Only at the very end, where it is quite obvious that the sinking ship is a low-rent Hollywood set piece (as well as some cheesy stock footage of an anonymous ship), does the film let the viewers down. I Up until that point, The Last Voyage is a compelling nail-biter, with a strong cast ( marred only by child actress Tammi Marihugh's performance – she overacted in several scenes but didn't take away from the film), great performances and perhaps one of the best locales of any film ever made in Hollywood – a real ocean liner! I even liked the dummies used during the explosion scenes – they always give me a chuckle. This film will not disappoint. The backstory of the making of this film is as interesting as the film itself – the final humiliation of a beloved ocean liner, the wheelings and dealings of the producers to get the film made at all (including alleged tussles with some shady mobsters) make this grandaddy of contemporary disaster flicks one of my favorites.
Although it's tempting to bracket this as an early disaster movie, before the big boys (Poseiden, Airport, Inferno etc) kicked in the following decade, Last Voyage is so relatively on actual deaths that it does not really count as part of th genre.However it's well, well worth a watch as the main predicament laid out, a woman trapped under metal as the waters slowly but surely rise slowly but surely rises the tension.I love the fact that the producers used a real elderly ocean liner so it's very realistic, even for such an old film. A few bangs, but it's mostly a 'people' movie rather than a blasting us away with special effects type film.One warning though, the kid in the film, is very annoying!
This early disaster movie is dated and hackneyed but it manages to build to a suspenseful conclusion.What would you do in a similar situation — drown with your spouse or jump aboard a lifeboat so your only child wouldn't become an orphan? This movie was striking for the moral dilemmas that it raised; I watched it with my 8-year-old son and it was interesting for us to weigh these questions together.Yet "The Last Voyage" is full of clichés and weirdness. How preternaturally happy the central couple seemed together before the crisis hit — I didn't believe that a married couple would act this mutually bewitched. Their daughter struck me as a mini-adult in a child's body — her screeches were so uncharacteristic of a young girl that I wished she would slip as she blubberingly crossed a plank over an abyss. And how anachronistically odd to see the only black person on board appearing bare-chested throughout, as if he were a modern incarnation of Melville…
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