Ship of Fools - Classic Movie

Ship of Fools is a cruise-board drama filmed in 1965, but set in 1933. It follows a group of voyagers heading from Mexico via Cuba to Bremerhaven, Germany.

The story involves people from different parts of society - the older Germans that are pro-Nazi, the Jewish salesman, the young idealist painter, the childless couple with a dog that they treat as a child. The ship's doctor falls in love with the socialite who took a stand against poverty.

The movie is in black and white, and won many awards for its set direction and art direction. It also got nominations for many of its actors. The cast features many well known faces - Jose Ferrer, Lee Marvin, Vivian Leigh, and many more.

The movie is very explicitly a social commentary, with differences shown not only between the first class passengers and the Spanish workers down in the hold, but also between different members in first class. There are women forced in prostitution, fathers yelling at kids, women seeking affairs, men contemplating leaving their wives. There is a lot of the traditional "if only they knew" kind of situation, with people thinking the Nazis would never take power - when of course the audience well knows that they do.

It's a fascinating look at the type of cruises offered in the first half of the 20th century - when there was almost always an Upper Class going for luxury and a Lower Class just trying to get to the destination in a cheap manner.

Highly recommended!

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