Many great liners met very sad ends: Queen Elizabeth (1940), America (1940), Raffaello, Independence and Caronia (1949) among them. Yet the proud Ile de France suffered the cruelest farewell of all—used as a disposable prop for a B movie. She certainly deserved a better send off than the public torture and execution Hollywood inflicted upon her.
As The Last Voyage’s star, Robert Stack, noted in his autobiography, “Straight Shooting”: “No special effects for [director]Andy [Stone]; he actually planned to destroy a liner and photograph the process.” And so he did, to the dismay of what was then a relatively small and unfocused ocean liner fan community. Imagine the uproar that would happen today if a film company announced plans to gut and sink United States or Queen Elizabeth 2 for a movie.
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