What did I learn from it all?
It seems difficult to film on an ocean liner, especially interiors. Interiors can be cramped. Film crews oftentimes need space, in front and behind the camera. Film crews also need time to shoot and re-shoot. Liners cannot justify giving over one of their dining rooms or ballrooms for a film shoot. It's not fair on the ship's passengers. Every space on board is already precious. It's easier for films to build their own ship set on a sound stage.
In movies in general, an ocean liner is a vehicle of transportation. People are getting on board so they can get going to somewhere else. It's the ship's job to advance the plot by advancing the characters to where they want to go. A boat only becomes a main setting when something major happens on board that changes the characters' life in some way. An Affair to Remember. The Poseidon Adventure. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Titanic. Unless that is present, there's no reason to chronicle life aboard a 5-7 day voyage at sea.
Why choose the SS United States? Some of the time, the ship was not even part of the story, just making a cameo because it was in port the time of the shoot. When she was cast as 'the ship' in movies, it was because she was a novelty, or recognizable with her patriotic funnels. Or maybe films shot on whatever ship was available; the Queens both still got plenty of movie work. She disappeared from the spotlight once she was laid up in Hampton Roads. That area of Virginia tends to not be a popular film area. Once the ship moved to Philadelphia, the ship started to appear in movies again, and in new ways. She became an excellent industrial/quasi-abandoned location. Yet what sets her apart from other locations is she can be easily accessed (with the right permissions) and is structurally sound and safe.
So, what were my Top 3 ranked movies? Combining their movie rating with their SS United State rating, it is as follows:
1. A Series of Unfortunate Events
2. Bon Voyage
3. Dead Man Down
What was the worst ranking movie? The Water Horse. Like there was any contest. I still can't believe I have that DVD laying around my house somewhere.
So, is the Silver Screen Review over? As long as the SS United States is around and popping into movies, the Silver Screen Review will not end!