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
Usually, it seems like whenever a movie has a giant cast, then that's the movie's only strength. "Voyage of the Damned" did have more to it than simply its cast. Faye Dunaway, Oskar Werner, Orson Welles, Max Von Sydow, Jonathan Pryce, Malcolm McDowell, Lee Grant, James Mason, and a bunch of other big names star in this true story of a ship that left Nazi Germany bound for Cuba. The passengers were German Jews who believed that they were on their way to freedom in Cuba, but realized when they arrived that there was never any plan to set them free.
Maybe the cast does overshadow the plot, but it's still worth seeing. The movie is out of print, so you might have trouble finding it. Portland's Movie Madness has a copy, in case you ever come to Portland.
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