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Voyage of the Damned (1976)

PG | | Drama, War | 22 December 1976 (USA)
The tragic 1939 voyage of SS St. Louis carrying hundreds of German Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany that seemingly no nation is willing to save from certain doom.

Director:

Stuart Rosenberg

Writers:

Steve Shagan (screenplay), David Butler (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Faye Dunaway ... Denise Kreisler
Oskar Werner ... Professor Egon Kreisler
Lee Grant ... Lili Rosen
Sam Wanamaker ... Carl Rosen
Lynne Frederick ... Anna Rosen
David de Keyser David de Keyser ... Joseph Joseph (as David De Keyser)
Della McDermott Della McDermott ... Julia Strauss
Genevieve West Genevieve West ... Sarah Strauss
Luther Adler ... Professor Weiler
Wendy Hiller ... Rebecca Weiler
Julie Harris ... Alice Fienchild
Nehemiah Persoff ... Mr. Hauser
Maria Schell ... Mrs. Hauser
Paul Koslo ... Aaron Pozner
Jonathan Pryce ... Joseph Manasse
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Storyline

In 1939, Germany's Hamburg-America Line announced a voyage from Germany to Cuba. 937 people, the vast majority being Jews, signed up for the opportunity to escape Nazi Germany. Unbeknownst to the passengers, the visas they purchased were from a corrupt Cuban director of immigration, and they were invalid. Upon arrival in Havana, only 28 people were allowed to disembark, while the rest remained on board for weeks as they sailed to Florida, and eventually Canada, searching for safe haven. Sadly the ship returned to Antwerp after more than a month at sea. Forced back under Nazi rule as the low countries fell, it is estimated that approximately 250 of the refugees died in the extermination camps in occupied Poland. Written by JBentley

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It lasted 30 days...You will remember it as long as you live. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De fördömdas resa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A few actors from this movie - Philip Stone, James Mason, Malcolm McDowell and Leonard Rossiter - had appeared in many of Stanley Kubrick films. See more »

Goofs

At c. 12 minutes the shots vary between daylight and night. See more »

Quotes

Captain Schroeder: I neither approved nor knew of it and assure you it shall not happen again. I frankly admit there appears to have been a lapse of good taste.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Saturday, May 13th, 1939 Hamburg Harbor See more »

Alternate Versions

A version running a length of 182 minutes, released in 1980 on a double-cassette Magnetic Video, was released in 1980. The current video version, from Artisan/Live runs 158 minutes (even though the video cover says 137 minutes). See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Brady Bunch Variety Hour: Episode #1.5 (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Amapola
(uncredited)
Written by Albert Gamse and José María Lacalle
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Outstanding Cast in an Unforgettable True Story
16 June 2002 | by jojoflaSee all my reviews

"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.


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