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In the best Walter Wanger tradition, "The Long Voyage Home" opens new prospects to moviedom. It carries the technique of suspense beyond the stage of "Foreign Correspondent." Hitchcock's suspense is inherently melodramatic, whereas John Ford's is self-contained atmosphere, bovering over a plot of merely secondary importance. The subject of "The Long Voyage Home" is mainly an impression, a dismal portrait of futility.

The script is rather incpt patchwork, composed of three O'Ncill plays and a war background to fill the gaps. The action takes place aboard a British tramp steamer and in wet harbor streets infested with demi-monde and cops. All kinds of human fates are thrown together on the S.S. Glencairn, drifting about helplessly on the long voyage that seldom ends at home. John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, and Ian Hunter are three of the ragged, whisky-minded seafarers whose whole characters are unfolded step by step. There is frustration in all of them, the frustration that drove them to sea and that they drown in the bottle.

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