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Parents' Guide to

The Poseidon Adventure

By Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Titanic without the smarm.

Movie PG 1972 117 minutes
The Poseidon Adventure Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 11+

Better the second time than the first.

The first time I saw this movie a few years ago, I did not like it. I just saw it again tonight and I liked it better. It is still not as good as the 2006 remake “Poseidon”. The violence is people dying due to the sinking of the ship, including drowning in water, a heart attack, and vanishing in fire. However, the only dead body that is shown is the person who had the heart attack for holding her breath too long under water, but nothing graphic is shown when people die by falling into water and fire. I think 3/5 for sex is extreme. If it’s just one sex reference that should be more like 1/5. There is some mild language, but nothing over-the-top, and if there’s any drinking, there may be some champagne when New Year’s is being celebrated before the wave strikes the ship. Despite the violence, the movie has positive messages, like determination, perseverance, and loyalty, and positive role models include the reverend, the leader of the crowd, as well as the man who finds a bond with a frightened woman, whose brother dies right after the ship takes damage from the wave. The man survived and made sure the woman survived as well. I would give positive messages 4/5, since the survival of the main characters depends on positive relationships with one another and fewer people would have survived if they had not worked together and looked out for one another and instead tried to save themselves and only themselves. I would give positive role models 3/5, since there is another character who is negative and hostile to the people around him, which makes matters worse. I think a 13+ age recommendation is a little extreme, especially since the remake is more graphically violent. I would recommend it to 11-year-olds and up as well as mature 10-year-olds. With all that said, this film is a classic and is something everyone should see at least once, as well as the remake.
age 17+

Year I was born

An epic

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Part of what makes the movie so effective is the novelty of seeing people trapped in a world literally turned upside-down. Barber chairs and toilets dangle eerily from the ceiling, and a giant artificial Christmas tree becomes a ladder to a higher deck that was once underneath. Adults who saw it in 1972 will find it still gripping, but not too intense for young teens. The blood is modest, and the cameras don't linger unduly on the dead.

There are more familiar faces in THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE than you'd find on a Love Boat reunion cruise: Roddy McDowall, Oscar nominee Shelley Winters, and Leslie Nielsen as the stony-faced captain. The characters themselves are a bit silly, but they all react realistically under duress. They sweat and yell at each other, and their clothes get messy. Gene Hackman binds the cast together as the fiery reverend who preaches that strength comes not from God, but from within. He proves his point.

Movie Details

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