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Showing 1-10 of 77 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 121 reviews
on November 4, 2016
I saw this movie when it was first released in 1965. My comprehension of the entire plot was amazing being that I was seven years old at the time. I am now fifty-eight years old, and this movie still is a "heavy hitter" to me. I read reviews on IMDb before watching it again. Most of the comments said it was slow moving and that only scenes with select actors and actresses were worth watching. I STRONGLY DISAGREE with all those comments. This film is a phenomenal ensemble movie. I believe Bob Fosse paid homage to Stanley Kramer in his direction of "Cabaret." Michael Dunn's part as the narrator in "Ship Of Fools" was revived in "Cabaret" by Joel Grey. Their narrations of the subject matter(s) in these movies were delivered with intelligence, sarcasm, and very dark humor. While the main plot in both movies was the taking over of Germany by the Nazis, each subplot was a little minute' on its own, but integral to the main plot. All of the cast were superb. Any actor that outshone another depends solely on your own particular taste and opinion. I thought the whole film was tremendous- from beginning to end. I am going to watch it again after completing this review.
This movie is very deep! If you enjoy brilliant, classically presented films this is a 'MUST SEE'. If you are not, you might as well skip it all together.
As a footnote- this was Vivian Leigh's last film before her death in 1967.
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on November 7, 2012
"Ship Of Fools" (1965) movie is better than K. A. Porter's book, and possibly the best ensemble top actors movie ever made.

The movie got two Academy Awards....one for best cinematography, and the other for best art direction. Both deserved.

"Ship Of Fools" (1965) also deserved (but did not get, sadly) multiple "Best Actor" and Best Actress" awards ["Best Supporting Actor/ Actress awards, also].

High quality, in-depth acting of true talent and accomplishment have seldom ever reached the levels achieved in this movie, done repeatedly, again and again and again, from start to finish.

The movie contained at least half a dozen (possibly more) Academy Award winner best actor performances.....at least three best actor academy award winners performed (incredibily) in this movie (Lee Marvin, Vivien Leigh, and Jose Ferrer), and others (some who may have gotten academy awards I overlooked) were also wonderful in all ways (Simone Signoret, Oscar Werner, Michael Dunn, Elizabeth Ashley, George Segal, Gila Golan, Jose Greco, and Barbara Luna....who sang the famous "Dites Moi" song in South Pacific on the Broadway stage when she was a little girl in 1949!).

The titles at the start of movie are incredible, and deserve to be ranked with the best of all movie titles ever presented (someday, a special award for movie titles will be established....if this has not already been done, it is certainly an unmet need.....movie titles are important, are an art unto themselves, and a major asset to movies when done well.........see the titles for Bullitt 1968 and North By Northwest 1959 as only two examples of "the best of the best movie titles...the "Ship Of Fools" 1965 movie titles are part of the "the best of the best.")

The Abby Mann written screenplay is really an original screenplay with an original story, by far better than the best selling Katherine Anne Porter novel also titled "Ship Of Fools" .... not at all the same as the book....better!

Stanley Kramer's direction is wonderful.

Original music by Ernest Gold in the movie includes a German language song performed very well by Jose Ferrer. The title of the song is "Heute abend geh'n wir bummein auf der Reeperbahn," and it is a true "gemutlicheit" German language song, indeed, even if it was written in the USA for a Hollywood, English language movie.

This movie is a true gem, and deserves to be ranked as one of the best movies of all times.

All movie actors (I am one) should see this movie....it's a chance to see "the best of the best" one after the other after the other after the other.

Acting just doesn't get better than is the case in "Ship Of Fools" (1965).

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Written by Tex Allen, SAG Actor
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on April 26, 2016
I saw this years and years ago like 50 years ago and could still remember it. I am a huge fan of Vivien Leigh. I met her when I was a teenager in Sydney and she was in three plays at the Theartre Royal. I and my two girl friends would get there an hour early to wave at her and on the last day gave her flowers. She was charming. I have books on her and her movies. She was a brilliant actress and this movie is very telling. A really deep message in it. The main theme is when the characters know the life and choices they are making are not good and they resolve to change and do for the time they are on the ship but when they get off they are too fearful to follow thru and go back to the familiar. Only one character had no need to change and had joy.
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on August 8, 2014
I own few movies and this is one of them. I will get right to the point and say that in my opinion, Simone Signore and Oskar Werner carry the movie. Vivien Leigh, Lee Marvin, Jose Ferrer, Michael Dunn, and others give good performances, but the intensity of the scenes between Signoret and Werner really make this worth viewing. I believe they were both nominated for Academy Awards (though their total screen time is less than 30 minutes) but neither won for this film.

There is a large cast, some of whom have appeared in classic TV shows: Michael Dunn (Alexander, Star Trek "Plato's Stepchildren"), Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink, Hogan's Heroes), Barbara Luna (Marlena Moreau, Star Trek "Mirror, Mirror"), Charles Korvin (Carlos the Mambo Instructor, The Honeymooners). There are some talented European actors as well.

The movie is based on Katherine Anne Porter's novel. Plot summary is of course available online, so I won't get into it here. I will say that the story revolves around a diverse, somewhat dysfunctional group of characters who are on a German ocean liner bound for Germany, where the Nazis are rising to power. Their story lines are overlapping. I gave it 4 stars because I found some of the story lines to be weak, and to be honest, annoying. There is a lot going on, and Jose Greco does some incredible dancing in the midst of it.

Again, definitely worth watching, if you have like 3 hours to spare!
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on May 26, 2014
I read Katherine Porter's book many years ago. Then my friend and I saw the film at the DuPont Theater in Washington D.C. and were blown away by Stanley Kramer's production. Many aspects of Vivien Leigh's life paralleled that of her character, and added a plethora of difficulties during the shooting of the film, sadly the last she was to make.
Simone Signoret and Oscar Werner, however, literally transformed themselves into the characters they were aboard the Vera, and rendered a magnificent performance of La Contessa and the Doctor.
The ship truly presented us a microcosm of the larger world, with the strife, jealousy, racism, greed, deception, and every other human condition there exists everywhere there lives humanity.
And the inimitable Michael Dunn, as our tour guide through the underworld is inimitable, and never to be duplicated. If anyone can sit and watch this true masterpiece of acting, directing, scriptwriting, and cinematography without being moved to the very bottom of his or her heart and soul, you are undoubtedly a much stronger and more stoic human than I.
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on June 5, 2015
Ship Of Fools is embedded in my soul , the release of this movie,; 1965, had such an immediate impact throughout the world at a time when we were suffering our own rumors of war. This story by Katherine Anne Porter, the great cast both wonderful and frightening takes us on a journey of pathos, ethos and pure evil personified. Although a time when we approached another World War here we are trapped by a story that demands our full emotional attention. Ms Porters emphatic story hangs impaled on a truth where one turns their gaze or stares it down. Ship of Fools at the very beginning warns with a quiet but mournful plea by magical and wonderful actor, the late Michael Dunn, as he cautions' " If You Look Close Enough You Might Find Yourself Onboard "
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on August 4, 2014
Saw this when it first came out (I was 18) & then again a few days ago. I know Lee Marvin won the Oscar that year for Cat Ballou & Best Actor (for Cat & Ship) from the National Board of Review - however, to me, Oskar Werner gives the performance of 1965 (as the New York Film Critics agreed). He and Simone Signoret play together beautifully - in fact I almost wish their parts were longer than they actually are. I understand that this movie was released in 1965 so I can accept the rather timid handling of anything sexual - which brings me back to Werner & Signoret - they are "real" in a way most of the cast is not (with the exception of Marvin & Leigh). Still, the photography is beautiful in black & white and the music is perfect. I must admit I have a soft spot for European actors & actresses but stand by my admiration for the 2 stellar beautifully acted characters created by Oskar Werner & Simone Signoret.
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on April 18, 2017
A classic with especially great performances from Leigh, Marvin and Ferrer!
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on April 18, 2017
great movie with relevance to current times. acting is wonderful.
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on June 23, 2014
If you don't like long lingering scenes of dialog between characters that do not appeal to you, then this is a 1 star disaster.
BUT - if you enjoy watching some of the major movie stars of the 40s through the 60s practice the craft of acting in a production that remained somewhat faithful to the novel, then you are in for a 5 star treat. The lineup of Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer, Lee Marvin, Oskar Werner, Michael Dunn, Elizabeth Ashley, George Segal offers a rare treat of seeing so many well known stars in one film. It was also Vivien Leigh's last film performance. Great for film buffs - anyone just looking for a good sea adventure film - this is NOT it!
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