The Long Voyage Home

  • PG
  • John Ford (1940)
  • US
  • 100 min
The Long Voyage Home
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

This near masterpiece from director John Ford was scripted by Stagecoach's Dudley Nichols from four one-act seafaring plays by Eugene O'Neill, and it bears that satisfying streak of grim melancholy that typifies the finest work of one of America's greatest writers. Although the film is relentlessly studio bound, the magnificent photography of Gregg Toland (Citizen Kane) captures the dangerous atmosphere as a freighter transports a cargo of dynamite across the Atlantic during the Second World War. Top billed is John Wayne, playing a Swedish merchant seaman, accent and all, and he's backed up by an extremely effective all-male supporting cast. This movie was said to be O'Neill's favourite film - Ford gave him a copy and the playwright allegedly wore it out through repeated screenings.

Plot Summary

John Wayne stars in John Ford's nautical drama set during the early years of the Second World War. A group of merchant seamen embark for England via Baltimore on a freighter loaded with dynamite - a voyage that is to be fraught with danger.

Cast and crew


Ole Olsen
John Wayne
Aloysius Driscoll
Thomas Mitchell
Ian Hunter
Barry Fitzgerald
Wilfrid Lawson
Mildred Natwick
Axel Swanson
John Qualen
Ward Bond
Donkey man
Arthur Shields
Joe Sawyer
Limehouse crimp
J M Kerrigan
Tropical woman
Rafaela Ottiano


John Ford

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
United Artists Corp. Ltd
Available on video
Certificate PG