NOW,VOYAGER

(1942)
With Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, Bonita Granville, Janis Wilson
Directed by Irving Rapper
Black and White
Reviewed by JL

      Perhaps the greatest "woman's picture" of all time, NOW, VOYAGER stars Bette Davis in her greatest woman's-picture role.  She plays repressed, spinsterish-before-her-time Charlotte Vale, who lives under the thumb of a wicked and domineering mother.  Psychiatrist Claude Rains quotes some Whitman ("Now, voyager, sail forth to seek and find") and encourages her to break free of her inhibitions.  Through sheer force of will, Charlotte transforms herself into a lovely and well-loved society gal of great warmth and style.  While on an ocean cruise, she falls in love with the distinguished and kind Jerry Durrence (Paul Henreid), a married man long out of love with his unaffectionate wife.  They both know the relationship is doomed from the start, but these things have to play themselves out in films like this regardless.  The film with the famous "two cigarettes" business between Henreid and Davis.  The star rating is based on the film's quality within its own sub-genre.  But after watching it, I somehow feel the need to watch several days' worth of football and boxing.  ½ - JL

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