Cinematic Passages: Ocean Liners on Screen
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.