Now, Voyager, is quintessential Davis, at the peak of her Warner Bros. years.
Rightfully, famous for the work of the leads – Ms Davis, along with Paul Henried and Claude Rains and Gladys Cooper, the film has never before been available on Blu-ray, although it has been around for years on other formats.
Derived principally from the original camera negative, via a new 4k scan for Criterion at WB’s MPI, it’s everything that I’d hoped It’s a Wonderful Life would be.
Beautiful blacks, whites and a full rich gray scale – even the dupes shine – and the film begins with 90 seconds or thereabouts of them. Sol Polito’s cinematography shines.
The score by Max Steiner is a classic, and won the Academy Award. Gladys Cooper and Bette Davis were nominated.
Not a great deal needs to be noted. Simply put, one of the great films, that deserves a place in every serious library.
The supplements, in typical Criterion fashion, are superb. I especially like Ms Davis appearing on the Dick Cavett Show – style and substance.
The only query that some might have is “who is Irving Rapper.”
Mr. Rapper, came to the Colonies from England, making his way to Hollywood in the early 1930s.
He began as a dialogue director, working on such films as Charge of the Light Brigade, The Life of Emile Zola and The Adventures of Robin Hood. He served as an assistant director as well as dialogue coach on a 1938 production, The Sisters, which paired Bette Davis and Errol Flynn.
You can probably see where this is going.
His first directorial credit was for Shining Victory in 1941, and the following year made his mark with Now, Voyager, returning to work with Ms Davis on The Corn is Green, and Deception.
Later work included The Glass Menagerie, The Brave One, and Marjorie Morningstar.
Image – 5
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – without a doubt
Very Highly Recommended