names of God as he’s hanging from that wheel valve. It gave an additional resonance to his motivations, but it was very anti-religion so I could see why it might be chopped. Anyone know if that whole speech exists anywhere, anymore?

I seem to recall that they all pilled into the shaft room, and sealed the door behind them (to keep the fire out). In which case the hole in that room would not have that much overall effect on the ship’s bouyancy.

Agree about landing that helicopter, but if they left the blades spinning, they could lift off at a moments notice. I do not recall if that was the case.

No idea about the speech.

I can’t remember the first time I saw the movie, but I assume it was a cut-up for TV version. I haven’t seen it in years, but I do remember that Gene Hackman’s character was very mad at God. Are you saying the speech was edited for VHS? Or for TV?

It has been edited in every format since I saw it in theatres, including Netflix, which I watched like 6 weeks ago. For commercial TV, it was cut even further.

Update: I just FF to the last 10 minutes on Amazon Prime–

a) The speech is still edited,
b) The door to shaft alley was not closed after the survivors piled in,
c) The helicopter was still running when the survivors were being loaded in.

I’m really hoping some marine architect-type will chime in about the air pockets and I hope some Hollywood manque will sound off about the speech.

And while we’re at it, I’d like a pony. :smiley:

Yes, the air pressure is going to blow against the cutting torch, maybe even enough to make it dangerous to cut, what with molten metal flying back at your face.

And the hole will hasten the sinking. Don’t know by how much.

Can’t speak to Hackman’s curses-I have only seen the movie on TV

But how could the guy outside with the cutting torch know that he was cutting into a sealed room?

(How could he even know where the sealed rooms and bulkheads are? How many emergency welders also happen to have memorized the internal layout of big cruise ships?)

Sure, for dramatic purposes, they didn’t want to waste several hours showing how the rescuers first drilled a tiny exploratory hole, etc. etc. Realism and drama are bitter enemies.

Of course our intrepid heroes would have been long dead by then anyway.

That engine room fire was burning for some time. It would have gone out shortly after it exhausted all of the oxygen in the room, plus make visibility almost zero due to all of the smoke.

Ask a submariner what he thinks of a fire onboard a submarine!

I watched this move recently. It was the first time I had seen it since it was first shown circa 1978.

I didn’t recognize hardly anything about the movie. It was not “memorable” in the least and IMO, that is the most notable thing I can say about this movie.

Since you didn’t say it, I will. All the questions you have asked are about incidents that are truly just ridiculous (IMO).

Landing a helicopter on the hull of a big ship seem like one of the dumbest possible things anyone could do. Of course, it would take an expert to confirm that - one way or another. But until they do, you would figure there would have to be a safer way. IMHO, **almost any way at all **would have to be safer.

As for the wind rushing into or out of the ship after the hole is cut, your guess is a good as mine. I just have no idea.

Sorry that I have so little to contribute. But you once helped me with a very obscure movie and so I wanted to help you if there was any way I could.

Cheers mate!

Found a copy of the script online –


2nd Law, that’s an incredible find; thanks for sharing! Notice how page 127-A is 3/4 empty? That’s exactly where that piece of Scott’s speech was chopped from later prints. I’d call that a smoking gun! Time for the Congressional sub-committee. Or maybe some more research; I’m off to the store for Twinkies and chocolate milk, can I get you anything? :wink: :smiley:

One of my memories of that movie is my father scoffing at the whole premise. He pointed out that once the ship upended all the lights would have gone out and the survivors would be blind and trapped. All because batteries don’t work upside down.

FWIW, there is no indication on IMDb of any change in this film from it’s original version. The “alternate versions” page is nonexistent and there’s no indication in the “trivia” page, either.

Oh, __ ___. This goes deeper than we thought.

Did the original script follow the book? Maybe you could check a copy to see if it sounds familiar.

This is going to end with you all bugging Gene Hackman isn’t it?

Unfortunately, folks, TPA (book and movie) is the only thing I have an obsessive memory about. But I appreciate all your comments and assistance; OK:

a) The book and script are similar thusly–the boat turns over, some people make it up to “shaft alley.” Without making a 150 item Spoiler box, that’s the best I can do at the moment.
b) Big_Norse, yer Dad is, of course, right. In the book, none of the lights worked post-whoopsie, they had electric torches–which failed when they got to shaft alley.
c) Yllaria, Rev. Scott’s demise in the movie was almost nothing like the book. The book: no speech, no steam, no wheel valve, no shaft alley “hand-crank room.”
d) KneadToKnow/Amateur Barbarian Yeah, I know IMdB has whiffed on this one; I was going to sign up and try to goose someone into coming clean, but there was something funky re their sign-up procedure, so I let it slide. Feel free, if you’re members, to start a stink and I’ll back you as much as possible. :slight_smile:
e) 2nd Law finding that script copy with the big white gap where the speech should have been was Xmas in June.
f) aa6vh, Trinopus, E.C. and J.A.Q., you all had excellent comments and I thank you for piling on.
g) My thought(s): all the prints were withdrawn after the first run and they doctored a few copies for future “pressings,” (When I was younger, I was convinced The Church had something to do with it. :eek: At 12 YO, I knew JUST enough to keep my wonkiest thoughts to myself). As for the script, maybe Stirling Silliphant figured he’d have a better chance of nailing an Adapted Screenplay Oscar if he took out that little piece of the speech.

I can hear you all saying Good G-d, Burpo, we’re talking Irwin Allen! Have some Schnapps. Let it go. And rightly so.

If we could get Fred, Daphne and Velma off their asses, we just might solve this! :smiley:

We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast. :slight_smile:

Good talking to y’all.

More likely, the generators (along with the boilers and almost everything bolted down) would have broken loose and gone plummeting through the decks below (or above, depending on your POV) them.

This happened on the Titanic when its pitch reached a critical value. Everything slid forward through the bow to scatter across the sea floor.

The next thing you’re going to tell me is that scene in Airport 75 where a 747 that was hit by a small plane and left with a hole in it will stay level and steady long enough for a flight attendant to pull an emergency pilot lowered from a helicopter through the hole and into the cockpit.

Although it’s true they didn’t make it on the first try.

^ Would you believe I had that soundtrack on Eight. Track. Tape? :eek: