TCM Alert: That Old Sinking Feeling.

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Grab a life vest, a bowl of popcorn and a box of Raisinets. Because tonight, TCM is going down with the ships.

The Poseidon Adventure (1972) was a huge deal when I was growing up. I remember the TV spots and poster (“Hell, upside down”) hanging outside the theater in Thomasville, Georgia. I couldn’t wait to see it. It begins as a soap opera, then puts the entire cast through absolute hell. Movies don’t get much more entertaining than this one.

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A Night To Remember (1958) did more on its modest budget more than the newer Titanic picture accomplished with an endless supply of cash. (Don’t get me started on that thing.) A Night To Remember masterfully combines history, social commentary, excitement, heartbreak and suspense — even though we know how it’s gonna end — and made me the Titanic geek I am today. There are so many incredible touches in this film, courtesy of Roy Ward Baker’s assured direction. For instance, the serving cart that appears throughout to illustrate the listing of the ship — it sails across the room and crashes into the wall just as all hell breaks loose among the passengers still on board. Of course, the events of April, 1912 are a great story — and this is a great example of storytelling on film. One of the most powerful movies I’ve ever seen. (The public library here in Raleigh had a gorgeous 16mm print of A Night To Remember that I checked out several times. Heard later that all those prints were pitched into the dumpster.)

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Filed under 1958, 1972, Ernest Borgnine, Gene Hackman, Roy Ward Baker, TCM

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