The Poseidon Adventure Was Playing Aboard The Titanic?July 5, 2010
Several years ago, I was told by a coworker that the original silent version of The Poseidon Adventure was playing in the Titanic’s movie theatre when the great liner went down. I did not believe this story, so I checked imdb.com … and sure enough, there it was. “What a coincidence,” I said, marvelling that a movie about a sinking ship would play on a sinking ship, and also that I knew not to call it ironic.
I love silent films, and I love stories of lost movies, and I love weird coincidences. So I repeated the story. And I’ve been repeating it for years, until it came up in conversation a while ago and someone said “Smells like bullshit to me.”
“But it has an imdb page,” I said, realizing what I was about to hear before I had even finished the sentence.
“So what? That’s user-edited,” I was told.
This caused me to step back and look at the facts:
- The Poseidon Adventure came out in 1972 and starred Gene Hackman.
- It was based on a 1969 novel by Paul Gallico.
- It was remade in 2006 with Kurt Russell, and also before that in 2005 as a TV movie with Steve Guttenberg. Also, Steve Guttenberg is still acting.
- There was a movie cinema on the Titanic. And a swimming pool, too. But the cinema was really just a projector in the dining room after dinner. The pool, meanwhile, got bigger as the voyage went on.
- The Internet Movie Database used to list The Poseidon Adventure as having been released in 1911. That page is now gone. You’ll have to trust me on that one, because I always tell the truth.
So what’s going on? Is my memory faulty? I don’t think it is. I remember finding all kinds of online information about this forgotten early version of the story. The imdb page even stated that Gallico based his novel on the earlier story.
I fired up my internet sniffer-outery and soon learned the source of the confusion: Snopes.
Read this page at the debunking site snopes.com. Read it closely. In particular, click on the More Information box at the bottom of the article.
All of this has been a years-long online exercise in explaining the importance of critical thinking and the scientific method. I love it. I was fooled, and I’m really, really hard to fool, except for that time I thought Robert Trugabe was a real guy. And the time I thought the Palin kid really did give the finger. And my first two marriages.
There. You learned something today. You’re welcome.