Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)

PG | 116 mins | Adventure, Drama | 1979

Director:

Irwin Allen

Writer:

Nelson Gidding

Producer:

Irwin Allen

Cinematographer:

Joseph Biroc

Editor:

Bill Brame

Production Designer:

Preston Ames

Production Company:

Warner Bros., Inc.
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HISTORY

       While The Poseidon Adventure (1972, see entry) was making news as a blockbuster success after ten weeks in release, producer Irwin Allen was already in development on a proposed sequel, to be titled Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, which he initially planned to launch over Christmas 1974, according to a 28 Feb 1973 HR article. At this stage, Allen intended to bring back several actors from the first film, including Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Jack Albertson, Pamela Sue Martin and Eric Shea. An 18 Jul 1975 DV reported that the production, under the latest working title Poseidon Adventure II, would be part of Allen’s new three-picture arrangement with Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
       The project eventually moved to Warner Bros., Inc. after Allen signed a contract with the studio to direct and produce two features a year, which a 21 Jul 1975 LAT news item announced as the most expensive production deal in the company’s history, worth potentially $100 million.
       According to a 17 Jul 1976 LAT obituary, author Paul Gallico was midway through writing the sequel novel when he died on 15 Jul 1976.
       The $10 million production began shooting 6 Sep 1978, according to a Warner Bros. press release. Filming took place primarily on four soundstages at Burbank Studios in Burbank, CA, with additional location work at sea, off the coasts of California and Catalina Island, as noted in news items in the 9 Oct 1978 Box and the 1 Nov 1978 DV. As stated in production notes in AMPAS library files, ... More Less

       While The Poseidon Adventure (1972, see entry) was making news as a blockbuster success after ten weeks in release, producer Irwin Allen was already in development on a proposed sequel, to be titled Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, which he initially planned to launch over Christmas 1974, according to a 28 Feb 1973 HR article. At this stage, Allen intended to bring back several actors from the first film, including Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Jack Albertson, Pamela Sue Martin and Eric Shea. An 18 Jul 1975 DV reported that the production, under the latest working title Poseidon Adventure II, would be part of Allen’s new three-picture arrangement with Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
       The project eventually moved to Warner Bros., Inc. after Allen signed a contract with the studio to direct and produce two features a year, which a 21 Jul 1975 LAT news item announced as the most expensive production deal in the company’s history, worth potentially $100 million.
       According to a 17 Jul 1976 LAT obituary, author Paul Gallico was midway through writing the sequel novel when he died on 15 Jul 1976.
       The $10 million production began shooting 6 Sep 1978, according to a Warner Bros. press release. Filming took place primarily on four soundstages at Burbank Studios in Burbank, CA, with additional location work at sea, off the coasts of California and Catalina Island, as noted in news items in the 9 Oct 1978 Box and the 1 Nov 1978 DV. As stated in production notes in AMPAS library files, production designer Preston Ames studied the retired R. M. S Queen Mary, anchored in Long Beach, CA, as a model for S. S. Poseidon. The interior of the capsized ship, which comprised approximately thirty sets, took one year to design and build.
       An 11 Dec 1978 Box brief reported that the television talk show, The Merv Griffin Show, presented an entire program about the making of the film with producer Allen and actors Michael Caine, Telly Savalas, Shirley Jones and Jack Warden, which aired on 29 Nov 1978.
       The film was shown for the first time on network television 17 May 1981 on ABC (American Broadcasting Network), as noted in the 15 May 1981 edition of TV Guide.
      The end credits included the following statement: “Filmed at The Burbank Studios, Burbank, California.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Oct 1978.
---
Box Office
11 Dec 1978.
---
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1975
p. 1, 13.
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 1973
p. 1, 14.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jul 1975
Section E, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jul 1976
Section A, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
17 Aug 1979
p. 32.
New York Times
25 May 1979
p. 17.
TV Guide
15 May 1981.
---
Variety
30 May 1979
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Irwin Allen's production of
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
2d asst dir
Asst dir trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Underwater photog
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod illustrator
Prod illustrator
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Prop master
Leadman
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Men`s ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Looping ed
Prod mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Post prod supv
Exec asst to prod
Casting
Scr supv
Dial coach
Loc mgr
Prod secy
Exec secy to Irwin Allen
Transportation capt
Boat master
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico (London, 1969) and on the novel Beyond the Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico (New York, 1978).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Return of the Poseidon
Poseidon Adventure II
Release Date:
1979
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 25 May 1979; Los Angeles opening: 17 Aug 1979
Production Date:
began 6 Sep 1978
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 August 1979
Copyright Number:
PA50008
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor®
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
116
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25610
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

En route to North Africa across the Mediterranean Sea, Capt. Mike Turner, first mate Wilber and a spunky traveler named Celeste Whitman encounter a violent storm. Mike’s tugboat, Jenny, perseveres, but valuable cargo falls overboard, which means financial ruin for Mike’s business. The next morning, the sea is calm and Mike and Wilbur notice a helicopter from the French coast guard, indicating a ship is in distress nearby. Mike follows the helicopter’s path, in hope of a moneymaking salvage opportunity. Soon, he spots the overturned hull of the luxury cruise ship S. S. Poseidon, which capsized during the storm. Believing a fortune might still be locked inside the purser’s office, Mike wants to go aboard before the ship sinks completely. As explosions inside the hull shake the vessel, Wilbur and Celeste are dubious about the plan. Arriving on the scene in a swanky yacht is Dr. Stefan Svevo. When Mike tells Svevo he has already claimed salvage rights, Svevo assures him that he and his crew are only there to give medical aid to any remaining survivors. Mike, Wilbur and Celeste, along with Svevo and three of his crew, climb into the Poseidon through an opening in the hull cut by the coast guard. Inside, oil fires burn, and the group proceeds cautiously through the inverted engine room. From there, they crawl through an air shaft leading to the ship’s gymnasium and steam room, but a sudden tremor collapses the shaft behind them, blocking off their escape route. Hearing ... +


En route to North Africa across the Mediterranean Sea, Capt. Mike Turner, first mate Wilber and a spunky traveler named Celeste Whitman encounter a violent storm. Mike’s tugboat, Jenny, perseveres, but valuable cargo falls overboard, which means financial ruin for Mike’s business. The next morning, the sea is calm and Mike and Wilbur notice a helicopter from the French coast guard, indicating a ship is in distress nearby. Mike follows the helicopter’s path, in hope of a moneymaking salvage opportunity. Soon, he spots the overturned hull of the luxury cruise ship S. S. Poseidon, which capsized during the storm. Believing a fortune might still be locked inside the purser’s office, Mike wants to go aboard before the ship sinks completely. As explosions inside the hull shake the vessel, Wilbur and Celeste are dubious about the plan. Arriving on the scene in a swanky yacht is Dr. Stefan Svevo. When Mike tells Svevo he has already claimed salvage rights, Svevo assures him that he and his crew are only there to give medical aid to any remaining survivors. Mike, Wilbur and Celeste, along with Svevo and three of his crew, climb into the Poseidon through an opening in the hull cut by the coast guard. Inside, oil fires burn, and the group proceeds cautiously through the inverted engine room. From there, they crawl through an air shaft leading to the ship’s gymnasium and steam room, but a sudden tremor collapses the shaft behind them, blocking off their escape route. Hearing screams, they rescue three surviving passengers trapped in the steam room: Gina Rowe, the ship’s nurse; Frank Mazzetti, who is hysterical about his missing daughter; and Suzanne, who hides the fact that she knows the mysterious Svevo. After locating a deck plan, Mike remains determined to make his way to the purser’s office. Despite Mike's greedy motives, the group elects to stay together and follow him. Meanwhile, Svevo discreetly studies and keeps the deck plan for himself before taking his crewmen in the opposite direction. As the group arrives at the purser’s office, another tremor causes a locked safe to plunge through the floor to the adjacent deck. Upon impact, the door springs open, revealing gold coins, cash and jewelry. As Mike, Wilbur and Celeste fill bags with the treasure, three more survivors emerge: a drunken Texan named Dewey Hopkins, who Mike nicknames Tex; Theresa Mazzetti, Frank’s lost daughter; and Larry Simpson, a ship bellboy who saved Theresa’s life. While Frank and the others are distracted, Suzanne sneaks away to locate a cargo inventory list for Svevo. The group searches for a way out, but Wilbur lags behind, stricken by pain from a fatal disease. Mike reassures his first mate that they now have the money to pay for an operation. Along a corridor, the group picks up two additional survivors, Hannah Meredith and her husband Harold, who is blind. Unable to locate an exit, Mike decides they should rendezvous with Svevo, who kept the deck plan. On the way, they find Suzanne lying in a corridor, dead from a gunshot wound. Meanwhile, Svevo and his crew have been busy searching the cargo hold and have opened several crates of weapons and ammunition. Thanks to the inventory Suzanne found, Svevo knows that the crate he seeks is marked “Sprague Pumps,” but he killed Suzanne because she had knowledge that the crate actually contained plutonium. When Mike and the group reach the cargo hold, Svevo’s men emerge with their guns drawn. Pointing to the barrel of plutonium, Svevo announces that he must kill the group, now that they have discovered his true mission. A tremor rocks the ship, allowing Mike, Frank and Larry time to grab guns and fend off the terrorists. In the exchange of fire, Frank is shot dead. After Svevo traps the group, the compartment floods, but Harold’s acute hearing detects a banging door nearby through which the group is able to escape. On the other side of the door is a corridor filled with rising water, but leading to a ladder. As the last person to swim and climb the ladder, Hannah struggles and suffers a fatal fall. In an effort to save her, Mike loses his newly-found fortune. Next, Mike discovers an escape route, but it requires swimming through an underwater door using scuba gear. As Wilbur’s pain becomes unbearable, he discreetly swims away to his death. The others make their way to the surface. At the hull’s opening, Mike notices Svevo and his crew loading crates. He and Celeste swim underwater to retrieve the tugboat. When they crank Jenny’s engine, Svevo realizes that Mike and his group are still alive and orders his men to shoot. Celeste fires back while Larry, Theresa, Gina, and Harold swim safely towards the tugboat, but Tex is shot in the back and drowns. As Jenny pulls away, a chain of explosions obliterate the Poseidon in a plutonium cloud, along with Svevo and his crew. On the journey home, Mike tells Celeste that without the fortune, the bank is going to confiscate Jenny as soon as he reaches port. Celeste unbuttons her shirt to reveal a diamond tucked away, and Mike kisses her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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