Movie Film Production On Board Steamships - 1921

1920 The Branded Woman Movie Poster

1920 The Branded Woman Movie Poster - Partially filmed on the Cunard Line RMS Berengaria.

"I feel so ashamed in this dress."

CAST: Norma Talmadge, Percy Marmont, Vincent Serrano, George Fawcett DIRECTED BY: Albert Parker PRODUCER: Joseph M. Schenck, Norma Talmadge

One of the late developments in transatlantic passenger traffic is the extensive use made of great liners for the production of movie films.  Of course, only large film companies can afford to send their leading men and women on board liners the day of sailing.

Still the time has gone by when, in order to film a scene on a transatlantic liner, a rickety river steamboat would be fitted up with cardboard props and much painted canvas and towed to some recondite part of Long Island Sound. 

There invariably the villain would blow up the vessel by lighting a match, while amidst a terrific cloud of smoke produced by chemicals released ad hoc, the heroine would recklessly plunge at least six inches into a waiting boat, where he ubiquitous lover was waiting to receive her, dressed as if for a parade of the Siamese Navy.

Nowadays, a whole company is sent on board the ship and picture are taken as the voyage to Europe begins.  While all the characters are supplied by the film company, the steamship companies will oblige with their personnel who naturally do not object to the few dollars that can be earned in this guise.

Leading Cunard liners have lately been largely patronized for such purpose.  Thus, Eugene O'Brien made part of "The Wonderful Chance" on the Caronia; Norma Talmadge filmed scenes for "The Branded Woman" on the Berengaria (ex Imperator); Constance Talmadge made part of "A Woman's Place" on the Mauretania; Tom More "shot" scenes for his "Made In Heaven" on the Coronia, and Marguerite Clark finished "Scrambled Wives" on the Aquitania.

Source: "Nauticus": A Journal of Shipping, May 21, 1921, Volume 12, Page 13

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