The Last Voyage (1960)

91 mins | Drama | February 1960

Full page view
HISTORY

Voice-over narration is heard at the beginning of the film describing the "last voyage" of the Claridon , an older vessel soon to be sent to the scrapyard. Andrew L. Stone's onscreen credit reads: "Written and Directed by Andrew L. Stone." Harrold A. Weinberger's onscreen credit reads: "Assistant Director & Production Manager...Harrold A. Weinberger."
       According to a Jan 1959 DV news item, the film was originally to have been shot in CinemaScope, off the coast of England. Reviews and news items noted that the film was photographed almost entirely in the Sea of Japan, off Osaka, using the retired French luxury liner Île de France . Fearing negative publicity, the French company that built the liner initially attempted to block Stone's purchase of the ship, but finally acquiesced when M-G-M agreed to change the name of the vessel and not publicize the sale. During filming, Stone blew up the interior of the ship piece by piece, flooded parts of it and toppled one smokestack.
       The Var review noted that in addition to the real setting, natural sound and natural lighting were used in the picture. According to a Jan 1960 HR news item, the crew was forced to shoot the final lifeboat scene in Santa Monica, CA, because there were too many poisonous jellyfish in the Sea of Japan. The same item claimed that the film's story was based, in part, on the real-life experiences of a woman passenger on ocean liner Andrea Doria , which sank off the coast of Cape Cod in Jul 1956. The Île de France had been one of the rescue ... More Less

Voice-over narration is heard at the beginning of the film describing the "last voyage" of the Claridon , an older vessel soon to be sent to the scrapyard. Andrew L. Stone's onscreen credit reads: "Written and Directed by Andrew L. Stone." Harrold A. Weinberger's onscreen credit reads: "Assistant Director & Production Manager...Harrold A. Weinberger."
       According to a Jan 1959 DV news item, the film was originally to have been shot in CinemaScope, off the coast of England. Reviews and news items noted that the film was photographed almost entirely in the Sea of Japan, off Osaka, using the retired French luxury liner Île de France . Fearing negative publicity, the French company that built the liner initially attempted to block Stone's purchase of the ship, but finally acquiesced when M-G-M agreed to change the name of the vessel and not publicize the sale. During filming, Stone blew up the interior of the ship piece by piece, flooded parts of it and toppled one smokestack.
       The Var review noted that in addition to the real setting, natural sound and natural lighting were used in the picture. According to a Jan 1960 HR news item, the crew was forced to shoot the final lifeboat scene in Santa Monica, CA, because there were too many poisonous jellyfish in the Sea of Japan. The same item claimed that the film's story was based, in part, on the real-life experiences of a woman passenger on ocean liner Andrea Doria , which sank off the coast of Cape Cod in Jul 1956. The Île de France had been one of the rescue ship for passengers of the ill-fated Andrea Doria .
       The Last Voyage received an Academy Award nomination for Best Special Effects, but lost to The Time Machine . Child actress Tammy Marihugh, a regular on the television program The Bob Cummings Show , made her screen acting debut in the film. The Last Voyage marked the third pairing of stars Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack, whose previous pictures were Tarnished Angels and Written on the Wind (see below). Malone's mother, Esther Maloney, appears in the picture as a boat passenger, according to studio publicity material.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Jun 59
p. 338.
Box Office
25 Jan 1960.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1959.
---
Daily Variety
28 Apr 1959.
---
Daily Variety
16 Jul 1959.
---
Daily Variety
20 Jan 60
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Jan 60
p. 6.
Filmfacts
1960
pp. 39-40.
Harrison's Reports
23 Jan 60
pp. 14-15.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Dec 1959
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 60
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Jan 60
p. 564.
New York Times
28 Jun 1959.
---
New York Times
20 Feb 60
p. 14.
The Exhibitor
20 Jan 60
p. 4669.
Time
15 Jun 1959.
---
Variety
20 Jan 60
p. 6.
DETAILS
Release Date:
February 1960
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 19 February 1960
Los Angeles opening: 24 February 1960
Production Date:
mid May--late December 1959
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc. & Andrew L. Stone, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 January 1960
Copyright Number:
LP15352
Physical Properties:
Sound
Ryder Sound Services, Inc.
Color
Metrocolor
Duration(in mins):
91
Length(in feet):
8,210
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19361
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

During one of her last scheduled crossings, the Claridon , a huge, old luxury liner, has a fire break out in her boiler room. The fire soon spreads to a dining room, but although some of the officers want to alert the passengers to the potential danger of the situation, Capt. Robert Adams insists that they act as though nothing has happened. Meanwhile, Cliff and Laurie Henderson and their young daughter Jill are enjoying their first ocean voyage, a trip occasioned by Cliff's job transfer to Tokyo. The fire is put out, but the next day, crew members notice that boiler pressure has greatly increased and that because of the fire, several safety valves have been fused shut. Chief Engineer Pringle orders the crew members out of the boiler room, knowing that if he is unable to release the safety valves, the resulting explosion will lead to his death. As he strains to pry open a valve, a huge explosion rips through the boiler room and many of the decks situated above it, killing Pringle and several passengers. Laurie is pinned beneath a fallen steel beam that Cliff is unable to move, and little Jill finds herself trapped on the far side of their cabin. While trying to rescue her, Cliff nearly falls through the gaping hole in the cabin floor. On the bridge, the captain ignores the warnings of First Officer Osborne and decides that as long as the bulkhead holds, the passengers are in no danger. Cliff eventually rescues his terrified daughter, and as the captain finally sends out an S.O.S., he leaves his trapped wife to find help. ... +


During one of her last scheduled crossings, the Claridon , a huge, old luxury liner, has a fire break out in her boiler room. The fire soon spreads to a dining room, but although some of the officers want to alert the passengers to the potential danger of the situation, Capt. Robert Adams insists that they act as though nothing has happened. Meanwhile, Cliff and Laurie Henderson and their young daughter Jill are enjoying their first ocean voyage, a trip occasioned by Cliff's job transfer to Tokyo. The fire is put out, but the next day, crew members notice that boiler pressure has greatly increased and that because of the fire, several safety valves have been fused shut. Chief Engineer Pringle orders the crew members out of the boiler room, knowing that if he is unable to release the safety valves, the resulting explosion will lead to his death. As he strains to pry open a valve, a huge explosion rips through the boiler room and many of the decks situated above it, killing Pringle and several passengers. Laurie is pinned beneath a fallen steel beam that Cliff is unable to move, and little Jill finds herself trapped on the far side of their cabin. While trying to rescue her, Cliff nearly falls through the gaping hole in the cabin floor. On the bridge, the captain ignores the warnings of First Officer Osborne and decides that as long as the bulkhead holds, the passengers are in no danger. Cliff eventually rescues his terrified daughter, and as the captain finally sends out an S.O.S., he leaves his trapped wife to find help. Cliff tries to locate an acetylene torch with which he may free his wife, but the crew members are too occupied with the task of shoring up the bulkhead to be of any help. Eventually Cliff encounters Hank Lawson, a black member of the boiler room crew. Hank agrees to help Cliff, but they are unable to locate an acetylene torch. The bulkhead finally blows apart, and a number of Second Engineer Walsh's men are killed. Laurie tries to convince Cliff to take Jill and get off the ship, but although he agrees to put the child on a lifeboat, he insists on remaining by his wife's side. When Laurie learns that the ship is being abandoned, she asks Hank to help her commit suicide, but he refuses. Hank finally puts Jill, who is screaming wildly for her mother, on a lifeboat, asking the passengers to send a torch back after the approaching Hawaiian fishing boat picks them up. Capt. Adams orders Walsh to help Cliff, but the engineer, whose father died on the Titanic , decides to save his trapped men instead. Walsh accuses the captain of sacrificing lives in order to secure his own promotion, because he knows that if the ship had reached its destination intact, the captain would have been proclaimed a hero. The accusation breaks the captain, and he retreats to his office, where he is killed by a falling smokestack. As water fills Laurie's cabin, the lifeboat returns with the acetylene torch, and Hank, Walsh and Cliff begin to cut through the metal that has pinned her to the floor. She is freed just as the water covers her head. They all then reach the upper deck just as the ship is slipping under. After climbing into the lifeboat, Cliff extends his hand to Hank, declaring, "This is one guy I'm going to help aboard personally!" +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.