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
AT 12:05...a woman trapped in her cabin! AT 12:22...the passengers on the decks begin to panic! AT 12:41...the desperate rescue attempt with the acetylene torch! AT 1:01...the dramatic life-and-death decision on the bridge!
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Did You Know?
The ship used by the filmmakers was the SS Ile de France, the famous French liner that cruised the Atlantic from 1926-59. She was leased for $4,000 a day. After shooting completed, she was re-floated (having been partially sunk for the film) and towed to the scrap yard. She has a more heroic place in history, however. It was she that played a major role in the rescue of the passengers from the Italian liner Andrea Doria in 1956, after the latter ship collided with the Swedish ship Stockholm and sank off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. She was the first ship to arrive at the scene of the collision and immediately began taking aboard the Andrea Doria's passengers. See more
In the final scenes of the ship sinking, as the characters jump into the water, there is an inrush of sea water onto the deck. The ship's bulkhead clearly bends over with the weight of this water as this is obviously a wooden film set and not the real ship they jump from. See more
This is one guy I'm gonna help aboard personally!
Edited into Death Ship