Now, Voyager (1942)

90EPISODE #24:  NOW, VOYAGER (1942) is the movie that might dehydrate you and end the drought in California with your tears. Bette Davis is Charlotte, everyone’s favorite spinster aunt in the Vale family. She was an unwanted child, and the cruel treatment her domineering mother has inflicted on her has left Charlotte on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Her sister-in-law introduces her to the kindly Dr. Jaquith, played by Claude Rains, who runs a “sanitorium”; Charlotte comes to stay, and away from her mother’s harsh ways, blossoms into a lovely young woman. After an eyebrow wax, wardrobe makeover, and sassy new hairdo, Charlotte embarks on a “pleasure cruise,” where she is introduced to handsome Jerry (Paul Henreid). They bond immediately, and he confides that he is unhappily married but cannot leave his wife, an ill woman who needs him, and his daughter, Tina, a sad and depressed girl who sounds much like Aunt Charlotte at the beginning of the film. And then, Charlotte and Jerry get stuck in the middle of nowhere overnight…

James and Lara discuss Bette’s astonishing transformation in her Oscar-nominated role, and the meaning of the film’s random title (it’s from a poem), along with its influence on the style of one of the biggest movies ever made. NOW, VOYAGER is a perfect movie to see if you’re a fan of three-hanky weeper chick flicks, and it’s also one to check out for the great story (including its take on complicated familial relationships) and a chance to see Miss Davis doing her thing in some very glamorous clothes. And there’s also a very famous scene where Jerry lights two cigarettes and hands one to Charlotte that will leave 99.9% of viewers swooning, and one of the best ending lines in any movie, ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *