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Ship of Fools

  • Drama
  • 1965
  • Stanley Kramer
  • 143 mins
  • A

Summary

A mismatched group of passengers embarks on a journey from Mexico to Nazi Germany in the 1930s. The ship's doctor, concealing a dangerous heart condition, falls in love with a drug-addicted countess who is heading for Spain to begin a prison sentence. Drama based on Katherine Anne Porter's novel, starring Oskar Werner, Simone Signoret, Vivien Leigh and Lee Marvin.

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Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A big, bloated and often boring drama that marked the final screen appearance of Vivien Leigh, the once stunningly beautiful but tormented star of Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire. The story concerns a group of refugees - exiles, Jews, aristocrats, and oddballs - who leave Mexico for Germany in 1933, just as Hitler was lying in wait for them. It's a giant allegory that takes itself very seriously indeed but - as Kenneth Tynan said - "it's not Grand Hotel afloat but Grand Hotel aground in the shallows of Mr Kramer's imagination". However, Leigh's performance as a lonely divorcee is desperately sad and absolutely riveting to watch, and there's an amazing supporting cast as well, ranging from Lee Marvin to Simone Signoret.

How to watch

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Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
Mary TreadwellVivien Leigh
La CondesaSimone Signoret
RieberJosé Ferrer
TennyLee Marvin
Dr SchumannOskar Werner
JennyElizabeth Ashley
DavidGeorge Segal
PepeJosé Greco
GlockenMichael Dunn
Lieutenant HeebnerWerner Klemperer

Crew

rolename
DirectorStanley Kramer

Details

Theatrical distributor
Columbia Picture Corp. Ltd
Language
English
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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