Voyage of the Damned (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes

Voyage of the Damned (1976)

Voyage of the Damned




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Voyage of the Damned Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Often described as "Ship of Fools with a conscience," Voyage of the Damned is based on a true story. In 1939, the Nazis ostentatiously loaded a luxury liner with hundred of Jewish refugees from all walks of life. The ship then tried to drop anchor in Havana, Cuba-only to have its passengers refused entry by the Cuban government, in keeping with its super-stringent immigration policies. This was exactly what the Nazis expected to happen, and indeed wanted to happen. By having the refugees turned away from Havana, the German government could "prove" that the Jews were indeed the most unwanted race on earth, thereby justifying Hitler's extermination policy. The crosssection of humanity on board the ship includes the requisite big-time stars: Faye Dunaway as a monocle-sporting countess and Oscar Werner as Dunaway's society-doctor husband; professor Luther Adler and his wife Wendy Hiller; poverty-stricken Nehemiah Persoff and Maria Schell, who hope to be reunited with their "fallen" daughter Katherine Ross; disbarred attorney Sam Wanamaker and his family (wife Lee Grant, daughter Lynne Frederick); anti-Nazi captain Max Von Sydow; and so on. Representing the Cuban government are president Fernando Rey and bureaucrat Jose Ferrer; other Havana denizens include businessman Orson Welles and minister James Mason. Despite its morbid overtones, Voyage of the Damned ends on a faintly positive note.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: David Butler, David Butler (I), Steve Shagan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 4, 2000
AVCO Embassy Pictures


Faye Dunaway
as Denise Kreisler
Max von Sydow
as Captain Schroeder
Oskar Werner
as Professor Egon Kreis...
Orson Welles
as Estedes
Lee Grant
as Lillian Rosen
Ben Gazzara
as Morris Troper
Katharine Ross
as Mira Hauser
Luther Adler
as Prof. Weiler
Paul Koslo
as Aaron Pozner
Nehemiah Persoff
as Mr. Hauser
José Ferrer
as Benitez
Fernando Rey
as Cuban President
Lynne Frederick
as Anna Rosen
Maria Schell
as Mrs. Hauser
Helmut Griem
as Otto Schiendick
Victor Spinetti
as Dr. Strauss
Julie Harris
as Alice Feinchild
Janet Suzman
as Leni Strauss
Wendy Hiller
as Rebecca Weiler
Sam Wanamaker
as Carl Rosen
Denholm Elliott
as Adm. Wilhelm Canaris
David de Keyser
as Joseph Joseph
Jonathan Pryce
as Joseph Manasse
Georgina Hale
as Lottie Schulman
Keith Barron
as Purser Mueller
Anthony Higgins
as Seaman Berg
Donald Houston
as Dr. Hans Glauner
David Daker
as First Officer
Tom Laughlin
as Engineering Officer
Bernard Hepton
as Milton Goldsmith
Günter Meisner
as Robert Hoffman
Marika Rivera
as Madame in Bordello
Carl Duering
as German Ambassador
Frederick Jaeger
as Werner Mannheim
Leonard Rossiter
as Commander Udo von Bo...
Philip Stone
as Secretary
Brian Gilbert
as Laurence Schulman
Constantin de Goguel
as Navigation Officer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Voyage of the Damned

Critic Reviews for Voyage of the Damned

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | May 28, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

If anyone emerges as first among equals, it would be Max von Sydow, who lends enormous dignity to the role of the ship's captain.

Full Review… | October 5, 2013
Creative Loafing

There is no Indiana Jones to save the day and no pat Hollywood ending to revise history. Voyage of the Damned is unquestionably a serious drama and treats its subject matter with the dignity that it should.

Full Review… | September 26, 2013

Based on a shameful true incident that's still not forgotten.

Full Review… | June 24, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Voyage of the Damned


The Nazis concieve a brutal public relations gimmick (based on a true story): if the world is truly so concerned about the plight of Jews in wartime Germany, how about this? They release a boatload of the condemned buggers and wait to see who embraces the lot. And guess what? No one does. Played as a typical 70's style, all star gathering of international talent it's actually better than it looks with some unexpected surprises, like Orson Welles as a dishonest Cuban politico and Kate Ross as a Jewish prostitute in Havana. Worth a look.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Tragic, shameful story of doomed real life trip of almost a thousand Jews refused entry first into Cuba and then many other countries just before the outbreak of WWII. Episodic in nature but with very fine performances especially by Lee Grant and von Sydow.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A tragic story from WWII where a group German Jews were allowed to sail to Cuba away from all the worries of the Nazi regime in Germany. To their horror the passengers are not allowed to get off the ship once they arrive in Cuban territory, so they are set to return to Europe where death awaits them. This movie is very memorable, I remember watching it many years ago and I still remember the story very clearly. The fact that the movie is based on an actual event is frightening, because it is difficult to imagine that this kind of cruelty against human beings still exists in our world. I believe that this movie must've been a huge hit back in the 70's, it is definetily a classic movie worth watching.

Naughtia Nahazhina

Super Reviewer

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