Best of… Series – 1940 – The Long Voyage Home

The Long Voyage Home (John Ford, 1940)

The further into John Ford’s filmography I get, the more stuff I like. Of course, the man made well over 100 films, so I guess that’s to be expected. But even some of his work that isn’t as highly regarded is very good, I’m finding out. The Long Voyage Home might be the most beautifully shot of any I’ve seen. Director of Photography, Gregg Toland, contrasts many intimate, claustrophobic images with images of the open sea and sky. Both are real worlds for sailors, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was part of this crew because of the film’s cinematography.

long voyage

The film’s story has its ups and downs though. It was at its strongest when focusing on the loner, Smith. His character was mysterious, though never untrustworthy, despite what his crewmates believed. As his backstory is revealed to us in an incredibly awkward (in a good way) scene, I couldn’t help but be extremely sympathetic towards him. Unfortunately, this story is broken up by the character of Yank’s storyline, and the last section involving John Wayne’s character, Ole (despite how fun this section is). I had a much harder time caring for those events after watching Smith’s. Still, I have to call this one of the better Ford films I’ve seen.  9/10


2 Responses to “Best of… Series – 1940 – The Long Voyage Home”

  1. I like the shot you pictured in this post. Looks intriguing.

    • There’s a lot of great shots. Unfortunately, Google images didn’t provide as many usable ones as I had hoped or I would have posted more.

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