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The Last Voyage (1960)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  19 February 1960 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,338 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 9 critic

After a boiler explosion aboard an aging ocean liner, a man struggles to free his injured wife from the wreckage of their cabin and ensure the safety of their four-year-old daughter as the ship begins to sink.

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Title: The Last Voyage (1960)

The Last Voyage (1960) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Laurie Henderson
...
Captain Robert Adams
...
...
Hank Lawson
...
Joel Marston ...
Third Officer Ragland
George Furness ...
Third Officer Osborne
Richard Norris ...
3rd Engineer Cole
...
Quartermaster
Andrew Hughes ...
Radio Operator
Robert Martin ...
2nd Mate Mace
Bill Wilson ...
Youth
Tammy Marihugh ...
Jill Henderson
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Storyline

Cliff Henderson and his family are traveling aboard the SS Claridon en route to Japan. The Claridon is an old ship, on its last voyage before heading to the scrap heap. An explosion in the engine room weakens the hull and the ship is now taking on more water that the bilge pumps can deal with. The Captain seems to have difficulty accepting that his ship will sink. Henderson's wife Laurie is severely injured and trapped under a fallen beam. While the men in the engine room work frantically to shore up the hull, Henderson tries to free his wife from the wreckage with the help of one of the crew, Hank Lawson. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

91 MINUTES OF THE MOST INTENSE SUSPENSE IN MOTION PICTURE HISTORY (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El último viaje  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film features three actors who won Academy Awards for supporting roles: George Sanders for All About Eve (1950), Edmond O'Brien for The Barefoot Contessa (1954), and Dorothy Malone for Written on the Wind (1956). See more »

Goofs

As the three men rescue Laurie and they escape the doomed ship, there is no sign of all the floors rocking or being askew. Any ship that's waterlogged in the open sea would have floors and walls tilted and it would be shaking under the impact of the water flow, even in fair weather. See more »

Quotes

Second Engineer Walsh: You know how they pick the captains for these luxury jobs. They have to pass a lot of tests. Sure, he's got to pass the dancing test, the personality test, know how to calm the passengers, make with the jokes. That's what counts.
Chief Engineer Pringle: You're pretty bitter, aren't you, Walsh?
Second Engineer Walsh: Oh, no. My dad once shipped out with a skipper like this. A joker who only thought of breaking records and never inconveniencing the passengers... until it was too late.
Chief Engineer Pringle: What ship was that?
Second Engineer Walsh: The Titanic.
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Memory of Eva Ryker (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hollywood's First Try at the Modern Disaster Movie
24 October 2002 | by (Denver, Colorado) – See all my reviews

  • 3/5 STARS -




A family battles for survival as an explosion devastates their cruise ship and punctures its hull. The father must race to free his wife as rising waters threaten them all.

The Last Voyage is fun to watch because it's so OLD. This is the first modern motion picture involving a sinking ship OTHER THAN the Titanic. The movie is squeaky-clean, and Robert Stack is as wooden as a two-by-four as the desperate father. There's not much dramatic tension created here, but that almost seems to be a function of the time period.

This is the final voyage of the U. S. S. Claratin, and her primitive construction becomes critical when a fire in the engine room melts the fuel flow valves in the fully open position. Within minutes, the boiler explodes and creates a very visually satisfying hole blown through every deck of the ship. Of course, this hole separates the family, and when the father struggles to rescue his daughter by trying to cross this bottomless void, we know this movie is going to try hard. And it does.

The special effects are somewhat sparse but exceptionally well done for the period. I was surprised by the level of expensive detail, such as water pouring in through the dining room windows even though they're only visible for a few moments. Dad's first challenge is to rescue his daughter from her perch alongside the path of the boiler. Then he must find a way to free his wife, who lays pinned under several steel beams in her stateroom. This becomes his objective for the remainder of the movie.

A friendly fireman (one who stokes the fires in the engine room) helps Stack get the equipment he will need to free his wife. Meanwhile, the sailors below decks attempt to reinforce the walls of the engine room to prevent the bulkhead from breaching. It does, of course, and that's when everyone really starts to run out of time.

This movie is particularly memorable for its ending sequence, which shows the survivors running down the length of the ship's upper deck, as water splashes onto the floorboards from the sea. This visual is striking, and even a modern audience will wonder how the shot was done; was this a giant set or did the producers simply sink a ship and film its last few minutes above water?

Disaster enthusiasts should see The Last Voyage because it stands uniquely alone in the timeline of movie history. It was the first modern movie based upon people being trapped in an enclosed construction (such as a boat or a building) that was NOT based on a historical event (such as the sinking of the Titanic). More importantly, the plot of the movie was focused on dealing with the disaster, rather than the disaster coming as a big finish to the main story line. This is the formula that dozens of movies would attempt to perfect for the remainder of the century and beyond.

Although it is rather bland, this film is crisp, efficient, and a key turning point for the genre. It represents Hollywood's first try at the modern disaster movie: it features a plot focused on multiple characters escaping from a fictional situation, while fighting for survival amid expensive special effects.


24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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