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    Ship of Fools Handmade Gift Given to Stanley Kramer by Spencer Tracy. Stanley Kramer's Ship of Fools (1965) was the powerful saga of pre-World War II society-at-large, sailing from Mexico to Germany in a fateful 36 days and nights. It came complete with an all-star cast (Vivien Leigh, Lee Marvin, Oskar Werner, Simone Signoret, et al), Oscar-winning cinematography and art direction, and some of the producer/director's finest stylistics. Spencer Tracy was not in the film, but by that time had acted for Kramer in IInherit the Wind Q, Judgement at Nuremberg, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. He acknowledged Kramer's new film with a clever congratulatory gift -- a strikingly bizarre ceramic model ship, made in Mexico, complete with 18 figures (fools?) traveling aboard for the voyage. The ship is a mix of the quaint and the nightmarish, rather appropriate for the film (which satirized the tragic rise of Hitler), as are the figures, who appear both festive and grotesque (remember Vivien Leigh's haunting Charleston in the film?). The ship measures 14" long and is about 14" from its bottom (with strange, insect-like protuberances) to the flags above the masts. The side of the ship reads "To Stanley Kramer from Spencer Tracy" and the title Ship of Fools is painted to the side of the bow. (It's possible Tracy printed the words on the gift himself.) Color-wise, the vessel is a rather garish mix of mostly yellow with daubs of orange, red, black, and green, and the overall effect well-suits the dramatically explosive film. Tracy starred in Kramer's next movie, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, which was Tracy's last picture (released after his death). In Fine to Very Fine condition (with a loose forward mast that can be easily bolstered). Also included is an 8" x 10" picture of Kramer receiving an award for Ship of Fools, standing in front of a

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2008
    5th Saturday
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