Ship of Fools is a 1965 ensemble film directed by Stanley Kramer, chronicling the journey of an ocean liner from Mexico to rising Nazi Germany. Among the travelers are a young couple, a friendly yet cynical dwarf, a baseball player, and Spanish countess being extradited under guard to a Nazi prison. All the while, the cargo deck is loaded with workers being deported to Spain.The characters serve as a cross section of one of the most turbulent periods in modern history. The altruistic myopia of the German Jew who believes his country means him no harm, the American apathy to the escalating global conflict, and the changing cultural tides provide an interesting portait of the philosophies of the time period.
This film contains examples of:
- Animated Credits Opening: The pictures of the castmembers form the shape of a ship, which sails away...and then dissolves to live action footage of the ship sailing away.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Karl Glocken addresses the audience at the beginning and end of the film, serving as a Greek Chorus.
- Ensemble Cast: There is no main character
- Herr Doktor: The ship's doctor, along with the rest of the crew, is German.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Vivien Leigh's character
- Little People Are Surreal: Played with. Karl Glocken is the only character to break the fourth wall, but other than that, he's a normal person.
- Those Wacky Nazis