In Now, Voyager (1942), Boston heiress Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is the victim of a domineering mother (Gladys Cooper) and teeters on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She retreats to a sanitarium, where she is restored to health, sanity, and beauty by a psychiatrist (Claude Rains). Emerging from her retreat, she embarks on a sea cruise, where she falls in love with a handsome married man (Paul Henreid) whose family life has complications of its own. Based on a 1941 novel by Olive Higgins Prouty, Now, Voyager has been central to critical discussions about the women’s film, consumer culture, and feminist film theory.
E. Ann Kaplan (Stony Brook University) will join Patrice Petro, Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center, to discuss the enduring legacy of this fascinating film.