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The Long Voyage Home (1940)

 -  Drama | War  -  11 November 1940 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,328 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 28 critic

Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on ... See full summary »

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(based on: four sea plays by), (adapted for the screen by)
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Title: The Long Voyage Home (1940)

The Long Voyage Home (1940) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ian Hunter ...
...
Wilfrid Lawson ...
...
Axel
...
Freda
...
Arthur Shields ...
Donkeyman
Joe Sawyer ...
Davis (as Joseph Sawyer)
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Crimp
Rafaela Ottiano ...
Carmen Morales ...
Principal Spanish Girl
Jack Pennick ...
Johnny
Bob Perry ...
Paddy (as Bob E. Perry)
Edit

Storyline

Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie. The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on each other, comfort each other as death approaches, and rescue each other from danger. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DRAMA of the men who go down to the sea in ships! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eine lange Reise  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Broadway opening dates of the four Eugene O'Neill plays this film is based on are as follows: "Bound East for Cardiff" opened in Provincetown, Massachusetts on 28 July 1916; "In the Zone" opened in New York on 31 October 1917; "The Long Voyage Home" opened in New York on 2 November 1917; and "The Moon of the Caribees" opened in New York on 20 December 1918. The four plays were presented together in "One Act Plays of the Sea" and opened at the Lafayette Theater on Octobe 29, 1937 and ran for 68 performances. See more »

Goofs

When Axel is painting over the port hole window, the amount of paint on the window changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Donkeyman: Best thing to do with memories is... forget em.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to John Ford (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Blow the Man Down
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played during the opening credits
Sung often by crewmen
Sung a cappella by J.M. Kerrigan
Variations played as part of the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of John Ford's best. Maybe THE best.
15 May 2002 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

The Long Voyage home is not a typical film from this period. It differs in that it focuses on an ensemble cast instead of on a star. That's common nowadays, but not back then. Ford's Stagecoach, made the previous year, had quite an ensemble cast, but the film was always focused on Ringo and Dallas. Here, John Wayne is just one of the stars. Thomas Mitchell, who played Doc Washburn in Stagecoach, has a role that's as big as Wayne's in Voyage. Others are as prominent.

The plot is also pretty tenuous and episodic. And, unlike most films of the time, the focus was not on a goal, but just on the events and lives of the seaman aboard the Glencairn. We see them sail through the war-torn Atlantic, between the U.S. and Europe. They have fun, they fight, they talk about home. It's all rather gentle and beautiful, very subtle. The script is great, which is probably due to Eugene O'Neil, for of whose plays this film is based on (they are blended together seamlessly).

The actors are marvelous. Mitchell and Wayne are probably the best known, but there are also Ian Hunter, Barry Fitzgerald, John Qualen, Ward Bond, Mildred Natwick, and many other great character actors. John Wayne was probably the draw, considering how popular Stagecoach had made him, but, as I said, his role is not out in the front. In fact, he doesn't have many lines. His schtick is that he is a Swede who can't speak English well, so he is generally pretty quiet (Wayne can't muster the best Swedish accent, either, so that's kind of a good thing!). He has one great scene where he has some long bits of dialogue. But even without the dialogue, he emotes so well in his face. I knew his character intimately by the end of the film. We don't often think of Wayne as a great actor, but he certainly was. Although The Searchers probably contains his best role, The Long Voyage Home would certainly be worth a major mention when talking about his career.

If you could say that there is a single "star" of this film, that would have to be Greg Tolland. Of course, he photographed Citizen Kane in the next year, as well as Ford's Best Picture winning How Green Was My Valley and The Grapes of Wrath. The cinematography is some of the most impressive to be found in the American cinema. John Ford himself is just as much the star of The Long Voyage Home. He definitely put his heart into this one. The direction is beautiful, artful. It is as good here as it is in The Grapes of Wrath, My Darling Clementine, and The Searchers, that is, it is one of his very best films, if not THE best. To date, it's the only Ford film that made me shed tears. 10/10.


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