Voyage of the Damned, The (1976)

Too bad that the fascinating story of “The Voyage of the Damned” was done by director Stuart Rosenberg as a melodrama and international co-production with an all-star cast, including Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow, Oskar Werner, Wendy Hiller, Lee Grant, James mason, Orson Welles, Jose Ferrer, Ben Gazzara, Julie Harris, and many others.

 
Based on a true story, the movie relates the tragic fate of a luxury liner that sails in the summer of 1939 from Hamburg to Cuba. Aboard the ship are 937 Jews who are denied permission to land in Havana, and then in the U.S., despite frantic diplomatic efforts.
 
Over 600 of the Jews aboard were sent to concentration camps in various locations. Title cards inform the tragic (often ironic) fates of the major protagonists.
 
Each of the stars has a cameo role, basically a scene or two. The story is never less than engaging, but the treatment is undermined by fictionalization of the horrendous details, cheap melodramatics and a lush visual style that often accentuates the trivial rather than substantial dilemmas.
 
Oscar Nominations: 3
 
Supporting Actress: Lee Grant
Screenplay (Adapted): Steve Shagan and David Butler
Scoring (Original): Lalo Schifrin
 
Oscar Awards: None
 
Oscar Context
 
Lee Grant, the recipient of the Supporting Oscar the year before for the political satire “Shampoo” lost the award to Beatrice Straight, who won for “Network.”
 
The screenplay Oscar deservedly went to William Goldman for “All the President’s men,” which was also nominated for Best Picture.
 
Jerry Goldsmith won the Scoring Oscar for the horror film, “Omen.”