The Ile De France a Hollywood murder


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Agreed, Jason.

Regarding the interiors...is it just me or does it seem to be lit entirely with florescent lighting? The dance floor, the hallways all have frosted glass with tubular lighting behind. Is this florescent? Is this a product of 50s decor?

If florescent, hold me. I'm frightened.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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I see what you mean ~ ya ain't alone. Well, one thing is for sure, and that is the fact that the original Ile de France itself could not have been originally outfitted with fluorescents. They were not really made available to the world for general consumption until after the 1939 New York World's Fair. It is possible that some of the ship's lighting was replaced post-war with florescent, although I dunno. Another possibility would be neon tubes, which were in widespread use pre-war as well as post-war.

For the film, it's highly possible that fluorescents were used for illuminating the sets (or in this case, the ship). Sounds like we need to do a little sleuthing to find out for sure. *Mission Impossible music starts playing*
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It's sad that the Queen Mary was retrofitted with fluorescents after her berthing in Long Beach. Such ugly lighting ~ although definitely more energy-efficient.
 
The lighting throughout looks like the light fixtures over a bathroom mirror in an icky motel. The Il de France was refitted in the 50s, wasn't it? Maybe it was installed then. I don't think it would have been installed by the film crews. They would have brought their own lighting to minimize shadows (that way Tammy Marihugh would look as sweet and angelic as she does).

Regarding the QM, it's too bad that there isn't more money to restore it. With fluorescent lighting the way it is now, you can do great things with previously-hideous fluorescent.
 
Apr 27, 2005
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A couple of comments: I believe "Ile de France" might have enjoyed a post war refit that included fluorescent lighting. The German "Europa" was ceded to the French Line as "Liberte", and it was refitted with such lighting, which according to Maxtone-Graham, "turned steaks to look liver-ish purple". Second, I amazed that "The Last Voyage" gets any respect in this august forum. The script stunk, the dialog was canned and predictable, the characters were flimsy and stereotypical, and lastly, the desecration of the "Ile" is widely regarded as on the same plane as the leveling of Pennsylvania Station in New York City!

Did anyone ever take photos of the "Ile de France" being broken up?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Second, I amazed that "The Last Voyage" gets any respect in this august forum.<<

From some, it doesn't. I've caught bits and pieces of it myself, but never really saw anything which made me want to sit through the whole thing.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>The Ile de France was refitted in the 50s, wasn't it?

Late 1940s. Many elements of her refit were items removed from the Normandie in '41/'42. Everywhere you see a "Japanese fast food restaurant" mural aboard the Claridon in the film, once hung a Normandie artwork. Very little of her pre-war interior survived the refit- the dining room chairs being the most obvious carry over.

Much of her original design represented Art Deco at its most, shall we say, bold, and had not aged well (the statue of the three satyrs with a couch built into its base comes to mind, as does the giant, frosted glass illuminated lillies which once hung from the rondels in the lounge ceiling) and the new interiors represented an improvement. In fact, with their linear design and lack of clutter, they allowed one to view the Normandie artwork in a far more sympathetic setting than that in which they were originally placed.

>"The Last Voyage" gets any respect

It had a FEW strong points....it was less than three hours long....it was printed on safety stock....it never specifically tells you that Jill's lifeboat did not overturn in launching, leaving a tantalyzing possibility....as bad as the script was, it was still less stupid than Titanic, or Titanic....there was no musical interlude.... and the central visual image endlessly cut to, of crowds of people running up stairs which many have mocked as the most inane and pointless use of padding, was REALLY a brilliant visual metaphor on the level of the jet plane footage used in Fata Morgana. Similarly, I have come to realise that robotic Tammi Marihugh and trapped Dorothy Malone were actually brilliant symbols of the role of women in WASP society 1959/'60 (pinned under debris in a rapidly flooding cabin....) and as such have been the victims of much misplaced derision.
 
>"The Last Voyage" gets any respect

Several good points:

George Sanders is always a positive for any movie (although I hear they cut the part where he turns to one of the officers and says re Jill: "Miss Henderson is an actress, a graduate of the Copacabana School of Dramatic Art.")

It's also got Woody Strode, another positive. I find his performance very genuine and believable.

Robert Stack does something other than stand in a foggy cemetery at night in a trenchcoat.

Dorothy Malone is gorgeous, even under water.

We get to see the Il de France in color (for better or for worse).
 

Derek Hibbet

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Based on the info here, I have just purchased a copy and will watch it tonight, essentially for the Ile De France interest.

Thankyou for the previous advice about the little actress, It wont go on till after the 9 o’clock water shed and Ill have a few stiff ‘rums’ to prepare myself.

(However I will keep a cushion handy to hide my face behind incase it gets too much)

One thing I am interested in, but can’t find much information on is her war service. Other than being used to transport British troops, I cant find any further.

Can any one illuminate me.

Thankyou.
Derek.
 
Apr 27, 2005
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My recollection is that she served around Australia and Indonesia, but I can't offer you more with any certainty.

Regarding the movie; George Sanders served as the model of "Mr. Peabody", the cartooned genius dog of "Rocky and Bullwinkle" fame in the 60's; Woody Strode was always seeming to get stuck with roles of the loyal black strong guy, who put humanity above everything he was being forced to endure in a racist society; Dorothy Malone, the soggy soaked, loving Mom and wife who shouldn't have to die so young (in a reprise of the women trapped inside the "Andrea Doria"); Robert Stack is the husband who will never let go, as his love and strength transcends emotions; Edmund O'Brien (and this one I love) the engineer whose father kept the lights burning on the "Titanic", and who could have told them how to save a great liner in her death throws if he had only been asked (talk about irony!).
I hope you like the film, but the rum was a really good idea!
 
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