Now, Voyager

"Good"

Now, Voyager Review


It's saying something that despite having Bette Davis in the leading role, three Oscar nominations, and one win, Now, Voyager is nonetheless best known for a single scene in which Paul Henreid lights two cigarettes and hands one to Davis.

Just don't blink or you'll miss it. This 1948 meditation on spinsterism is a kind of precursor to Good Will Hunting, giving us an antisocial shut-in (Davis) who suddenly blossoms after a quick spin on the therapist's (Claude Rains) couch. Off come the glasses, up goes the hair (way up -- that coif gives me nightmares now!), and away goes our Charlotte on a pleasure cruise. So comfortable with her new self, Charlotte promptly woos a married man (Paul Henreid) on the boat, falling in love with him.

Eventually, Charlotte returns home, and in an argument with her frail mother (Gladys Cooper), mom croaks, and Charlotte is wracked with guilt. For some reason she returns to her old sanitarium, where for some even more bizarre reason, she takes a young nutjob named Tina under her wing. And (wait for it...) Tina turns out to be Henreid's daughter.

Now, Voyager, based on a terribly popular romance novel of the era, is the kind of rambling, go-nowhere story that war wives could lose themselves in for a couple of hours before returning home to worry anew. The plot is barely comprehensible, and Charlotte's transformation is wholly unbelievable. The film does occasionally end up on top-whatever lists, but I suspect that's due more to the memorable title of the film (from a Walt Whitman poem) than anything else.

The studio must have been disappointed with Henreid, given his big break here in a bid to make him a leading man. Casablanca would soon follow (he played Victor Laszlo), but Henreid would never become a big star. In fact, his last role would be in Exorcist II: The Heretic. Now that's scarier than Bette's 'do.



Now, Voyager

Facts and Figures

Run time: 117 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 31st October 1942

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Irving Rapper

Producer: Hal B. Wallis

Starring: as Charlotte Vale, as Jerry Durrance, as Dr. Jaquith, as Mrs. Henry Vale, as June Vale, as Elliot Livingston, as Lisa Vale, as 'Deb' McIntyre, as Mr. Thompson, Katharine Alexander as Miss Trask, James Rennie as Frank McIntyre, as Dora Pickford, Janis Wilson as Tina Durrance

Also starring:

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