Saturday, March 9, 2013

1965 - SHIP OF FOOLS or Germans suck.

Liberal director Stanley Kramer and his associate the equally bleeding heart liberal writer Abby Mann adapt a "distinguished" novel for the clear purpose of making some grand statement about the human experience.  The end result is just another bash the Nazi era Germans film. This is a film takes a courageous stand against these evil Nazi loving Germans 20 years after World War II ended.

Ship of Fools is essentially Grand Hotel or Airport or maybe even Airplane.  Stick a bunch of actors together and watch them interact with each other in various subplots and story lines.  This film is just a lot more dour than usual for this genre.

Stanley Kramer was the director known in Hollywood for making personal films that dealt with social problems such as racism, prejudice, nuclear war and fascism.  He was also the director known for beating the audience over the head in the most unsubtle way possible with his "message movies.

Kramer's films have not aged well, I recently caught a piece of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and it's theme of racial harmony looked mighty silly.  Ship of Fools has a good cast but the relentless hammering of the evil German nation finally does the film in.  Casting actors who appeared in Hogan's Heroes probably doesn't help much either.  The film also clocks in at a butt busting 2 1/2 hours.

149 minutes

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