Voyage of the Damned Reviews

  • Jul 28, 2016

    I would like to give this 4 or 4-1/2 stars but cannot. It's a true story worth telling as the last voyage of the MS St Louis and its captain were the brainchild of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris in the Abwehr (the German Intelligence Service). They engineered the Cuban refusal to allow the passengers to land in Havana, and knew nobody else would either, once that occurred, including the United States and Canada in spite of repeated requests (to their very great discredit). The ship's captain is the real hero as he threatened to deliberately create a disaster to justify an order to abandon ship just off the coast of England. That would force the British to allow the passengers to land there under International Maritime Law that requires Safe Harbor from the nearest port for any ship in extremis. The problem with this film, like a number from its era, is the all-star ensemble cast plus the immense number of cameos from additional A-list actors on top of that. It's so many that it distracts from the story and the characters they portray. I can only imagine when the word went out the project had been green-lighted that the casting director was inundated by hordes of A-list stars to get their name in the acting credits of a film with such a compelling story. Also helps market the film. In this one, like a few others such as A Bridge Too Far, and very nearly with The Longest Day, it was overdone. The real standout who delivers an excellent performance is Max von Sydow as the ship's captain. Orson Welles also does a very good job in a minor supporting role as an obvious opportunist who nevertheless hopes to favorably influence the Cuban government. It's well worth watching in spite of its flaws.

    I would like to give this 4 or 4-1/2 stars but cannot. It's a true story worth telling as the last voyage of the MS St Louis and its captain were the brainchild of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris in the Abwehr (the German Intelligence Service). They engineered the Cuban refusal to allow the passengers to land in Havana, and knew nobody else would either, once that occurred, including the United States and Canada in spite of repeated requests (to their very great discredit). The ship's captain is the real hero as he threatened to deliberately create a disaster to justify an order to abandon ship just off the coast of England. That would force the British to allow the passengers to land there under International Maritime Law that requires Safe Harbor from the nearest port for any ship in extremis. The problem with this film, like a number from its era, is the all-star ensemble cast plus the immense number of cameos from additional A-list actors on top of that. It's so many that it distracts from the story and the characters they portray. I can only imagine when the word went out the project had been green-lighted that the casting director was inundated by hordes of A-list stars to get their name in the acting credits of a film with such a compelling story. Also helps market the film. In this one, like a few others such as A Bridge Too Far, and very nearly with The Longest Day, it was overdone. The real standout who delivers an excellent performance is Max von Sydow as the ship's captain. Orson Welles also does a very good job in a minor supporting role as an obvious opportunist who nevertheless hopes to favorably influence the Cuban government. It's well worth watching in spite of its flaws.

  • Aug 03, 2014

    More relevant for the historical fact itself than for the development of the film.

    More relevant for the historical fact itself than for the development of the film.

  • Jul 09, 2014

    The movie is about a worthy topic, but it isn't a total success.... the star cameos tend to distract your attention away from the storyline, as you get drawn into a game of star spotting..... the direction is uninspired and the enterprise lacks passion....it has some visual pleasures, and is generally interesting, but it never quite attains the heights that you would expect..

    The movie is about a worthy topic, but it isn't a total success.... the star cameos tend to distract your attention away from the storyline, as you get drawn into a game of star spotting..... the direction is uninspired and the enterprise lacks passion....it has some visual pleasures, and is generally interesting, but it never quite attains the heights that you would expect..

  • Nov 15, 2013

    Goodish, and well-intentioned, but not great. Based on a true story, this should be a gut-wrenching emotional roller-coaster ride. The movie feels cold, empty and sterile, despite its subject matter. While we are given glimpses of the despicableness of the Nazi regime, the movie pulls its punches. In place of genuine emotion, we have overwrought sub-plots, and an excess of sub-plots. This makes the movie overly long, without really adding to the drama. Some of the acting is in line with this overwroughtness, being over-acted, almost camp. Not all the performances are so bad, though. Max von Sydow is excellent as the captain. Minor roles include a host of big names: Orson Welles, James Mason, Denholm Elliott, Katharine Ross, Jose Ferrer, Ben Gazzara. Worth watching as a reminder of a dark period in human history, and the lengths of human bigotry.

    Goodish, and well-intentioned, but not great. Based on a true story, this should be a gut-wrenching emotional roller-coaster ride. The movie feels cold, empty and sterile, despite its subject matter. While we are given glimpses of the despicableness of the Nazi regime, the movie pulls its punches. In place of genuine emotion, we have overwrought sub-plots, and an excess of sub-plots. This makes the movie overly long, without really adding to the drama. Some of the acting is in line with this overwroughtness, being over-acted, almost camp. Not all the performances are so bad, though. Max von Sydow is excellent as the captain. Minor roles include a host of big names: Orson Welles, James Mason, Denholm Elliott, Katharine Ross, Jose Ferrer, Ben Gazzara. Worth watching as a reminder of a dark period in human history, and the lengths of human bigotry.

  • Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
    Mar 02, 2013

    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.

    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.

  • Mar 21, 2012

    ★★★ (out of four) A maddening true tale that both captivates and frustrates. Luckily the true message gets through and several excellent performances help. The year is 1939 and an ocean liner filled with Jews has just left the Hamburg Port in Germany, bound for Cuba. But as it gets towards its destination it becomes clear that the country of Cuba is unwilling to allow the ship to disembark, leaving all the passengers stranded on the ship with nowhere to go. Most of the characters are based on real life people, but much of it is fictionalized which does hurt its credibility. Some of the situations feel contrived and soap opera-ish. The situation, however, is bigger than the individual stories. A special shout out to Lee Grant who is amazing. It is similarly themed with the superior 1965 film "Ship of Fools". [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Zeppo1/Voyage.jpg[/IMG]

    ★★★ (out of four) A maddening true tale that both captivates and frustrates. Luckily the true message gets through and several excellent performances help. The year is 1939 and an ocean liner filled with Jews has just left the Hamburg Port in Germany, bound for Cuba. But as it gets towards its destination it becomes clear that the country of Cuba is unwilling to allow the ship to disembark, leaving all the passengers stranded on the ship with nowhere to go. Most of the characters are based on real life people, but much of it is fictionalized which does hurt its credibility. Some of the situations feel contrived and soap opera-ish. The situation, however, is bigger than the individual stories. A special shout out to Lee Grant who is amazing. It is similarly themed with the superior 1965 film "Ship of Fools". [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Zeppo1/Voyage.jpg[/IMG]

  • Oct 05, 2011

    Filled with names like Malcom McDowell, Orson Wells, Max von Sydow, James Mason, Fernando Fey and Jonathan Pryce just to name a few is the best thing about this lavish production. Faye Dunaway is smoking hot (knee high boots, a choker, eye peice and black gown, damn!). As someone before me said, it's all talk.

    Filled with names like Malcom McDowell, Orson Wells, Max von Sydow, James Mason, Fernando Fey and Jonathan Pryce just to name a few is the best thing about this lavish production. Faye Dunaway is smoking hot (knee high boots, a choker, eye peice and black gown, damn!). As someone before me said, it's all talk.

  • Dec 18, 2010

    melodramatic but chillingly credible depiction of events at the foundation of nazi germany's diabolic ambition to facilitate their extermination of the world's Jewish population. Many story lines have a Hitchcock-like essence of 'how would I handle this'. Many excellent performances.

    melodramatic but chillingly credible depiction of events at the foundation of nazi germany's diabolic ambition to facilitate their extermination of the world's Jewish population. Many story lines have a Hitchcock-like essence of 'how would I handle this'. Many excellent performances.

  • Dec 15, 2010

    heavy. seriously heavy. the unsung story of the nautical peer of Oskar Schindler. well worth knowing and remembering. a lesson in the human consequences of political neutrality in the face of atrocity.

    heavy. seriously heavy. the unsung story of the nautical peer of Oskar Schindler. well worth knowing and remembering. a lesson in the human consequences of political neutrality in the face of atrocity.

  • Nov 02, 2010

    talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk . . .oh HEY there's Laura Gemser . . . talk talk talk talk talk talk. A bunch of BIG-NAME stars and an uncredited appearance by Laura Gemser and a bunch of talk. FILMS are MOVING-IMAGES that move the plot forward to its conclusion. I know the premise: A true story of a ship carrying Jews out of Germany; the Jews can't find asylum in ANY country and must return to NAZI Germany. But by watching VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED all you get is talk talk talk . . . talking heads. . . . and Laura Gemsar now, Laura Gemsar IS EMMANUELLE # Emanuelle nera orient reportage (1976) ... as Emanuelle # Eva nera (1976) ... as Eva # Emanuelle in America (1977) ... as Emanuelle # Suor Emanuelle (1977) ... as Emanuelle # Emanuelle Around the World (1977) ... as Emanuelle # Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977) ... as Emanuelle # La Via della prostituzione (1978) ... Emanuelle and EMMANUELLE is AWESOME . . .you are not TRULY REALLY "INTO" movies if you are not INTO LAURA GEMSER MOVIES!!!!

    talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk . . .oh HEY there's Laura Gemser . . . talk talk talk talk talk talk. A bunch of BIG-NAME stars and an uncredited appearance by Laura Gemser and a bunch of talk. FILMS are MOVING-IMAGES that move the plot forward to its conclusion. I know the premise: A true story of a ship carrying Jews out of Germany; the Jews can't find asylum in ANY country and must return to NAZI Germany. But by watching VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED all you get is talk talk talk . . . talking heads. . . . and Laura Gemsar now, Laura Gemsar IS EMMANUELLE # Emanuelle nera orient reportage (1976) ... as Emanuelle # Eva nera (1976) ... as Eva # Emanuelle in America (1977) ... as Emanuelle # Suor Emanuelle (1977) ... as Emanuelle # Emanuelle Around the World (1977) ... as Emanuelle # Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977) ... as Emanuelle # La Via della prostituzione (1978) ... Emanuelle and EMMANUELLE is AWESOME . . .you are not TRULY REALLY "INTO" movies if you are not INTO LAURA GEMSER MOVIES!!!!