Get in the mood to cruise!

Watch one of these old movies featuring cruising before your next vacation and get in the mood to cruise! Fred Astaire may not do a two-step past you on the deck wearing a tuxedo, but you can still enjoy a glimpse into Hollywood’s image of cruising. Most often, they were trans-Atlantic voyages and not the calmer waters of river cruising and much more casual atmosphere we enjoy today.  (Click the photo for a link to find where you can purchase or rent the movie.)


Royal Wedding –

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean to attend a wedding involves a clever dance routine with Fred Astaire and Jane Powell attempting to perform their dance routine while the ship suddenly runs into a storm – creating big swells and unusual dance moves as only Astaire can do them.


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

In 1953, this classic stars Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe who play showgirls with different viewpoints on marriage. Their cruise across the Atlantic on the way to France is less than boring, involving squeezing through a porthole, dancing with men in the gym, and a missing tiara. The film’s highlight is Marilyn Monroe’s iconic performance of “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”


Love Affair

The 1939 classic romance starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer.  Two romantics fall in love while on board a cruise from Europe. When they are arriving in New York City, they plan to meet at the top of the Empire State Building (echoed later in the movie “Sleepless in Seattle.”) Have a box of tissues ready as the romance does not go as planned.


Romance on the High Seas

A 1948 musical comedy starts Jack Carson and showcases Doris Day in her film debut. A husband and wife book a cruise to Rio de Janeiro, but the wife sends Doris Day in her place and a case of mistaken identity highjinks ensue. It features one of Doris Day’s songs “It’s Magic.”


Shall we dance

This 1937 vintage Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie has Astaire playing a dancer pretending to be a famous Russian ballet star, but he falls in love with Ginger Rogers, a tap dancer while on a trans-oceanic cruise to Paris. Their publicists dream up a fake marriage while on board. It features now classic songs by Ira Gershwin “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”


An Affair to Remember

After 18 years, it was time to remake the classic “Love Affair” movie, now staring the suave Cary Grant who falls in love with Deborah Kerr while cruising across the Atlantic. They are both oh-so-elegant and the scenes on board are sigh-inducing.


Carry on Cruising

A screwball 1962 British comedy filled with 1960s non-politically correct humor and unbelievable general craziness that is reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy or the Three Stooges. The “Carry On” franchise created multiple movies with the same cast, but all set in completely different situations, from set the Roman times to set in a hospital.  The cruise begins with new inept crew members suddenly replacing the regular crew, and attempting to serve the wacky set of passengers on board.


Out to Sea

A comedy from 1997 stars Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon who accept an all-expenses-paid luxury cruise to Mexico, only to find out they are expected to work on board as dance hosts and life on board is not as luxurious as the guests they serve. The dance sequences prove their characters are no Fred Astaires and yet they still manage to find romance on board.


Death on the Nile

This 2004 version stars the fabulous David Suchet as detective Hercules Poirot planning on enjoying a relaxing vacation floating on the Nile River in Egypt. Full of atmosphere and elegant costumes, the story is of a wealthy American heiress honeymooning on the ship, but the honeymoon is not going as smoothly as she had wished.  Another Agatha Christie classic mystery, where unfortunately, someone has to die…

anything goes 1936 film

Anything Goes

Bing Crosby falls in love with a beautiful woman in this 1936 musical which takes place on a luxury liner. A story of mistaken identities, gangsters, and heiresses that brought the title song “Anything Goes” to the screen – sung by Ethel Merman herself.

big broadcast of 1938 movie poster

The Big Broadcast of 1938

Comic confusion ensues when a group of musicians and comedians are aboard an ocean liner and put on a show. This 1938 movie was Bob Hope’s first screen appearance and the start of his “Thanks for the Memories” theme song.  It also stars big names including W.C. Fields, Dorothy Lamour, and Martha Raye.


The Keyhole

Comedy – Romance – Drama – this 1933 film has it all. Starring Kaye Francis and George Brent, it is a story of a woman being blackmailed by a husband she thought she had divorced. A quick cruise to Cuba ought to solver her problem, but a detective follows and falls in love along the way.

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cruising to the oldies - early Hollywood movies