Voyage of the Damned


Action / Drama / War

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Malcolm McDowell Photo
Malcolm McDowell as Max Gunter
Jonathan Pryce Photo
Jonathan Pryce as Joseph Manasse
Katharine Ross Photo
Katharine Ross as Mira Hauser
Faye Dunaway Photo
Faye Dunaway as Denise Kreisler
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.42 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 37 min
P/S ...
2.63 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 37 min
P/S 1 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by edwagreen10 / 10

A Voyage Never to Forget ****

Phenomenal and grossly under-rated film dealing with 937 Jewish people allowed to flee the terror of Nazi Germany in 1939 by going on the St. Louis which was bound for Havana.

The truth be told, the Nazis had no intention of allowing the boat to land successfully. Rather they were going to use this trip to show that no one wanted the Jews and therefore when they would destroy them, no one would care or have the right to care.

The picture has a terrific cast in this ill-fated adventure.

For a second time, Oskar Werner, so memorable as the Dr. Willie in "Ship of Fools," plays another doctor, but this time a Jewish one. Along with his wife,Faye Dunaway, they are passengers. Of course, it's hard to fathom Miss Dunaway as Jewish.

Sam Wanamaker and Lee Grant are a couple fleeing from persecution by the Gestapo. Grant's acting in a pivotal scene by cutting off her hair was Oscar made,and while she received the only acting nomination in the film, she lost to Beatrice Straight's "Network." It should also be noted that Straight's time on the screen was even more brief that Grant. Grant's brief performance was probably her best, even better than in "Shampoo," the film that gave her the supporting Oscar the year before.

While the boat is drifting along, we see the players in Cuba either desperately trying to help the unfortunate Jews or corrupt officials in the Cuban government who played along with the Nazis for their own selfish economic interests.

Wendy Hiller and Luther Adler have their moments as an elderly Jewish couple. It's also hard to conceive Hiller as Jewish until she rips her garment in the traditional way when a death occurs. Hard to envision a Jewish funeral at sea with the Nazi swastika swerving on the ship.

Ben Gazzara is brilliant as a Jewish operative desperately trying to free the passengers. He goes all over the world and uncovers nothing more than frustration. Only a last minute reprieve saved the passengers from returning to Germany. Many of those however wound up perishing in countries invaded by Germany during the war.

This brilliant film serves as a reminder to the moral decay of the 1930s and that nations did little to stop the Nazi menace from the killing of 6 million innocents.

It is amazing that this film does not rank up there with "Ship of Fools," or even "Schindler's List."

Reviewed by jojofla8 / 10

An Outstanding Cast in an Unforgettable True Story

"Voyage of the Damned" is the true story of a shipload of German Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in 1939 by seeking refuge in Cuba; the Cuban government waffles and won't let them in; sadly, neither will the United States; and the ship is forced to return to Europe.

Knowing that the voyage of the St. Louis actually happened deepens the impact of the film; while the movie itself is rather perfunctorily directed, the incredible all-star cast keeps the film very human and touching.

Lee Grant received the only Oscar nomination of the cast--her hair-cutting scene was obvious Oscar-bait if there ever was one--but she still conveys considerable pathos. Nevertheless, I was considerably more moved by the performances of Max von Sydow and Oskar Werner. Von Sydow portrays the captain of the St. Louis, attempting to keep the calm in an undeniably tense situation, growing ever more subtly aghast as the events unfold around him. Werner is his counterpoint among the passengers, an esteemed Jewish doctor and educator, seemingly serene in the face of such horror, but methodically determining what to do. Faye Dunaway plays Werner's embittered wife and her commanding charisma and beauty are at full wattage. Malcolm McDowell is rather endearingly miscast as a ship's steward who has a romance with Grant's daughter. Katharine Ross turns up briefly and gives one of the best performances of her career.

"Voyage of the Damned" may not be brilliant cinema, but it is an unforgettable story filled with an amazing cast and I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by bkoganbing9 / 10

Filled With Hopes And Dreams

Based on a true incident Voyage Of The Damned is the story of a select group of Jews picked from concentration camps that had not yet turned into slaughterhouses and allowed to depart Germany to Cuba where ostensibly they will stay and try to later immigrate to the USA. The problem is that they will never be allowed to land in Havana, it's all just a propaganda ploy to show how other nations don't want these people because they are insidious troublemakers by nature and the Nazis can then justify anything they do to them.

Hitler was not a fool on this, he knew well the American system of immigration with its quotas and percentages and the way it was put in place as a backlash against foreigners in the Twenties. To its everlasting shame the USA put this into affect the result being millions of people dying. This from a country whose greatest strength was its immigrant population uncounted millions in this country enjoy its benefits because our ancestors came here from a variety of places for refuge and for opportunity.

So these people filled with hopes and dreams take passage in the hopes of avoiding the slaughter to come. What happens to them collectively and individually is the story of Voyage Of The Damned.

The Germans are not shown as stereotypes either which is a major strength this film has. They range from a humane captain who is Max Von Sydow to Malcolm McDowell as his personal orderly who is marked for tragedy when he falls for the daughter of one of the refugee families and starts seeing things in a new light to Helmut Griem who is the official Nazi party representative on the ship and who challenges successfully Von Sydow's authority as captain.

Our laws being what they were and with isolationist sentiment as it was in May of 1939 a case could be made for not officially granting the ship landing clearance. We see our own Coast Guard cutter warning the German ship not to land or even enter our territorial waters. A few winks and nods and they could have. Or some pressure could be brought to bare on the Cuban government which in fact was our client state which never happened. The Cubans like Jose Ferrer and Orson Welles and Fernando Rey are shown to be eminently corruptible. One played by James Mason is most assuredly not and he intervenes in one very poignant case involving some children on the boat being reunited with their father.

The refugees much like the smaller unit that inhabited that attic where Anne Frank's refugee extended family took place are a wide cross section of Jewish Germany. One, Lee Grant was given an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but it seems not fair to have just singled her out. Oskar Werner, Faye Dunaway, Sam Wanamaker, Wendy Hiller, and Luther Adler are all equally memorable. And Ben Gazzara has the most straightforward role as a representative of the American Jewish Committee in the film. He functions like Richard Widmark the prosecutor in Judgment At Nuremberg, the voice of conscience as he tries to raise money to essentially buy officials in the Cuban government.

Voyage Of The Damned has worn well over time and it's something to be seen and seen again. And it's quite a condemnation of our Twenties immigration laws still largely in effect. Funny in the 19th century there was never an issue over illegal aliens, we took whatever we got. Maybe we can't return to the days of my grandparents coming here, but we have to do better than we have.

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