February 8, 2013 by Amanda
On occasional Fridays, I’ll be briefly profiling a specific location somewhere in the world that has been featured in a movie or TV show.
This week, the site is the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien.
This WWII Liberty Ship currently sits at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California. It’s a national memorial and tourist attraction today — people visit to learn about life aboard these big ships and about the Jeremiah O’Brien’s background.
That background is actually an interesting one. Built in just 56 days (yes, DAYS) in 1943, the Jeremiah O’Brien went on to serve in Normandy on D-Day, and then for months in the South Pacific. It is one of only two Liberty Ships still afloat in the world today, and was bought in 1979 by an all volunteer group, the National Liberty Ship Memorial (NLSM), to be restored. This group is still in charge of the upkeep and running of the ship, and the volunteers are incredibly friendly and willing to give mini guided tours around the ship.
For movie fans, though, the draw of this ship lies not in its radio room or captains quarters (which are still used, since the ship still sails frequently), but in its engine room.
It was here, in cramped quarters in the 1990s, that James Cameron shot engine room shots for his epic “Titanic” film, and where George Lucas and his production team recorded ship sounds for the same film.
Visitors can go down into the engine room, visit a small museum that holds a thank-you letter from Lucas himself, and of course maybe re-enact the scene of Jack and Rose dashing past the giant pistons as they evade Titanic’s security.
Definitely a cool place to visit if you have some extra time in San Francisco.
Who wants to play the Jack to my Rose?