England is swamped, Tom Courtenay pulls the stopper out. Floating bodies and a dirge reflect Peter Brook’s Lord of the Flies, the sacrificial ending is akin to Quatermass and the Pit (out of Irwin Allen).

If the zenith of disaster pics is The Towering Inferno with its ejaculating skyscraper, the nadir is by no means The Poseidon Adventure but this. Inadequate attempts have been made to describe the mise en scène, which is not incompetent but non compos mentis. The acting, with but the one exception (even and especially Robert Carlyle’s) is a mild Lutheran costiveness that is sympathetically painful, and the note of John Osborne thus implied gives the whole thing a structural unity after all.

David Suchet wields a baritone voice against the flood (beat)-flood (beat)-flood (beat)-it’s-a-bloody-flood.