Nov. 16, 2023

Shipboard Romance

Shipboard Romance

How I love a romance set aboard a luxury cruise ship or ocean liner, especially classic movies set on ships in the early to mid 20th-century, a heyday of ocean travel. The coziness, the leather luggage with a separate toiletries case, the cute staterooms and cabins, the service, people dressing for elegant dinner and dancing, the endless ocean views, and falling asleep rocked by waves...of course, in this dream, I'm on the Cunard Line in a massive luxury suite with full balcony, and my sweetie is right by my side as we sail to some exotic location. Shhhhh — don't wake me up.

All you ever wanted to know about the history of the ocean liner.

Movies in this Episode

Let Them All Talk

Like Father

An Affair to Remember

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Now, Voyager

The Lady Eve

One Way Passage is a 1932 melodrama starring William Powell as an escaped murderer traveling on a ship from Asia to America to face charges. He persuades the detective supervising him to remove his handcuffs so he can flirt with a beautiful woman he’s met on board, played by Kay Francis, who's in the final stages of a fatal illness. She doesn't know about him and he doesn't know about her as they fall in love. Sob.

Romance on the High Seas is a ridiculously delightful romcom farce of mistaken identity on board an ocean liner, starring Doris Day in her first movie role. 

Dodsworth is a romantic drama about mid-life and second chances starring Walter Houston as a Midwest auto manufacturer who sells his lucrative company and sails to Europe for the trip he’s always wanted. Except he’s traveling with his self-centered, shallow wife, brilliantly played by Ruth Chatterton, and his affection for her is fading fast. When she begins having an affair on board right under his nose, he surprises himself by falling in love with a grounded, compassionate, free-spirited American woman also traveling on the ship, played by Mary Astor. Maybe you have to be a certain age, but I absolutely love the satisfying happy ever after in this movie. It was made in 1936 but still feels fresh today.

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