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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.


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 Edmea 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 »

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Did You Know?


Film debut of Fiorenzo Serra. See more »


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


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

User Reviews

Fellini's Touch in Every Frame
24 October 1999 | by eunice-4See all my reviews

There is no mistaking a Fellini film, even when you only catch the last 30 minutes, as I did when channel surfing. I made an effort to catch the full film next time it was shown, and was rewarded with a stunning feast. Not one of Fellini's best (or worst excesses) depending on your opinion of Fellini, but images that will stay with me for many years. Like Ken Russell, Fellini can always be depended on to go way over the top and never do anything by halves.

The story of a group of rich aristocrats, opera singers, hangers on and just plain rich accompanying the body of a great opera singer to her cremation on the island of her birth in 1914, is shown in Fellini's stylised fashion as an allegory on the decline of Europe in WWI. The opulent excess of the doomed rich lifestyle, which no matter how hard they tried, was never regained, contrasts with the workers slaving in order to enable the rich to enjoy that elegant privileged lifestyle. The scene where the passengers tour the boiler rooms, standing on a cat walk to look down on the stokers shovelling coal into the boilers and trilling arias while the stokers took off their caps to show respect, made me hope the catwalk would collapse and plunge the passengers into the furnace.

The stylistic storytelling reminded me of "Oh what a lovely War" Joan Littlewood's depiction of WWI as a series of songs and dances by a seaside concert party. If you want reality, you can look out of the window every day and see reality. Sometimes a surrealist view puts a different window on things. The stupendous finale of the movie is enough to make the film worthwhile if nothing else.

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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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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