Voyage of the Damned (1976)


“I neither approved nor knew of it and assure you it shall not happen again. I frankly admit there appears to have been a lapse of good taste.” – Captain Schroeder

Number of Times Seen – 1 (6 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – The story of a German Ocean liner filled with nearly 1000 Jews that was sent to Cuba before the start of World War II.

My Take on it – This is a film that I knew nothing about before seeing it and assumed by the title that it was a horror film.

Since I’m trying to watch all films that have Oscar nominated performances in them, I came across this one with no expectations what so ever.

They do an excellent job here with such a complex and difficult story to tell and manage to keep things interesting throughout.

The film has an amazing ensemble cast and even at 2 and half hours long, this film feels much too short.

There isn’t enough time to introduce and develop all of these characters and some of them end up being delegated into just glorified cameos which says a lot about how much this film must have been trimmed down in the editing room.

The overall story of this film is extremely fascinating to watch unfold and they do a great job showing us the various opinions held by everyone involved.

The fact that we know what kind of fate awaits these passengers if they are forced to return to Germany and how much they still don’t know about the true goals of the German government at the time adds so much to the way one can view this film.

They manage to tell this story in a very gripping manner and they let us see the various factions who are at odds with one another and will do all they can to get what they want.

What’s great is that each of these factions have different motives whether they be political, financial or even personal reasons as to why they act as they do.

Among this very large cast, Lee Grant and Lynne Frederick both stand out as a doomed mother and daughter.

Grant was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance here.

Bottom Line – Excellent film that does a great job with such a difficult and complex story. The ensemble cast is great here, but even at over 2 and half hours, they don’t have enough time to properly introduce and develop all of these characters. The cats is amazing and some of the most prominent actors are delegated to small cameo roles which says so much about how much this must have been trimmed down.  The overall story is quite fascinating to watch unfold especially given the fact that the viewer is more aware of what fate might await these passengers if they are sent back to Germany even if they themselves are still unaware.  The story is told quite grippingly and they manage to show us the various factions involved in this story that are all at odds with one another and with each other due to political, financial or even personal reasons.  Among the supporting cast, Grant and Fredrick both stand out in great roles.  Grant was nominated for an Oscar for Supporting Actress for her work in this film. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Many people believed that Lynne Frederick was going to receive an Oscar nomination for her performance in this film. Instead, her co-star Lee Grant got the nomination. When Grant received the nomination, Frederick personally sent her flowers along with a congratulatory note. Although Grant ultimately didn’t win, Frederick was very supportive of Grant and publicly campaigned for her to win. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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3 thoughts on “Voyage of the Damned (1976)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1976 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: MovieRob Monthly Roundup – May 2019 | MovieRob

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1976 | MovieRob

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