The Long Voyage Home (1940)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War  |  11 November 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,628 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 31 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 »



(based on: four sea plays by), (adapted for the screen by)
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilfrid Lawson ...
Arthur Shields ...
Joe Sawyer ...
Davis (as Joseph Sawyer)
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Rafaela Ottiano ...
Carmen Morales ...
Principal Spanish Girl
Jack Pennick ...
Bob Perry ...
Paddy (as Bob E. Perry)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A story that only Eugene O'Neill could tell! The greatest of America's playwrights and the most gifted of directors bring you the mightiest sea drama ever filmed...played by a brilliant cast! See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eine lange Reise  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Producer Walter Wanger contracted with Reeves Lewenthal, director of the American Associated Artists Gallery in Manhattan, to have nine of it's artists go out to Hollywood during the filming and paint scenes from the movie and portraits of the actors in character as a publicity stunt for the film. "High Brow Publicity" as Time magazine dubbed it in a story from August 26, 1940. The artists (and their paintings) included Thomas Hart Benton (Shore Leave), Grant Wood (Sentimental Ballad), Ernest Fiene (portrait of John Wayne as Ole Olson), George Schreiber (scene from the film with Mitchell, Qualen and two others), Luis Quintanilla (The Bumboat Girls), George Biddle (portrait of Qualen as Squarehead Swanson), Robert Philipp (portrait of Thomas Mitchell as Drisk Driscoll), Raphael Soyer and James Chapin-all well known in art circles at the time. Wanger paid $50,000 and ended up with 12 canvases-including a portrait of Wanger by Ernest Fiene. The paintings were featured in Life magazine and, after an exhibition that opened in New York City in August 1940, went on to tour 23 museums across America. See more »


Aboard the Amindra the deck cargo of oil drums sound empty and move around during the fight. In addition they are not lashed down with cargo netting making them a hazard to the ship and crew if they sail through rough seas. See more »


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


Referenced in RKO 281 (1999) See more »


Harbor Lights
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Will Grosz
Lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy
See more »

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User Reviews

Not a typical "John Wayne film",but still excellent
7 August 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John Wayne is misleadingly top-billed ,presumably to bring in the crowds who thought they were going to see typical Wayne heroics in this one.He is actually part of an excellent ensemble cast in this film,which has seamlessly adapted by Dudley Nichols from a group of one-act plays by the great Eugene O'Neill. Nichols' writing is so good that unless you're an O'Neill expert,it is VERY difficult to tell where O'Neill leaves off and Nichols takes over,except perhaps in the episode involving British actor Ian Hunter (in the performance of a lifetime) as a presumed German spy. The plays,written in the early 1900's,have been updated to take place during WW II,but the propaganda angle is very tastefully handled and almost non-existent;in fact,here Nichols and director John Ford show great respect for the integrity of O'Neill's plays.

The cast is excellent,but Wayne actually hasn't got much to do in comparison with his other films,and this is a film of dialogue,not action.Perhaps that's why the previous reviewer found it interminable. [John Wayne uses a Swedish (!) accent in this movie,which he actually does quite well--don't laugh!] The most intense acting is done by Thomas Mitchell (Scarlett O'Hara's dad in "Gone With The Wind") and Barry Fitzgerald,who are actually the stars of the movie.And director John Ford shows us what a true master of his craft he is by equalling Hitchcock's accomplishment in "Lifeboat" in keeping the action confined to a small space without making it seem tiresome. The back-and-white photography is stunningly good--the best American photography in a black-and-white 1940's American film,aside from "Citizen Kane",of course.

John Wayne fans shouldn't pass this one up,and all non-fans should still enjoy this fine film.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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