Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Now Voyager, 1942

One of my new favorite movies is 'Now Voyager'. It also wins for 'most smoky movie' - the characters ALWAYS have a cigarette in their hand! Yes, I know it's not 'new' really -but it's new to me! Released in 1942 and starring Bette Davis, the movie has been a cult classic since it opened. It's over the top drama, romance, fashion with great acting and a fabulous house to boot! I think the 'ugly duckling' story line is always a favorite with audiences.Bette 'before'
Bette Davis plays Charlotte Vale of the 'Boston Vales' - a prominent Boston society family. Her over-bearing mother has so twisted her mind that she has a mental breakdown and is finally sent away to a funny farm then on for some world traveling, all the while narrating her travels in letters home to her Dr., played by the fantastic Claude Rains. The 'evil' mother played by the elegant Gladys Cooper
On this trip she falls in love with a dashing, but married, architect (of course, always with the architects!) played by Paul Henreid and undergoes a startling transformation from shy, ugly duckling to beautifull, fashionable & popular society hostess! It may have been 1942 but the fashions are still incredibly stylish.
Bette 'after'
On board the cruise with the architect
Of course in true dramatic fashion, because of his marriage they vow to always love one another but move on with their lives. However, they keep running into one another, which causes her to rethink her upcoming nuptuals to another society Bostonite and to take in his daughter who has many of the same problems she did as a girl to make her closer to her one true love. In the ending scene ( and I dare you to not cry! admittedly it's so cheesy!) she tells the architect that she wants to keep his little girl because it's something they can share and will bring them close together. The famous ending line is 'Oh Jerry, don't lets ask for the moon, we have the stars!' when he asks if they should date or get married and ON QUE you will *SOB*. SO ROMANTIC *sigh*
a common theme throughout the movie - smoking
Another famous scene from the movie is run throughout -where they constantly smoke together (yet another thing to share) and he lights her cigarette in his mouth along with his own and then hands her the lit cigarette. Very racy!!!
yet ANOTHER cigarette -ewwww - so gross but always looks romantic in movies somehow
When her mother dies (in true dramatic fashion after Bette stands up to her bullying and she has a heart attack) she inherits her fortune, scary victorian mansion and becomes the matriarch of the family. The scene after she inherits the house will take your breath away. This dark foreboding house becomes very inviting; new furniture, dark walls painted white, candles lit everywhere, parties everyday, fires in the fireplaces -no more doom and gloom! I wish I could find 'after' pictures of the house!
And to end with -another line from Bette during the movie is "An Architect! I could cry with pride!" Oh how true it is.......So whats your favorite movie? Discuss, comment!!


Marie Louise said...

Well I did stop reading - thanks for the warning - because although I've seen a million old films, I've yet to see this one. I love Bette Davis and can only imagine she is fabulous in this role.
Thanks for the tip!

Be the change..... said...

I had never seen this movie either till Mother's Day weekend -then I went out and bought it and just watched it last night, ML! It's fantastic! Her best movie I think!

Anonymous said...

A favorite aunt introduced me to this movie when it was first released. The most romantic movie ever. Right up there with Casablanca. The musical score is haunting. Another romantic favorite of mine is Saratoga Trunk with Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper.
Marion from Kentucky

Be the change..... said...

I loved the score too, Marion! I should have mentioned it in the posting! I haven't seen Saratoga Trunk -i'll have to add that to my list right away! Thanks!!

The Peak of Chic said...

I just love this movie. Everytime it comes on TV I have to stop what I'm doing and watch it. Wasn't that one of the best transformations from ugly duckling to swan ever?

Be the change..... said...

I know, POC! She looks like a 70 yr old woman in the beginning and then becomes this glamorous, beautiful young woman! I'd say this is the only movie where Bette actually looks conventionally beautiful!