7.1/10
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Ship of Fools (1965)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | October 1965 (Austria)
Trailer
3:32 | Trailer
A varied group of passengers boarding a ship bound for pre-WWII Germany represents a microcosm of early 1930s society.

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writers:

Katherine Anne Porter (novel), Abby Mann (screenplay)
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vivien Leigh ... Mary Treadwell
Simone Signoret ... La Condesa
José Ferrer ... Siegfried Rieber (as Jose Ferrer)
Lee Marvin ... Tenny
Oskar Werner ... Dr. Schumann
Elizabeth Ashley ... Jenny
George Segal ... David
José Greco ... Pepe (as Jose Greco)
Michael Dunn ... Glocken
Charles Korvin ... Capt. Thiele
Heinz Rühmann ... Lowenthal (as Heinz Ruehmann)
Lilia Skala ... Frau Hutten
BarBara Luna ... Amparo (as Barbara Luna)
Christiane Schmidtmer ... Lizzi
Alf Kjellin ... Freytag
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Storyline

1933: An ocean liner belonging to a second-rate German company is making a twenty-six day voyage from Veracruz, Mexico to Bremerhaven, Germany. Along the way it will stop in Cuba to pick up a large group of Spanish farm laborers who are being shipped home and who will be housed like cattle in steerage. There it will also pick up La Condesa, a Spanish countess. It will stop in Tenerife, where the farm workers will disembark and where La Condesa will be sent to a German-run prison for her "traitorous" activities in Cuba. This voyage will be the last of three for the ship's doctor, Willi Schumann, who has a serious heart ailment and who thought he could find some meaning to his life through this job. Willi and La Condesa fall in love, with the ship's Captain Thiele, who is Willi's closest friend on board, believing the drug-addicted La Condesa is only using him to get her fixes. Willi and La Condesa have to figure out if there is a future for them after the voyage, as Willi's life also ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

german | ship | american | love | germany | See All (227) »

Taglines:

EXPLORER, MISTRESS, VAGRANT, LOAFER, ARTIST, TRAMP ... THEY ARE ALL AT THE CAPTAIN'S TABLE! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Lowenthal mentions the funeral of Kaiserin Viktoira, he is referring to the wife of Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm and mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Victoria was a daughter of Queen Victoria of England. See more »

Goofs

As the passengers disembark at the end, Johann pauses on the steps to watch Amparo walk by, when Tenny appears walking down the steps behind Johann. Immediately the film cuts to a shot of the gangplank above, where Tenny is seen just leaving the ship. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Glocken: [walks up to the ship's railing] My name is Karl Glocken, and this is a ship of fools. I'm a fool, and you'll meet more fools as we go along. This tub is packed with them: emancipated ladies, ball players, lovers, dog lovers, ladies of joy, tolerant Jews, dwarfs - all kinds. And who knows, if you look closely enough, you may even find yourself on board.
See more »

Connections

Featured in No. 7 Cherry Lane (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Al Hoffman, Al Goodhart, Milton Ager & Edward G. Nelson
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Love Boat as told by Ambrose Bierce
15 September 1999 | by stills-6See all my reviews

A modernist morality tale with several different dark, sardonic stories. It creates a strange mood with its post WWII sensibility superimposed on pre-Nazi German culture. It's like The Love Boat as told by Ambrose Bierce. The best story revolves around Oskar Werner as he takes care of Simone Signoret. He sits at her bedside and listens with his head at a ridiculous angle to show his complete understanding - their situations are parallel, but their compositions are worlds apart. His slow slide into oblivion is fascinating to watch.

But the best performance belongs to Vivien Leigh in her final film role. She is absolutely stunning as "the 46-year old coquette" (as Werner Klemperer puts it). It's a terrible tragedy that she was not able to make very many movies in her career.

However, I have never cared for George Segal or Elizabeth Ashley and they weaken the film - particularly Segal who seems overmatched by the other members of the cast. But I did enjoy the rest of the movie and it's well worth getting through their story to see it.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Spanish

Release Date:

October 1965 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Ship of Fools See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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