Monday Movie Quote: The Poseidon Adventure

“You see, Mr. Scott? In the water I’m a very skinny woman.”
That quote belongs to Mrs. Rosen as portrayed by Shelley Winters in the Poseidon Adventure.

I’ve been in love with The Poseidon Adventure since I first saw it at the Flynn Theater at the age of nine. My older self shudders a bit that this is the quote that comes to mind when I think of both The Poseidon Adventure and Shelley Winters. Winters was a gifted actress and did both tawdry and tragic with equal ease.  “A Double Life”, “The Night of the Hunter”, ” A Place in the Sun” are all classic roles but that first glimpse of her and Jack Albertson aboard the Poseidon? I think it will always mean “forever love” to me.

The screenplay of the original Poseidon Adventure holds up very well because of the excellent screenplay by Stirling Stilliphant. He had an ear for dialog like no one else. The over the top characters of The Poseidon Adventure become real, quickly. From Stella Stevens ex hooker with sea-sickness to Eric Shea’s  haplessly looking at the upside down urinals and having to pee, You want this band of survivors to survive. It’s that simple.

“Let me do this?” is at the heart of the story. Each individual climbing towards hope must embrace their strengths and try to quell their weaknesses for the sake of the group.  Each and every time I see Reverend Scott’s final bit of dialog, I realize that what makes a good disaster movie is the comfort of being allowed to ask the big questions while racing against time (I also remember that Gene Hackman can over-act with the best of them).

What more do you want of us? We’ve come all this way, no thanks to you. We did it on our own, no help from you. We did ask you to fight for us but damn it, don’t fight against us! Leave us alone! How many more sacrifices? How much more blood? How many more lives?
Belle wasn’t enough. Acres wasn’t. Now this girl! You want another life? Then take me!

You can make it. Keep going. Rogo! Get them through. “
[falls into flaming water below]

Once a year, all these years later I sit down to watch it all over again. In Casa Jordan there’s always ” A Morning After” 

This Monday’s quote brought to you by Ruth Jordan