The French Atlantic Affair
The French Atlantic Affair is a novel by Ernest Lehman which was published in 1977. A 3-part TV miniseries based on the book was produced and broadcast in 1979.
|The French Atlantic Affair|
|Directed by||Douglas Heyes|
|Written by||Ernest Lehman
A luxury ocean liner, the SS Marseilles of the French Atlantic Line, is hijacked by a messianic priest and his cult followers for a $70 million ransom in gold. A novelist and the ship's captain attempt to save the lives of the passengers, some of whom are also members of the group.
Two young ham radio enthusiasts are the only link between the ship and the outside world. The SS Marseilles was based on the ocean liner SS France (1961) of the French Line.
In the novel, the hijackers were a group of employees laid off by NASA and its contractors after the termination of the Apollo program; the hams were a passenger not a member of the group and his on-shore friend, both physicians.
- Jean-Pierre Aumont: Chief Jean-Claude Raffin
- Horst Buchholz: Dr. Chabot
- James Coco: George Sauvinage
- Chad Everett: Harold Columbine
- José Ferrer: President Aristide Brouchard
- John Houseman: Dr. Archady Clemens
- Carolyn Jones: Peg
- Richard Jordan: Julian Wunderlicht
- Louis Jourdan: Captain Charles Girodt
- Michelle Phillips: Jennie Barber
- Marie-France Pisier: Lisa
- Donald Pleasence: Max Dechambre
- John Rubinstein: Herb Kleinfeld
- Telly Savalas: Father Dunleavy
- Stella Stevens: Louise Crawford
- Shelley Winters: Helen Wabash
- Lance LeGault: Lester Foyles
- William Lucking: Don Crawford
- Nehemiah Persoff: Col. Schreiner
- Dane Clark: Admiral J. Elton Knox
- Richard Anderson: Terrence Crown
- Corinne Calvet: Madame Brouchard
- Harvey Jason: Plessier
- Dana Hill: Maggie Joy
- Army Archerd: Stanford Whitman
- M. Emmet Walsh: Harry
Exteriors and scenes on deck in the miniseries were shot in the Caribbean aboard Carnival Cruise Lines's SS Festivale. The liner retained its name and markings in the series, though it was said to be owned by the fictional French Atlantic Line. The vessel in the novel is called the SS Marseilles and is based upon the French Line's SS France. Interiors were shot on soundstages and in Long Beach, California aboard the RMS Queen Mary. The film also shot on location in Paris and surrounding areas.
- "something in the creative process has gone badly awry with this ungainly, predestrian, not-very-suspense story ..." https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19771113&id=UUk0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=X2cEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2331,5050136
- "dashed by audience apathy star-power ... and it was to be more than a year before the network again tested the waters of the genre."