- Enjoy £1.00 reward to spend on movies or TV on Amazon Video when you purchase a DVD or Blu-ray offered by Amazon.co.uk. A maximum of 1 reward per customer applies. UK customers only. Offer ends at 23:59 GMT on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
- Find all the best television shows from the other side of the pond in our US TV store and catch the latest shows in our 2014's Hottest TV page.
Voyage Of The Damned [DVD]
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
A star-studded cast feature in this big-screen dramatisation of a tragic true life story. In May 1937, 137 Jewish refugees are permitted to leave Nazi Germany on the luxury liner S.S. St Louis, bound for Cuba. However, unbeknownst to the ship's captain, Gustav Schroeder (Max Von Sydow), Goebbels has already arranged with the president of Cuba that the passengers' landing permits are to be treated as invalid, forcing them to return to Germany - and certain death. Faye Dunaway, Malcolm McDowell, Orson Welles and James Mason star.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
There's no doubting this particular ship of fools is well cast - Julie Harris, Wendy Hiller, Helmut Griem, Max Von Sydow and Malcolm McDowell, Faye Dunaway and Oskar Werner, looking like a slightly sozzled Chinese chipmunk, among the ill-fated passengers and crew, James Mason, Jose Ferrer, Ben Gazzara, Orson Welles (constantly accompanied by soft porn star Laura Gemser) and Katherine Ross' well-connected hooker among those horse-trading for lives on dry land, while others, like Fernando Rey, Denholm Elliott and Leonard Rossiter flit through in bit parts. Some of the casting is astute - blacklist victims Sam Wannamaker and Lee Grant - but far too few of them really have anything to do in the film beyond the odd line here and there, and even fewer had anything interesting to do.
For the most part it puts stars or familiar faces in what are really just bit-parts and walk-ons in a single scene - some are even relegated to being no more than glorified extras sitting around the captain's table or on the lower decks. It's the kind of film where one of the meatiest roles ends up with one of the least known actors in the cast, Victor Spinetti, rather than any of the headliners. Far too many of the cast just seem like ballast on an overloaded vessel with a script that can't find time to develop most of them. They're not characters, but glorified extras. In most cases the only thing that makes most of them register is the familiar face - and then only because you wonder why they signed up for a non-existent part. And after a while you find yourself asking what do performers like Julie Harris, Maria Schell, Nehemiah Persoff or Janet Suzman actually have to do in the film? How many of the cast actually have characters with more than one or two scenes, let alone ones that actually develop over the course of the film? How many of them even need to be in the film? Even a soap opera needs to involve you with its cast of characters. Some all-star cast films work because even if the characters aren't there, their vignettes add to the film or work on their own terms, but that rarely happens here. The only ones who really get to make much of an impact are those who are involved in the plot mechanics - you don't care for them, but at least they're driving the story forward.
A few of them do get a chance to make a slight impression: Paul Koslo and Jonathan Pryce (the latter making his debut) do enough with fairly little to make you think that maybe the cheaper members of the cast got some of the better stuff simply because they were paid by the week instead of by the day. Of course, it's just possible that some of the lack of development is due to the fact that this was one of those incredible shrinking epics so common in the 60s and 70s when the era of roadshow presentation stopped paying off big and just led many a would-be blockbuster to a slow and lingering box-office death of a thousand cuts. Originally intended as a 180-minute reserved seat presentation, cut down to 158 minutes for Europe and shrinking further to 134 by the time it got to US screens, it's a fair bet some of the cast's subplots got thrown overboard, though it's probable that there were still plenty who were wallflowers in that three-hour version. Yet the star-studded casting can't hide the weaknesses in the writing but rather just draws attention to it. You appreciate the sentiments, but the film never does its subject justice.
Network's UK PAL DVD offers the two-and-a-half version with the theatrical trailer and stills gallery the only extras (there was a ten-minute behind the scenes documentary made at the time to promote the film, but, unsurprisingly considering the film's ox-office failure, neither that nor any deleted scenes have been included). Shout Factory's US Blu-ray release offers the two-and-a-half hour version.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews