Cinematic Passages: Ocean Liners on Screen

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  • $13 General Public
  • $9 Students, Seniors & Children
  • $8 Members
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Save with a Three-Film Package!

  • $30 General Public/ $24 Students & Seniors/ $21 Members
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This series coninues with all scheduled screenings on Monday, August 28 and Tuesday, August 29.

Long before traveling to Europe meant metal detectors and x-ray scanners, “crossing” meant, at least for the well-to-do among us, seven to ten days on an enormous, strikingly designed ship—the summit, really, of a certain strain of technology dedicated to speed and movement, not to mention comfort. Departures and arrivals of major ocean liners were eagerly covered in the press, with the travels of the rich and famous followed as intensely as the exploits of entertainers today.

The ocean voyage was a perfect vehicle for recording all kinds of transformations: characters falling in or out of love; con men reforming, or succeeding in their scams; the weak becoming strong, or the brave turning cowardly. The ships themselves, with their labyrinthine passageways, lonely decks and hidden stairways, were perfect for plots in which we expected the characters to do the unexpected. Although the class nature of ocean travel is often emphasized, at the same time ocean liners have a curious sense of egalitarianism—we’re all on the same boat, after all, a point emphasized in later years when ocean liners frequently were seen as the sites of communal disasters.

The movies responded by making the ocean voyage a frequent plot device and the ocean liners themselves fertile ground for all kinds of intrigue. From August 26 to August 30, we offer a brief survey of the ocean liner in Hollywood cinema, ranging from such beloved classics as Love Affair and The Lady Eve to one of greatest blockbusters ever, James Cameron’s Titanic screening in 70mm!

Plus: On August 26 at 7 PM, join maritime historian and lecturer, Bill Miller (“Mr. Ocean Liner”) for a special illustrated lecture revisiting the glory days of the grand transatlantic ocean liners, featuring spectacular one-of-a-kind photographs and fascinating behind-the-scenes stories. All tickets only $6 - buy a ticket and receive a complimentary ticket to any film in the series!* (Complimentary admission with the purchase of a three-film package.)

Additional video content related to this series – including the New York Premiere of “Mr. Ocean Liner,” directed by Robert Neal Marshall, vintage ocean liner film clips, and much more – will be screened on an on-going basis in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Amphitheater throughout the series.

Special thanks to Bill Miller, Robert Neal Marshall, Mark B. Perry, Mitchell Mart, and Cunard Line for helping to make this series possible.

* Tickets are subject to availability and must be redeemed at the box office.

Cunard

Past Films

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Howard Hawks | 1953 | 91 mins

Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe)  and Dorothy (Jane Russell) are just "Two Little Girls from Little Rock" on a transatlantic cruise enjoying the company of eligible men.

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The Lady Eve

The Lady Eve

Preston Sturges | 1941 | 94 mins

One of the very greatest American sound comedies stages the maritime romantic collision of meek snake expert Henry Fonda and spitfire con lady Barbara Stanwyck.

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Love Affair

Love Affair

Leo McCarey | 1939 | 88 mins

Co-stars Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer each claimed this shipboard romance was their favorite movie, boasting wonderful chemistry in one of Hollywood’s best-loved films.

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A Night at the Opera

A Night at the Opera

Sam Wood | 1935 | 96 mins

Saturday, August 27 at 10:30am Movies for Kids screening: All tickets just $6!

The Marx Brothers (now down to three) sail to New York with a group of Metropolitan Opera hopefuls. Featuring the famous stateroom scene.

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A Night to Remember

A Night to Remember

Roy Ward Baker | 1958 | 123 mins

A powerful, impressively mounted re-creation of the Titanic disaster, told from the point of view Second Officer Charles Lightoller, the most senior crew member to survive.

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The Poseidon Adventure

The Poseidon Adventure

Ronald Neame | 1972 | 117 mins

Part religious parable, part disaster movie, all superior entertainment: an all-star cast tries to lead us to safety after a tsunami overturns their luxury liner.

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The Princess Comes Across

The Princess Comes Across

William K. Howard | 1936 | 76 mins

Hoping to land a movie contract, Carole Lombard pretends to be a Swedish princess while crossing the Atlantic on boat full of unsavories. With Fred MacMurray.

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Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding

Stanley Donen | 1951 | 93 mins

Fred Astaire and Jane Powell are a brother-sister act who dance up a storm en route to England. Featuring Astaire’s dazzling wall-and-ceiling jig.

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Shall We Dance

Shall We Dance

Mark Sandrich | 1937 | 109 mins

A hoofer named Pete (Fred Astaire) pretends to be ballet dancer Petrov in order to attract musical review star Linda Keene (Ginger Rogers). Featuring “Slap That Bass.”

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Titanic

Titanic

James Cameron | 1997 | 194 mins

70mm print!

Showered with Oscars, Cameron’s epic account of the early demise of the most famous ship of them all is a feast for the eyes and ears.

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