25 user 26 critic

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.


Federico Fellini


Federico Fellini (story), Tonino Guerra (story) | 2 more credits »
11 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




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


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


Drama | History | Music


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The English language dubbing was supervised by director Mike Hodges, who was recommended to director Federico Fellini by Stanley Kubrick. See more »


[first lines]
Orlando: They tell me: "Do the news, tell what happens!"
See more »


Edited into Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (2002) See more »


Gloria all'Egitto
from 'Aida'
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
See more »

User Reviews

Bon voyage
30 April 2008 | by federovskySee all my reviews

Everyone seemed to expect something special from Fellini later in life, as if all that had gone before was just preparation for a master oeuvre that would make us fall to our knees. In that sense, he kept disappointing, and with this film probably more than most. There's nothing here but quaintness and nostalgia, with a gentle, almost Tati-esquire humour – intellectually, he was going backwards, if anything. Twenty-odd years later, Fellini is now fully in context and it is easier to accept. This is what Fellini did – like it or not - the simple observation of harmless caricatures, which is actually engaging, enjoyable, even a little intriguing. Nobody is intrinsically good or bad; everyone is a set of circumstances, more or less fortunate or unfortunate; nobody harbours grudges – even here – especially here, on the eve of World War I, the end of a golden era of genteel innocence.

The first time I watched this I took against Freddie Jones' MC character. This time I liked him, or rather sympathised with him – mainly on account of the fact that since then I used to live in the next village to him in Oxfordshire where he was a well-known and amiable local character. Still regrettable though that he was clearly directed here to copy Giuletta Masina's gestures and mannerisms as closely as possible. As a journalist following events, he introduces us to the passengers on a luxury liner taking a group of opera singers, impresarios and dignitaries – including the Austrian Grand Duke – to the funeral-at-sea of a beloved diva. All of them are eccentric or charming in their own way and a succession of quaint scenes ensues as the voyage progresses – including a hypnotised chicken, a sickly rhinoceros, and a memorable scene in which the singers perform for the stokers high above the boiler room (quite a bit of this was clearly parasitised by Tornatore in "The Legend of 1900").

It all has a deliberate artificiality about it. The sea, rising and falling serenely behind the windows, is, on closer examination, made of plastic sheet. At the end, the camera pulls back to display the set and the crew – a simple indication that we are all part of some grander machination, that we are all a bunch of fools on a sinking ship, and if we all took life a little less seriously, we might enjoy it a good deal more. Once you've got in the right frame of mind, this is highly enjoyable.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



Italy | France


Italian | German | Serbian | Russian

Release Date:

7 October 1983 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

And the Ship Sails On See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed