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Now, Voyager (1942)

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A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.

Director:

Irving Rapper

Writers:

Casey Robinson (screenplay), Olive Higgins Prouty (from the novel by)
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Popularity
2,682 ( 9,942)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Charlotte Vale
Paul Henreid ... Jerry Durrance
Claude Rains ... Dr. Jaquith
Gladys Cooper ... Mrs. Henry Vale
Bonita Granville ... June Vale
John Loder ... Elliot Livingston
Ilka Chase ... Lisa Vale
Lee Patrick ... 'Deb' McIntyre
Franklin Pangborn ... Mr. Thompson
Katharine Alexander ... Miss Trask (as Katherine Alexander)
James Rennie ... Frank McIntyre
Mary Wickes ... Dora Pickford
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Storyline

Overweight Boston spinster Charlotte is a repressed, self-esteemless woman completely dominated by her wealthy mother, Mrs. Henry Vale. When her sister-in-law Lisa Vale brings her friend Dr. Jaquith, a renowned psychiatrist, to visit Charlotte, he invites her to spend some time in his sanitarium. Soon Charlotte transforms into a sophisticated, confident woman and takes a cruise to South America. She meets married architect Jerry Durrance and they have a love affair in Rio de Janeiro. Six months later she returns home and confronts her mother with her independence. One day they have an argument and her mother has a heart attack and dies. Charlotte inherits the Vale fortune but feels guilty for her mother's death. She decides to return to Dr. Jaquith's sanitarium, where she befriends Jerry's 12-year-old daughter Tina, who has been rejected by her mother. Charlotte takes Tina home to Boston with her and one day Jerry brings Dr. Jaquith to visit them there. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I'm the maiden aunt. Every family has one you know. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

31 October 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Estranha Passageira See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the first scene after Charlotte's metamorphosis, Hal B. Wallis asked Orry-Kelly to put her in a wide-brimmed hat so the audience wouldn't get a full look at her new face until later. He also wanted to maintain a sense of her shyness. Jack L. Warner objected to the choice, but Wallis ignored him. See more »

Goofs

Charlotte shows Dr. Jaquith a picture of a four funneled ship in her photo album and tells him that it is a P&O steamer. This is incorrect as no P&O liner with four funnels was ever built. See more »

Quotes

Charlotte: Jerry, Dr. Jaquith knows about us. When he said I could take Tina, he said "You're on probation." Do you know what that means? It means that I'm on probation because of you and me. He allowed this visit as a test. If I can't stand such a test, I'll lose Tina and we'll lose each other. Jerry, please help me.
Jerry: Shall we just have a cigarette on it?
Charlotte: Yes.
Jerry: May I sometimes come here?
Charlotte: Whenever you like. It's your home, too. There are people here who love you.
Jerry: And look at you and Tina, and share with you...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(ca. 1755) (uncredited)
Traditional music of English origin
Variation in the score when the Statue of Liberty is onscreen
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Great Quest
22 May 2006 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Bette Davis plays Charlotte Vale, an unmarried and very unhappy plain-Jane who lives with, and is under the emotional control of, her wealthy, domineering, matriarchal mother (Gladys Cooper). Help for Charlotte arrives in the person of Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains), who suggests a different living environment, and eventually a new direction in life. Charlotte thus sets out on a voyage of discovery, or quest, to find herself and her potential for happiness and love.

The film starts off Gothic, but gradually translates to a love story with lots of twists and turns. The underlying premise is sound, but the plot is overwrought, drawn out, and talky. Small sections of the film's middle section could have been expunged, to tighten the plot. And the dialogue could have been reduced in places, which would have rendered a film of even greater impact. Nevertheless, the film still tells a great story.

The B&W cinematography ranges from good to excellent. In one scene, special effects create an image wherein Charlotte's eyes overlap her mother's face. It is a visually stunning image, and it wonderfully captures the film's timeless theme, the painful process whereby a grown child must confront an overbearing parent, if that child is to grow and gain adult independence.

The film's costumes are interesting. And Max Steiner's original score adds emotional texture to the story. But it is the acting that really makes this film a classic. Except for her work in "All About Eve", Bette Davis gives as good a performance here as in any film of hers that I have seen. Claude Rains and Paul Henreid are good in support roles. And the never smiling Gladys Cooper is stunningly effective as the matron saint of outdated Victorian Puritanism.

Despite its cryptic title, taken from a poem by Walt Whitman, this film presents viewers with a story that most people can identify with, in one way or another. "Now, Voyager" transcends its hyperbolic working script, and compels attention through its cinematography, its music, and especially the acting of Gladys Cooper and Bette Davis.


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