As an adult, I can appreciate all the criticisms that have been levelled against this and other 70's disaster films: hackneyed and stereotyped characterization, bad special effects, implausible plot turns. Yet it's hard for me to reject The Poseidon Adventure. As a twelve year-old sitting in the front row of the Odeon movie theatre in my home town craning my neck to look up at the screen as the big ship turned over, I thought it was the height of cinematic art or at least of big Hollywood spectacle. Happily, years of viewing Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, Godard, Truffaut, Bunuel, Hitchcock, David Lean and company have shown me otherwise. Despite it all, I still have a kind of embarrassed and grudging affection for this movie and its quirkier characters, particularly the spectacularly vulgar Linda Rogo, played by Stella Stevens, with her poodle hair climbing a huge Christmas tree and a ladder in four-inch silver heels, and the heroic Mrs. Rosen who wants to atone for being a millstone around the other survivors' neck by reliving her glory days as a swim champion in order to save them. I'm sure today's twelve year-olds would roll their eyes as it is hopelessly sentimental, impossibly out of date and extremely cheesy. And yes, it is all of those things. However, I'd pick this version any day over the recent bloodless (only in the metaphorical sense) Wolfgang Petersen version which dispenses with characterization of any kind and uses the actors as live-action figures in a video game.
If you like your fun on the cheesy side, the original Poseidon Adventure is as pleasurable as a big wheel of Gouda, particularly if you can watch it on a big screen television.