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The French Atlantic Affair

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The French Atlantic Affair
First edition (publ. Atheneum Books)
Based onThe French Atlantic Affair by Ernest Lehman
Written byDouglas Heyes
Directed byDouglas Heyes
StarringTelly Savalas
Chad Everett
Michelle Phillips
Shelley Winters
Horst Buchholz
Music byJohn Addison
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
CinematographyRalph Woolsey
EditorsTom Stevens
Jamie Caylor
Running time278 minutes
Production companiesAaron Spelling Productions
MGM Television
Original release
ReleaseNovember 15 (1979-11-15) –
November 18, 1979 (1979-11-18)

The French Atlantic Affair was a 3-part TV miniseries produced and broadcast in 1979, based on is the 1977 novel of the same title by Ernest Lehman.

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A luxury ocean liner, the SS Marseilles of the French Atlantic Line, is hijacked by Father Dunleavy, a messianic priest, and his cult followers for a $70 million ransom in gold. Harold Columbine, a novelist, and Charles Girodt, the ship's captain, attempt to save the lives of the passengers, some of whom are also members of the group.

Two young amateur 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 amateur radio operators were a passenger (not a member of the terrorist group), and his on-shore friend, both of whom were physicians.



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.


  • Ernest Lehmann: The French Atlantic Affair Atheneum, New York 1977, ISBN 0-689-10803-6


External links

This page was last edited on 23 June 2024, at 00:13
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