After listing my Top 20 Films at Sea, friends suggested I check out these films set on ocean liners:
Reaching for the Moon (1930)
Douglas Fairbanks (in one of his few talking roles) follows Bebe Daniels aboard the art deco ocean liner, the SS L'Amerique. And the not-yet-discovered Bing Crosby makes an appearance to sing Irving Berlin's "When The Folks High Up Do the Mean Low Down."
Libeled Lady (1936)
SS Queen Anne
William Powell crosses the Atlantic twice in order to trap Myrna Loy into falling for him. But first he is able to impress her father with his extensive knowledge of angling - thanks to the ship's vast library!
Mister Roberts (1955)
USS Reluctant played by the USS Hewell
Mister Roberts is stuck on a cargo ship instead of seeing battle at the end of WWII, but his contributions are many on the USS Reluctant. Even though the USS Reluctant is a navy cargo ship rather than a passenger ship, I've included it on this list for 2 important reasons. 1) I love William Powell and Henry Fonda. 2) There's a library on board!
Murder Ahoy! (1964)
Miss Marple boards the HMS Battledore, a merchant marine training vessel, to investigate a poisoning death and figures it all out before the chief inspector. (Thanks Barbara!) I like Miss Marple's home library and here is Miss Marple solving the mystery using the ship's library!
Pegasus (filmed aboard the RMS Queen Mary)
An unsettling movie to be sure, Voyager is worth watching for the shipboard scenes alone. Sailing from New York City to France in 1957, Julie Delpy and Sam Shepard meet on board Pegasus and explore the bridge, the engine room, some trap shooting, some ping pong, some shuffle board. (I don't know how I missed this one. Thanks, Laura!) Of the sailing experience, Delpy said, "I love it! I could sail around the world!
Love Affair (1994)
The third time is not the charm for this remake with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. But the good news is that we get to see Katharine Hepburn in one last film.
What began as Love Affair in 1939 evolved into Mann, sixty years on. Though an over-the-top Bollywood, song-and-dance spectacle, it remains the same Love Affair story when Dev and Priya meet on board the Sun Vista en route from Singapore to Mumbai and fall in love. Instead of the Empire State Building, the lovers plan to meet at the Gateway of India. Instead of the grandmother's shawl, Priya receives her ankle bracelets. Other than that, it's the same. But different.
I'm sure there are many other films set on ships. For example, I specifically avoided disaster films so I would be brave enough to step back on the MV Explorer. But if you think of other non-disaster ship movies, be sure to let me know!
Yours in completing the trip through nautical cinema,