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bansi4

"Now, Voyager"

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I had a surprise treat this morning. On HBO Signature was

the grand 1942 soaper "Now, Voyager" in all it's glory.

Most important it was a pristine print in glorious black and white (no commercials of course). There was the outstanding Bette Davis as Charlotte Vale with a slight constipated look on her face (just love it), Paul Henreid

as her lover Jerry and the magnificent Gladys Cooper as

Charlottes mother, the stern dowager.

All to the haunting strings of Max Steiner and that ending can't be beat. One of the most memorable films of the 1940s it "was" what Hollywood was all about.

 

Mongo

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Mongo, and wasn't Claude Rains delightful as Charlotte's "liberator"? Did you know that Bette Davis thought that her character should have wound up with the good doctor rather than Jerry (Paul Henreid)?

 

And don't you just love the delicious Mary Wickes as Gladys Cooper's 'I've-seen-it-all-before' nurse? I'm glad HBO is showing something other than "The Sopranos".

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Yes indeed Moira, just about the whole cast were entertaining. Mary Wickes is a favorite of mine anyway and her nurse Nora was tops. Claude Rains seldom disappoints in a performance and was perfect as the doctor. Davis had a good idea about ending up with him knowing that she could only have the stars and not the moon with Jerry. However the script most likely followed the book.

Also good was Bonita Granville who realized that her Aunt Charlotte was a gem afterall. And that child actress

Janis Wilson as Tina gave a fine performance.

Good stuff!

 

Mongo

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How about a Mary Wickes film festival, TCM...I'd watch and Mongo too, I'll bet! Let's see...

 

"Now, Voyager"

 

"The Man Who Came to Dinner"--another juicy nurse part, though she's too easily cowed by the penguins!

 

"On Moonlight Bay" & "By the Light of the Silvery Moon"--she's the same maid in both movies (I'd fast forward through the tedious parts, without her)

 

"Fate is the Hunter" --she's a great, sneakily prurient landlady in this pretty good "Rashomon" type story about a plane crash.

 

What character actor's work would you like to see featured?

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As a Bette Davis nut I of course love "Now,Voyager". I,ve always thought of the film as a dream on Charlotte Hollis' part with the makeover ,foriegn lover, and of course her unbearable mothers conveniently quick death. I also imagined a differnt ending where she wakes up as the plain Charlotte with a servant informing her that her mother wants her to come down for dinner. I guess I watch too much Twilight Zone. Anyway, thanks for this thread-I'm grateful that theres other people out there who enjoy truly beautiful works of art like this movie.

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Oops! Correction for previous post- I meant Charlotte Vale-not Hollis! Charlotte Hollis is from Davis' 1964 film "Hush, Hush Sweet Chralotte"-definitly a very differnt character and movie!

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Many times I put on "Now Voyager" just to listen to the fabulous Max STeiner musical score. This was certainly one of his greatest creations--especially the music he wrote for the scene where "Jerry" finds "Charlotte" on her hotel terrace, they light up, they kiss and finally connect. Davis' biographers said that Jack Warner and producer Hal Wallis had originally wanted Irene Dunne, Norma Shearer, Garbo, Ginger Rogers, Joan Fontaine and Joan Crawford for the Charlotte Vale--until Queen Bette found out and raised holy hell. This is just one case where she had to literally fight for the great roles that made her career.

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"Now, Voyager" is my favorite Betty Davis movie, hands down. But there are two people in this discussion who have also mentioned Max Steiner's beautiful film score for this movie. It's good to see that I'm not alone in loving Steiner's music for films. He left a great wealth of music for us that is still as beautiful today as the moment we first heard it in a movie theatre, or while watching a good movie on TV. How many of you know that he also composed the score for "A Summer Place"? Music like that is ageless!

 

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Just the other day I purchased the DVD of "Now, Voyager" - my favorite of all of Davis' movies - even over "All About Eve" - and I have to tell you guys - the print quality is perfect! I have never seen this film look so good, and there's a special feature where you can just listen to the brilliant Max Steiner score. I urge you guys to buy this DVD. This film has always been one of my favorites - its another one of those films like "Casablanca" where everything comes together perfectly - the story, acting, direction, music, sets, costumes - everything just flows together to create a classic.

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Thanks, Moviejoe, for your appraisal of the "Now Voyager" DVD. I was thinking of buying it, along with "Dark Victory,". Now, I'll run to my nearest Best.buy and grab me a copy. Getting back to "Now Voyager", I'll never forget watching this on the big screen of the old Regency Theater here in NYC when it held its Bette Davis film festival back in the early 80s.In that packed theater one night, hundreds of us were held spellbound by the pristine print and of course--that incredible musical score by la master--Max Steiner. The music and the images created an intense hynoptic mood that no one there ever forgot. "Dark Victory" did the same, with yet another fantastic score by Steiner. By the way, Bette the Magnificent made an appearance right after the final images of "Now Voyager" faded from the screen. She was beyond fabulous. Small, trim, dynamic, dressed in a sharply tailored black suit, pearls, you felt her power from the stage into the last row. She was the star all of us had thought a star should be. Julia, J.Lo, Gwynth--fuggadaboutit!

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Ain't that the truth!! Theres not a one out there that can hold a candle to Bette, and I will tell you why...VERSATILITY!!! Bette was always someone different, in every role, from **** to madonna, frump to fashion plate, innocent to guilty-as-hell!! There was not one role, in any piece you can name, that if she was physically suited for, she could not play. Joseph Mankiweicz said "Baring Grand Opera, there is nothing she can't do", and he should know! And, beyond all the artistry, all the awards and honors, and the signifigance she will always carry, she always seemed to be one hell of a dame, and somebody you could talk to for hours and hours. I feel she was the most important actress of the 20th century, all things considered, and arguably the most gifted. Let the arguements begin!!

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Can you believe that Irene Dunne , Norma Shearer, and Ginger Rogers were up for the part? I love the scene with the lighting of two cigarettes.......

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Wow I can't wait to see this film! I taped it the other day but have not found the 2+ hours to watch it yet.

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my advice to everyone who doesn't already have one

buy a dvd recorder. I taped NOW,VOYAGER a while ago and pull it out often. and unlike VHS I will have it in

perfect condition for a long long time.

Bette Davis rules

Eddie

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Is Now Voyager based on a book? If so who wrote it? I love this movie also but of course this wasn't prevelent then but why couldn't bette and Jerry Vale be together? Jerry would divorce his wife and get custody of Tina {sighting cruelty on Tina's mother} because wouldn't Tina figure their moon and stars arrangement out and how could they give the poor child another cross to bear-better to come clean. I know, I know I probably pay to close attention to details and probably ought to get out more when one talks of movie characters like they were real.

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The movie is based on a book written by Olive Higgins Prouty. It was Davis who prompted Jack Warner to buy the rights to make the movie with her.

 

Mongo

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