Paul Henreid telling Bette Davies with cigarettes what Humphrey Bogart told Ingrid Bergman with words (Here's looking at you kid) is one of the many great moments in this near perfect melodrama. Bette Davies is magnificent in one of her greatest if unusual roles and never has she looked so beautiful or been so tragic.
The chemistry between Bette Davis and Paul Henreid is absolutely electric and hands down the high point of this little melodrama. Smoking cigarettes never looked so sexy and you can practically feel the carnal desire on their faces as they smoke with each other. Claude Rains offers his calm sarcasm and brilliantly complements this stunning film. Davis was a presence and she shows her full range in this picture.
Suffering in mink supreme. The ‘woman’s picture’ par excellence with nearly all the manipulative levers pulled with just-so efficiency. The machine-tooled studio style is just about at a peak here and plays you like the proverbial kipper but it’s done with such confidence and elan who could complain too loudly? If only the Hollywood conveyer belt were covered in ermine every time.
Uh, that's one bizarre solution to a relationship. Would someone actually do what Jerry agreed to do? Apart from that, a solid "let's bond over cigarette smoke" melodrama from Rapper with traditional melodrama ingredients, without appearing too cheesy and ridiculous, and a closing line worthy of remembering. Davis isn't any less alluring as a classy lady than as a freakish bitch.
One of Davis’ most delicate roles, portraying a woman for whom independence is greater than money, comfort, or even love. Her saucer eyes were never more expressive than here—two crystalline dams perpetually on the verge of loosing the Red Sea. Though her ultimate happiness defaults to pseudo-motherhood, the film’s preoccupation with free-will makes it an early feminist work gussied up in the trappings of melodrama.
The sentiment is noble and there are big ideas in this film, but it's hard to say that it has aged well. Now, Voyager didn't portray the way people went about life and love then and it certainly doesn't do it now. Love Affair (i.e.), done a few years early, is a better melodrama. Still, Rapper's work is often intriguing and Davis and Henreid's relationship is undoubtedly to die for.
Sublime! Bette is as enchanting as a sophisticated society lady as she is a mousy shut-in. Before Now, Voyager I had only seen Dangerous and Jezebel, and I was shocked to see a Bette character possess traits like manners and a temper. In one of her most subdued roles, she radiates an eagerness for her craft that is invigorating. Her on-screen sister June is also played by a person named "Bonita Granville." Charming.