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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Poseidon Adventure -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 4, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Some "adventure."

    Not exactly the Jungle cruise at Disney.

    Two films on Blu-ray from the great Ronald Neame in a 30 day period is a very good thing. First The Odessa File, and now The Poseidon Adventure.

    For non-cinephiles who are reading this, Mr. Neame, who passed away in June of 2010 at the age of 99, was the son of Ivy Close, star of Abel Gance's La Roue.

    He was asst. cameraman on a little early sound film (also filmed as silent) called Blackmail, the director of which went on to make occasional thrillers.

    By the 1940s, Mr. Neame was a shooting major productions as cinematographer, including Major Barbara, One of Our Aircraft is Missing, In Which We Serve, This Happy Breed, and Blithe Spirit (all three of which recently arrived via Criterion).

    He then, as part of Cineguild worked (uncredited as producer) on Brief Encounter, and continuing his relationship with Sir David Lean, produced two of what are still considered today to be the finest of Dickens brought to film -- Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948). 1950 saw him producing One Woman's Story aka Passionate Friends for his partner Director David Lean, before making the major move toward direction.

    A list of his credits might having you wonder how he came to direct The Poseidon Adventure.

    The Man Who Never Was, Windom's Way, The Horse's Mouth, Tunes of Glory, I Could Go On Singing, The Chalk Garden, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (love to have that one from Fox on Blu.)

    Most of you are wondering what The Poseidon Adventure looks like.

    It looks nice.

    Sounds nice also.

    The film was distributed as both mono as well as 4-track stereo in 35mm. There were also a number of 70mm blow-ups produced.

    Color is superb. Main titles are tack sharp -- still can't figure out what occurred with Camelot...

    I'm not certain what element was used for image or how old the master might be, but it's fine. Grain seems a bit restrained for 5254, which leads me to believe this is either from a dupe, an older transfer or some knob-turning was performed.

    With all of Fox's more recent transfers being stellar, this one just seems to be missing that bit of snap to the image.

    But there's nothing untoward going on, and as a whole, both image as well as 4.0 DTS-HD MA audio yield a very pleasing representation of the film.

    So where does The Poseidon Adventure fit into film history?

    It delivered nice box office, as many less than great films do.

    It's entertaining, and in the theatre the sound of others chomping on popcorn didn't seem to diminish the film's charms.

    The same formula used in so many crisis films works once again.

    It's like so many films. Pick a mode of transportation. A big plane in Airport (2 years earlier) or The High and the Mighty (almost two decades earlier). It can be a runaway train, a bus...

    It's all the same formula. Take a reasonable number of former Oscar winners, mix them liberally with some young attractive thespians and a load of extras and create a nice setup.

    To quote my favorite film critic Roger Ebert:










    Everyone is in the ballroom, neatly divided into key ethnic groups, walks of life and former Oscar winners. When the ship turns over,Gene Hackman engineers an escape attempt. He takes the large Christmas tree (conveniently constructed of aluminum tubing) and turns it into a ladder, so that the passengers can escape from the ceiling of the ballroom by climbing to the floor. Then the idea is to make their way up the down staircase, until they get to the back of the ship. See, the steel in the hull back there is only an inch thick. Talk about luck.
    Anyway, everybody is sloshing around on the ceiling of the ballroom, but Hackman manages to get the other four Oscar winners and the six other movie stars up the Christmas tree. He desperately pleads with the other passengers to follow his lead, but they refuse. Hell, I knew they would. They were only extras.











    You can find Mr. Ebert's entire review here:

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19721221/REVIEWS/212210301

    For those who won't visit his site, and you should be a regular there if you love film, here his summation. One of the best, I've ever read in a review:

    "The Poseidon Adventure is the kind of movie you know is going to be awful, and yet somehow you gotta see it, right? They ought to be honest in the ads: Cornier that "Airport"! More clinches than "Grand Hotel!" The most character actors in small roles since "Flight of the Phoenix!" Bigger ups and downs than the elevator in "Hotel!"

    See! Shelley Winter's left thigh! Hear! Ernest Borgnine say, "Do you mean to tell me...? Thrill! To Stella Stevens taking off her blouse to use as a bandage! Weep! As Jack Albertson promises to give Shelley Winters' underwater swimming medal to their grandchildren in Israel! Gasp! As Gene Hackman recoils from flames! Glop! As Carol Lynley is covered with oil! Hold your breath! As..."


    Portions of the film were shot about the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.

    A fun visit to the 1970s genre film.

    Image - 4

    Audio - 5

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it is a fun film, I share your same longing for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to be released on BLU also. To be honest any Maggie Smith on blu is welcomed. If SONY would give TT or Image California Suite to be released on blu it would be day one. I love the Maggie Smith/ Michael Caine sections as well as Alan Alda and Jane Fonda's storyline as well. Alda is wonderful in it. So underrated IMO. (you can't go wrong with the banter between Fonda/Alda)
     
  3. Tino

    Tino Premium
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    Great Blu-Ray.
    Was fortunate enough to see this last Saturday on the big screen at the Loews Jersey in Jersey City. Packed house and the crowd loved it. On a double bill with A Night To Remember.
    The crowd actually cheered when Shelley Winters dove into the water. Fun fun fun. :)
     
  4. Midnight Mike

    Midnight Mike Active Member

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    Does anyone know if this is going to remain a Wal-Mark exclusive or if it will eventually be available at Amazon or other stores?
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  5. Midnight Mike

    Midnight Mike Active Member

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    Does anyone know if this is going to remain a Wal-Mark exclusive or if it will eventually be available at Amazon or other stores?
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  6. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    Eventually it will go elsewhere.
    Eventually it will go elsewhere
     
  7. Midnight Mike

    Midnight Mike Active Member

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    Thanks for the info.
    I saw The Poseidon Adventure in '72, it was packed and the line was so long, by the time we got into the theater the film had already started.
    (there wasn't a half hour of commericals or a 20 trailers back in those days).
    We had no idea how much we had missed, so I begged my parents to stay so we could see the next show, and it turns out we only missed a few mins, so then I begged my parents to stay at least until the ship turned over, after that though my my family had had enough, so off we went.
    It was one of my first favorite films from when I was a kid.
     
  8. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    I was oly 8 years old in '72 and was lucky enough to have parents who took me to see movies more then the Disney stuff.
    I saw this and The Sting and the Hospital and a couple of the Apes movies all before ten years old.
    :cool:
     
  9. Guest

    My parents took me to see everything. I was born in 1975 and saw Saturday Night Fever at the drive-in during its initial release. I still remember the changing colors of the dance floor and the climax on the bridge. My Cajun French father would just tell me to "cover your eye" if there was a scene I shouldn't be watching.
     
  10. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

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    My parents dragged me to lot of dramatic films as a kid too(late 70's, early 80's). Most of the films were beyond my young brains comprehension, but I was always glad to go to the theater. Always respect the cinema.
     
  11. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Well-Known Member

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    That's funny; we went often to the drive-in and my mother would tell me to turn around and look out the back window when something violent or otherwise inappropriate came up. I was 9 when POSEIDON came out and I insisted we go see it. My mother thought it would be too scary for me, but acquiesced. Well, I couldn't sleep for two nights and lying in bed at night I swear I could feel the motion of being in a boat. I still enjoy viewing it now and then.
     
  12. Jeff F.

    Jeff F. Well-Known Member

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    My parents took me to see The Poseidon Adventure when I was a kid at a drive in. I loved the film, and my experience was enhanced when it started to rain during the tidal wave scene, and we had to watch the film for a few minutes with the windshield wipers on. That was pretty cool and cemented the film in my memory forever.
     
    cannon1 likes this.
  13. RKR1970

    RKR1970 Active Member

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    The Fox team did a great job on this title! Worth picking up if you're a fan of this film!!!!
     
  14. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Well-Known Member

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    Warning: Get out your feather duster for this thread bump!

    Re-watched this again and was more disappointed with the sound. The "original" 4.0 track is great to have, but it is rather lackluster. The effects here sound more like a high flow toilet flush than anything else. A new 5.1 track option would have been welcome. Very boxy sound on all fronts. You can almost smell the '70's.
     
  15. Ken Volok

    Ken Volok Well-Known Member

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    This is one of those films that made me want to make films when my Mom took me to the drive-in to see it (c.1972/73). I actually revisited the much maligned "beyond the Poseidon Adventure" last night from Warner Archive: great picture quality, overall fun tho it bogs down a bit at the beginning of the third act.plaiginal where we always ahve a good idea where we are upside down, a lot of the sets look the same in this one and the cutaway set showing three floors simultaneously was a mistake.
    Recommended when you're feeling goofy.
     
  16. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Well-Known Member

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    Have yet to see this movie. Looks like another Blu purchase comin up. You did say Wally World is carrying this exclusively?
     
  17. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    It's available from Amazon for 10 bucks. Wal-Mart had it exclusively for about 3 months before it went wide.
     
  18. Tino

    Tino Premium
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    My first movie I saw in theaters. Will always be special to me. Thank God it was a great film to boot. :)
     
  19. nealg

    nealg Well-Known Member

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    And it's also available through the other usual suspects. But, want it for 5 bucks? Wait for the next 50% off coupon code sale at FoxConnect.
     
  20. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Well-Known Member

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    Not gonna happen, the dialog elements are long gone and its a huge stretch (despite the claims of LaLa Land Records) to call the soundtrack master tapes "stereo".

    Considering this was released on DVD in mono originally due to element deterioration you should be happy with what you got.
     

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