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Ship of Fools (1965)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | October 1965 (Austria)
A varied group of passengers boarding a ship bound for post-war Germany represents a microcosm of 1930s society.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

October 1965 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Das Narrenschiff  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of 2016, Michael Dunn is the only Dwarf actor (3'11) ever to be nominated for an Oscar. See more »

Goofs

Tenny and Mrs. Treadwell, seated together in the dining room, order dinner. In the next scene at the captain's table, Tenny is shown in the background looking through the menu and Mrs. Treadwell is not seated at the table. See more »

Quotes

Freytag: Doesn't it bother you that you and that little man are the only two Germans not at the Captain's Table?
Lowenthal: Do you think that bothers me? Besides, I like that little man; what kind of salesman do you think I would be if I couldn't deal with a situation like that? A salesman is supposed to deal a difficult situation and overcome it. Listen, it's not a new story: white men hate black men, Muslims hate Buddhists-that's the way it goes. There's prejudice everywhere. It does no good to give it back. You...
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Connections

Referenced in The Nanny: Ship of Fran's (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Tales from the Vienna Woods
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
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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.


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