13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
perfectly-pitched human drama,
This review is from: Voyage of the Damned [VHS] (VHS Tape)
VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED, Sir Lew Grade's star-studded dramatisation of the infamous SS St. Louis affair, is absorbing and harrowing viewing. The cast is truly amazing and most of the characters come directly from real-life people caught up in the drama. During World War II, 937 Jewish citizens were curiously allowed to leave Germany and emigrate to Cuba. While many believed the offer to be a trap, most took their chances and decided to flee from the impending Holocaust. Sure enough, once the ship docks in Havana, the passengers are refused entry and their visas' are cancelled. With country after county refusing to take them, the Captain has no other option than to return to Germany...
The escalating horror and dread onboard the ship is perfectly-pitched amongst the strong cast, with standouts including Faye Dunaway and Oskar Werner as Dr. and Denise Kreisler; Max von Sydow as the Captain; Lee Grant as Lillian Rosen (with Lynne Frederick as her daughter); Dame Wendy Hiller as Recha Weiler; Julie Harris as Alice Feinchild and Helmut Griem as the menacing Otto.
The cast also features Malcolm McDowall as the sympathetic young Captain's steward; Katharine Ross as the frantic daughter in Havana trying to save her onboard parents; Paul Koslo as Aaron Pozner and Ben Gazzara as Morris Troper, who becomes one of the refugees' most ardent champions and saviours.
The rest of the cast includes Janet Suzman, Victor Spinetti, James Mason, Luther Adler, Nehemiah Persoff, Denholm Elliott and Georgina Hale. Originally shown on TV in two parts (179 mins); and the cinema version runs for 155 mins with several altered scenes and cuts.