The Long Voyage Home (1940)

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    There are 45 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • The Long Voyage Home (1940)



      Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness,
      suspicion and cameraderie.
      The men smuggle drink and women aboard, fight with each other, spy on each other,
      comfort each other as death approaches, and rescue each other from danger.
      Summary written by Jim Beaver

      Full Cast
      John Wayne .... Ole Olsen
      Thomas Mitchell .... Aloysius 'Drisk' Driscoll
      Ian Hunter .... Smitty Smith, an alias of Thomas Fenwick
      Barry Fitzgerald .... Cocky
      Wilfrid Lawson .... Captain
      John Qualen .... Axel Swanson
      Mildred Natwick .... Freda
      Ward Bond .... Yank
      Arthur Shields .... Donkeyman
      Joe Sawyer .... Davis (as Joseph Sawyer)
      J.M. Kerrigan .... Nick, Limehouse Crimp
      Rafaela Ottiano .... Bella, a Tropical Woman
      Carmen Morales .... Principal Spanish Girl
      Jack Pennick .... Johnny Bergman
      Bob Perry .... Paddy (as Bob E. Perry)
      Constant Franke .... Norway (as Constant Frenke)
      David Hughes .... Scotty
      Constantine Romanoff .... Big Frank Kransky
      Danny Borzage .... Tim (as Dan Borzage)
      Harry Tenbrook .... Max
      Cyril McLaglen .... First Mate
      Douglas Walton .... Second Mate
      Billy Bevan .... Joe, Limehouse Barman (uncredited)
      Mary Carewe .... Elizabeth, Smitty's Wife (uncredited)
      Bing Conley .... Limehouse Roustabout (uncredited)
      Lita Cortez .... Bumboat Girl (uncredited)
      Jane Crowley .... Kate (uncredited)
      Carmen D'Antonio .... Bumboat Girl (uncredited)
      Lowell Drew .... Blind Man (uncredited)
      James Flavin .... Dock Policeman (uncredited)
      Soledad Gonzales .... Bumboat Girl (uncredited)
      Guy Kingsford .... London Policeman (uncredited)
      Judith Linden .... Bumboat Girl (uncredited)
      Elena Martínez .... Bumboat Girl (uncredited)
      Tina Menard .... Bumboat Girl (uncredited)
      Art Miles .... Captain of the Amindra (uncredited)
      Lionel Pape .... Mr. Clifton (uncredited)
      Luanne Robb .... Smitty's Daughter (uncredited)
      Ky Robinson .... Limehouse Roustabout (uncredited)
      Maureen Roden-Ryan .... Meg (uncredited)
      Lee Shumway .... Dock Policeman (uncredited)
      Leslie Sketchley .... London Policeman (uncredited)
      Wyndham Standing .... British Naval Officer (uncredited)
      Roger Steele .... Smitty's Son (uncredited)
      Sammy Stein .... Seaman (uncredited)
      Blue Washington .... Cook (uncredited)
      Harry Woods .... First Mate of the Amindra (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Eugene O'Neill (plays The Moon of the Caribees, In The Zone, Bound East for Cardiff and The Long Voyage Home)
      Dudley Nichols (adaptation)

      Original Music
      Richard Hageman

      Gregg Toland

      John Wayne was asked by director John Ford to play the part of Ole Olson, who was Swedish. Wayne wasn't sure he could pull off the Swedish accent and was worried that the audience would laugh. Ford persuaded him to take the role.

      The Broadway opening dates of the four Eugene O'Neill plays this film is based on are as follows: "Bound East for Cardiff" opened in Provincetown, Massachusetts on 28 July 1916; "In the Zone" opened in New York on 31 October 1917; "The Long Voyage Home" opened in New York on 2 November 1917; and "The Moon of the Caribees" opened in New York on 20 December 1918. The four plays were presented together in "One Act Plays of the Sea" and opened at the Lafayette Theater on Octobe 29, 1937 and ran for 68 performances.

      This film is based on four one-act plays by Eugene O'Neill. Writer Dudley Nichols had to distill all four of Eugene O'Neill's one-act plays into one cohesive screenplay.

      Initially resistant to the idea of working with a Swedish accent, John Wayne was instructed by Danish actress Osa Massen. John Ford later complimented Wayne on his handling of the accent.

      Eugene O'Neill's favorite film. John Ford gave him a print of it, which O'Neill wore out from repeated playing of the reel.

      The first spoken dialogue occurs nearly five minutes into the film.

      The name of Arthur Shields' character, "Donkeyman", is a nickname for the job he performed, the sole caretaker of the ship's single-piston "Donkey" engine.

      Barry Fitzgerald, who plays the character of Cocky, and Arthur Shields, who played Donkeyman, were brothers in real life. They also appeared together in director John Ford's The Quiet Man (1952).

      Producer Walter Wanger contracted with Reeves Lewenthal, director of the American Associated Artists Gallery in Manhattan, to have nine of it's artists go out to Hollywood during the filming and paint scenes from the movie and portraits of the actors in character as a publicity stunt for the film. "High Brow Publicity" as Time magazine dubbed it in a story from August 26, 1940. The artists (and their paintings) included Thomas Hart Benton (Shore Leave), Grant Wood (Sentimental Ballad), Ernest Fiene (portrait of John Wayne as Ole Olson), George Schreiber (scene from the film with Mitchell, Qualen and two others), Luis Quintanilla (The Bumboat Girls), George Biddle (portrait of Qualen as Squarehead Swanson), Robert Philipp (portrait of Thomas Mitchell as Drisk Driscoll), Raphael Soyer and James Chapin-all well known in art circles at the time. Wanger paid $50,000 and ended up with 12 canvases-including a portrait of Wanger by Ernest Fiene. The paintings were featured in Life magazine and, after an exhibition that opened in New York City in August 1940, went on to tour 23 museums across America.

      This film's opening prologue states: "With their hates and desires men are changing the face of the earth - but they cannot change the Sea. Men who live on the Sea never change - for they live in a lonely world apart as they drift from one rusty tramp steamer to the next, forging the life of Nations."

      This is technically both the the first World War 2 film and first war film directed by John Ford as the film is set during WW II and it interfaces with the Second World War's Second Battle of the Atlantic as the steamer sails through the battle-zone and even goes under attack from enemy aircraft during the film. Ford's later They Were Expendable (1945) is Ford's first major war feature film and first major World War II movie feature.

      This film's closing epilogue states: "So men like Ole [Olsen] come and go. And the Driscolls live and die, And the Yanks and Smittys leave their memories - but for the others, the Long Voyage never ends."

      According to John Ford's biography The Unquiet Man by Dan Ford, Darryl F. Zanuck dropped John Ford's proposed remake of his silent film Four Sons. Zanuck cancelled after some preliminary script work had been done and when he learnt of the similarly themed The Mortal Storm (1940) had gotten the green light at MGM. As such, John Ford, "Still upset over Zanuck's cancellation of Four Sons decided not to present The Long Voyage Home to him." Ford instead offered it to producer Walter Wanger who was a producer "who might appreciate a work of this caliber." Wanger soon after gave Ford the green light to make the film.

      John Wayne once told biographer Maurice Zolotow: "Usually it would be Mr. Ford [John Ford] who helped the cinematographer get his compositions for maximum effect . . . but in this case it was Gregg Toland who helped Mr. Ford. Long Voyage is about as beautifully photographed a movie as there ever has been."

      Cinematographer Gregg Toland's photographing of this movie utilized high contrast lighting.

      * Factual errors: Wilfrid Lawson's name is spelled Wilfred in the opening credits, but is spelled correctly in the end credits.

      Filming Locations
      Los Angeles Harbor, Wilmington, Los Angeles, California, USA
      (scenes on S.S. Munami)
      San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, USA

      Previous discussion:-
      The Long Voyage Home
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 11 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • The Long Voyage Home (1940) is an American drama film directed by John Ford.
      It features John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Barry Fitzgerald,
      Wilfrid Lawson, John Qualen, Mildred Natwick, Ward Bond
      , among others.

      The film was adapted by Dudley Nichols from the plays The Moon of the Caribees,
      In The Zone, Bound East for Cardiff, and The Long Voyage Home by Eugene O'Neill.
      The original plays by Eugene O'Neill were written around the time of World War I
      and were among his earliest plays. Ford set the story for the motion picture, however, during World War II.

      The picture tells the story of the crew and passengers aboard a freighter.

      Strange brooding film this one.
      How very different for Duke, and a test of his acting ability.
      In fact it was hardly any test at all, as he hardly spoke through the whole film.
      His stilted Swedish, being taught by a Dane!!!

      Mildred Natwick wrote:-
      I thought John Wayne was awfully good,, I liked him terribly much,
      and good and easy to work with

      However, this amalgamation of 4 short stories,
      was interesting and intriguing.

      Ward was brilliant in his death scene, and dear old Mr. Lawson,
      pops up again,as the Captain, with his delightful style and voice.

      With the addition of other Ford stock players, Mildred, Jack Pennick, John Qualen,
      it makes an enjoyable change.

      The film was hailed one of the best pictures of 1940,.
      although, the picture disappointed, at the box office.

      User Review
      One of John Ford's best. Maybe THE best
      15 May 2002 | by zetes (Saint Paul, MN)

      The Long Voyage home is not a typical film from this period. It differs in that it focuses on an ensemble cast instead of on a star. That's common nowadays, but not back then. Ford's Stagecoach, made the previous year, had quite an ensemble cast, but the film was always focused on Ringo and Dallas. Here, John Wayne is just one of the stars. Thomas Mitchell, who played Doc Washburn in Stagecoach, has a role that's as big as Wayne's in Voyage. Others are as prominent.

      The plot is also pretty tenuous and episodic. And, unlike most films of the time, the focus was not on a goal, but just on the events and lives of the seaman aboard the Glencairn. We see them sail through the war-torn Atlantic, between the U.S. and Europe. They have fun, they fight, they talk about home. It's all rather gentle and beautiful, very subtle. The script is great, which is probably due to Eugene O'Neil, for of whose plays this film is based on (they are blended together seamlessly).

      The actors are marvelous. Mitchell and Wayne are probably the best known, but there are also Ian Hunter, Barry Fitzgerald, John Qualen, Ward Bond, Mildred Natwick, and many other great character actors. John Wayne was probably the draw, considering how popular Stagecoach had made him, but, as I said, his role is not out in the front. In fact, he doesn't have many lines. His schtick is that he is a Swede who can't speak English well, so he is generally pretty quiet (Wayne can't muster the best Swedish accent, either, so that's kind of a good thing!). He has one great scene where he has some long bits of dialogue. But even without the dialogue, he emotes so well in his face. I knew his character intimately by the end of the film. We don't often think of Wayne as a great actor, but he certainly was. Although The Searchers probably contains his best role, The Long Voyage Home would certainly be worth a major mention when talking about his career.

      If you could say that there is a single "star" of this film, that would have to be Greg Tolland. Of course, he photographed Citizen Kane in the next year, as well as Ford's Best Picture winning How Green Was My Valley and The Grapes of Wrath. The cinematography is some of the most impressive to be found in the American cinema. John Ford himself is just as much the star of The Long Voyage Home. He definitely put his heart into this one. The direction is beautiful, artful. It is as good here as it is in The Grapes of Wrath, My Darling Clementine, and The Searchers, that is, it is one of his very best films, if not THE best. To date, it's the only Ford film that made me shed tears. 10/10.

      Here below is a link,to previous discussion relating to this film:-

      The Long Voyage Home
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • I always found The Long Voyage Home a rather dull film. It is based on Eugene O’Neill play and is largely stage bound with a lot of the regular Ford ensemble hamming it up big time.
      Duke has little to do in the movie other than play a young naïve Swede. Considering that this film is post Stagecoach it is a major disappointment to John Wayne fans as it does not develop the qualities of John Wayne in any way and has very little to recommend it.
      The role actually reminds you of those played by a young Harry Carey Jr in later Ford movies.

      I can only assume that Duke did this film in gratitude to Ford for Stagecoach. In my opinion it is a major yawn which you will watch once and then leave on the shelf!!
    • HI All,
      I heard on AMC or TCM in a way back then interview with John Wayne that the movie was one of his favorites. Strange I know but that is what he said as I recall. For me I enjoyed the movie for its own value because of the time it represented. These men were hardy souls crossing the Atlantic with the threat of being torpedoed any minute.
    • Hi Bryan,
      It seems more like it was one of his favourite parts!!

      Here is a quote from Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne

      Duke felt he really acted in the picture,and proudly listed Ole,among his favourite roles.

      Best Wishes
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Originally posted by ethanedwards@Jan 26 2006, 02:23 AM
      With the addition of other Ford stock players . . .  Mildred [Natwick]

      Interestingly, Mildred Natwick was not yet one of Ford's stock players, as this was her very first film!

      Chester :newyear:
    • Howdy, I thought this was a pretty good movie. I got it in the John Wayne/John Ford box set which means that it must be good. (ok, I was joking about that, but I still did like it)

      There is very little dialogue to the movie, at least from the Duke's stand point. I think that Thomas Mitchell really stole the show as Drisk.

      To be completely honest, the last ten minutes of this movie had me on the edge of my seat. Here's why...

      You know in a normal John Wayne film that he most likely isn't going to die. Something bad might happen to him, but in the end, he almost always triumphs. But that doesn't mean that those jerks in the bar aren't going to rob him or do something bad to him (and they do try to get him). So he might still be alive, but shipped off again, which would be awful. So I was waiting to see just how this would end.

      And then the very end, with the newspaper falling into the water.

      Very Sad.
      [SIZE=3]That'll Be The Day[/SIZE]
    • Re: The Long Voyage Home (1940)

      I enjoy the first 2/3 of the film, for its stunning esthetics and Wayne part of it. The last part when the storytelling becomes denser, may still be good, but it is painful to watch how people act stupidly when they are obviously plotted against
      I don't believe in surrenders.
    • Re: The Long Voyage Home (1940)


      I must own up to the fact that I have never seen this film right the way through for one reason or another. I'll get a rainy day and watch it then.

      The poster is quite colourful howecer.


      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Re: The Long Voyage Home (1940)

      I was also wondering if the Duke was going to be ok in this one. The ending made me think of the horror of having your ship torpedoed and knowing you were going to be in a small boat or worse swimming in the fataly cold waters of the Atlantic.
      Greetings from North of the 49th

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