I started this post with one of my typical crazy ideas. I fantasized that NASA had asked me to stock a new giant spaceship “Voyager” with things about America and our modern culture.
I may come back to that idea another time, but I got stuck on the word Voyager.
It brought me back to a “date” I had quite a few years ago, during my “single” days. This lady asked me over for popcorn and a movie with her and her sister. . They wanted to watch one of their favorite movies. Obviously they had seen it many times. I had never seen the oldie but goody, “Now Voyager.”
During most of the movie I strained to understand the weird Austrian accent of the lead actor and at a crucial time at the ending, I was laughing. Both of the sisters were crying. It was an “oh-oh” moment. What you might call a “personality clash.”
What a closing scene. It’s supposed to be one of the greatest ending scenes of all times. Every time I see it I laugh.
Let’s remember it.
Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) approaches Jeremiah Durrance (Paul Henreid), her eyes misty. He says, “Shall we just have a cigarette on it?”
She looks forlorn. She steps towards him and says, “Yes.”
She opens a fancy cigarette case and offers him a cigarette. He takes two. Places both of them in his mouth (all through this scene the violins are syrupy), lights them both at the same time, takes one out of his mouth and hands it to her. They both inhale and then blow smoke in each other’s faces.
I try not to crack up, but my body wants to cough.
The strings grow louder. She turns and walks to the window, pulls back the curtain a bit and stares into the sky.
He approaches her, while she takes another puff, and says “May I sometimes come here?”
She says, “Whenever you like, it’s your home, too. You have people here who love you.”
Jeremiah grows close and says (in his Austrian accent that sounds tongue-tied to me), “Can I look in on you and Tina, share with your peace and contentment?”
“Of course. And just think it won’t be be for this time only…that is, if you’ll help me keep what we have. We must try hard to protect that little strip of territory that is ours. We can talk about your child.” (She turns to the window)…He interrupts.
She turns back and her misty eyes look into his and she says, “Thank you.
He says, “And will you be happy, Charlotte?”
And then her famous closing line,
“Jerry, don’t just ask for the moon…we have the stars.”
The strings grow even louder and the camera moves out the window, above the tree-line and onto the starry night. “The End” flashes on the screen.
Yes, I know, I’m not very romantic. At least, not at this movie.
Go ahead…watch the ending.