AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Long Voyage Home
Director: John Ford (Dir)
Release Date:   11 Nov 1940
Premiere Information:   New York opening: week of 9 Oct 1940
Production Date:   began 17 Apr 1940
Duration (in mins):   103
Duration (in reels):   12
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Cast:   John Wayne (Ole Olson)  
    Thomas Mitchell (Driscoll)  
    Ian Hunter (Smitty)  
    Barry Fitzgerald (Cocky)  
    Wilfrid Lawson (Captain)  
    Mildred Natwick (Freda)  
    John Qualen (Axel)  
    Ward Bond (Yank)  
    Arthur Shields (Donkey man)  
    Joseph Sawyer (Davis)  
    J. M. Kerrigan (Limehouse Crimp)  
    Rafaela Ottiano (Tropical woman)  
    Carmen Morales (Bumboat girl)  
    Carmen D'Antonio (Bumboat girl)  
    David Hughes (Scotty)  
    Billy Bevan (Joe)  
    Cyril McLaglen (First mate)  
    Douglas Walton (Second mate)  
    Constantine Romanoff (Frank)  
    Edgar "Blue" Washington (Cook)  
    Lionel Pape (Mr. Clifton)  
    Jane Crowley (Kate)  
    Maureen Roden-Ryan (May)  
    Jack Pennick (Johnny)  
    Bob E. Perry (Paddy)  
    Constant Franke (Norway)  
    Dan Borzage (Tim)  
    Harry Tenbrook (Max)  
    Tina Menard (Bumboat girl)  
    Judith Linden (Bumboat girl)  
    Elena Martinez (Bumboat girl)  
    Lita Cortez (Bumboat girl)  
    Soledad Gonzales (Bumboat girl)  
    Art Miles (Captain of the Amindra)  
    Harry Woods (First mate of the Amindra)  
    James Flavin (Dock policeman)  
    Lee Shumway (Dock policeman)  
    Wyndham Standing (Naval officer)  
    Lowell Drew (Bald man)  
    Sammy Stein (Seaman)  
    Bing Conley (Limehouse roustabout)  
    Ky Robinson (Limehouse roustabout)  
    Mary Aiken Carewe (Smitty's family)  
    Roger Steele (Smitty's family)  
    Luanne Robb (Smitty's family)  
    Guy Kingsford (London policeman)  
    Les Sketchley (London policeman)  

Summary: On the long voyage home from the West Indies to Baltimore and then to England, the British tramp steamer the Glencairn takes aboard a cargo of munitions, a circumstance which turns the natural complaining of the crew into a case of genuine fear. Those fears are realized when a heavy gale tests the mettle of the ship and in the storm, mountainous waves hurtle the sailor Yank to the seething deck, thus bringing him to his death as his shipmates, Ole Olson and Driscoll, watch helplessly. As they approach land, the crew begins to suspect their brooding, aloof shipmate, Smitty, of sending signals to the Nazis, but they discover that Smitty has really withdrawn in disgrace from his family and all those around him because of his alchoholism. This revelation forces Smitty to resolve to return to his wife and children, but the reunion is tragically doomed when a Nazi plane swoops down from the skies off England and Smitty is killed in the attack. Safely in port after their harrowing crossing, the crew channel their energies into making sure that Ole leaves the sea to return to his aged mother in Sweden, but after bidding his friends farewell, Ole is shanghaied aboard the Amindra . Rescued by Driscoll and his other mates, Ole's voyage ends happily. Not so for Driscoll, because in the rescue he is taken prisoner and sails off aboard the Amindra in Ole's place. As the remaining seafarers return to the Glencairn to resume their long journey, they learn that Driscoll perished aboard the Amindra when the ship was sunk by a torpedo. 

Production Company: Argosy Corp.  
Production Text: A John Ford Production
Distribution Company: United Artists Corp.  
Director: John Ford (Dir)
  Wingate Smith (Asst dir)
Producer: Walter Wanger (Pres)
Writer: Dudley Nichols (Scr)
Photography: Gregg Toland (Photog)
Art Direction: James Basevi (Art dir)
Film Editor: Sherman Todd (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Julia Heron (Int dec)
Music: Edward Paul (Mus dir)
  Richard Hageman (Mus)
Sound: Jack Noyes (Sd)
Special Effects: R. T. Layton (Spec eff)
  R. O. Binger (Spec eff)
Production Misc: James Dent (Prod mgr)
  Wingate Smith (Prod asst)
  B. F. McEveety (Prod asst)
  Lowell Farrell (Prod asst)
  Ned Scott (Still photog)
  Bob Burkhardt (Unit publicity)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the sea plays Bound East For Cardiff (Provincetown, Mass., 28 Jul 1916), In The Zone (New York, 31 Oct 1917), The Long Voyage Home (New York, 2 Nov 1917) and The Moon of the Caribees (New York, 20 Dec 1918) by Eugene O'Neill.
Authors: Eugene O'Neill

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Walter Wanger Productions, Inc. 21/10/1940 dd/mm/yyyy LP9991

PCA NO: 6410
Physical Properties: Sd:
  b&w:

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Friendship
  Sailors
  Shanghaiing
  Ship crews
  Ships
 
Subjects (Minor): Bombing, Aerial
  Alcoholics
  Baltimore (MD)
  Drowning
  England
  False accusations
  Munitions
  National Socialism
  Rescues
  Self-sacrifice
  Storms
  Swedes
  West Indies

Note: According to Life , the picture was filmed aboard the freighter the S.S. Munami at Wilmington Harbor, CA. The film marked the screen debut of stage actress Mildred Natwick. This was the first production of John Ford's Argosy Corp. Modern sources note that under his Fox contract, John Ford was allowed to make one feature per year outside the studio. To make this film, he and Walter Wanger set up Argosy. The next Argosy production was The Fugitive , made in 1947. The Long Voyage Home was nominated for the following Academy Awards: Best Black and White Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Special Photographic Effects, Best Sound and Best Screenplay. It also was included in the National Board of Review 's "ten best" list of 1940. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   8 Oct 40   p. 3.
Film Daily   9 Oct 40   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Apr 40   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Oct 40   p. 3.
Life   11 Nov 40   pp. 83-84.
Motion Picture Herald   12 Oct 40   p. 49.
New York Times   9 Oct 40   p. 40.
Variety   9 Oct 40   p. 16.

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