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And the Ship Sails On (1983)

E la nave va (original title)
In 1914, a luxury ship leaves Italy in order to scatter the ashes of a famous opera singer. A lovable bumbling journalist chronicles the voyage and meets the singer's many eccentric friends and admirers.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ildebranda Cuffari
Victor Poletti ...
Aureliano Fuciletto
Peter Cellier ...
Sir Reginald J. Dongby
Teresa Valegnani
Norma West ...
Lady Violet Dongby Albertini
Il Maestro Albertini
Sarah-Jane Varley ...
Fiorenzo Serra ...
Il Granduca
La Principessa Lherimia
Pasquale Zito ...
Il Conte di Bassano
Linda Polan ...
Ines Ruffo Saltini
Philip Locke ...
Il Primo Ministro
Jonathan Cecil ...
Maurice Barrier ...


In July 1914 a luxury cruise ship leaves Italy with the ashes of the famous opera singer Tetua. The boat is filled with her friends, opera singers, actors and all kinds of exotic people. Life is sweet the first days, but on the third day the captain has to save a a large number of Serbian refugees from the sea, refugees who has escaped the first tremors of WWI. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singer | opera | refugee | sea | ship | See All (17) »


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Release Date:

7 October 1983 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

And the Ship Sails On  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to an excerpt from the book "I, Fellini", the renowned director was uncertain about casting Freddie Jones in the role of Orlando, mainly for the fact that he would be a British type within a Mediterranean setting. When he saw an ice-cream advertisement, carrying the brand name Orlando on the sign of a bus, Fellini took it as a favorable omen and Jones got the part. See more »


Orlando: Pum pum? The mountain's mouth? But it's a volcano's mouth. We're sitting on a volcano's mouth. Now I understood the metaphor! A tragedy.
See more »


Referenced in Gangs of New York (2002) See more »


Clair de Lune
Composed by Claude Debussy
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User Reviews

21 December 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Fellini's worst film? What nonsense! If you want that "Satyricon" is waiting for you. Antonioni has called this one of his favorite Fellini films and after seeing it myself, I knew he didn't make that judgment rashly. "And the Ship Sails On" is a thoroughly 'modern' film and one of the maestro's best--certainly as good as "Amarcord," and probably better. It is less crudely silly and linear than "Amarcord" and harder to understand for anyone not intersted in progressive cinema, much more ambiguous, flexible and prone to take risks. To even breath the climate of opinion which deigns to compare this ambitious masterwork to an overblown piece of commercial fluff like 'Titanic' is nauseating. The fact that both films happen to take place on the deck of a ship is their only similarity and the 'message' of Titanic has absolutely nothing do with what Fellini was trying to say. Fellini doesn't make 'allegories' of society; at his best, he makes 'allegories' of 'allegories.' His sense of humor goes deep enough to include ridicule of people who take allegories too seriously within his allegories, hence his true artistry. And those kinds of people, obviously, sense that the joke is on them, and don't particulary like this film. The level on which Fellini succeeds is invisible to them, outside their conditioning. And often they claim to be bored just to cop-out on having to examine themselves and their ingrained ways of thought and judgment too closely. In fact, you could write a whole book analyzing "And the Ship Sails On" solely on its deep artistic value and another on all the great things in this film that certain 'cultured' people don't get because of their particular brand of 'high-brow' conditioning.

"And the Ship Sails On" is a PURE film, folks, one of the few amidst an ocean of endless mediocrity; and that is the hardest thing to achieve when trying to integrate as many elements as Fellini tries for (he himself has failed many times precisely because he was seeking purity within excess and got lost). He tried for it all and got the balance right this time. It is both satirical and deeply serious, excessive and understated. It is a totally stylized non-sentimental 'sentimental' work in the best sense. It works on many levels and transcends petty criticism from anyone too busy making mountains out of the latest flashy molehill that caters directly to their tastes. This film isn't traditional cinema, it is progressive all right, but it will be ready for you as soon as you're ready for it. Watch it for yourself with an open mind (whenever you're ready for it) and experience the power of art: it's worth more than you've been taught to think it is.

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