Here’s a tip from our intrepid reader Graham Hill:

“Guys, you might want to mention a VERY unique movie that Dorothy Malone co-starred in with Robert Stack, and that is THE LAST VOYAGE from MGM in 1960.

The movie written, produced, directed and edited by the husband and wife team of Andrew and Virginia Stone, not only predates (1972’s) THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, it was shot completely on a REAL ship, the ocean liner SS Ile de France. The ship was destined for the scrap yard after 30 years of cruising the Atlantic, and was leased out at $4,000 a day off the coast of Japan.

On a tight budget, a good cast, and really nerve gripping scenes with a real ship starting to go under, it is well worth catching on TCM or DVD!”

Malone and Stack are cast as vacationing parents of a young boy who find themselves literally staring down a deluge aboard their cruise liner.  Various loud mishaps afflict their ship, and Malone finds herself trapped in a tiny stateroom as the water levels rise.

She is underneath fallen debris, and is pinned — can’t move. It’s up to Stack and the boy to find vitally necessary help from a frazzled crew coping with multiple disasters in the thick of the chaos on the doomed ship. Will they make it in time?

As big George Sanders fans, we were delighted to see this solid actor play the ship’s captain, at first obtusely stubborn then remorseful and sympathetic.  Edmund O’Brien, another favorite, is aboard as the loud-voiced go-to operations guy who seems to be the lone person on board to grasp just how serious the situation is. Stack is excellent as the surprisingly athletic husband/father.

But for our money the star of the show is Malone.  She looks great, as usual, and plays the seemingly doomed mother with dignified resignation as she stares down a slow drowning. Utterly believable and very moving.

But, as we say, we wouldn’t recommend seeing this picture JUST before you take your next oceanic cruise.

 

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