Now, Voyager

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Bette Davis as Charlotte Vale.
Paul Henreid as Jerry Durrance.
Claude Rains as Dr. Jaquith.
Gladys Cooper as Mrs. Vale.

Now, Voyager is a 1942 film about a Boston spinster who blossoms under therapy and finds impossible romance.

Directed by Irving Rapper. Written by Casey Robinson, based on the novel by Olive Higgins Prouty.
IN THE Arms OF ANOTHER WOMAN'S MAN...SHE FINDS Her MAN! (taglines)

Charlotte Vale[edit]

  • What man is suitable, doctor? She's never found one. What man would ever look at me and say, 'I want you.'? I'm fat. My mother doesn't approve of dieting. Look at my shoes. My mother approves of sensible shoes. Look at the books on my shelves. My mother approves of good solid books. I'm my mother's well-loved daughter. I'm her companion. I am my mother's servant. My mother says! My mother. My mother! MY MOTHER!

Mrs. Windle Vale[edit]

  • Charlotte was a late child. There were three boys, and after a long time this girl - 'a child of my old age' I always called her...her father passed on soon after she was born, my ugly duckling...I've kept her close by me always. When she was young, foolish, I made decisions for her, always the right decisions. One would think a child would wish to repay her mother's love and kindness.

Dialogue[edit]

Mrs. Vale: I will not countenance deceit against one of my own flesh and blood, but neither will I countenance any more of Charlotte's nonsense. [To Charlotte] Lisa tells me that your latest peculiarities, your fits of crying, your secretiveness indicate that you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Is that what you're trying to achieve? Believe me, I'm trying to help. Dr. Jaquith has a sanitarium in Vermont, I believe. Probably one of those places with a high-wire fence and yowling inmates.
Dr. Jaquith: I wouldn't want anyone to have that notion. Cascade is where people go when they're tired. Like you go to the seashore.
Mrs. Vale: The very word 'psychiatry,' Dr. Jaquith, doesn't it fill you with shame, my daughter, a member of our family?
Dr. Jaquith: There's nothing shameful or frightening about it. It's simple, what I do. People come to a fork in the road. They don't know which way to go. I put up a signpost: "Not that way. This way."

Dr. Jaquith: You know, there's nothing like these old Boston homes anywhere...you see them standing in a row like bastions, firm, proud, resisting the new, houses turned in upon themselves hugging their pride.
Charlotte: Introverted, doctor.
Dr. Jaquith: Well, I wouldn't know about that. I don't put much faith in scientific terms. I leave that to the fakirs and writers of books.

Dr. Jaquith: My dear Mrs. Vale, if you had deliberately and maliciously planned to destroy your daughter's life, you couldn't have done it more completely.
Mrs. Vale: How? By having exercised a mother's rights?
Dr. Jaquith: A mother's rights, tawdle. A child has rights, a person has rights, to discover her own mistakes, to make her own way, to grow and blossom in her own particular soil.
Mrs. Vale: Are we getting into botany, doctor? Are we flowers?

Jerry: [pointing at Charlotte in the picture] Who's the fat lady with the heavy brows and all the hair?
Charlotte: A spinster Aunt.
Jerry: Where are you? Taking the picture?
Charlotte: I'm the fat lady with the heavy brows and all the hair. I'm poor Aunt Charlotte and I've been ill. I've been in a sanitarium for three months and I'm not well yet. [She breaks down in tears] Forgive me.
Jerry: Feeling better?
Charlotte: Much. Thanks to you. Oh, many, many thanks to you.
Jerry: Thanks for what?
Charlotte: Oh, for sharing my carriage today and for walking my legs off sight-seeing. And for lunch and for shopping, and for helping me feel that there were a few moments when I - when I almost felt alive. Thank you.
Jerry: Thank you who?
Charlotte: Thank you, Jerry.

Jerry: [as Charlotte tries to leave] Please, don't yet.
Charlotte: Well, I'm not going to struggle with you.
Jerry: That's right. No telling what sort of primitive instincts you might arouse. Isn't it beautiful? [He puts two cigarettes in his mouth, lights them both and then hands one to Charlotte.] Do you believe in immortality?
Charlotte: I don't know. Do you?
Jerry: I want to believe that there's a chance for such happiness to be carried on somehow somewhere.
Charlotte: Are you so happy then?
Jerry: Close to it. Getting warmer and warmer as we used to say as kids. Remember?
Charlotte: Look out or you'll get burned we used to say.
Jerry: Are you afraid of getting burnt if you get too close to happiness?
Charlotte: Mercy, no. I'm immune to happiness and therefore to burns.
Jerry: You weren't immune that night on the mountain.
Charlotte: Do you call that happiness?
Jerry: Only a small part. There are other kinds.
Charlotte: Such as?
Jerry: Having fun together, getting a kick out of simple little things, out of beauty like this. Sharing confidences we wouldn't share with anybody else in all the world. Charlotte, won't you be honest and tell me if you are happy too? Since the night on the boat when you told me about your illness, I-I can't get you out of my mind - or out of my heart either. If I were free, there would be only one thing I want to do - prove you're not immune to happiness. Would you want me to prove it Charlotte? Tell me you would. Then I'll go. [She turns toward him and buries her head in his chest.] Why darling, you are crying.
Charlotte: I'm such a fool, such an old fool. These are only tears of gratitude - an old maid's gratitude for the crumbs offered.
Jerry: Don't talk like that.
Charlotte: You see, no one ever called me darling before. [they kiss]

Charlotte: I hate goodbyes.
Jerry: They don't matter. It's what's gone before.
Charlotte: No, it's what can't go after.
Jerry: We may see each other - sometime.
Charlotte: No, we promised. We are both to go home.
Jerry: Will it help you to know I'll miss you every moment?
Charlotte: So will I, Jerry, so will I. Goodbye.

Charlotte: Mother - I don't want to be disagreeable or unkind. I've come home to live with you again here in the same house. But it can't be in the same way. I've been living my own life, making my own decisions for a long while now. It's impossible to go back to being treated like a child again. I don't think I'll do anything of importance that will displease you, but Mother, from now on, you must give me complete freedom, including deciding what I wear, where I sleep, what I read...Mother, please be fair and meet me halfway.
Mrs. Vale: They told me before you were born that my recompense to having a late child was the comfort the child would be to me in my old age, especially if she was a girl. And on your first day home after six month's absence, you behave like this.

Mrs. Vale: And you expect me to pay for articles charged to me of which I do not approve?
Charlotte: Well, I could pay for it myself. I have saved quite a little money. I have about five thousand dollars.
Mrs. Vale: Five thousand dollars won't last very long, especially if your monthly allowance were to be discontinued.
Charlotte: Oh. Mother, I want to ask you something. When father set up the trust for the two boys, why didn't he make one for me too?
Mrs. Vale: Because you were a mere child and he wisely left your affairs to my own better judgment. I'm sure you've always had everything in the world you want.
Charlotte: I haven't had independence.
Mrs. Vale: That's it. That's what I want to talk about - independence. To buy what you choose, to wear what you choose, sleep where you choose, independence. That's what you mean by it, isn't it?
Charlotte: Dr. Jaquith says that - that independence is reliance upon one's own will and judgment.
Mrs. Vale: I make the decisions here, Charlotte. I'm willing you should occupy your own room until I dismiss the nurse. She will occupy your father's room for the time being, and will perform a daughter's duties as well as a nurse's. That will give you a good chance to think over what I've said. I'm very glad to give a devoted daughter a home under my roof, and pay all her expenses, but not if she scorns my authority.
Charlotte: Well, I could earn my own living, Mother. As a matter of fact, I've often thought about it. I'd make a very good head waitress in a restaurant or...
Mrs. Vale: You may think that very funny, but I guess you'll be laughing out of the other side of your face if I did carry out my suggestion.
Charlotte: I don't think I would. I'm not afraid, Mother. (in close-up) I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid, Mother.
Mrs. Vale: Charlotte, sit down. I want you to know something I've never told you before. It's about my will. You'll be the most powerful and wealthy member of the Vale family - if I don't change my mind. I advise you to think it over.

Charlotte: I knew you were married and I walked right in with my eyes wide open. But you said it would make you happier.
Jerry: And it has. I've got back my work, and that's due to you.
Charlotte: I've been hoping you'd say that.
Charlotte: Shall I tell you what you've given me? On that very first day, a little bottle of perfume made me feel important. You were my first friend. And then when you fell in love with me, I was so proud. And when I came home, I needed something to make me feel proud. And your camellias arrived, and I knew you were thinking about me. Oh, I could have walked into a den of lions. As a matter of fact, I did, and the lions didn't hurt me.

Charlotte: Elliott and I have broken our engagement.
Mrs. Vale: Why have you done that?
Charlotte: Because I don't love him.
Mrs. Vale: Have you no sense of obligation to your family or to me? Here you have the chance to join our name Vale with one of the finest families in the city, Livingston, and you come in here to tell me that you aren't in love. You're behaving like a romantic girl of eighteen.
Charlotte: I don't doubt it.
Mrs. Vale: And what do you intend to do with your life?
Charlotte: Get a cat and a parrot and live alone in single blessedness.
Mrs. Vale: STOP ROCKING. You've never done anything to make your mother proud, or to make yourself proud either. Why, I should think you'd be ashamed to be born and live all your life as Charlotte Vale. Miss Charlotte Vale.
Charlotte: Dr. Jaquith says that tyranny is sometimes an expression of the maternal instinct. If that's a mother's love, I want no part of it. [Rising vehemently and walking away] I didn't want to be born. You didn't want me to be born either. It's been a calamity on both sides.
[Mrs. Vale suffers a fatal stroke and heart attack]
Charlotte: Oh mother, let's not quarrel. We've been getting along together so well lately. It was a horrid...thing to say...

Tina: I'm ugly and nobody likes me...I'm not pretty in the least. You know I'm not.
Charlotte: Well, whoever wants that kind of prettiness, Tina? There's something else you can have if you earn it. A kind of beauty.
Tina: What kind?
Charlotte: Something that has nothing to do with your face. A light shines from inside you because you're a nice person. You think about it. Someday, you'll know I'm right.
Tina: Will they like me then?
Charlotte: Who are they?
Tina: Everybody. All the kids at school, Miss Trask, and the nurses and the doctors. Oh, there must be something awfully wrong with me.
Charlotte: Do you like them, Tina? The kids at school, and Miss Trask and the nurses and the doctors?
Tina: No. I hate them.
Charlotte: Shhh. That's something else you've got to grow up with. If you want people to like you, you've got to like people.
Tina': Why are you so good to me?
Charlotte: Because somebody was good to me once when I needed somebody.

Jerry: I can't go on forever taking, taking, taking from you and, and giving nothing, darling.
Charlotte: Oh, I see. Forgive me, Jerry, it's your pride, isn't it? Let me explain. You will be giving. Don't you know that to take is sometimes a way to give - the most beautiful way in the world if two people love each other. You'll be giving me Tina, every single day I'll be taking and you'll be giving.
Jerry: It's very kind of you to put it that way.

Charlotte: Some man who'll make me happy? Oh, so that's it. So that's it. Well, I've certainly made a great mistake. Here I have been laboring under the delusion that you and I were so in sympathy - so one - that you'd know without being asked what would make me happy. And you come up here to talk about some man. Apparently, you haven't the slightest conception of what torture it is to love a man and to be shut out, barred out, to be always an outsider, an extra.
Jerry: Charlotte, let me -
Charlotte: Why, when Tina said she wanted to come home and stay with me - well, it was like a miracle happening. Like having your child, a part of you. And I even allowed myself to indulge in the fantasy that both of us loving her and doing what was best for her together would make her seem actually like our child after a while. But I see no such fantasy has occurred to you. Again, I've been just a big sentimental fool. It's a tendency I have.
Jerry: Wait a minute. I was afraid you were keeping Tina out of pity. But there was no note of pity in your ridicule of me just now. Now I know you still love me, and it won't die, what's between us. Do what we will - ignore it, neglect it, starve it - it's stronger than both of us together.
Charlotte: Please, let me go.
Jerry: Charlotte -
Charlotte: Please, let me go. Jerry, Dr. Jaquith knows about us. When he said I could take Tina, he said, "You're on probation." Do you know what that means? It means that I'm on probation because of you and me. He allowed this visit as a test, and if I can't stand such tests, I'll lose Tina, and we'll lose each other. Jerry, please help me.
Jerry: Shall we just have a cigarette on it?
Charlotte: Yes.
Jerry: May I sometimes come here?...
Charlotte: Whenever you like; it's your home too. There are people here who love you.
Jerry: ...and look at you and Tina? Share with you peace and contentment?
Charlotte: Of course, and just think, it won't be for this time only. That is, if you will help me keep what we have, if we both try hard to protect that little strip of territory that's ours. We can talk about your child -
Jerry: Our child.
Charlotte: Thank you.
Jerry: And will you be happy, Charlotte?
Charlotte: Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars.

Taglines[edit]

  • IN THE Arms OF ANOTHER WOMAN'S MAN...SHE FINDS Her MAN!
  • Today Her Greatest! For a woman there's always an excuse . . .
  • I'm the maiden aunt. Every family has one you know.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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