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Irwin Allen is a Director, Scriptwriter, Associate Producer and Second Unit Director American born on 12 june 1916 at New York City (USA)

Irwin Allen

Irwin Allen
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Nationality USA
Birth 12 june 1916 at New York City (USA)
Death 2 november 1991 (at 75 years) at Santa Monica (USA)

Irwin Allen (June 12, 1916 – November 2, 1991) was an American television, documentary and film director and producer with a varied career who became known as the "Master of Disaster" for his work in the disaster film genre. He was also notable for creating a number of science fiction television series.


Allen was born in New York City. His film credits include the 3-D film Dangerous Mission (1954), The Animal World (1956), The Story of Mankind (1957), The Big Circus (1959), The Lost World (1960), Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) (later the basis of his TV series of the same name), and Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962). In the 1970s, he produced popular disaster films including The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Towering Inferno (1974).

In the 1960s, Allen moved into television as "the most successful science-fiction producer of the decade", and was responsible for series such as:
*Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964–1968)
*Lost in Space (1965–1968)
*The Time Tunnel (1966–1967)
*Land of the Giants (1968–1970)
*The Swiss Family Robinson (1975–1976)
*Code Red (1981–1982).

Allen also produced several TV movies, such as City Beneath the Sea, which recycled many props and models from Voyage, Lost in Space, and Man From The 25th Century. Both were intended as pilots for new TV series projects, but his small-screen success from the 1960s largely eluded him in the 1970s. Allen's science-fiction series had earned a reputation for using nonsensical science and for catering to juvenile audiences. Lost in Space's Bill Mumy said of Allen that, while he was very good at writing television pilots that sold, his unwillingness to spend money hurt his shows' quality once on the air. A monster costume that appeared on one of his shows, for example, would appear on another a few weeks later with new paint. In his book Irwin Allen Television Productions, 1964-1970 (McFarland & Co. Publishers, 2006), writer Jon Abbott described Allen as paradoxical. "Here was a man who, when told the cost of a spaceship for a Lost in Space alien, snapped, 'Let him walk!' ... and then let the show be canceled rather than take a cut in the budget."

In the 1970s, Allen returned to cinema screens and was the most popular producer associated with the decade's fad for the disaster film genre. Allen produced the successful The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Towering Inferno (1974), which he also co-directed. He produced several made-for-TV disaster movies: Flood! (1976), Fire! (1977), Hanging by a Thread (1979), The Night the Bridge Fell Down (1979), and Cave In! (1979). For theatrical release, he produced and directed The Swarm (1978) as well as Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) and produced When Time Ran Out (1980). Despite this success, the rise of new filmmakers like George Lucas took him off guard; the success of Star Wars reportedly bewildered him at how a film with apparently no stars or love story could enrapture audiences so fervently.

In the late 1970s and mid-1980s, Allen sporadically returned to TV with miniseries efforts such as The Return of Captain Nemo/The Amazing Captain Nemo (1978) and a star-studded version of Alice in Wonderland (1985). He was planning on making a star-studded musical of Pinocchio, but a decline in health caused retirement in 1986.

Allen died from a heart attack in 1991.

Best films

Lost in Space (1998)
The Towering Inferno (1974)
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

Usually with

Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Irwin Allen (31 films)

Display filmography as list


The Poseidon Adventure, 2h54
Directed by Irwin Allen, Ronald Neame, John Putch
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Action, Adventure
Themes Seafaring films, Transport films, Disaster films, American disaster films, Films about seafaring accidents or incidents
Actors Adam Baldwin, Alexa Hamilton, Rutger Hauer, Steve Guttenberg, Bryan Brown, C. Thomas Howell
Rating44% 2.2142.2142.2142.2142.214
The plot centers on the SS Poseidon, a 135,000-ton state-of-the-art luxury cruise ship on a cruise from Cape Town, South Africa to Sydney, Australia as well as the stories and dramas of some of the 3,700 passengers and crew.
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, 1h54
Directed by Irwin Allen
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Action, Adventure
Themes La fin du monde, Seafaring films, Transport films, Disaster films, American disaster films, Films about seafaring accidents or incidents
Actors Michael Caine, Telly Savalas, Sally Field, Karl Malden, Peter Boyle, Shirley Jones
Rating47% 2.3557252.3557252.3557252.3557252.355725
The capsized luxury liner, S.S. Poseidon is still afloat after six survivors have been rescued via helicopter.
The Swarm
The Swarm (1978)
, 1h56
Directed by Irwin Allen
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Thriller, Action, Horror
Themes Films about animals, La fin du monde, Natural horror films, Films about insects, Disaster films, American disaster films, Film de catastrophe animalière
Actors Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia de Havilland, Ben Johnson
Rating45% 2.255322.255322.255322.255322.25532
A group of soldiers led by Maj. Baker (Bradford Dillman) is ordered to investigate a basement level station which they believed was attacked. After Baker contacts his commander, Gen. Slater (Richard Widmark), they begin to investigate who drove a civilian van into the base. It is revealed to be owned by a scientist named Dr. Bradford Crane (Michael Caine), the only survivor of the attack. Slater orders two helicopters to check for a black mass (revealed to be bees), but the two helicopters are swarmed by the bees and crash, killing the pilots inside. Crane insists to Slater that the base was attacked by the same African killer bees that destroyed the helicopters. Helena Anderson (Katharine Ross), one of the base's doctors, supports Crane's story.
The Towering Inferno, 2h45
Directed by Irwin Allen, John Guillermin
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Disaster, Action
Themes La fin du monde, Films about the labor movement, Children's films, Disaster films, American disaster films
Actors Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Susan Blakely
Rating69% 3.4999453.4999453.4999453.4999453.499945
Architect Doug Roberts (Newman) returns to San Francisco for the dedication of the Glass Tower, which he designed for owner James Duncan (Holden). At 138 stories (1,800 ft/550 m), it is the world's tallest building. Shortly after his arrival, an electrical short starts an undetected fire on the 81st floor while Roberts accuses the building's electrical engineer, Roger Simmons (Chamberlain), of cutting corners. Simmons insists the building is up to standards.
The Poseidon Adventure, 1h57
Directed by Irwin Allen, Ronald Neame
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Action, Adventure
Themes La fin du monde, Seafaring films, Transport films, Children's films, Disaster films, American disaster films, Films about seafaring accidents or incidents
Actors Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Adam Baldwin, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowall
Rating70% 3.5497653.5497653.5497653.5497653.549765
The SS Poseidon, an ocean liner slated for retirement and scrapping, makes her way across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea from New York City to Athens. Despite protests from Captain Harrison, who fears for the ship's safety, the representative of her new owners, Mr. Linarcos, insists that she make full speed towards her destination to save money, preventing her from taking on additional ballast.
City Beneath the Sea, 1h38
Directed by Irwin Allen
Origin USA
Genres Science fiction, Action
Themes Seafaring films, Transport films, Films set in the future
Actors Stuart Whitman, Rosemary Forsyth, Robert Colbert, Burr DeBenning, Robert Wagner, Richard Basehart
Rating51% 2.555942.555942.555942.555942.55594
Au 21e siècle, la population de la cité sous-marine Pacifica principalement composée de scienfitiques doit recevoir une cargaison d'or provenant de la réserve de Fort Knox. L'ancien dirigeant de cette colonie est de retour à cette occasion. Il planifie son vol alors que la cité est sous la menace d'un astéroïde venant de l'espace.
Five Weeks in a Balloon, 1h41
Directed by Irwin Allen
Origin USA
Genres Science fiction, Comedy, Action, Adventure
Themes Transport films, Aviation films, Children's films
Actors Cedric Hardwicke, Red Buttons, Barbara Eden, Peter Lorre, Fabian Forte, Richard Haydn
Rating57% 2.8507552.8507552.8507552.8507552.850755
The film begins with the flight of the balloon Jupiter, invented by Professor Fergusson (Cedric Hardwicke). In the unicorn-shaped gondola, the passengers Chiddingfold (Ronald Long) and Sir Henry Vining (Richard Haydn) scream in horror as the balloon rapidly descends, but the Professor remains calm as he planned for this to happen. He then signals the pilot Jacques (Fabian) to ascend the balloon, who explains how balloon is able to ascend and descend without the loss of gas or ballast. The balloon successfully lands and attracts a crowd, but Sir Henry and the other passenger are dissatisfied after the seemingly disastrous descent. Sir Henry, the president of the Royal Geographic Society, refuses to fund the Professor's plan to explore east Africa, while Chiddingfold leaves claiming he has an "appointment". The Professor seems out of financial backing for his plans, but an American journalist talks to Fergusson about having his nephew and star reporter Donald O'Shea (Red Buttons) as part of Fergusson's plan to explore east Africa.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, 1h40
Directed by Irwin Allen
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Adventure
Themes La fin du monde, Seafaring films, Transport films, Underwater action films, Submarine films, Children's films, Arme nucléaire, Disaster films, American disaster films, Films about seafaring accidents or incidents
Actors Walter Pidgeon, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Peter Lorre, Robert Sterling, Michael Ansara
Rating59% 2.997652.997652.997652.997652.99765
The new, state of the art nuclear submarine Seaview is on diving trials in the Arctic Ocean. The Seaview is designed and built by scientist and engineering genius Admiral Harriman Nelson (USN-Ret) (Walter Pidgeon). Captain Lee Crane (Robert Sterling) is the Seaview's Commanding Officer. One of the on-board observers is Dr. Susan Hiller (Joan Fontaine), studying crew-related stress. The mission includes being out of radio contact for 96 hours while under the Arctic ice cap, but the ice begins to crack and melt, with boulder-size pieces crashing into the ocean around the submarine. Surfacing, they discover fire burning in the sky. After the rescue of a scientist and his dog at Ice Floe Delta, Miguel Alvarez (Michael Ansara), the sub receives radio contact from Mission Director Inspector Bergan at the Bureau of Marine Exploration. He advises that a meteor shower pierced the Van Allen radiation belt causing it to catch fire, resulting in a world-threatening increase in heat all across the Earth. Nelson's on-board friend and scientist, retired Commodore Lucius Emery (Peter Lorre) concurs that it is possible. Bergan informs Nelson that the President wants him at a UN Emergency Scientific Meeting as soon as possible.
The Lost World, 1h37
Directed by Irwin Allen
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Themes Films about animals, Dinosaur films, La préhistoire, Animaux préhistoriques, Children's films
Actors Michael Rennie, Jill St John, David Hedison, Claude Rains, Fernando Lamas, Richard Haydn
Rating55% 2.7528452.7528452.7528452.7528452.752845
Professor Challenger (Claude Rains), a famed biologist and anthropologist, reports to the London Zoological Society that he has discovered living specimens of supposedly extinct animals, including dinosaurs, on an expedition to the Amazon Basin. When his colleagues dismiss his claims, he challenges the Society to mount another expedition to verify his story. Challenger and his companions travel to an isolated plateau, where they encounter prehistoric creatures and other hazards, and discover the legacy of a previous explorer that reveals the hidden past of one of their team. During a volcanic eruption, they escape from the plateau carrying the egg of a Tyrannosaurus rex. The egg hatches when it is dropped by accident, and Professor Challenger decides to take the infant dinosaur back to London with them.
The Big Circus, 1h48
Directed by Irwin Allen, Joseph M. Newman
Origin USA
Genres Drama
Themes Circus films
Actors Victor Mature, Red Buttons, Rhonda Fleming, Vincent Price, Kathryn Crosby, Peter Lorre
Rating62% 3.100263.100263.100263.100263.10026
Hank Whirling (Mature) needs a bank loan to keep his Whirling Circus going. He gets it from a stuffy New York City bank, but only on the condition he take along accountant Randy Sherman (Red Buttons) and publicist Helen Harrison (Rhonda Fleming) to help the circus turn a profit.
The Story of Mankind, 1h40
Directed by Irwin Allen, Don Alvarado
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Fantasy
Themes Films about religion
Actors Ronald Colman, Vincent Price, Hedy Lamarr, Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Rating48% 2.4054452.4054452.4054452.4054452.405445
Scientists have developed a weapon, called the "Super H-bomb", which if detonated will wipe out the human race entirely. A "High Tribunal" in "The Great Court of Outer Space" is called upon to decide whether divine intervention should be allowed to stop the bomb's detonation. The devil (Vincent Price), who goes by the name of Mr. Scratch, prosecutes Mankind while the Spirit of Man (Ronald Colman) defends it.
The Animal World, 1h22
Directed by Irwin Allen
Origin USA
Genres Documentary
Themes Films about animals, Dinosaur films, La préhistoire, Documentary films about nature
Actors Theodore von Eltz
Rating66% 3.3165653.3165653.3165653.3165653.316565
Ce documentaire présente les différentes espèces animales présentes et passées.
Dangerous Mission, 1h15
Directed by Irwin Allen, Louis King
Origin USA
Genres Thriller, Action, Noir, Crime
Themes Psychologie
Actors Victor Mature, Piper Laurie, Vincent Price, William Bendix, Betta St. John, Dennis Weaver
Rating57% 2.8533752.8533752.8533752.8533752.853375
After a young woman, Louise Graham, witnesses the murder of a crime boss, she flees the city, deciding to hide out in Glacier National Park. She is followed by two men, Matt Hallett and Paul Adams, one of whom is a federal agent, who had sworn to protect her and bring her back as a witness, the other a ruthless killer, determined to murder her.


Lost in Space, 2h10
Directed by Stephen Hopkins
Origin USA
Genres Science fiction, Thriller, Action, Adventure, Animation
Themes Space adventure films, La fin du monde, Seafaring films, Transport films, Time travel films, Dans l'espace, Films based on Robinson Crusoe, Films set in the future, Space opera, Robot films, Disaster films
Actors Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, Lacey Chabert
Rating52% 2.601612.601612.601612.601612.60161
In the year 2058, Earth will soon be uninhabitable due to irreversible effects of pollution. The United Global Space Force prepares the first launch for the colonization of a distant planet much like our own. Meanwhile, a terrorist group, the Global Sedition, wants to interrupt the colonization to be able to take over the same planet themselves. Professor John Robinson, lead scientist of the Jupiter Mission, prepares to take his wife Maureen, daughters Judy and Penny and son Will on a 10-year mission in suspended animation to the nearby planet Alpha Prime, where they will build a companion "hypergate" to the one orbiting Earth. The project is accelerated after Global Sedition terrorists attack Earth's hypergate, but are stopped by fighter pilots, one of whom is Major Don West. When the pilot for the Jupiter Mission is murdered, West is assigned as his replacement.