solid film produced by irwin allen (towering inferno) about a cruise ship that capsizes on new year’s eve. the crew is forced to find their way through the ship to the hull hoping that they can reach help from there. the set pieces are notable. everything is upside down and all the sets are flooded at some point in the film. the filmmakers manage to put together a pretty suitable story. in functions well from on an allegorical level (their world is turned upside down on the new year and they are under water [rebirth], etc.) and it also allows them to work in more base elements like the women shedding their dresses early on in order to climb to safety; this leaves them in their knickers throughout the remainder.
also impressive is hackman’s character; he really is the axis of the film. he plays a preacher who has been outcast because of his unorthodox beliefs. in the beginning he gives a sermon espousing his belief that we all have god within us. god doesn’t want us to be weak, he says, he wants us to help ourselves – he wants us to be strong. early after the ship capsizes most of the crew chooses to stay in the ballroom hoping that someone will come to save them, but a few follow moses, er hackman, to the hull of the ship. of course hackman is solid and he sells the martyr ending in a way that a lesser actor wouldn’t. once at the hull the remaining survivors bang on the ceiling hoping god, er the rescuers, will cut the hull and free them.
it’s a good flick that functions on several levels and that’s the real key here.