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1972: ‘Poseidon’ sets sail

From The Army Archerd Archive

June 1, 1972

Cinematic confidence dept. Irwin Allen is joined (financially) in “Poseidon Adventure” by Sherrill Corwin and Steve Broidy with the latter duo putting up $2.5 million of their money alongside 20th’s equal amount in the sea epic … Allen says “Poseidon” will require only nine million-$ to break even. The epic boasts 13 Oscar winners — technical as well as cast — Shelley Winters (2), Gene Hackman, Ernie Borgnine, Red Buttons and Jack Albertson. Fantastic upside-down ship sets by production designer William Creber cost close to one million, says Allen — probably would have cost more had Creber not devised some from pieces of “Hello Dolly” and “Assault on the Queen” … Director Ronald Neame’s fotographic background is handy directing the upside-down show. A new lens arrives from Japan for the tidal wave sequences, while a second unit hies to Hawaii to shoot giant waves. (Update: Neame, who celebrated his 95th birthday April 23, saw the current, $150 million Wolfgang Petersen-directed “Poseidon” in advance of Wednesday’s (May 10 ) preem at Grauman’s Chinese. He thought today’s special effects are great — however, his Oscar-heavy cast gave the pic more character development. Buttons among, ’em, attended the current preem, and still got a laugh from his quip: “Do you know why Shelley Winters died in our movie? She tried to talk under water.” Also at the Grauman preem, Sheila Allen, widow of Irwin A. She also attended the Tribeca preem and reminds that her husband’s film passed the $100 million mark in its first year and is still viewed regularly).

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