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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. 



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.