Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Now, Voyager

Irving Rapper, 1942, bw (9.0*)
One of the best Bette Davis films, this is an uncompromising adult story that was all too rare in Hollywood's heyday of crowd-pleasing happy films with pat stories.

Davis has a domineering mom that drives her to a sanitarium. There she finds a kindred spirit, the daughter of her therapist (Claude Rains) who moves in with her after they recover and leave. She takes an ocean voyage on which she falls in love with a married man, Paul Henreid. I can't say more without spoiling the story and plot, but suffice to say that Davis had the best discretion of any actress for choosing which scripts were best for herself - she turned down Gone With the Wind after filming Jezebel the year before.

If not for the astounding All About Eve (1950), this would be my favorite Davis film. Ironically, the film's release was held up while waiting for the symphonic Max Steiner (Gone With the Wind) score, which Davis felt would "walk all over the actor's lines" and hurt her chance for another Oscar. She was right of course, the music is entirely unnecessary and detracts rather than enhances.

This is a must-see for fans of Davis and intelligent classic films without a formulaic storyline.

Quote: I didn't want to be born. You didn't want me to be born. It's been a calamity on both sides.
Quote2: Oh Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars.

Note: The daughter of Claude Rains, in a recent TCM interview, said that Davis always loved Rains, would often show up at his house during troubled marriages, once spending six weeks, but he would never commit to her. Women were attracted by his self-confidence, not to mention his incredible talent.


About Me

My photo
Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

About This Blog

This is our new template: ProBlogger.

These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

Author at EZines

  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by 2008

Back to TOP