Now, Voyager (1942)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  31 October 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 10,732 users  
Reviews: 127 user | 46 critic

Boston spinster blossoms under therapy and finds impossible romance.



(screenplay), (from the novel by)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Ilka Chase ...
Lee Patrick ...
Katharine Alexander ...
Miss Trask (as Katherine Alexander)
James Rennie ...


In Boston, the over-weight spinster Charlotte Vale is a repressed woman without self-esteem and completely dominated by her wealthy mother Mrs. Henry Vale. When her sister-in-law Lisa Vale brings the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith, who is her friend, to visit Charlotte, he invites her to spend some time in his sanatorium. Soon Charlotte transforms in a sophisticated and confident woman and travels in a cruise to South America. She meets architect Jerry Durrance, who is married, and they have a love affair in Rio de Janeiro. Six months later, she returns home and confronts her mother with her independence and own free will. One day, Charlotte has an argument with her mother and she dies of a heart attack. Charlotte becomes the heir of the Vale's fortune but she feels guilty for the death of her mother. She decides to return to Dr. Jaquith's sanatorium whether she befriends Tina, who is the twelve-year-old daughter of Jerry rejected by her mother. She brings the girl to her house in ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Today Her Greatest! For a woman there's always an excuse . . . See more »


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

31 October 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Estranha Passageira  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The main love theme from the score was published as the hit song "It Can't Be Wrong" with music by Max Steiner and lyrics by Kim Gannon. See more »


When Charlotte first enters the room to meet Jaquith, her position changes; she is first at the steps near the doorway, but in the next cut she is close to her mother's chair. See more »


Jerry: If I were free, there would be only one thing I'd want to do - prove you're not immune to happiness. Would you want me to prove it, Charlotte? Tell me you would. Then I'll go. Why, darling, you are crying.
Charlotte: I'm such a fool, such an old fool. These are only tears of gratitude - an old maid's gratitude for the crumbs offered.
Jerry: Don't talk like that.
Charlotte: You see, no one ever called me "darling" before.
See more »


Referenced in Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? (2006) See more »


Symphony No. 6 in B Minor (Pathétique)
, Op. 74 (1893) (uncredited)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
First movement played at the concert
Also played as part of the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

excellent film with excellent ensemble
28 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the 1942 screen adaptation of the 1941 bestseller by Olive Higgins-Prouty, Bette Davis and Paul Henreid provide excellent, subtle performances as Charlotte Vale (self-described Spinster Aunt) and J.D. (Jerry) Durrance, the married man she meets, befriends, and with whom she falls in love on a cruise following a transformative stay at the Vermont Sanatorium operated by Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains). Reviewers often speak of the themes of self-sacrifice and relate it to the war, which would have been an attractive reason to make the film, but the reality was that the novel was a popular best-seller, Higgins-Prouty's earlier novel, Stella Dallas, was also a popular film (and later a radio series), and the studio stood to do well financially if the movie turned out well. Hal Wallis' deft hand as producer is seen here, especially in his choice of Orry Kelly as costume designer for Bette Davis. He and the studio worked within the limits of censors' requirements, which indicated that there could be no intimation that the two main characters had sex (which was implicit in the novel but never explicitly stated, where the behavior between the two in the love scenes were generally glossed over most of the time), and that they could not share the same blanket in the scene where they are in a hut on a Brazilian mountain, stranded. They also had to change locales for the story, because the novel had the sea voyage set in and around Italy, Gibralter, etc. In spite of any restrictions placed on the filmmakers and actors, the film followed the novel very closely, especially with respect to dialogue. The big point of contention has always been: who invented the two-cigarette lighting gesture that Paul Henreid became famous for later? According to some, George Brent and Bette Davis did something similar earlier in another film, and according to Paul Henreid and Bette Davis, there was a cigarette exchange ritual in the script which was sort of awkward, so they improvised based on Paul Henreid's experience with his wife on car trips. The latter seems likely, as there was a cigarette-exchange ritual in the novel (Jerry would give Charlotte a cigarette, lighting hers and then his own on one match, and then they would exchange cigarettes with each other so that Charlotte smoked the one that had been in Jerry's mouth and vice versa), which would have been slightly awkward in practice.

All in all, this is a truly excellent film with great production values, true to the novel on which it was based, and a wonderful ensemble cast.

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