The Long Voyage Home
name = The Long Voyage Home
caption = Theatrical poster
producer = John Ford
writer = Story:
music = Richard Hageman
editing = Sherman Todd
November 11 1940
runtime = 105 minutes
language = English
amg_id = 1:29946
imdb_id = 0032728
"The Long Voyage Home" (1940) is an American
drama filmand directed by John Ford. It features John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Barry Fitzgerald, Wilfrid Lawson, John Qualen, Mildred Natwick, Ward Bond, among others. [imdb title|id=0032728|title=The Long Voyage Home.]
The film was adapted by
Dudley Nicholsfrom 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 Iand were among his earliest plays. Ford set the story for the motion picture, however, during World War II. [ [http://www.cinematographers.nl/GreatDoPh/toland.htm Steeman, Albert] . "Internet Encyclopedia of Cinematographers," "Gregg Toland page," Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2007. Last accessed: January 18, 2008.]
The picture tells the story of the crew and passengers aboard a freighter.
The film tells the story of the crew aboard an English cargo ship named the SS "Glencairn," during
World War II, on the long voyage home from the West Indies to Baltimore and then to England. The ship carries a cargo of high-explosives.
On liberty, after a night of drinking in bars in the
West Indies, the crew returns to the tramp steamer and set sail for Baltimore.
They're a motley group: a middle-aged Irishman Driscoll (
Thomas Mitchell), a young Swedish ex-farmer Ole Olsen ( John Wayne), the spiteful steward Cocky ( Barry Fitzgerald); the brooding Lord Jim-like Englishman Smitty ( Ian Hunter), and others.
After the ship picks up a load of
dynamitein Baltimore, the rough seas they encounter become nerve-racking to the crew.
They're also concerned that Smitty might be a German
spybecause he's secretive. After they force Smitty to show them his letters from home it turns out that Smitty is an alcoholic who has run away from his family.
John Wayneas Ole Olsen
* Thomas Mitchell as Aloysius "Drisk" Driscoll
* Ian Hunter as Smitty Smith, an alias of Thomas Fenwick
Barry Fitzgeraldas Cocky
* Wilfrid Lawson as Captain
John Qualenas Axel Swanson
Mildred Natwickas Freda
Ward Bondas Yank
Arthur Shieldsas Donkeyman
Joe Sawyeras Davis
J.M. Kerriganas Nick, Limehouse Crimp
* Rafaela Ottiano as Bella, a Tropical Woman
* Carmen Morales as Principal Spanish Girl
Jack Pennickas Johnny Bergman
* Bob Perry as Paddy
Bosley Crowther, film critic for " The New York Times," liked the screenplay, the message of the film, and John Ford's direction, and wrote, "John Ford has truly fashioned a modern Odyssey—a stark and tough-fibered motion picture which tells with lean economy the never-ending story of man's wanderings over the waters of the world in search of peace for his soul...it is harsh and relentless and only briefly compassionate in its revelation of man's pathetic shortcomings. But it is one of the most honest pictures ever placed upon the screen; it gives a penetrating glimpse into the hearts of little men and, because it shows that out of human weakness there proceeds some nobility, it is far more gratifying than the fanciest hero-worshiping fare." [ [http://movies2.nytimes.com/mem/movies/review.html?_r=1&title1=Long%20Voyage%20Home%2c%20The&title2=&reviewer=BOSLEY%20CROWTHER&pdate=19401009&v_id=29946&oref=slogin Crowther, Bosley] . "The New York Times", film review, "The Long Voyage Home," Magnificent Drama of the Sea," October 9, 1940. Last accessed: January 18, 2008]
The staff at "Variety" magazine wrote, "Combining dramatic content of four Eugene O'Neill one-act plays, John Ford pilots adventures of a tramp steamer from the West Indies to an American port, and then across the Atlantic with cargo of high explosives. Picture is typically Fordian, his direction accentuating characterizations and adventures of the voyage." [ [http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117792704.html?categoryid=31&cs=1&p=0 "Variety"] . Film review, October 9, 1940. Last accessed: January 18, 2008.]
Critic Dennis Schwartz appreciated the acting ensemble in the film and wrote, "The film was too stagebound to be effective cinema, but it scores points in its unsentimental portrait of the loser life of the lonely and desperate merchant seamen. These same misfits, who don't fit the image of heroes, nevertheless come through as men who do their duty when the chips are down and prove they will fight for their country even though it's not necessarily for patriotic reasons." [ [http://www.sover.net/~ozus/longvoyagehome.htm Schwartz, Dennis] . "Ozus' World Movie Reviews," review,
September 8, 2005. Last accessed: January 18, 2008.]
New York Film Critics Circle Awards: NYFCC Award; Best Director, John Ford; 1940.
Academy Awards: Oscar; Best Black-and-White Cinematography, Gregg Toland; Best Special Effects, R.T. Layton (photographic), Ray Binger (photographic) and Thomas T. Moulton (sound); Best Film Editing, Sherman Todd; Best Original Score, Richard Hageman; Best Picture, John Ford; Best Screenplay Writing, Dudley Nichols; 1941.
Influence on other works of art
Phil Ochscomposed his song " Pleasures of the Harbor" after watching a 1966 revival cinema screening of the film at a Los Angeles theater. The song became the title track of Ochs' first album for A&M Recordsin October 1967.
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