- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Ship Of Fools
- Michael Whitty
A story of a luxury liner going from Mexico to Germany in the 30s with many characters and their differences done in black-and-white "Ship of Fools" gets inside these people and their desires. Director Stanley Kramer made this after "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" with the serious comedy of these passengers going back to the Nazis. This was Vivian Leigh's final film along with several who make good appearances. Oskar Werner, Lee Marvin, George Segal, Elizabeth Ashley, Simone Signoret, Jose Ferrer all get some focus from the great cinematography. "Ship of Fools" was nominated for Best Picture in 1965 as this was an ocean voyage with characters who couldn't quite get all they wanted.
Slow Burn To Germany
About the editing: One of the characters states: "I observe people... they travel on boats often always searching for something...." Characters contemplating their life or realizing the lies they have accepted, I think, calls for editing that breathes. Not everyone is reflecting but they all are 'off the grid with the wheels turning' approaching 1933 Germany. The characters and the audience don't have the luxury of getting off the ship when things get uncomfortable and that's fine.Its why I think Cast Away (2000) works and why I like Nicholson's performance in The Shining (1980).
Can't believe I've not seen Leigh before...
- eric payne
I have been a cinema goer since 1940 so Why oh why have I not watched Miss Leigh previously - I intend making up for that omission! Watched this film for the first time last evening at our local film club - I'm pleased to say it was my choice. All those attending had praise for it and rightly so - so many characters and every one interesting. Perhaps it was just a wee bit slow to start with but well worth sticking with. Truly a film that bears watching again - and again. Loved it.
ship of fools
- kevin sellers
The best of the Stanley Kramer/Abby Mann collaborations, which means that it's preachy, pretentious, too long, dull at times, and over the top. It's also a lot of fun to watch, mostly because of the acting. I mean, where else can you see Vivien Leigh (in her last movie) and Lee Marvin as totally mismatched dining companions? Or Lee Marvin's trying to explain to German midget/intellectual Michael Dunn the mysteries of hitting a curveball? Or Oscar Werner and Simone Signoret in a doomed love affair, she metaphorically dead, he literally dying? And that final, bravura scene, where every member of the cast gets to strut their stuff one final time down the gangplank, accompanied by an oompah band, is one of the best finales to any movie that I've ever seen. Give it a B minus.
Lest we forget
This film in in my top five. It is a shame that there are some viewers who never have anything good to say regardless of the film and its accolades. Any film has flaws if you look for them and if you look for them how can the film ever be enjoyed? Oskar Werner is one of my favorites and it so happens that other of his films are in my top ten. Simone Signoret is brilliant. There is so much emotion in her face. I always enjoy seeing Michael Dunn (Glocken). He is a familiar face from many of the older TV programs and a wonderful actor. There is so much talent in this movie I cannot see how anyone could find it boring. This film really makes me think everytime I see it.
Vivien Leigh brilliant actress and great star only made a handful of films in her legendary career and Ship of Fools is her last film. Stanly Kramer filmed this movie in black and white and wish Kramer had filmed Ship of Fools in color. Leigh is splendid as always, and fine support from then young stars Elizabeth Ashley and George Segal as well as professionals such as Jose Ferrer and Lee Marvin.
Enjoying a fine film, "Ship of Fools" indeed takes me away... but despite the conflict and humanity, contained within a foreign-style film, Vivien remains such a memorable star, she is all I will remember. Her final role is alone worth the watch!
Great Film,esp Michael Dunn
- Almost Perfect
If anyone deserved an Oscar,it was Michael Dunn.Whenever on screen,he was riveting.Werner exceptional and Klemperer really was more than Col Klink.Many other great performances,but these stand out in my opinion.
Ship of Fools
- Dashiell Barnes
Kramer's adaptation of Porter's novel is best remembered as Leigh's final film. Good acting from ensmeble including Ferrer, Leigh, Marin & Segal; Werner, Signoret & Dunn recieved Oscar nominations for their performances. Won Academy Awards for art direction & cinematography, but despite the theme of Nazism, isn't as compelling or intruiging as Kramer's other films. Fine entertainment, but too long & dull. I give it a 3.5/5.
Ship of Fools(1965)
Amusingly strange adaptation of Katherine Anne Porters novel, with Michael Dunn doing a walking narrative, hilarious. Allot of star power can't save this sinking "Ship of Fools."Mary Treadwell(Vivien Leigh) an aging beauty is trying to revive her image/libido , Tenny(Lee Marvin) ascerbic bitter hasbeen Pro Ball player has disdain for everyone, an equal opprtunity weirdo, and a cosmopolitan group of misfits who are thrown together on their trip to Bremerhaven. the script has some validity,but not much,The film never really fires and the problems of this potpourri of throwyaways doesn't have much emotional impact. You just hope that the get all of their luggage when they arrive.But, wait for Carl Glocken(Michael Dunn) at the end for the sum narrative, it is worth the wait. I like him, but the film is only for watching Vivien Leigh in her swan song. That is the heart of the movie. 2 stars for little emotional impact.
Scarlett O'Hara's Swan Song.
- Frank Harris Horn
Two-time Oscar winner, Vivien Leigh brings down the curtain on her illustrious career as she leads an all-star cast including Jose Ferrer, Simone Signoret, Lee Marvin, Oskar Werner, Elizabeth Ashley, George Segal, Jose Greco and Michael Dunn in Stanley Kramer's "Grand Hotel"-style drama based on Katherine Anne Porter's best-selling novel set during the Great Depression. It tells about a cruise ship sailing from Mexico to Nazi Germany with a various assortment of passengers with different view points on Nazism. The movie won two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography (B&W) and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (B&W). With Lilia Skala, Charles Korvin, Heinz Ruehman, Oscar Beregi, Christiane Schmidtmer, Werner Klemperer, Barbara Luna, Stanley Adams, Alf Kjellin, Gila Golan, Karen Verne, John Wengraf, Charles de Vries, Olga Fabian, Paul Daniel, Lydia Torea & David Renard. Vivien Leigh died on July 7, 1967.
Two Great Performances
- Henry Hoffman
I agree w/ the reader dwb about Vivien Leigh's immensely satisfying contribution to Stanley Kramer's laborsome SHIP OF FOOLS. She was a consummate actor & her 20-year marriage to Laurence Olivier, the best actor ever, only burnished her enormous talent, which rested on an extraordinary elegance & fragility. The other standout performance (among many in the film) would have to be Oskar Werner, who assays Shumann with a strong dose of Hamlet (indeed, I saw him play the melancholy Prince on stage). The electric moment when he tosses the brandy in the Captain's face & then hits a massive chord of self-immolation is still stunning, as is his heart attack, which follows afterwards. The charged relaxation of those moments remind the audience of what great acting is: actually LIVING inside the context of the character.
Flawed Film Kept Afloat by Vivien Leigh
This film is not without its flaws but who cares? It has Vivien Leigh in it! And it's her last film role before her premature death in 1967. But beyond that (which should be enough reason to see it) she gives a truly poignant AND hilarious performance, the impact of which increases with each viewing. Miss Leigh was much praised for her comedic skills onstage but in films she was seldom given the opportunity to be funny (although she was often hilarious as Scarlett, a facet of her brilliant performance that has never gotten the praise it deserves). In "Ship of Fools" she finally gets that chance again in a role that probably wouldn't have been as funny in the hands of a lesser actress. Despite its flaws this film has other merits which make it worth seeing (Oskar Werner and Simone Signoret among them), but it's definitely worth a look just for Vivien Leigh's exceptional performance. But be forewarned -- there is a good deal of the movie in which she doesn't appear (some of her scenes were supposedly cut to shorten the film's running time). So if the rest of the movie bores you, do what I do when I just want to see her performance but don't have time for the rest of it -- fast-forward through the parts that don't include her (her scenes make a complete story by themselves). But overall I do like this film so I don't really recommend this unless you are bored and can't get through it any other way. Vivien Leigh made far too few films as it is, and no reasonable person would want to miss any of them! :)
Two truly great performances
I know this film has received mixed reviews and much of the criticism is valid. But I find myself coming back to _Ship of Fools_ for the two brilliant performances of Oskar Werner and Simone Signoret. Whatever other boring, obnoxious or pointless characters exist, Dr. Schumann and La Condesa are never anything short of poignant, honest and compelling. I think it's one of the best screen romances I've ever seen and would highly recommend this film for that reason.
This movie is great but so sad.