Poseidon Adventure

Apr 11, 2001
Forgot to mention there are over a dozen b/w/ and color stills from the movie which may be ordered at her site above(under filmography, 1970's), as well as a guestbook-did I write to her?- you bet! Inspiration for us gals over 50 and then some!
Jan 28, 2003
Glad to see the trouper's still going strong, in flats, Shelley. The horror genre flicks reminds me of a friend I once had who, when queried by a solemn and innocent young man, informed him "I am the star of the House of Whipcord" .... (Hammer Horror). All this has made me long to see Linda Rogo again - will have to go down to Blockbuster's asap.
Jul 11, 2001
There is a cute book out called "The Cherry Tree". It is about several 13 yr old boys growing up in a Connecticut suburbs in 1972. In the book, the boys see the movie Poseidon Adventure several times. When somebody asks them the moral of the story, one of them pauses and then says:"Yeah, don't follow the Purser!" I burst out laughing at that!

Jim Kalafus

Dec 3, 2000
Eric Shea- a child actor as annoying in his own way as the Last Voyage's Tammy Marihugh- had one other well remembered (by some) moment of glory. There was this Brady Bunch episode in which Cindy, the little demon spawn, was depressed because unlike her older and far more attractive sisters she had no steady boyfriend. At age 8. Bobby...urk...pretends to be her 'secret admirer' via telephone and when he is found out (by the parents) he is told that he had better produce a boyfriend for Cindy quickly instead of being given a lecture on how unwholesome it is to make loving phone calls to one's own sister. Enter Eric Shea, who is paid .50 to date Cindy. His career as a male escort is brief, for love soon blossoms. One of the weirdest episodes of what was a very weird show at times.
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
>>LOL, I'm sure they weren't 12" heels (can u imagine?)<<

As a matter of fact, Mike, I can. I can also imagine the autopsy that would follow in the wake of a stunt like that! Stella must have been a real trouper indeed to climb a ladder in something with heels of any kind. Her sense of balance must have been nothing short of incredible!

For anyone interested in a fuller history of some of Irwin Allen's work, you might try This Website.

John Clifford

Mar 30, 1997
Hi Jim.

I can "top" the Eric Shea information, one better: this is one of those either "watched too much TV in the 70s" (yes, that was me) or "collects a lot of TV trivia": I remember Eric Shea on the short-lived TV series, "Anna and the King", based on the musical (at least it was something that Samantha Eggar, Yul Brynner, and Keye Luke could list on their resumes). Both Eric Shea's character, and that of "#1 Son", became the most annoying. My 2nd Grade homeroom teacher even had a bit part on one episode.

Actually, nowadays there would be no problem trying to find youngsters to play Master Robin Shelby: I once audited the tax return of a talent scout, and that person mentioned that a lot of parents showed up at her office with the line of "My child would love to be in show business" (and the Scout could spot which children did not want to be there).

A few years ago I would have recommended Rupert Grint (Ron, "Harry Potter" films) as Robin Shelby.

I got the chance to see Stella Stevens, Pamela Sue Martin, and Shelly Winters, during a special showing of "Poseidon Adventure", in March 2000, at the Queen Mary; was able to get Stella's and Pamela's autographs. Shelly had to leave early (she did, though, give a classic response: "I was told to gain weight for my role, and I did. And it's taken me 27 years to lose it").

BTW, Sheila Matthews and Erik Nielsen ("I already have a mistress, the sea") also appeared in "The Towering Inferno". That movie also tried to copy "Poseidon" with a tie-in song, although I'll wager no one will remember "We Will Never Love This Way Again".

BTW, I don't think anyone would buy the idea of Catherine Zeta-Jones dying her hair blonde, to play Linda, though it might be classic to have Michael Douglas play Rogo, with the line of "You're out of that business, now. You're my wife!!!".

I would also love to be the one to play the waiter who says "Give me a Strauss waltz, anyday", after hearing "Morning After".
Mar 28, 2002
Shelley, you're right, our Stella is 66, not 67, born 1st October 1938. I'm dreadful at maths.

Mike, the role of "pompous-ass purser" was played by Byron Webster. Born in London in 1931, he died in California in 1991 aged 60.

Mr Linarcos was played by Fred Sadoff. Apparently he was much more than an actor and was a pioneer in the film industry. He died aged 67 in 1994 of an AIDS-related illness.

Jan Arvan played Dr Caravello. He died in 1979 aged 66. I don't remember him at all.

John, the waiter grumbling about Nonnie Parry singing "Morning After" must have been played by Jimmy Cross, born in New York in 1907, he died of a stroke in Los Angeles in 1981.

Apparently Scott "Quantum Leap" Bakula played the "Falling Man" who crashed through the ornate window in the dining room scene post-capsize, pre-flood. That is, according to Quantum Leap. Sam's alter-ego for one of the episodes was a stunt-man.

I love that film, I have to watch it every time it's on. To me, it was the ultimate disaster movie for it's day. Sure, there have been better effects, better storylines since, but it was the sheer helplessness of the 70's movies: The Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Aiport, When Time Ran Out. They were just great. A really good disaster flick for me has to have a woman having to tear her brand new evening dress to shreds in order to climb a ladder, helped up by a bloke with his bow tie loose and his dinner jacket covered in blood, scorch marks or rubble dust. Classic!



Jim Kalafus

Dec 3, 2000
John- The irony of the forgotten theme from the Towering Inferno is that it won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1974. It was performed onscreen by Maureen McGovern.

A favorite bit of forgotten TV, contemporary to Poseidon Adventure, is "If It's A Man, Hang Up" starring Carol Lynley and a very threatening ca. 1972 speaker phone. The plot revolves around Carol Lynley as the world's leading fashion model who is being stalked by a maniac via speaker phone. It is FILLED with disturbing images- her boyfriend looks like Gerard Depardieu with Carol Brady's hair and wears a men's mink; a handsome stranger comes to her apartment to spend the night- she tenderly massages his bare chest before turning off the light, he is run over in the street the following day by the maniac and then we learn that he is HER BROTHER; Carol wears Wilma Flintstone's hairstyle for an entire sequence; and the scummy red herring of a building manager informs her that "I'm your biggest fan. I keep your picture hanging over my bed where I can see it at night" but mercifully does not add "for aiming purposes." Carol plays the part as monotone as she did Nonnie. If It's It's A Man..... gives more laughs than most comedies.

The Night The Bridge Fell is an cinematically unreleased Irwin Allen classic which went straight to TV in the early 1980s. Among the celebrities trapped on the un-collapsed portion of said bridge is Eve Plumb, subbing for Carol Lynley.

The Animals Are in The Streets aka The Beasts Are In the Streets is another classic 'lost' Irwin Allen film from his declining years. I seem to remember Carol Lynley appearing in it. A truck driver has a heart attack, drives through the fence at a safari park and before you know it...well, the Animals Are in the Streets. Most lingering mental image is of an ostrich attacking a family in their own back yard. Yes, really.....

Flood was also good. And Carol Lynley appeared in it.

The kid who plays 'Dewey' on Malcolm in The Middle would be great as "Young Master Shelby" andf could probably play the subtext of the disturbing relationship between Robin and "Charlie My Third Engineer Friend" to perfection. As was done by Peter Graves and "Joey" in Airplane ("Joey- Have you ever been in a Turkish Prison?")

Lainie Kazan was BORN to play Belle Rosen. Unlike Shelley or earlier suggestion Roseanne she would not bring "shrill" to the part, but as she showed in Delta Force (In which she starred opposite Shelley Winters) she can certainly embrace a part in a disaster film with gusto. Estelle Taylor might be good as well.

Poseidon observation: how come Linda is forced to disrobe for her own safety, and Susan as well, but Belle is allowed to climb the tree in an equally constricting evening ensemble?

Second Poseidon observation: "Just panties, what else....?" is Stella's best moment other than the suppository interlude and the heart tugging "come here you lousy cop" sequence, I don't think any sane person would argue that point. So why is it that her bra strap slides out from under Mike's ruffly pink dress shirt during her close up in the "climbing up the ladder in the mysterious watery pit" segment?

About the Famed Panties. Stella was quoted in Liz Smith's column a while back about said garment. She no longer has them but wishes she had- she'd sell them on eBay and make a fortune. She was, of course, being jocular.

Stuntman Ernie Orsatti played the ill fated Terry who falls through the skylight and dances badly with Susan after rousing her from her mini-stroke. He did his own stunt work.

Speaking of Malcolm In The Middle: I would like to see Jane Kaczmarek in the part of "The Purser's Right!" the woman who sits beaming at the purser as if he is a god though the "tell me Sir, what DOES a purser do?' interlude and over reacts wildly to "it IS true you pompous ass" before uttering her single line. If you watch the overhead shot of the flooding of the dining room you can see her run to the right of the skylight. I like to think that she was NOT the annoying voice yelling "the water's coming in help me, pleeeeese help me..." repeatedly during the last bits of that scene.

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