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Now, Voyager (1942)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 31 October 1942 (USA)
A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.

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

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Cast

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Miss Trask (as Katherine Alexander)
James Rennie ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

31 October 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Estranha Passageira  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 10, 1943 with Paul Henreid reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

As June and Charlotte enter the drawing room after June's arrival, their position relative to each other changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

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.
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Connections

Referenced in G.I. Joe: Lasers in the Night (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Night and Day
(1932) (uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
Played offscreen on piano at the pre-concert party
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Great Quest
22 May 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Bette Davis plays Charlotte Vale, an unmarried and very unhappy plain-Jane who lives with, and is under the emotional control of, her wealthy, domineering, matriarchal mother (Gladys Cooper). Help for Charlotte arrives in the person of Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains), who suggests a different living environment, and eventually a new direction in life. Charlotte thus sets out on a voyage of discovery, or quest, to find herself and her potential for happiness and love.

The film starts off Gothic, but gradually translates to a love story with lots of twists and turns. The underlying premise is sound, but the plot is overwrought, drawn out, and talky. Small sections of the film's middle section could have been expunged, to tighten the plot. And the dialogue could have been reduced in places, which would have rendered a film of even greater impact. Nevertheless, the film still tells a great story.

The B&W cinematography ranges from good to excellent. In one scene, special effects create an image wherein Charlotte's eyes overlap her mother's face. It is a visually stunning image, and it wonderfully captures the film's timeless theme, the painful process whereby a grown child must confront an overbearing parent, if that child is to grow and gain adult independence.

The film's costumes are interesting. And Max Steiner's original score adds emotional texture to the story. But it is the acting that really makes this film a classic. Except for her work in "All About Eve", Bette Davis gives as good a performance here as in any film of hers that I have seen. Claude Rains and Paul Henreid are good in support roles. And the never smiling Gladys Cooper is stunningly effective as the matron saint of outdated Victorian Puritanism.

Despite its cryptic title, taken from a poem by Walt Whitman, this film presents viewers with a story that most people can identify with, in one way or another. "Now, Voyager" transcends its hyperbolic working script, and compels attention through its cinematography, its music, and especially the acting of Gladys Cooper and Bette Davis.


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