Irwin Allen, ever the entertainer, runs through exactly why he thinks The Towering Inferno will beat The Poseidon Adventure. Indeed it did – but it’s interesting that even in 1972/3 he already had Beyond the Poseidon Adventure and what looks like an early version of When Time Ran Out already penned in.

2 thoughts

  1. From Wikipedia: “‘When Time Ran Out…’ is marginally based on the novel ‘The Day the World Ended’ by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts detailing the factual 1902 volcanic eruption of Mount PelĂ©e on Martinique, which killed 30,000 people in five minutes by pyroclastic flow.”

    “Marginally” would be putting it mildly, since the finished film is basically “The Poseidon Adventure on a Hawaiian Island” and takes place in a completely different era and locale. But then Allen’s movies (starting with “The Swarm”) bear “marginal” similarity to their credited sources–even “Beyond the Poseidon Adventure,” which Allen commissioned from Paul Gallico, author of the original “Poseidon Adventure” novel (although aside from some character substitutions, the film sticks closer to its source than either “Swarm” or “Out…”).

    Earlier concepts for “Beyond” followed the survivors, rather than returning to the capsized liner; one version had them trapped in a collapsed tunnel while being transported to testify about the Poseidon’s fate.

    Gallico’s “Beyond” made the mistake of contriving to put the survivors back on the ship a few minutes after leaving via helicopter–which would have made casting the picture a bit tricky. Ernest Borgnine and Jack Albertson’s characters were replaced (and their fates rewritten) by Peter Boyle and Jack Warden’s.

    The author (who sank the liner at the end of his original novel) also tossed in a tiger (now escaped from its transport cage and loose on the ship) and the underwater volcano that triggered the tsunami that capsized the Poseidon to begin with.

    1. Thanks for this Tog. I have read Gallico’s Beyond and its certainly a completely different concept. I think there’s some good and bad in both versions. One of the funniest things I’ve heard is Carol Lynley talking on the commentary on The Poseidon Adventure saying Irwin was talking about a sequel where the survivors go off to Geneva for a trial on whom was responcible for the disaster. In a tunnel there’s an avalanche and they all get trapped inside. Now there’s a fun movie to have made – a 1970’s Daylight!

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