Out to Sea
|Out to Sea|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Martha Coolidge|
|Produced by||John Davis
David T. Friendly
|Written by||Robert Nelson Jacobs|
|Music by||Michael Muhlfriedel
|Edited by||Anne V. Coates|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Out to Sea is a 1997 romantic comedy film starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Rue McClanahan, Dyan Cannon and Brent Spiner. It was the final film for both Donald O'Connor and Edward Mulhare. The latter died on May 24, 1997, almost six weeks before the film's release. It was directed by Martha Coolidge, with a screenplay by Robert Nelson Jacobs. The original music score was composed by Michael Muhlfriedel and David Newman.
Compulsive gambler Charlie Gordon, hiding out from his various bookies and loan sharks, cons his close friend and brother-in-law, widower Herb Sullivan, whose recently deceased wife, Susie Gordon-Sullivan, was Charlie's sister, into an all expenses-paid luxury Holland America cruise. The catch, which Charlie does not reveal to Herb until the ship has left port, is that they are required to work as dance hosts and must sleep in a cramped cabin in the bowels of the ship.
Ruled over by tyrannical, control-freak cruise director Gil Godwin ("a song and dance man raised on a military base"), they do their best, despite Charlie's not actually being able to dance. Each meets a lady of interest. One is the luscious heiress Liz LaBreche, whose wealth attracts Charlie every bit as much as the rest of her does. The other is lovely widow Vivian, who is under the impression that Herb is really a doctor, not a dancer. After finally telling her the truth, Herb soon finds himself quite attracted to Vivian, and eventually the feeling becomes mutual. However, because Herb still pines for the day Susie will suddenly come back to him, this conflicts his very strong feelings for Vivian, leading him to eventually stand her up on the day that they were supposed to view the rare solar eclipse together.
Herb decides against starting a new relationship with Vivian until Charlie, who also reminds Herb that Susie was his sister, long before she was Herb's wife, gets the main point across, that Susie would never want Herb to spend the rest of his life completely alone and unhappy, because as Charlie says, even though Susie is gone forever, Herb is still alive (Charlie: "Will you stop using Susie as a safety net?" Herb: "Wait a minute. Who in the hell are you to tell me...?" Charlie: "She was my sister before she was your wife. And if she were here now, she'd tell ya the same thing." Herb: "Ah, but she is not here now, is she Charlie? She's gone." Charlie: "That's right Herb, but you're not.").
By the time Charlie literally drags ship owner Mrs. Carruthers across the dance floor, the boys aren't sure if they will find true love or need to abandon ship.
- Jack Lemmon - Herb Sullivan
- Walter Matthau - Charlie Gordon
- Dyan Cannon - Liz LaBreche
- Gloria DeHaven - Vivian
- Brent Spiner - Gil Godwin
- Elaine Stritch - Mavis LaBreche
- Hal Linden - Mac Valor
- Donald O'Connor - Jonathan Devereaux
- Edward Mulhare - Cullen Carswell
- Rue McClanahan - Ellen Carruthers
The movie received an unenthusiastic review from Janet Maslin in the New York Times. She described the film as a "weak but genial romp." She credits Brent Spiner as a funny "scene-stealer" and says that Ms DeHaven is "almost as pretty" in this film as she was in Charlie Chaplin's 1936 Modern Times, and says that Donald O'Connor's dancing "draw[s] a well-deserved round of applause." However, film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave it a "Two Thumbs Up" recommendation on their weekly show. 
The film currently holds a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews.
- "Out to Sea (1997): On Board and on the Loose," Janet Maslin, New York Times, July 2, 1997
- Out to Sea at the Internet Movie Database
- Out to Sea at Rotten Tomatoes
- Out to Sea at Box Office Mojo