Ship Of Fools

BBB.5

(out of 5)


Stanley Kramer followed his successful Judgment At Nuremberg with another epic-length World War II-themed drama. This one takes place in the mid-thirties, on a cruise liner setting sail from Mexico on its way to Germany. On board is a huge assortment of characters, all played by an internationally famous cast including  (in her last film) as a drunk American widow,  as an anti-Semitic German and  and  as a bickering American couple. The centre of the story revolves around an exiled Cuban aristocrat () and her romance with the ship’s doctor (), but there are also small pleasures to be derived from the uniformly excellent supporting cast.  Shot beautifully, the screenplay never manages to maintain any momentum and always feels choppy, but there are pockets of brilliance here and there that make it well worth enduring. It’s one of those films that must have seemed so much more important upon its original release but by now feels dated and outdone by so many others.


Stanley Kramer Productions

USA, 1965

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by Stanley Kramer

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


Academy Awards
Best Art Direction (Black-And-White) (art direction: Robert Clatworthy; set decoration: Joseph Kish)
Best Cinematography (Black-And-White) (Ernest Laszlo)

Nominations
Best Actor (Oskar Werner as “Dr. Schumann”)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Dunn as “Glocken”)
Best Actress (Simone Signoret as “La Condessa”)
Best Costume Design (Black-And-White) (Bill Thomas, Jean Louis)
Best Picture (Stanley Kramer, producer)
Best Writing (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) (Abby Mann)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Oskar Werner)
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Simone Signoret)
Best Motion Picture-Drama

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