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As Russell Crowe prepares to build an ark in Noah, we look at the most famous boats in the movies


Russell Crowe may be the star of forthcoming epic Noah but it of course features what is possibly the most legendary sea-going vessel ever – the Ark itself.

In director Darren Aronofsky's take on the Biblical tale, the title character (played by Crowe) is plagued by apocalyptic visions. He realises he must construct an Ark to save humanity from a great flood that will consume the world.

As the Ark is the ancestor of all famous boats that have appeared in the movies, we thought we'd take a look at some of them.

Remember, if you have suggestions of your own, share them in the comments below.

Jaws (1975)

Steven Spielberg's classic movie spends much of its first half on land before taking us on board a boat named The Orca. It's here that the riveting battle between the film's characters – police chief Brody (Roy Scheider), salty sea dog Quint (Robert Shaw) and marine biologist Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) – and the enormous shark plays out. It also gives rise to what is possibly the film's most famous line, "You're gonna need a bigger boat," uttered by Brody when he experiences his first close encounter with the shark!

Titanic (1997)

"Does this prove that size really does matter?" director James Cameron rhetorically asked when scooping one of Titanic's eleven Oscars. Cameron's epic dramatisation of the iconic liner's ill-fated maiden voyage still takes the breath away, communicating both its enormous bulk and, on a more intimate level, the class divide of those on board. When it comes to the sinking itself, Cameron expertly blends miniatures with CGI effects to depict a truly harrowing end to a magnificent piece of maritime engineering.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Set in an impoverished Louisiana community known as 'The Bathtub,' this blend of documentary-style drama and magical fantasy doesn't technically feature an actual boat. However, the film's central characters – Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) and her father Wink (Dwight Henry) – do fashion their own out of the remains of a car when a flood devastates their home. Hushpuppy and Wink use their rudimentary boat to help rescue other survivors and go fishing!

Life of Pi (2012)

Ang Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's novel occupies the elusive middle ground between fantasy and reality. On the one level, it's a classic adventure story about a boy called Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma) who's stranded in a lifeboat with a ferocious Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker. On the other hand, it's a mysterious and moving examination of faith and storytelling. As the drama unfolds, the lifeboat almost becomes a character in itself, an environment in which the conflict between Pi and Richard Parker plays out.

Captain Phillips (2013)

Tom Hanks has just been nominated for a Golden Globe for his powerful performance in Paul Greengrass' nail-biting film – a dramatisation of the 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking by Somali pirates. In one of the most gripping scenes this year, we watch in astonishment as the pirates' skiffs bear down on the vast bulk of the Alabama. The Maersk's crew valiantly employ their water hoses to ward off the pirates… But of course, they eventually make it on board...