Now, Voyager (1942)

  • (Re-watch of one of my favorites.)
  • This and CASABLANCA came out within 4 months of each other. You go, Paul Henreid.
  • You can tell by the music played during the opening credits (written by – who else? – Max Steiner) that this is a great movie. I’m sure I’ve been fooled by this once or twice…but can’t currently think of any examples. (Will watch out for some in the future.)
  • I love how Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains) hates Mrs. Vale (Gladys Cooper) from the second he walks into her house.
  • As much as I hate Mrs. Vale, Gladys Cooper does an impeccable job at playing her. She is absolutely wretched, but she has to be, for the movie to succeed as it does.
  • The frames (and I suppose the rest of the decor) shown in the Vale house are fucking gorgeous. I need me some of those.
  • Bette Davis’s performance – pre-therapy Charlotte, post-therapy Charlotte, and everything in between – is really something to marvel at. (I wonder who she lost Best Actress to that year? Edit: Greer Garson in MRS. MINIVER. Eh. Never seen it.)
  • You know what I’d love to see? A scene played out between Mrs. Vale and Mr. Potter (IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, 1946). It’d be the worst thing that ever happened, but also the best thing that ever happened. Ha! Its horridness would be hilarious.
  • I thought this the other day (after watching METROPOLIS (1927)), but now I’ll share it – I’ve decided that TITANIC (1997), in all its glory, is really an amalgamation of NOW, VOYAGER, METROPOLIS, and HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT (1937). I really think James Cameron had studied his classic boat love stories, and had also obviously seen METROPOLIS & remembered the flood scene from that, before he sat down to make his movie. Good for him, though. Good for him.
  • My brain always gets briefly confused when we meet Leslie (Charles Drake), because my first instinct is to think, “Dr. Sanderson?! Is he secretly working with Dr. Jaquith?” …And then I remember that I am not watching HARVEY (1950), and that they are different characters.
  • “One of our favorite trysting places was on the freight deck, among the crates and canvas-covered automobiles. There was a particular limousine…”

Titanic, y’all. Just saying.

  • I don’t know why, but I love that they film the scene in Charlotte’s room between her and Dr. Jaquith in front of those rainy windows. It’s perfect that way.
  • The Lisa/Charlotte relationship is fantastic. I think most people probably pass it over when talking about this film, so I’m not going to. It’s a relationship that’s genuine and empowering, and I’m really glad it was written the way it was.
  • When Jerry (Henreid) and Charlotte run into Jerry’s friends on the cruise, and Jerry, without hesitation, introduces Charlotte as Ms. Beauchamp & makes up a first name for her? So goddamn endearing.
  • Another thing of note is the way Paul Henreid looks at Bette Davis throughout the movie. That gaze is so attentive – so sincere. Watch for it, the next time you watch NOW, VOYAGER – in some places, it’ll make you forget to breathe.
  • (Must say again – the relationship between Charlotte & Lisa (Ilka Chase) is beautiful. Sorry…I just can’t get over it.)
  • “Dora, I suspect you are a treasure.” — Charlotte

Love that line.

  • “No, I don’t think I’ll ever marry – some women just aren’t the marrying kind.” — Charlotte

Love that line, too.

  • The sacrifices Jerry and Charlotte make for Tina (Janis Wilson) – which I suppose, in a way, are for each other – are spectacularly cry-worthy.
  • I almost ended this post right there – but then realized that I’d barely even mentioned Charlotte & Jerry’s romance. If you’ve seen NOW, VOYAGER – then you know that the epicness and beauty of their love story is so obvious, so understood – that it almost feels unnecessary to comment on it. But: I adore their scenes together on the cruise, I adore it when Jerry sends her camellias on her first night back in Boston, I adore every one of their goodbye scenes, and – of course – I adore the movie’s ending scene (yes, that famous one). It’s one of my favorite scenes in all of movies. The way he lights those cigarettes. And

“Oh, Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon – we have the stars.”

Makes me want to weep, just thinking about it.

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