Ship of Fools (1965)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,637 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 25 critic

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... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A middle-aged iconoclast, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young ward.

Director: Fred Coe
Stars: Jason Robards, Barbara Harris, Martin Balsam
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Critics and the public say Karen Stone is too old -- as she approaches 50 -- for her role in a play she is about to take to Broadway. Her businessman husband, 20 years her senior, has been ... See full summary »

Director: José Quintero
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty, Coral Browne
Certificate: Passed Drama | War | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During WWI, believing her fiancé to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Robert Taylor, Lucile Watson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ambitious young accountant schemes to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears
Darling (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A beautiful but amoral model sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Plain, repressed spinster falls for a dashing young medical student, but he prefers the wilder life, until it's too late.

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Geraldine Page, Rita Moreno
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An Italian-American neighborhood in Louisiana is disturbed when truck driver Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling. His buxom widow Serafina miscarries, then over a period ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster, Marisa Pavan
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jocko De Paris, cadet leader in a Southern military academy, so manipulates events that George Avery, Jr., son of the school's executive officer, is found drunk and expelled. Through ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Garfein
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Pat Hingle, Peter Mark Richman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

With her infant daughter Margaret Rose in tow, Georgette Thomas pulls up stakes from Tyler, Texas to head to Columbus, Texas to be reunited with her husband, Henry Thomas, who has just been... See full summary »

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Steve McQueen, Lee Remick, Don Murray
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A woman unhappy in her passionless marriage leaves her husband for a younger and more ardent lover.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Kenneth More, Eric Portman
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Unassuming and single thirty-three year old Tillie Shlain is at that phase of her life of being known as a soon to be spinster if she doesn't marry soon. She isn't looking forward to ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Walter Matthau, Carol Burnett, Geraldine Page
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young man takes drastic measures to rid his dysfunctional family of its various afflictions.

Director: Marco Bellocchio
Stars: Lou Castel, Paola Pitagora, Marino Masé


Cast overview, first billed only:
Siegfried Rieber (as Jose Ferrer)
Pepe (as Jose Greco)
Karl Glocken
Charles Korvin ...
Capt. Thiele
Julius Lowenthal (as Heinz Ruehmann)
Frau Hutten
Amparo (as Barbara Luna)
Alf Kjellin ...
Lizzi Spoekenkieker


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




Drama | Romance | War


See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

October 1965 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Das Narrenschiff  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The election referred to was the German Federal election of 1933, in which the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP, or the Nazis) received 43.9% of the overall vote, an increase of 10.8% on the previous election. See more »


Tenny (Lee Marvin) states he's bought "a couple of Margaritas" for the flamenco dancer. That cocktail did not exist in 1933. See more »


Mary Treadwell: Everybody on this ship is in love. Love me whether or not I love you. Love me whether I am fit to love. Love me whether I am able to love. Even is there is no such thing as love. Love me.
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Mouth (2008) See more »


Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear
Music and Lyrics by Al Hoffman, Al Goodhart, Milton Ager & Ed Nelson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

What kind of fool am I?
6 February 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Vivien Leigh sits opposite redneck Lee Marvin in the ship's upper deck restaurant, Marvin confesses to Leigh he never new what a Jew was until he was 15, "You were too busy lynching blacks" is her replay. I thought to mention it just to give you a hint of the sort of cruise ship we're travelling on. We sail through a sea that goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. Abby Mann is a master at drawing characters with long shadows and Kramer a master at capturing them. Think "Judgement at Neuremberg" Here you'll feel sea sick sometimes but the trip is worth taking. I mean. Vivien Leigh and Lee Marvin in a sad comedy of errors. Simone Signoret as a drug addicted countess and Oskar Werner her kindly, tragic, doctor, pusher. Highly charged, beautifully written moments. The lower decks for the down trodden is full of extras. George Segal and Elizabeth Ashley try both decks and and a deck all their own with melodramatic regularity. Jose Ferrer and Heinz Rhumman have one of my favourite exchanges. Ferrer, the German military tells Rhumman, the German Jew, that he should admit that the Jews are great part of the German problem. Rhumman calmly agrees and ads "true, but not only the Jews, also men who smoke the pipe are great part of the German problem" "Why men who smoke the pipe?" Shouts Ferrer. To what Rhumman replies "Why the Jews?" Michael Dunn addresses us directly, asking us to find ourselves among the passengers. Okay.

63 of 93 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Biggest Fool Napoleon799
The clothes etc. - my theory suaheli
What is the German song sung with Piano CineTigers
An Old Favorite tylermadcap
What was La Condesa's story? Noir-It-All
Jug Band Music eotl2002
Discuss Ship of Fools (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: