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Now, Voyager is a Hollywood swooner with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid in a melodrama to end all melomers. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Boston heiress Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is a neurotic mess, largely because of her domineering mother (Gladys Cooper). But after a stint in a sanatorium where she receives the attention of Dr. Jasquith (Claude Rains), Charlotte comes out of her shell and elects to go on a cruise. Aboard ship she meets Jerry (Paul Henreid) and falls in love, despite his being married. They enjoy a brief tryst in Rio before returning to the States, where Charlotte struggles to forget him and find happiness.

Cast & Crew

Bette Davis
Charlotte Vale
Claude Rains
Dr. Jaquith
Paul Henreid
Jerry Durrance
Gladys Cooper
Mrs. Henry Windle Vale
John Loder
Elliot Livingston
Ilka Chase
Lisa Vale
Lee Patrick
Deb McIntyre
Mary Wickes
Nurse Dora Pickford
Janis Wilson
Tina Durrance (uncredited)
Casey Robinson
Screenwriter
Max Steiner
Original Music
Sol Polito
Cinematographer
Warren Low
Film Editor
Robert M. Haas
Art Direction
Fred M. MacLean
Set Decoration
Orry-Kelly
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for Now, Voyager

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Now, Voyager

  • Feb 15, 2021
    I've avoid seeing this film for years. But, I'm glad I finally got to screen it. Bette Davis is super in this role. There's a depth to her performance that lovers of acting will surely appreciate.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 2020
    Davis gives a remarkable performance both big and filled with subtle nuances. The over-quoted ending scene feels a bit silly but most of what comes before is a convincing narrative about becoming the best version of oneself even if that means alienating others.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 30, 2018
    This film tugs on a few different heartstrings, with themes of a domineering mother, being an awkward, depressed young person, finding a deep connection and love with someone who can't be yours, and then personally evolving to the point of being able to transcend all of that, and finding one's path. It's really quite a touching film, and Bette Davis turns in another brilliant performance. The supporting cast around her is strong as well, and features Gladys Cooper (her mother), Paul Henreid (her lover), Claude Rains (her wise doctor). And, how fascinating is it that both Henreid and Rains began filming Casalanca immediately afterwards; clearly a great year for them. The film scores points for me for having its title come from a Walt Whitman line in 'Leaves of Grass': "The untold want by life and land ne'er granted; Now, Voyager sail thou forth, to seek and find," which is appropriate. The film speaks to being honest with oneself, to one's identity, as well as to the person you love, even if it's complicated. I loved the little touches of the inner voice that director Irving Rapper employs, which helps underscore this. It's heartwarming to see how those in love make each other better people. She begins to bloom, and radiate confidence after receiving simple acts of kindness and appreciation. He returns to his passion, architecture, and is more empathetic and understanding of his troubled daughter. The scene where they meet by chance again at a party, and have a conversation interlaced with whispered remarks of tenderness (such as her saying to him she could "cry with pride" over him following his dream) is lovely. At the same time, she's not defined by him, or dependent on him. In fact, the movie is a celebration of independence, and shows how it can be done gracefully and with class. Her strength come through in so many ways: in standing up to her mother, determining her path with another suitor, asserting herself with her old doctor, and ultimately deciding the terms she'll have her relationship with Henreid on. While she admits that "I've just been a big sentimental fool. It's a tendency I have," she also calmly says "Please let me go" when a big romantic moment threatens to sweep her away. The story about his child was touching, as we see Davis help her, as she was once helped, but I thought this part dragged on too long, and needed tightening up. It felt overly melodramatic and false; for one thing, where was the mother? There was a much earlier scene with a Brazilian taxi driver that got silly, and should have been left on the cutting room floor as well. On the other hand, I loved those last lines. He asks her, "And will you be happy, Charlotte?" And she responds "Oh Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars." How brilliant that line is; there is something larger than ourselves, larger than what others consider happiness.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2014
    The transformation of Bette Davis is a treat to watch. I have yet to find a film of hers in which I have been terribly disappointed.
    John B Super Reviewer

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