Now Voyager (1942)
Rains: “If old Walt didn’t have you in mind when he wrote this, he had lots of others like you. He’s put into words what I’d like to say to you now — and far better than I could ever express it. Read it.”
Davis: “Untold Want, by Life and Land Ne’er Granted, Now, Voyager, Sail Thou Forth to Seek and Find.”
NOW VOYAGER (1942), one of Miss Davis’ greatest creations. The Beautiful but hidden Charlotte Veil, finds love and discovers her freedom. The story is unbreakable. I find her character intriguing, and the transformation she undergoes to be…real. For a lack of better words. She overcomes and fights through, and not in the overdone ‘Cinderella’ Story kind of way.
In fact, now that I think about it, this is the original Cinderella Story. But not with all the unnecessary fairy dust, this transformation was far more powerful with a realistic change of heart and mind. This story is Crimson. Solid Gold. This is a blog dedicated to Davis’ phenomenal intimacy with the character and the forgotten Director who had brought this film to life.
I feel that when a movie is truly well done, everyone is acknowledged. The Actors, the Designer, the Director, the Producer, etc. But it seems that with some movies, the Actor or Actress overpowers the rest and brings the movie to life, all on their own.
That’s how I see Now Voyager. Bette Davis had this intimate relation with her character, that truly brought the entire film to life! Although, as I’ve seen this movie over a dozen times, I’ve realized that the Director deserves a significant amount of credit. The definition of Director, according to Dictionary.com is, ‘the person responsible for the interpretive aspects of a stage, film, or television production; the person who supervises the integration of all the elements, as acting, staging, and lighting, required to realize the writer’s conception.’
There are so many actions and demands that come forth when you are privileged with the job of directing. And I don’t know about you, but for some reason, I forget about the director, and all the work they do to bring the film to life; in a different way, compared to the way the Actors and Actresses address things.
Now Voyager’s director happens to be, Irving Rapper. Someone I do not know, unfortunately. Although, looking through some of his films on IMDb.com, I’ve discovered that he has not directed many big films, but there is one that I highly suggest for many of you to look into watching (Which I’m sure I’ll discuss later), The Glass Menagerie (1950).
Although, I have not seen this version, it happens to be the first Movie version of Tennessee Williams Playwright. I have seen the TV version, with Katharine Hepburn, which was an absolutely amazing adaptation of the film. Also he Directed a film with Barbara Stanwyck called, The Gay Sisters (1942), which I’ve seen before! I enjoyed it very much actually; it could also be the fact that I love Barbara Stanwyck. Ah! I’m getting carried away, nevertheless, Rapper, had made Now Voyager, legendary, and I just feel the need to give him credit for it. I’ll soon look into more of his films, just to show my appreciation, and to take up some extra time that I currently have!
Now there’s a scene from Now Voyager that I think really puts everything into perspective. Well, actually, it just lightened my understanding of the film and I actually enjoyed it even more after having understood and comprehended the entire film, through just ONE scene! Right now, I would tell you to check out this clip from Now Voyager, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere, and my laptop is taking initiative and making my YouTube videos Lime Green. I can’t quite stand it, so I’ll have to go on with explaining it.
I don’t know if you may remember, but it’s after a formal dinner party that Charlotte had attended with her date, Elliot Livingston (John Loder; whom I believe to be a Gig Young [Old Acquaintance] look alike).
Regardless, Miss Veil agrees to meet up with Jerry one last time (or so she thinks) at a train station. Do you remember this now? I hope so, cause trying to explain it is making this post look awfully wordy.
So, anyway, there are these fabulous lines that Davis says to Henreid, describing how his love has saved her. Check this out: “Shall I tell you what you’ve given me? On that very first day, a little bottle of perfume made me feel important. You were my first friend. And then when you fell in love with me, I was so proud. And when I came home, I needed something to make me feel proud. And your camellias arrived, and I knew you were thinking about me. Oh, I could have walked into a den of lions. As a matter of fact, I did, and the lions didn’t hurt me.” [http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/1922/Now-Voyager/articles.html]
Ok, so to me, this scene in fact showed me how unwanted Charlotte was. I had never really noticed that before, being that I probably was a young gal watching this movie and taking in what I could understand, at my level of understanding. This scene was so profound, it wasn’t just Henreid’s chemistry with Davis, it was the fact that he was so easily taken away by her, and this allowed them to truly enhance their friendship. I just loved that line regarding the den of lions. None of them had hurt her because Henreid had saved her and shielded her from pain. I just…love it! At this point, you’ll understand the reason for my title.
I think I’ve said everything that I can about Now Voyager. I would say more, but I’m sure a thousand words will suffice. I do hope you enjoyed reading this, and that you received something; anything! By the way, if there are any movies that you think I may enjoy, please leave a comment below! I’ll be more then happy to blog about it. Well, I won’t delay this anymore, I hope you’re having a fabulous Night/Day/Evening!
“Now, Voyager, sail thou forth to seek and find!”