This morning, as we were getting ready for work we started (like a number of people we know) discussing the election results and trying to center ourselves on what lies ahead for this great nation of ours. Jean just couldn’t get the lyrics “there’s got to be a morning after” out of her head (and yes they have lingered there in the back of her noggin literally all day) – the lyrics turned from humming into conversation about a movie from our youth – The Poseidon Adventure. Some of you may not know that there was the original long (and we mean LONG) before the release of Poseidon in 2006.
The Poseidon Adventure is a 1972 American action-adventure disaster film, produced by Irwin Allen (the KING of disaster movies). The film featured an all-star cast for the day, including Gene Hackman, Carol Lynley, Ernest Borgnine, Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons, and a screen newbie, Pamela Sue Martin. It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “The Morning After” (see we do have good taste in music, contrary to what our daughters think). Shelley Winters won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role. It also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Dramatic Motion Picture.
The SS Poseidon, an ocean liner slated for retirement and scrapping, is making her way across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea from New York City to Athens. Despite the protests of Captain Harrison, who fears for the ship’s safety in troubled waters, the representative of her new owners,insists that she make full speed towards its destination, preventing her from taking on additional water ballast. Detective Lieutenant Mike Rogo (Ernest Borgnine) and his former-prostitute wife Linda (Stella Stevens) — seasick, like many of the passengers — receive an invitation to the captain’s table. Reverend Frank Scott (Gene Hackman), a minister questioning his faith and believing God helps those who help themselves, delivers a sermon at Mass. Susan Shelby (Pamela Sue Martin) and her younger brother Robin (Eric Shea) are traveling to meet their parents. Robin is interested in how the ship works and frequently visits the engine room. Retired Jewish hardware store owner Manny Rosen (Jack Albertson) and his wife Belle (Shelley Winters) are going to Israel to meet their two-year-old grandson for the first time. Haberdasher James Martin (Red Buttons) is a love-shy, health-conscious bachelor. The ship’s singer, Nonnie Parry (Carol Lynley) rehearses for the New Year celebration with her band which includes her brother Teddy on drums – Yup, guess what song she song – “The Morning After”.
That evening, New Year’s Eve, passengers gather in the dining room to celebrate. Captain Harrison is called to the bridge because of a report of an undersea earthquake. He receives word from the lookout that there is a huge wave heading towards them coming from the direction of Crete at 60 mph. The wave hits the bridge. With its lack of ballast, the ship capsizes, killing or injuring many of the people on board. In the dining room, survivors take stock of their predicament. Acres (Roddy McDowall), an injured waiter, is trapped at the galley door now high above. With information from Martin, Scott surmises that the escape route will be found ‘upwards’, at the outer hull, which is now above water. Robin tells him that the hull near the propeller shaft is only one inch thick (see, it really pays to tour the ship when you go on a cruise – you never know what useful information you will learn – will make a note to do that next time). The Rosens, the Rogos, Nonnie, Susan, Robin, Acres, and Martin agree to go with him, using a Christmas tree as a ladder. He unsuccessfully tries to convince more passengers to join them. After the small group climbs to the galley, there is a series of explosions. As seawater floods the room the survivors rush to the Christmas tree, but the weight of everyone climbing causes it to collapse. Ok – fast forward past all the perils they face and Acres getting washed out to sea in the smokestack.
The group discovers the engine room is on the other side of a flooded corridor, so someone must swim through with a line to help the others. Belle, a former competitive swimmer, claims she can manage it, but Scott refuses and dives in with the line. Halfway through, a panel collapses on him, trapping him. The survivors notice something is wrong and Belle dives in. She frees him and they make it to the other side. As he secures the lifeline, Belle has a heart attack. Before dying she tells him to give her “Chai” pendant (representing the Hebrew sign for life) to Rosen, who in turn will give it to their grandson. Rogo swims over to make sure Belle and Scott are all right, then leads the rest over. When Rosen swims to the other side and finds Belle’s body he is unwilling to go on, but Scott gives him her Chai pendant, reminding him that he has a reason to live.
Scott leads the survivors across a catwalk to the propeller shaft room’s watertight door, but there is another series of explosions and Linda falls to her death. More explosions rupture a pipe that releases steam, blocking their escape. Scott, outraged about the three deaths and this final obstacle,leaps and grabs onto the burning-hot valve wheel to shut off the steam, then tells Rogo to lead the group before letting go of it, sacrificing himself. Rogo leads the remaining survivors through the watertight door and into the propeller shaft room. They hear a noise above the ship and bang on the ceiling/floor to get the rescuers’ attention. The rescuers then cut through the hull and help the group out of the ship. The survivors, the only six alive after the disaster, fly off to safety by helicopter.
As we reminisced tonight, we opened a bottle of Pennywise Petite Sirah – we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, their tagline – “Do you believe that hard work pays off? We Do.” This is a new wine for us that we found at World Market in College Station during our whirlwind journey across Texas last Saturday. It normally sells for $10.99 – but using our membership discount, and a sale – we purchased it for $8.49. Now, we know some of you may be thinking – REALLY? A decent bottle of wine can’t cost $8.49 – well, let us tell you – it can. The nose – well admittedly, it’s young. BUT, give it a few minutes and you begin to get that petite sirah taste . . . to go along with it’s beautiful color. This wine had big vanilla finish that lasted much longer than one might expect. The more the wine sat in the glass, the better the nose and the better the taste. Those of you who enjoy wines on a regular basis know that some wines open sooner than others; some wines open up and then close; some wines never quite get out of the starting gate and some are winners from the second you pull the cork. It’s just one of those things that makes wine tasting so amazing. While this wine may not be high on your holiday list, if you have a crew of wine lovers, you’ll probably be able to satisfy most of them with it and not end up breaking the bank.
Ok, we know – enough already . . . so what does The Poseidon Adventure have to do with the day after a very important election – well, here’s what we think. Our nation is a bit like the Poseidon right now – turned upside down and we ALL (yes, collectively we are an interesting cast of characters) need to band together to find the way to the “engine room” and the section of the hull where the steel is only one inch thick – because it’s there and there is a helicopter waiting to take us to safety. It is going to take our faith, our ingenuity, our bravery, our ‘stick-to-it-ness,’ our determination and our fortitude – and sadly, we are going to lose a few people along the way – BUT, we will get there. We’re in this for the long haul and need to pull together and dedicate ourselves to once again become the one nation under God we were born to be.
Remember to enjoy your wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.