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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Cruse Ship Cruise

And the Ship Sails On (1983) on IMDb

Plot Overview

July, 1914, Pier #10 somewhere on the coast of Italy. Dockyard activity turns suddenly solemn as an urn containing the ashes of beloved diva Edemea Tetua is conveyed up the gang­way of the Gloria N for its 4-day trip to the Island of Erimo (L'Isola de Erema) to lay her to rest where she was born. Passengers on the luxury liner consist of a bevy of opera singers, impresarios and dignitaries including the Austrian Grand Duke. They engage in two days of pleasant tomshy;foolery. On the third day, the captain out of a “duty of assistance” takes on “Serbs rescued from the sea” as WWI is fomenting.


The moderator of our film discussion group was ex-Navy. He pointed out that the ship's prow was straight up and down rather than slanting at an angle as in a real ship. How­ever, there is one (famous) boat built like a box: Noah's ark, a floating barge. For that matter the battle­ship they encounter is shaped like a cube. As if that weren't enough to make the (abstract) connection, as they pull out we are treated to a visual assault of synchronized eating in the dining room and some marked visual flirtation, all reminiscent of, (Luke 17:27) “They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”

The menagerie on board includes the following: An allusion to the tiger that can be dominated by staring it down—don't try this at home, kiddies. A “crazy bitch” (dog, wolf, fox?) Turtle soup (potage de turtle). A pachyderm (rhino, elephant, pig, etc.) that was meant to be paired (“He's in love”) and is out cold below deck. “Our sea gull Icarus.” And a chicken that they mesmerize into paralysis. These illustrate the control of animals, which must have occurred on Noah's ark to ameliorate food demands and curtail premature breeding. And finally, when the journalist Orlando (Freddie Jones) asks Il Granduca (Fiorenzo Serra) about his take on the inter­national situation, he replies meta­phoric­ally that we are “on the edge of a mountain” reminding us of Mt. Ararat where Noah's ark came to rest.

Now Noah had three sons, (Gen. 5:32) “and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” A curious incident takes place after they have settled in the revived world, which will define human occupation hence­forth. Gen. 9:20-22, Noah got drunk on wine and was exposed in all his glory to his son Ham who brazenly viewed him so. Noah's other two sons, Shem and Japheth, covered him up, Gen. 9:23. Ham had violated him in some way that Noah sniffed out upon awakening, Gen. 9:24. Noah's curse puts Ham's youngest son Canaan in a position of servitude, Gen. 9:25. Noah's other two sons Shem, Gen. 9:26, and Japheth, Gen. 9:27, were blessed by Noah. The blessing of Shem was shared by Japheth who was to dwell in the tents of Shem.

From Shem come the Semites, of course. Writer Bodie Hodge holds forth on Japheth what is common knowledge to biblical scholars about Japheth's son Tiras (Gen. 10:2). “Tiras … moved north and west to places like … Serbia. Numerous people in south­eastern Europe came from him. His descendants moved westward and even settled in central portions of Italy” (174). The blessing of the Semites passing to Tiras (Japheth), i.e. the Italians, is clearly seen at the funeral when the preacher quotes the “Psalm of David”, (Psalm 23:1) “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Japheth means enlarge. This blessing is enlarged to include others of Tiras (Japheth) when the Serbians at first segregated are fully integrated with the Italian contingent. This seems to be the main thrust of the movie, showing how easily this integration takes place, to dwell ultimately in the tents of Shem.

The servitude of Ham as passing to his youngest son Canaan also encompassed his son Cush, see Gen. 10:6. Cush is Hebrew for black, whose descendants settled in Africa. This group is minimally represented in the movie by a respectful maid, the only English spoken being her, “Good evening, sir”, and “Good night, sir”, while the others spoke their native tongues, “Buena sera.” This segregation was accomplished with as little fuss as was the integration of the others.

Production Values

Originally titled “E la nave va” the movie “And the Ship Sails On” (1983) was directed by Federico Fellini who with Tonino Guerra wrote its screen­play. It stars Freddie Jones, Barbara Jefford, and Victor Poletti. It's rated PG. Languages spoken in it are Italian, German, Serbian, Russian and English. It starts in Black & White and soon trans­forms into Color (Eastman­color). The narrator begins in a soft conspiratorial voice to draw one in, so take care to keep his volume low because the film will eventually play loud Italians and forte opera, which can be over­whelming at high volume. The picture is more an abstraction than realism.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I saw this picture with a geriatric crowd who demanded lots of volume so I found myself—I have good hearing—over­whelmed by its loudness. Other than that, I enjoyed it as an artistic endeavor border­line quaint. If you can handle foreign language conversations w/ subtitles on a slow boat to nowhere against an historical back­drop of the beginning of hostilities, you'll find this one a treat.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability for children: Suitable for children with guidance. Special effects: Exposed. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.