Ship Of Fools details
|Starring:||Simone Signoret, Jose Ferrer, Lee Marvin, Vivien Leigh|
|Studio:||SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT|
Ship Of Fools
|Run time:||2 hours 23 minutes|
|Rental release:||05 Feb 2007|
|Subtitles:||Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish|
|Hearing impaired subtitles:||English|
Most helpful review
Never a dull word; pure passion and a brilliant script. Best film for 40 years.By a customer from Dorchester , 19 Dec 2008
[Highly rated reviewer]This is a wonderful film: thoughtful, exquisitely paced, and full of the genuine drama that occurs when fine actors are left alone to work with a fine script. There is no padding and never a dull word.
It is an examination of the human condition, people's relationships with themselves and others. The cinematography is unusually adroit - the pace is brisk and witty, flitting from drama to comedy to philosophy and back with skilled agility. Yet there are some of the most moving passages you could wish for, long close-ups of superb actors in perfect cameo performances. This is an ideal film for New Year's day - enthralling, contemplative, and atmospheric. I can't imagine why they don't show it on telly every year. It is a film for grown-ups in the true sense: no sex scenes, but an examination of passion and a lot to think about.
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Not a choppy rideBy RJNeb2 (1017 reviews) from London , 02 Jan 20121933 and a boatload of different walks of society set sail from Mexico to Germany. This is basically soap at sea with various intertwining stories that slowly (and I mean, slowly) build to various climaxes. Of the numerous plots, Werner and Signorets are the most interesting, as two misfits manage to make a connection. The pace is as slow and steady as the ocean liner on which its set, and the rise of Nazism is handled with a bludgeon but there are still some incidental pleasures to be had from the all star cast.
ship of foolsBy dolsky (18 reviews) from east ayrshire , 31 Aug 2011Superbly acted but on the long side. Jose Ferrer's character as an aspiring nazi goes on a bit.
I had seen it some years ago and thought it wonderful but I was mistaken!
Really enjoyable!By Classact (1 review) , 25 Jul 2011I saw this film when I was very young and I never forgot it. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it again now that I'm much older. I especially enjoyed watching Simone Signoret and Oskar Werner -- brilliant!!
Not exactly the Love BoatBy Oldbloke (350 reviews) from Sidmouth , 14 Jun 2011In the early 30's, a German ship departs Cuba bound for Europe. On board are a large group of laid off Spanish plantation workers returning home, but not surprisingly the film concentrates on the 1st class passengers. These include a drug addicted Countess, an arrogant Nazi, a couple of desperate Americans, a kindly jewish businessman and an unfailingly cheerful dwarf who acts as a narrator of sorts. It's set up like a disaster movie, typically overlong and some of the characters are frivolous and uninteresting, but it's rendered watchable by virtue of two performances, Oskar Werner as the world weary ship's doctor and Michael Dunn as the diminutive but intelligent outcast.
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Sunk without traceBy Cyclops7 (63 reviews) from North of Hollywood , 15 Sep 2010
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideVacuous, wordy, cliche-ridden and self-regarding from beginning to end, 'Ship of Fools' is a long, long journey into nowhere.
Promoted on the basis of 'a stellar cast' (presumably, to obscure the anything but stellar script and direction) it's a message-film-without-a-message.
Well: Nazism is bad. It manages that, at least.
But nothing else.
Unable to even handle the basics -- many of the principal characters, though described in the movie's promotional blurb as 'wealthy exiles', nevertheless have to share cabins in much as the same way as going steerage today from Harwich to Hook of Holland -- 'Ship of Fools' lurches between the banal and the bonkers for hours on end.
Nor is it redeemed by the acting of 'a stellar cast': Vivien Leigh is pretty much unrecognisable as a cliche-draped embittered widow, whilst Simone Signoret's performance of, er, Simone Signoret is par for the course.
Lee Marvin looks as though he's no idea why he's in the film at all, and especially in a monologue all about curved balls going around the left shoulder -- a line so heavy with absurdly portentous meaning it's amazing the ship didn't sink there and then.
George Segal and Elizabeth Ashley appear as an artistic couple of such improbable provenance that their relationship was always going to be inexplicable anyway -- and yes, inexplicable it is, their so-called disputes as devoid of reason as they are of conviction.
Jose Ferrer hams it up splendidly, of course, but not for a moment does the script allow him to invest his character with the slightest credibility.
Most spectacularly bad of all -- and it's almost, though not quite, worth the price of renting the DVD to see it -- is the Spanish dancing troupe, represented by Kramer in a long, long, long scene as the very best click and clack artistes ever to honour Iberian tradition.
Except, having endured a smallish lifetime watching them perform a flawless flamenco, the viewer is then asked to believe the group is actually a pimp and his whores-- a bit like, say, lavishing much time and camera-work on Judy Garland singing 'Over The Rainbow' only to immediately reveal thereafter that she's a mass murderer, deserving only of the audience's contempt.
Convincing? Oh, yeah. Right. Consistent? Ah, most definitely.
There are, of course, some minor felicities, not the least being the bizarre exchange between Signoret and Oskar Werner where she appears to be reading an excerpt from 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' to him. Or perhaps she was just talking about gardening.
That said, Werner is one of two stand-out stars in this elongated dross, the other being the vertically challenged, yet massively talented, Michael Dunn, whose opening and closing address to camera are -- naturally -- meant to be freighted with meaning but do nothing other than point up the emptiness of this dismal affair.
As to drama, er, well. . . There isn't any. Character development? None of that either. For most of the time it isn't clear just who the 'German exiles' actually are, still less what they're all doing, having to share cabins.
As the calmly philosophical Jew at the centre of the non-action, Heinz Ruhmann is a class act, but at no point in the proceedings is remotely convincing.
Armed with one of the catchiest movie titles around, 'Ship of Fools' trades long and trades well on that -- but that's all. Even with Kramer at the helm, it's a rudderless vessel going nowhere. . . and taking an eternity to do so.