Voyage of the Damned (1976)

PG  |   |  Drama, War  |  22 December 1976 (USA)
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Reviews: 27 user | 13 critic

The tragic 1939 voyage of SS St. Louis carrying hundreds of German Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany that seemingly no nation is willing to save from certain doom.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Denise Kreisler
Professor Egon Kreisler
Lili Rosen
Carl Rosen
Anna Rosen
David de Keyser ...
Joseph Joseph
Della McDermott ...
Julia Strauss
Genevieve West ...
Sarah Strauss
Professor Weiler
Rebecca Weiler
Alice Fienchild
Mr. Hauser
Mrs. Hauser
Aaron Pozner
Joseph Manasse


In 1939, Germany's Hamburg-America Line announced a voyage from Germany to Cuba. 937 people, the vast majority being Jews, signed up for the opportunity to escape Nazi Germany. Unbeknownst to the passengers, the visas they purchased were from a corrupt Cuban director of immigration, and they were invalid. Upon arrival in Havana, only 28 people were allowed to disembark, while the rest remained on board for weeks as they sailed to Florida, and eventually Canada, searching for safe haven. Sadly the ship returned to Antwerp after more than a month at sea. Forced back under Nazi rule as the low countries fell, it is estimated that approximately 250 of the refugees died in the extermination camps in occupied Poland. Written by JBentley

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Plot Keywords:

nazi | voyage | jew | germany | ship | See All (23) »


In The Shadow of Death... [UK] See more »


Drama | War


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 December 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El viaje de los condenados  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Maria Charles, Robert Brown and Ben Aris all ended up on the cutting room floor. See more »


Several of the hairstyles worn by many of the actresses in the film are from the 70's, despite the fact that the events took place in 1939. See more »


Referenced in Haunted Melodies with Lalo Schifrin (2013) See more »


Green Eyes
Written by Adolfo Utrera and Nilo Menendez
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User Reviews

Shame on US
28 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Despite the fact that this film had three Oscar nominations, and several Golden Globe nominations with one win (Katharine Ross), and a boatload of stars, it is not worth watching so much for it's quality (marginal) but for the story of how we knew what was happening to the Jews before World War II and did little to stop it.

This is the story of 937 Jews that were put on a boat to Havana with useless documents, as the German government had no intention of letting them off the ship. They were denied entry into Cuba, and the US also denied them entry before they finally were saved by a social service agency and allowed to land in Belgium. Of course, that would prove ultimately fatal for two-thirds of them as the war started just two months later.

Why would Germany do this? Simple. By sending a ship of Jews to the America's and having them turned away, they negated any right the US would have to complain when they started exterminating Jews. Clever of them, and our government fell right into their trap. Our support for Israel is not so much that we love the Jews, but a massive guilt for our participation in their extermination.

There were some great performances in this otherwise mediocre film: Lee Grant and Katherine Ross; some good performances: Ben Gazzara, Faye Dunaway; and the film debut of Jonathan Pryce (POTC 1. 2. & 3, Tomorrow Never Dies).

Check it out.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The U.S. refusing entry. manhattan777
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