The Long Voyage Home (1940)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War  |  11 November 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,629 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?


John Wayne was asked by director John Ford to play the part of Ole Olson, who was Swedish. Wayne wasn't sure he could pull off the Swedish accent and was worried that the audience would laugh. Ford persuaded him to take the role. See more »


Wilfrid Lawson's name is spelled Wilfred in the opening credits, but is spelled correctly in the end credits. See more »


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


Featured in John Ford (1993) See more »


Irish Washerwoman
Traditional Irish Jig
Played aboard ship by John Qualen on flute and others
Danced to by the crewmen and the bumboat girls
Reprised at Joe's Bar with John Qualen on flute
See more »

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User Reviews

John Wayne as the Swede sailor Ole
26 September 1999 | by (NAS Whidbey Island, WA) – See all my reviews

It's strange that the best performance John Wayne ever gave on film was one that was not in a western, where he was not in the lead, and where he did not play, essentially, himself. Ask someone what Wayne's best work as an actor was; they look at you strangely, shrug, and walk away. Whenever he tried an accent or a bunch of makeup, he flopped. Here, though, as the Swede sailor Ole, he fits perfectly. His tired face becomes poignant, his tall, forceful presence paints him as a gentle giant, rather than as the salt-of-the-earth cowboy he is best known for.

If the opening shots -- the haunting island music, the wind making everything sway in the night air, the island women flirting with the sailors, the sailors flirting back -- doesn't hook you through the sheer force of ambiance alone, you probably won't like "The Long Voyage Home." If you're expecting an exciting sea adventure with the joe average John Ford job of direction, you'll be disappointed. If you're in the mood for something of a nautical mood piece; the adventures of merchant sailors from bar to bar, the tragedy of being affiliated with the wrong ship, naval warfare in the early twentieth century, etc., check this out.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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