When I was small I saw a movie on TV with my grandfather that scared the BEJEEPERS out of me: its images of a woman imprisoned by steel beams on an exploding, sinking ship have haunted me all these years. I was watching TCM today and when I saw the opening sequences of "The Last Voyage" I recognised it straight away as the movie with the poor lady trapped in the wrecked liner. As an adult I found the movie suspenseful: no wonder it terrified me as a kid. Dorothy Malone's performance masterly captures the wife's desperation, panic, and concern that her child and husband survive. Robert Stack makes the viewer feel the loyalty and drive that makes the husband battle to save his wife against the odds. It was great to see a movie from my early childhood present a black character who is every inch a hero as the leading character, who fights to rescue the wife as much as her husband does. The characters of the captain and the British main officer are finely drawn and the struggles of the officer to preserve the ship and take care of the passengers while the captain fails to grasp the seriousness of the situation make an effective counterpart to the husband's attempts to free his wife and daughter from the wreckage of their cabin. The overhead shots of the daughter perched on the edges of a hole ripped through several decks of the ship are horrifying and I'm sure they are responsible for my still being scared of heights. This movie's style is matter of fact, complete with a historical-sounding narration, but this increases the impact of the terror of the wife and the growing desperation and frustration of the husband as he races to find someone who will help them. The engineer's outburst at the captain reflects the growing tension that the film creates. This is not just another hokey disaster film in Technicolor - this is a film that shows how people facing danger and death keep their heads to honour their relationships, professions and their humanity. An unforgettable film, and one that puts the overblown special effects and underdeveloped characterisations of Titanic to shame.