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The Long Voyage Home

  • Directed by John Ford
  • United States, 1940, 105 mins.

Between 1939 and his departure for the war in 1942, director John Ford was in the middle of a remarkable string of masterpieces. Gregg Toland, one the greatest-ever cinematographers, was revolutionizing film style with the deep-focus camera techniques that would culminate in his work on Citizen Kane. Together, Toland and Ford transformed this adaptation of four one-act plays by Eugene O’Neill (who considered it the best film version of his work) into a melancholy shadow-play about a group of sailors manning an explosives-carrying freighter. In the powerful final act, the sailors flounder amidst the onshore nightlife of a desolate harbor-side town. “An essential work . . . as personal and as deeply felt as any of the more recently canonized Ford masterpieces.”—Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader.

Preservation funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation. 

Genres: Drama, War

Other Films by John Ford

The Grapes of Wrath

Ford’s classic humanist masterpiece, an adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel, stars Henry Fonda in one of his most memorable roles as the laborer Tom Joad, who undergoes an ideological awakening during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Initially released from prison and set adrift, Joad returns to his Oklahoma family farm only to see

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

“This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” That most famous of lines from John Ford’s late-career masterpiece is an excellent summation of the mythological aspects of not only the American West—a subject about which Ford was the undisputed master—but of American-style politics and its tenuous relationship to the mainstream

My Darling Clementine

One of John Ford’s finest Westerns, and possibly the best known cinematic telling of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral myth, My Darling Clementine quietly shimmers in its focus on the lyrical side of the American West. Henry Fonda plays Wyatt Earp, the legendary yet reluctant lawman of Tombstone, where he and his brothers stop during