August 16, 1996 |
Dwarfed only by the Walt Whitman Bridge, the SS United States is towed north along the Delaware to its new anchorage at Pier 96 in South Philadelphia. Its owners are trying to put together funding to restore the ocean liner. The 990-foot ship has been undergoing asbestos removal overseas the last few years. Out of service since 1969, the United States still holds the record as the fastest passenger ship afloat.
April 15, 1994 |
For those of us who've recently been treated to Four Weddings and a Funeral, it's oddly comforting, at the outset of Roman Polanski's wild and woolly Bitter Moon, to find ourselves once again in the company of Hugh Grant and Kristin Scott-Thomas. Grant, the commitment-wary Brit who engages in that comic mating dance with Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings, here plays a similarly twitty, upper-class type; and Scott-Thomas, who was cast as his good friend and unrequited amour in Mike Newell's romantic comedy, plays Grant's wife.
November 26, 1993 |
More than 200 feet beneath the Atlantic Ocean, diver John Moyer swam into the wreck of the famed ocean liner, the Andrea Doria, past barnicle-encrusted light fixtures and through silt-filled corridors and dark, corroded stairways. With air bubbles streaming behind him, he glided into the first-class "Wintergarden" lounge and looked down at a huge mosaic frieze that he remembered seeing in old photographs, before the ship sank in 1956 after colliding with another liner. Carefully, Moyer retrieved the Italian mosaic and sent it to the surface, where the crew of his salvage vessel broke out in cheers.
December 16, 1992 |
A CHANCE TO SINK FUNDS INTO A REAL PIECE OF HISTORY Eighty years after it went down, the Titanic is coming back up. Bits and pieces of it, at least. It seems that the French government has offered 1,800 salvaged objects to survivors or their families. Of course, a centime or two is expected in return. The French government yesterday said that the items could be acquired by qualified claimants as long as they helped pay for the cost of the salvage operation. A Franco-American expedition in 1987 recovered the relics 2 1/2 miles under the Atlantic, where the ocean liner - on its maiden voyage from Southhampton, England, to New York - sank after hitting an iceberg on April 14, 1912.
March 11, 1992 |
Walter Faber is a middle-aged bachelor whose job as an engineer for UNESCO allows him to travel and thus avoid what he obviously fears most - emotional entanglements. "We're trained to see things as they are without dreaming," insists this pragmatic man of science in "Voyager," a riveting character study by German director Volker Schlondorff. Faber is so cool and detached that he displays not the slightest bit of fear when the pilot of his Mexico-bound plane announces that two engines have failed.
February 28, 1992 |
The Park Avenue Ultra is primarily a dignified luxury liner that calms the choppiest of macadam seas and provides its passengers with a quiet, comfortable, well-appointed stateroom. And that's as it should be. After all, the ultimate Buick's 50-something clientele expects relentless coddling, not to mention copious intimations of affluence. But there is also a frisky, speedboat side to the Ultra's split personality. This is a very ballistic Buick, thanks to the hefty, supercharged V-6 that sublets space in the engine bay. And when the car is equipped with the sport suspension, as the test car was, the big Ultra is also surprisingly agile.
July 28, 1991 |
This screenwriter business is really getting out of hand. First they start pulling down million-dollar writing gigs (Joe Eszterhas holds the record: $3 million for the erotic thriller Basic Instinct, due out this winter). Then their agents wangle them producer credits. And then they start clamoring to direct. And now these hyphenate progenitors have gone way over the edge: They're writing movies about themselves. Consider The Player, Michael Tolkin's black comedy about a rejected, vengeful scenarist.
June 5, 1991 |
Even if the age of the grand ocean liners is just a memory for those lucky enough to have savored the experience, there are compensations . . . bits and pieces known these days as ocean liner collectibles. Those who never set foot on an ocean liner may collect ships' silver, luggage labels or tags, adorned with nostalgic names like The Normandie, Ile de France and The Breman. The items can be as elegant as a glass panel from the Normandie designed by Lalique or as functional as a wood deck chair from the Europa.
December 10, 1989 |
It was a planner's dream. The year was 1968, and a group of investors had proposed docking the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner at the foot of Philadelphia International Airport, in Tinicum Township. There, it would be converted into a luxurious floating hotel and attraction. That's all county planners needed to get them going. Within the year, they had cranked out a visionary plan for the Tinicum of the future that included several other tourist attractions, such as a menagerie and stables inside the Tincium National Environmental Center.