A great cult comedy that was probably ahead of its time. A beloved movie among danish sailors. Martha is a very old and very rusty freight steamer, sailing in the Mediterranean, almost ... See full summary »
A great cult comedy that was probably ahead of its time. A beloved movie among danish sailors. Martha is a very old and very rusty freight steamer, sailing in the Mediterranean, almost forgotten by the danish shipping line. The crew takes advantage of this, leading a very comfortable and luxurious life on board. Not without financial problems though. One day the ships owner suddenly needs to sail on her. He is a very old school and disciplined person and certainly not satisfied with the state of the ship and the crew. But the crew shows their worth when they have to fight for the survival of their beloved old steamer. Written by
As previous commentators have so rightfully pointed out, Martha is the true cult-movie of the merchant marine... but not only in Denmark. It has had - and still has - a tremendous impact in Sweden as well, with Martha-societies arranging Martha-evenings (complete with a showing of the film itself and a nice dinner with nothing missing except perhaps the Brottsjösill. The (Swedish, in fact) traditional Aquavit brand O P Andersson tend to be available in abundance, though. Among the seafarers in Sweden, Martha has been known since the early 70:s, and more or less illegal thirdhand VHS-copies was distributed widely along with the first-hand movies and VHS-tapes. Recently, a DVD-version - with new and (hopefully) improved Swedish translation - is available with some extra goodies. Sadly, the translation from Danish to Swedish is somewhat lacking in accuracy, at least on the VHS-copy I've seen. The Danish phrase which means "steady she goes!" is translated into the Swedish equivalent of "She sails beautifully!" which is a shame, really. I've learned that Martha is shown to students as well, which is very good indeed.
I cannot give praise enough to this film. For many seafarers, it is THE movie, strangely accurately showing the seamen's life of bygone days - albeit with a humorous twist or two - better than any serious-faced documentary.
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