Movies > The Finest Hours > On Set
The Finest Hours,” which wrapped up filming with a week in Chatham, depicts the true-life rescue of 32 men aboard the Pendleton in 1952, when waves from a severe nor’easter snapped the 503-foot tanker in two.
CHATHAM – A snow-covered 1946 DeSoto came roaring up Champlain Road with a purpose. The woman behind the wheel struggled to control the big sedan. Punching the accelerator a bit too hard, she caused the rear end to swing wide on a curve and the vehicle slowed, tires spinning fruitlessly on the steep, icy hill.
Finally, the DeSoto gained the crest and slid to a stop, tires crunching on the icy berm. The woman emerged from the driver’s side, attractive in her form-fitting green dress with white lace collar, black heels and waves of thick, auburn hair, her high cheekbones rouged and her lips painted red.
She paused in the street, still holding the door, and shaded her eyes, expressing admiration for what was suddenly a spectacular sunset over Harding Beach.
The woman’s last gesture was the only thing real and unscripted. The ice on the roadway was laid down by a company from New Bedford, the falling snow was white ash from a “snow candle” burning on an adjacent rooftop and blown across the road by a big fan, and the snowbanks were ice cubes shoveled onto white felt stretched over a frame of plywood and chicken wire.
The woman was British actress Holliday Grainger, of “Jane Eyre,” “The Borgias,” and “Anna Karenina,” who would repeat that simple sequence for over an hour. With luck, a few seconds of this footage will make it to the big screen in the movie, “The Finest Hours,” which wrapped up filming with a week in Chatham.
EDIT: new pictures added