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The Long Voyage Home (1940)

Approved | | Drama, War | 22 November 1940 (USA)
In 1940, the motley crew of the British tramp steamer SS Glencairn prepares the ship for its perilous voyage from the West Indies to Baltimore and then to England.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Eugene O'Neill (based on: four Sea Plays by), Dudley Nichols (adapted for the screen by)
Reviews
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Olsen
Thomas Mitchell ... Driscoll
Ian Hunter ... Smitty
Barry Fitzgerald ... Cocky
Wilfrid Lawson ... Captain (as Wilfred Lawson)
John Qualen ... Axel
Mildred Natwick ... Freda
Ward Bond ... Yank
Arthur Shields ... Donkeyman
Joe Sawyer ... Davis (as Joseph Sawyer)
J.M. Kerrigan ... Crimp
Rafaela Ottiano ... Bella
Carmen Morales Carmen Morales ... Principal Spanish Girl
Jack Pennick Jack Pennick ... Johnny
Bob Perry Bob Perry ... Paddy (as Bob E. Perry)
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Storyline

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. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story that only Eugene O'Neill could tell! The greatest of America's playwrights and the most gifted of directors bring you the mightiest sea drama ever filmed...played by a brilliant cast! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

22 November 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eugene O'Neill's The Long Voyage Home See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$682,495 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Aboard the Amindra the deck cargo of oil drums sound empty and move around during the fight. In addition they are not lashed down with cargo netting making them a hazard to the ship and crew if they sail through rough seas. See more »

Quotes

Donkeyman: Best thing to do with memories is... forget em.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to John Ford (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Words by James Thomson (1740)
Played as background music when the Union Jack is flown
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Splendid Ford movie about crew members aboard a merchant steamer attempting to get home in 1939
16 December 2008 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The talented cast acts this excellent screen rendition of Eugene O'Neill's play (it's adapted from three of his one-act plays) about crew sailors aboard a freighter steamer called ¨Glencairn¨ carrying charge containing war-smuggling , TNT , explosives from US to England , at the beginning WWII . 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" . The crew talk themselves and contend each other , but also save each other from bombing and risks . At the ending terminates with an epilogue that states : 'Some men like Ole and the Driscolls come a and go and the others live and die and the Yanks and Smittys leave their memories- but for the others the long voyage never ends' .

This dramatic film is a classic Ford , displaying his usual themes as strong issues in many films , such as emotionalism , partnership , friendship and unlovable camaraderie between the sailors . However , it seems to be sometimes excessively sentimental and looks over-melodramatic during the reading letters from Smittys . The sailors show a nostalgic longing for past things and old values and their own homes : Sweden , Ireland , England . Straightforward acting by John Wayne as a Swedish sailor named Ole , he was to star habitually for Ford after the director rose his career from B Western in ¨Poverty Row¨ productions , with his greatest hit , 'Stagecoach' . There's magnificent secondary cast playing the seamen , as Thomas Mitchell as a sympathetic sailor , Ian Hunter as the drunk and unbalanced Smittys , Mildred Natwick as a swindler prostitute , Rafaela Ottiano as a tropical woman , Jack Pennick , a Ford's usual , among others . Barry FitzGerald , who plays the character of humorous cook ¨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).

Descriptive , evocative black-and-white cinematography by Gregg Toland (Citizen Kane) , plenty of lights and shades , reflecting loneliness , dark suspicion , frightening from crew and the smoky , greasy , sweaty atmosphere from merchant ship . Cinematographer Gregg Toland's photographing of this movie utilized high contrast lighting . The picture belongs the best period when John Ford (1895-1973) made a rich variety of stories and his reputation rightly rests on his work in the 1940s , as ¨Grapes of wrath¨ , ¨How green was my valley¨ , ¨Fugitive¨ , ¨They were expendable¨ , ¨My darling Clementine¨ and the Cavalry trilogy : ¨Fort Apache¨ , ¨She wore a yellow ribbon¨ , ¨Rio Grande¨. Rating : Awesome , above average , a major triumph for Ford and Wayne . It's a must see from John Ford enthusiasts and John Wayne fans.


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