136 user 46 critic

Now, Voyager (1942)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 31 October 1942 (USA)
2:15 | Trailer


Airs Thu. Mar. 22, 4:30 AM on TCM

A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.



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



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Complete credited cast:
Elliot Livingston
'Deb' McIntyre
Mr. Thompson
Miss Trask (as Katherine Alexander)
James Rennie ...
Frank McIntyre


Overweight Boston spinster Charlotte is a repressed, self-esteemless woman completely dominated by her wealthy mother, Mrs. Henry Vale. When her sister-in-law Lisa Vale brings her friend Dr. Jaquith, a renowned psychiatrist, to visit Charlotte, he invites her to spend some time in his sanitarium. Soon Charlotte transforms into a sophisticated, confident woman and takes a cruise to South America. She meets married architect Jerry Durrance and they have a love affair in Rio de Janeiro. Six months later she returns home and confronts her mother with her independence. One day they have an argument and her mother has a heart attack and dies. Charlotte inherits the Vale fortune but feels guilty for her mother's death. She decides to return to Dr. Jaquith's sanitarium, where she befriends Jerry's 12-year-old daughter Tina, who has been rejected by her mother. Charlotte takes Tina home to Boston with her and one day Jerry brings Dr. Jaquith to visit them there. 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


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

31 October 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Estranha Passageira  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie's line "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars." was voted as the #46 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100). See more »


At one point when Charlotte and Jerry have a drink, the way she holds her drink and cigarette changes several times between shots. See more »


Charlotte Vale: [to her mother] I didn't want to be born. You didn't want me to be born. It's been a calamity on both sides.
See more »


Referenced in We Were Here (2011) See more »


Yankee Doodle
(ca. 1755) (uncredited)
Traditional music of English origin
Variation in the score when the Statue of Liberty is onscreen
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

excellent film with excellent ensemble
28 January 2005 | by 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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