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Martha (1967)

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 »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Maskinmester Bråst
Poul Bundgaard ... Alf
Morten Grunwald ... Knud Hansen
Ove Sprogøe ... Hovmester Watson
Preben Kaas ... Kokken
Karl Stegger ... Kaptajn Peter Nielsen
Paul Hagen ... Radiotelegrafist Marius Knudsen (as Poul Hagen)
Henrik Wiehe ... Styrmanden
Birger Jensen ... Halfdan
Helge Kjærulff-Schmidt ... Skibsreder O.P. Andersen
Hanne Borchsenius ... Lone Andersen
Lily Weiding ... Frk. Bruun
Bjørn Puggaard-Müller ... Johansen
... Laura
Sverre Wilberg ... Skibsreder Amundsen


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 Peter Rasmussen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ship | sailor | face slap | ocean | boat | See All (9) »


Comedy | Family






Release Date:

10 October 1967 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

S/S Martha  »

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Did You Know?


The first script Erik Balling & Henning Bahs wrote in collaboration. See more »


Referenced in Spise med Price: Fise Med Price (2013) See more »


Martha Martha man må møde
Performed by Preben Kaas, Poul Reichhardt, Morten Grunwald & Poul Bundgaard
See more »

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User Reviews

The ultimate maritime cult film
12 May 2000 | by See all my reviews

Why sailors hate stokers? Watch this film and come out a lot wiser.

What makes a man great? A secretary with a long list of "friendships" behind her (sheiks, scout leaders, gardeners even a rear admiral). Behind every great man there is......

Everybody in the Danish maritime society know this film - some even know the dialogue by heart.

It hits the mark brilliantly and to correct the former commentator; the actors were not acting drunk - they were completely s...faced during the shooting of the party scene. The proud owner of the ship Mr. O. P. Andersen is a polite parody of the founder of Maersk Line Mr. A. P. Moeller. Especially the scene where the unfortunate crew is forced to eat porridge for breakfast is a loving comment to the food on board Mr. Moeller's ships.

The film is a treasure when it comes to the little details in life on board a real steamship, where the difference in attitude between deckhands and grease monkeys makes for some real gems.

Martha is even an integral part of any Danish naval ship's battle equipment - damn the torpedoes; Martha's on the video!!

Just to give an idea of how important the film is among the Danish seagoing society the owners of a bar i Svendborg - a town with proud maritime traditions - have made it a tradition to show Martha (original copy - no video here) to all the students from the different maritime schools in the area at a local cinema once a year. In order to give just the right feeling, the stokers sit to port and the sailors take up the starboard side of the cinema - in the middle you'll find the beer, because as the Mr. Watson so rightly utters: "You don't want us to starve?"

In short, they don't make 'em like that anymore.

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