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SHIP OF FOOLS (1965)- Brilliant film!!


roverrocks
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SHIP OF FOOLS (1965) is a brilliant and well acted slice of life and the coming storm of a future. Great characterizations of the claustrophobic intimacy and yet far reaching loneliness and political naivete of a floating hotel which nobody may escape for a month and yet then when they offboard in Bremerhaven they are still prisoners of their own individual cages of life. Thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie again on Feb. 24. A very fine cast. Even "Blanche DuBois" was aboard. Thanks TCM.

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I agree with everything roverrocks said other than "brilliant" and "coming storm of the future". It was however an enjoyable film to watch for the first time, with actors who kept viewers involved in all of their scenes waiting to see what happens next. I tuned in after the first five minutes not knowing what film was playing, and each scene kept me waiting for the next one until the end. Love to sit and watch TCM movies like that which keep me captivated the whole time, regardless of their genre!

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I guess I missed it this go round, but I doubt I would've watched it again. I have to agree with finance about this film. I find it overlong and tedious and about as subtle as a sledgehammer. The only parts I'd want to watch would be Vivian Leigh's segments......The book was better.

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I thought most of the Vivien Leigh segments were completely overdone and some of the worst parts of the movie. Rather than have Leigh's "Blanch DuBois" show up I would rather have seen some other fine older actress playing a similar part that wasn't just a reprisal of a famous role. As I have not read the book I obviously need to. Books can contain 100 times what a movie can.

 

Edited by: roverrocks on Feb 25, 2014 12:39 PM

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>I thought most of the Vivien Leigh segments were completely overdone and some of the worst parts of the movie.

 

I agree. I've never watched this film before, because of her character and how she plays it. This character is not some unknown random person of the 1930s, played in a movie by some random actress in the 1960s. This character is a sad old 1960s Vivien Leigh, played by a sad old 1960s Vivien Leigh.

 

This is the first time I have ever watched the film, and the last time.

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Not to be impartial, but I guess I just don't take watching TCM films as seriously as others, and just watch them to be enthused by the scenes and the film. A lot of Vivien Leigh's scenes had me wondering (especially the charleston scene by herself in the hallway), Werner Klemperer's scene's took me back to his late 60's trademark Hogan's Heroes, and I never saw Lee Marvin act that way in other films, but until somebody hires me as a film critic, they all played enjoyable roles from the less serious side and made the film worth watching late at night.

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I agree with you that the film taken in it's entirety is most definitely "worth watching". I thoroughly enjoy the movie as a student of European history of the first half of the 20th Century and that's not even getting into race, culture, and politics of Mexico and Cuba at the time and since. A lot of vivid meaning under the surface and on the surface. I think the film is brilliant in it's entirety. Watching the great (great to me) Oskar Werner "die" of a film heart attack is very prophetic of his real heart attack death not all that many years hence.

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Well, the sad old Vivian Leigh was playing a character from the book which was written in the same way. Dont blame her for what the character was. That's how she was.........Bitter and bitchy. (Mrs. Treadwell).

 

As far as the worst parts of the film, that would be the boring young couple played by Liz Ashley and George Segal......

 

Edited by: Hibi on Feb 25, 2014 2:48 PM

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>I must say I thought Ship of Fools was quite dreadful, and I was wondering if its admirers had any response to Pauline Kael's withering review in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

 

 

 

Is that the one that ends "Stanley Kramer runs for office in the arts?"

 

I have that book in deep storage, but I recall that comment at the end of a review for a Kramer film. She was comparing Kramer to a politician who runs for office by promising a lot but delivering very little.

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One either really liked the film like me or did not skimpole. To me it was a brilliant film with a lot to say and the bleak innuendos of the impending horrific future only a few years hence of 1933 were there. Here's some other revues from the Rotten Tomatoes site.

 

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rottentomatoes.com%2Fm%2Fship_of_fools%2F&ei=GHYOU7qjHYLQyAGY04EI&usg=AFQjCNFTD7ERoLQbHL_Mf0sv7jkFvrZK0A&bvm=bv.61965928,d.aWc&cad=rja

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Kramer and Abby Mann were trying to make a serious movie statement- just look at that spectacular shot of the unwashed masses waiting to board the symbolic boat. The movie may seem heavy handed now but it can be enjoyed for its true all star cast sailing toward disaster.

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