My Favorite Movies Set on Ocean Liners Part II

In my last post, I highlighted some of my favorite 1930’s and 40’s movies that were set (at least partially) on ocean liners, one of my favorite movie settings. This post covers a few of my favorites from the 1950’s.

Royal Wedding
Year of Release: 1951
Directed by: Stanley Donen

Royal Wedding is a musical comedy starring Fred Astaire and Jane Powell as a brother and sister dance pair who take their Broadway show to London around the time of the 1947 royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. It features two of Fred’s more well known dance routines, one where he dances on the walls and ceiling and one where he dances with a coat rack, which much to the chagrin of classic film fans, was turned into a tacky commercial for Dirt Devil a few years back. This was my first time watching Jane Powell in a movie, and I really enjoyed her performance.



Year of Release: 1953
Directed by: Jean Negulesco

A few years ago, I became a bit obsessed with the real life story of the Titanic and watched several documentaries about the disaster. Around the same time I discovered this movie from 1953 starring one of my favorite actresses, Barbara Stanwyck. I was only familiar with the 1997 version, so I was thrilled to find there was an earlier version available. Obviously the story itself is very tragic and sad, but I really enjoyed this movie, which also starred Clifton Webb, Thelma Ritter, and a very young Robert Wagner.


A Blueprint For Murder

Year of Release: 1953
Directed by: Andrew L. Stone

Although this movie has its flaws, a murder mystery starring Joseph Cotten (one of my favorite actors) is almost always going to be a hit with me, and it was! In the movie, Cotten suspects that his sister-in-law Lynn (played by Jean Peters) is behind the poisoning deaths of her husband and daughter. Afraid that his nephew will be the next victim, he joins Lynn and her son on an ocean liner headed for Europe. Interestingly, the shipboard scenes were filmed on the same set as two other movies on this list, Titanic and Dangerous Crossing.


Dangerous Crossing
Year of Release: 1953
Directed by: Joseph Newman

Out of all the movies on my lists, this is my second favorite behind The Lady Eve (1941). Dangerous Crossing is a tense thriller starring Jeanne Crain as Ruth Bowman, a new bride beginning her honeymoon aboard a luxury liner with her husband John. When John mysteriously disappears from the ship . . . and the passenger list, Ruth must not only try to convince the ship’s crew that he disappeared but that he existed in the first place. I really enjoyed both the atmosphere and the storyline of the movie, as well as the performance of Michael Rennie, playing the ship’s doctor who helps Ruth solve the mystery.

An Affair to Remember
Year of Release: 1957
Directed by: Leo McCarey

An Affair to Remember is an almost word for word remake of Love Affair (1939), which I included in my previous list. As I mentioned in that post, I liked the original a bit better than the remake, but I did really enjoy this version as well, mostly due to the performances of its stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. In a rare twist, I enjoyed the non-shipboard scenes more than those aboard the ocean liner as the Technicolor sets seemed very artificial to me. I found it interesting that both versions of this movie were directed by the same man, Leo McCarey.


If you’ve seen any of the movies on either of my lists, which one is your favorite?

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  1. Jandy Stone says:

    Oh, wow, you’ve got a couple of noirish-looking films on there that I haven’t even heard of! I’ll definitely have to look for Blueprint for Murder and Dangerous Crossing. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Royal Wedding, too – I didn’t even remember part of it was set on an ocean liner!

  2. Ginny says:

    I hadn’t heard of either of them either until I stumbled upon them at the library. I love it when I find fun surprises like that!

  3. CML says:

    It’s good to see others with good taste. There is also the red skelton movie “Ship Ahoy” with Eleanor Powells fast toes.

  4. Ginny says:

    I really enjoy Eleanor Powell’s dancing so I’ll have to check that one out. I noticed my local library has a copy. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. […] in February, a pair of posts listing my favorite movies that were set on ocean liners (Part I and Part II), one of my favorite movie settings, and a post about the Ava Gardner Museum, another name I added […]

  6. John says:

    TCM just showed like 10 Stanwyck films on Tuesday. I caught a few of them. I liked Annie Oakley. It is a pretty nice film as Stanwyck plays a sharp shooting country gal here. She does surprisingly well in this role with co-star Preston Foster. However it doesn’t come close to the musical, Annie Get Your gun with Betty Hutton and Howard Keel. That was a great musical and a special film!

    The film, So Big is also a good film but again not as good as the Jane Wyman, So Big version that was made years later.

    I recorded most of the films and I am going to rewatch Baby Face, the precode film. I like seeing John Wayne in a small role here.