And the Ship Sails On

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,950
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Movie Info

This evocative look at a 1914 ocean voyage to scatter the ashes of a world-famous opera singer (Janet Suzman) is by turns charming, funny, and bizarre. Among the ship's passengers are aristocrats, politicians, singers, and a rhinoceros. Their episodic interactions form the core of the film, with complications (including a group of refugee Serbs boarding the vessel) carefully orchestrated by screenwriters Federico Fellini and Tonino Guerra to highlight the decay of European society prior to World War I. The ship sails on an artificial ocean against an artificial sky, crafted by art director Dante Ferretti in the studios of Cinecitta, with a result that is both disconcerting and oddly comforting.


Barbara Jefford
as Ildebranda Cuffari
Victor Poletti
as Aureliano Fuciletto
Peter Cellier
as Sir Reginald J. Dongby
Elisa Marinardi
as Teresa Valegnani
Elisa Mainardi
as Teresa Valegnani
Norma West
as Sir Reginald's Wife
Paolo Paolini
as Orchestra conductor
Fiorenzo Serra
as Grand Duke of Harzock
Florenzo Serra
as Grand Duke of Harzock
Pina Bausch
as Princess Lheremia
Pasquale Zito
as Count of Bassano
Linda Polan
as Ines Ione
Philip Locke
as Prime Minister
Janet Suzman
as Edmea Tetua
Paolo Paoloni
as Maestro Albertini
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Critic Reviews for And the Ship Sails On

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for And the Ship Sails On

  • Apr 27, 2016
    Federico Fellini's 1984 film "And the Ship Sails On" involves the story of famous individuals attending a funeral aboard a luxury ship headed to the island of Erimo to spread the ashes of Italian opera singer Edmea Tetua. It takes place in 1914 right before the war began. The story is told to us by the journalist covering the funeral, Orlando (Freddie Jones), he talks directly to the camera and tells the audience everything about the people attending, even juicy little gossip. The cast is a colorful bunch including a Russian using his voice to hypnotize a chicken, a singer transforming his room into a shrine to Edmea, a man who claims he is a medium and invites the guests to his cabin to speak to the dead Edmea and a fat Prussian duke with a sister who sees colors when people sing or speak. The third day involves the arrival of Serbian when the ship rescues them. After the arrival of the Serbians who sleep on the decks in large numbers, the ship starts to look like an immigrant ship headed to America with a first class section and dining hall they are not allowed to enter. After dancing and music that involved the guests dancing along with the Serbians, an Austrian ship demands that the Serbians be turned over. But the Prussian Duke secures the ship's passage to the island to perform their rites. The characters make this a fun movie, but it's Fellini's direction and the cinematography from Giusseppe Rotunno that make this film work. The ending is absolute chaos, though.
    Joseph B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 28, 2016
    With a gorgeous cinematography and production design, this is probably the most stunning Fellini film while also a work that offers a smart social commentary - until it goes insane in the last fifteen minutes, losing any direction and evidencing the artificiality of the story as a film.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 24, 2008
    Better than Intervista but still not that interesting
    Arash X Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2007
    A very interesting film but very uneven, the opening is fantastic though...
    Ken S Super Reviewer

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