Released in 1960, The Last Voyage is a disaster movie set on board an ocean liner, which sinks when a fire leads to an explosion in the boiler room.
The Last Voyage starred Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone, who are on their first voyage at sea with their daughter, and are relocating to Japan.
The action starts from the opening scene with a fire in the ship’s boiler room.
Tension builds as the crew work to extinguish the fire, however the fire fuses safety valves on a boiler which later explodes damaging the ship.
The damage traps Cliff’s (Robert Stack) daughter (Tammy Marihugh) on a ledge leading to a dramatic rescue, and his wife (Dorothy Malone) under wreckage which needs cut away. Cliff struggles to find the tools and help to free his wife, as the ship is floods and passengers are taking to the lifeboats.
Finally help arrives and his wife is freed, moments from drowning.
During The Last Voyage we also see the Captain under pressure to decide when to evacuate the ship, and dealing with serious issues and his crew.
Directed by Andrew Stone, the movie was filmed on the SS Ile de France.
The SS Ile de France was built in France and in service between 1926 until 1959, and was the first large ocean liner built after World War I.
However in 1959 with the decline of ocean travel due to the jet age, the liner was sold to a Japanese scrapyard by the shipping company the French Line, who wanted to quietly dispose of the ship, that many wanted to preserve.
The breakers instead rented the ship for the making of The Last Voyage movie, where it would be partially sunk, have explosions destroying the interior, and have the forward funnel crash on to the deckhouse.
SS Ile de France was shown as SS Claridon in the movie following legal action
The French Line took the filmmakers to court in an effort to stop the rental, but withdrew opposition when the funnels were repainted and the ships original name were not shown in the movie.
For ocean liner enthusiasts the movie presents an opportunity to view the beautiful SS Ile de France in color, to see it’s art deco interior, and to have a glimpse of what the ship was like.
The Last Voyage movie is 91 minutes long and available on DVD (and iTunes).