Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hello, my loves...  Yes, today is the third birthday of Poseidon's Underworld.  Three years ago today I tentatively began to dip my toe into the waters of blogging (the very first entry is here), never knowing how long it would last or how much I would have to reflect upon.  When you revisit those early days, it's often jarring how compact the posts are and how few photos are involved.  Nowadays, I most often lean towards gargantuan posts in which is isn't uncommon to have 40, 50 or even close to 60 pictures contained within. And I still have no idea how or why that happened!

Having enjoyed other blogs out there, I just wanted to create a place where I could share my enthusiasm for 1970s disaster movies, favorite television shows, hunky men from classic TV and movies, revered actresses and anything else fun, campy or interesting to me.  (Notice anything in common in this montage of TV series DVDs?)

Speaking of 1970s disaster movies, I wasted no time in profiling as many of them as I could, though few of them got the long, exhaustive treatment that posts on films get here now.  I think 1979's City on Fire is one of the very few that hasn't been profiled and that's because I haven't seen it in eons and haven't been able to do so again lately.  But what about the (very) little-known 1973 disaster movie Deluge!?

You say you've never heard of Deluge!?  After Universal Studios' Airport in 1970, which was an astronomical success, then 20th Century Fox's The Poseidon Adventure (1972), which also set the box office on fire (the primary cast, minus Gene Hackman, is shown above right), the disaster movie genre was off and running in a major league way and most of the studios were clamoring to provide an entry in order to feather their nests.  Paramount got in on the game in 1973 with Deluge!, an all-star spectacle concerning a gigantic tidal wave that engulfs New York City.

Deluge! starred Kirk Douglas as the Chief Executive Officer of a manufacturing firm, married to the daughter (Dina Merrill) of the late owner.  The present owner, Merrill's brother (Robert Stack), is married to Alexis Smith.  Late one Friday afternoon, Merrill and Smith visit their husbands at the offices of the company's skyscraper after a heavy day of shopping and are stunned at what they find.  Merrill arrives at Douglas' office just in time to overhear his secretary (Jacqueline Bisset) tell him that her young, blonde daughter (Kim Richards) is actually his!

Meanwhile, Smith comes upon Stack in a meeting with some imposing, threatening gentlemen who've just roughed him up.  Smith begs Stack to tell her what he's done to deserve this strong-arm treatment, but he's reluctant to share the fact that he's in debt to a loan shark for hundreds of thousands of dollars.  On the floor below, Merrill has rushed into an elevator as Douglas chases after her to discuss his news.  Bisset, in an effort to avoid Douglas herself, takes Richards down the stairs.

On still another floor of the building, alcoholic executive Ed Nelson is angrily packing his things after being given his notice as his ambitious replacement Don Grady attempts to smooth the situation over the best he can. 

Just then, the tidal wave strikes, completely flooding the streets of the city and several lower floors of the building.  The whole building quivers from the impact of it, sending Bisset and Richards careening down steps, Stack and Smith to the floor and Grady pinned underneath a heavy file cabinet.  Merrill is caught in an elevator that swiftly fills with water.

As the story continues, a remorseful Douglas is confronted with Merrill's drowned body, Bisset and Richards are aided by maintenance man (and former convict) Jim Brown (who they fear at first, but eventually come to trust), Nelson strives to free Grady even as the floor begins to crumble beneath them where swirling sea water looms, Stack and Smith climb to the roof to seek escape and stalwart U.S. Naval captain Peter Graves is in charge of resuce efforts (even though his own family was in the path of the tidal wave and he has no way of knowing their fate.)  Others in the office building are either rescued or killed along the way until the survivors are finally carried off to safety.

In case you haven't guessed it by now, there is no Deluge!  It's a fake disaster movie I dreamed up in my head late at night (over the course of many nights) when I couldn't sleep!  There was no 1973 disaster flick, so I wanted to fill in the gap, mentally, and used the type of scenario and era-appropriate stars that appealed to me.  It's a movie I really would like to have actually seen!  I never claimed I wasn't an obsessive nut.  Ha! Did you fall for it for even a second?

My initial instinct was to put this stuff forth as an April Fools gag, but a) they weren't ready in time and b) they aren't all that convincing!  I came up with this cast and storyline LONG before we recently lost the hunkalicious Don Grady at age sixty-eight to cancer.

My own birthday was this past Sunday the 19th (forty-five, God help me!), so its generally pretty easy to know when the anniversary of the beginning of The Underworld is at hand.  As I've mentioned here lately, this month has been absolutely INSANE.  I'm going to be on the go this entire weekend and out of town for all of next.  Things ought to slow down in September, though. 

To give you a little sneak preview of what's coming up around here, there will be another round of male celebrity swimsuit pictures to signal the end of pool season (see at left George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! The caption reads: "It's amazing what you can find when the tide goes out." Did we really not see the writing on the wall?), an examination of male stars in drag, more famous TV guest stars, photos featuring the ever-popular bulges and profiles of campy movies, handsome actors and one more prime-time soap.  I hope you will stick with me as we enter the fourth year of Poseidon's Underworld!


John Going Gently said...

I am so impressed..... now how would you re cast DELUGE today?
I would be interested to know

A said...

Congrats on three years! I check your site often and always look forward to your postings.

Also, I totally fell for it.

Colonel Potterby said...

Happy Third Birthday! As did A, I also fell for the synopsis. I was amazed that I had never heard of this movie, but I figured that as I kept reading you would detail how it was either never released for some reason, or else was a total box office flop and was in and out of the theaters in a flash and has never appeared on VHS or DVD. I was also thinking that it was a great cast, and I was so happy to see that Don Grady was cast as one of the principles in a big budget, big screen movie, but at the same time sad to think that it never led to anything else! I was so sad when I read about his death recently.

Anyway, it was an excellent hoax!

NotFelixUnger said...

Happy Birthday! Though I did think "Deluge" was an actual movie never released, it did cross my mind a few lines in that it was not getting the microscopic treatment you give your movie reviews. Now I know why!

Enjoy 45 for all it's worth. I've got 5 months on you at that age and can tell ya, it's not half bad and a heck of a whole lot better than 46!

Iván Fernández said...

Happy Birthday!!

joel65913 said...

Happy Birthday to you and the site!

I knew it wasn't a real film since two actresses I love, Alexis Smith and Jacqueline Bissett, were listed in the cast and although I don't have every one of their films committed to memory I knew they both couldn't have been in a film, let alone a disaster movie, together and I wouldn't be aware! But the synopsis was fun.

Look forward to the promised posts and any others that come down the pike.

Pantheon Zeus said...

Happy 3rd bday and 45 my fellow 1967 kid
Your blog is sensational.
Ps I knew something was up with that DELUGE! Poster when I saw Kim Richards in her witch mountain hoody.

Ps I just learned recently that the man who played Darla Hood's dad , Johnny Arthur, was a big PRE-code movie pansy who later had to dial it back to play "fussy" yet heterosexual husbands. Remember he would call his wife "MOTHER" . Ha
Sadly he's been in an unmarked grave for 60 years.
The motion picture fund buried him but they don't spring for markers.

vinniepop said...

Happy Birthday(s)!
Loved the fake synopsis - here's hoping next year we'll get a rundown for the much-maligned sequel: "Deluge! 1975"

AK said...

Happy Birthday to you, Poseidon! Work permitting, I check out The Underworld whenever possible! And that's a FABULOUS idea, movies with dream casts...if only..!
And that picture of Don Grady makes me all sorts of happy!

Scooter said...

I have to admit, I fell for Deluge (though I was thinking as I read, no wonder I never heard of it with a story like that)!

Enjoy your birthday! I catch up to you and NotFleix tomorrow.

Poseidon3 said...

Hello all! thanks for reading/commenting.

John, I must say, since I basically gave up watching contemporary movies about a decade ago (I see maybe 3 or 4 a year?) that I'd be hard-pressed to cast Deluge! today... I KNOW I wouldn't want to see it because it would be CGI all the way.

Zeus! How could you spot that hoody when I had cropped in as closely as possible?! lol

Scooter... ouch! I deliberately gave the movie a formulaic sort of plotline, but I don't see how it is much worse than the story threads within the 1974 blockbuster Earthquake or later drivel like Avalanche, The Swarm and When Time Ran Out. <:-]

I forgot to mention it within the post, but did any of you know that the birthday boy at the top is none other than 3 year-old Bill Clinton?! Ha!