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Now Voyager

Screening on Film
Directed by Irving Rapper.
With Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Gladys Cooper.
US, 1942, 35mm, black & white, 117 min.

In this beautifully told and subtly subversive melodrama, Bette Davis plays Charlotte Vale, a damaged, neurotic, and introverted wallflower who voyages toward self-discovery and self-determination after being treated for a nervous breakdown. Freeing herself from her imperious mother's parochial influence, Charlotte finds love and adventure on the high seas--most specifically in the form of Paul Henreid's dashing, disarming, and unhappily married architect. Standing beside Rebecca, The Women and Dark Victory as the quintessential "women's film", Now Voyager offers a glimpse at a woman who transcends social conceptions of gender and propriety to make over her life exactly as she sees fit. And no one is better suited to this transformative role than Davis, who looks as stunning as a would-be spinster (with Frida Kahlo eyebrows) as she does a would-be socialite.

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