The Long Voyage Home

Screening on Film
Directed by John Ford.
With John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter.
US, 1940, 35mm, black & white, 105 min.
Print source: HFA

On the eve of the U.S. entry into World War II, Ford offered a stark and brooding maritime fable that counts among the most powerful evocations of male longing and loneliness in American cinema. Ford’s rare talent as an ensemble director reached a new height in this tale of an English freighter carrying dangerous secret cargo through a perilous war zone and in the unusually sensitive and heartrending performances of Ian Hunter, Ward Bond and especially Thomas Mitchell. The Long Voyage Home’s astonishing black and white cinematography marked an important high point in the career of legendary cinematographer Gregg Toland, whose experimentation with depth-of-focus and tonally expressive shadows anticipates his milestone work in Citizen Kane the next year. 

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