Genre Grandeur – Ship of Fools (1965) – Encore Review – MovieRob

For this month’s first review for Genre Grandeur – Ensemble Movies, here’s a review of Ship of Fools (1965) by me.

Thanks again to Carl of Listening to Film for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s genre has been chosen by Amanda of Hollywood Consumer and we will be reviewing our favorite L.A. Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Oct by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Amanda!

Let’s see what I thought of this movie:


“What do you mean? Ah, you mean this business about the Jews? You don’t understand us. The German-Jew is something special. We are Germans first and Jews second. We have done so much for Germany – Germany has done so much for us. A little patience, a little good will – it works itself out. [scoffs endearingly] Huh, listen, there are nearly a million Jews in Germany. What are they going to do? Kill all of us?” – Lowenthal

Number of Times Seen – Twice (27 Dec 2016 and 26 Sep 2019)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – On an Ocean liner bound for Germany during the 1930’s, the eclectic group of passengers debate politics, love and life in general.

My Take on it – This is a movie that I saw for the very first time nearly three years ago and feel in love with it immediately.

They do an amazing job capturing the various and diverse viewpoints of different members of German society in the years prior to the breakout of World War II.

As an ensemble film, it works so well because it is filled with lots and lots of characters and each of them have equal weight in the story and screen time which puts them all as supporting characters.

The main character of the film is the overall scope of the time and how the characters deal with it each in their own way.

Each of the passengers on this ship are just example of the various opinions and attitudes of society on this very turbulent time where so many people lived lives of naivety.

The title of this film is superbly chosen because each of the characters in this story have their own individual problems that seem quite minor when compared to what we know will happen in just a few short years to their country, society and the world as a whole.

Having each of them act as if they are living in a bubble without noticing all that is truly going on around them unfortunately won’t help any of them in the years to come.

The characters are each developed really well here and we get to see how they act and react so differently throughout the course of the story depending on their mood and the way they perceive all that is going on around them.

The cast of this film is superb and just scanning the list says so much about how so many famous and recognizable actors were willing to take part in a film where none of them could be even remotely considered as the lead or main star.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this film had something to do with the idea to create a TV show a decade later called The Love Boat.

Bottom Line – Excellent film that is able to capture the various views and opinions of German society before World War II broke out. This is a perfect example of an ensemble film because there are so many characters and each have equal weight when it comes to storytelling. The overall scope of the times is truly the main character here and the passengers are all just samples of the various opinions and attitudes of that naive era. The title is perfect because each of the characters have problems that seem quite minor when compared to what awaits them a few years down the road and having their heads buried in the sand won’t help any of them overcome this oncoming obstacle. Each of the characters are developed really well and based on their mood, they act and react so different throughout the story to the various other characters that they interact with along the way. The cast is superb and just looking at the list itself shows how many famous and recognizable actors were willing to be a part of this film where none of them are the real star. This film could very well gave been the impetus for creating the TV show The Love Boat a decade later.  Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Oskar Werner got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role, despite being fifth billed in the movie. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)


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4 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Ship of Fools (1965) – Encore Review – MovieRob

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur September Finale – L.A. Confidential (1997) – Listening To Film | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1965 | MovieRob

  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1965 | MovieRob

  4. Pingback: My Six from the 60’s | MovieRob

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