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The Long Voyage Home (1940)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War  |  11 November 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,594 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 29 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?


Cinematographer Gregg Toland's photographing of this movie utilized high contrast lighting. See more »


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


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


Referenced in RKO 281 (1999) See more »


Rule Britannia
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Words by James Thomson (1740)
Played as background music when the Union Jack is flown
See more »

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User Reviews

Extraordinarily moving drama from two master dramatists
22 October 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Reportedly, John Ford's film of The Long Voyage Home was Eugene O'Neill's favorite of all filmed versions of his plays, and it is no task to see why. The worlds of Ford and O'Neill overlap in their use of sentiment, tragicomedy, and the sons of old Ireland. This episodic collection of stories, taken from several short plays written by O'Neill and based on his own seafaring life, does what both O'Neill and Ford do best--unveil the poetry and tragedy of simple men. Granted, Ford outsentimentalizes O'Neill, who can be far darker than Ford ever dared, but he comes by it honestly--no Capra-corn here. The photography and sound bring a hyper-reality to this tale of merchant sailors, fearful for their lives, argumentative yet loving, full of weakness but capable of strength and honor. The performances are uniformly splendid. John Wayne, in a supporting role, does quite well with an unusual part, a lonely Swedish sailor, and his accent is much better than he is usually given credit for. But this is no star vehicle. The ship is the star, and the lives of its men resound with meaning and melancholy. An extraordinary film experience, especially for the patient and thoughtful among us.

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