The Long Voyage Home

1940

Critically acclaimed as the best film adaptation of one of Eugene O'Neill's classics, the Walter Wanger produced and John Ford directed movie The Long Voyage Home stands as one of Hollywood's best dramatic creations. Ned Scott saved a number of items from the movie production along with some of his favorite photographs. These include portraits of American artists who painted scenes from the production process, something Hollywood producers had never done before. Scott also photographed a few of their paintings as well. Walter Wanger exhibited these paintings in art galleries around the nation to promote the movie. Many publications of the day immortalized this new feature in Hollywood movie making in their respective papers and magazines. American Artists magazine, issue September 1940, is the most complete discussion of the effort. Here the magazine article is displayed along with Scott's portraits of the artists and his photographs of some of their paintings. These are followed by Scott's still photographs from the film.

This film was one of John Ford's favorites of the many films he directed.  For many years, Ford kept prominently displayed in his home a large group of the film stills which Ned Scott produced.  He also kept the painting of himself which Georges Schreiber painted on the set.  Scott's color photographs of these paintings provide the only accessible rendering of what they were like in real life.  Available literature does not provide any hint as to the eventual dispostion of these paintings following their parade on the national museum exhibit circuit after the film's debut.  It is a fact that researchers have failed to locate them.  Until they do, these color phtographs by Ned Scott will serve as honest depictions of their Hollywood grandeur.

American Artist MagazinePaintersCharacter PortraitsMovie Scenes

American Artist Magazine

American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940 American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940 American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940 American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940 American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940 American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940

American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940 American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940 American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940 American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940 American Artist - The Long Voyage Home - 1940

Text of Magazine Article:

A rousing drama of the sea based on four of Eugene O'Neill's stirring one-act plays was in the process of production in Hollywood. The story, written by Dudley Nichols, takes its title "The Long Voyage Home" from one of these plays. It is the saga of the "Glencairn", a British freighter which sails from the tropics on a long and adventurous voyage through the dangerous waters of a war zone to her home port. The ill-fated ship carries a cargo of dynamite and a crew of men who, with no shore leave during the voyage, experience a dramatic range of human emotion and offer a tragic character study, as directed by that genius of character portrayal in motion pictures, John Ford famed especially for his "Stagecoach" and "The Grapes of Wrath".

"The Long Voyage Home" was under production n the studio of Walter Wanger, one of the most progressive and courageous producers in Hollywood. Wanger always had felt that sooner or later there would be a motion picture film so full of human interest, emotional experience and scenic flavor that it would offer stimulating material for artists to interpret and record on canvas. "the Long Voyage Home" impressed him as the perfect film for this.

That is how it came about that nine American artists: Thomas Benton, Grant Wood, George Biddle, James Chapin, Ernest Fiene, Robert Phillip, Louis Quintanilla, Raphael Sawyer and Georges Schreiber were brought to Hollywood on the largest commission ever given by the motion picture industry to American art. Involving more than $50,000, this commission was offered to the artists by Mr. Wanger through Reeves Lowenthal, director of the Associated American Artists, then in California with an exhibition of American paintings. There were three specifications--first, that the artists were to have complete freedom of choice of what they were to paint. Second, they were to have studios on the movie lot and a projection room in which to view each day's rushes. Third, they were to have access to all the sets during the filming--for purposes of sketching--and the cast would be available, any time, in costume, for sittings.

Out of this situation, which would seem to be an artist's conception of paradise, eleven paintings resulted--canvasses which, even if they add no luster to the artist's renown, are hot gravy for the publicity being whipped up by the Hollywood producers and the Associated American Artists of New York. At any rate, the whole performance was a great lark for the artists and it made a real Alice-in-Wonderland story for the feature writers.

For American Artist readers it offers a dramatic study in creative approach by nine prominent painters and demonstrates their contrasting technics and procedures.

The promoters of the enterprise envision this alliance with the of the picture industry with the art of painting as a forerunner of a whole new field of income for artists.

The paintings in turn will serve the film well. It will emphasize its dramatic values. And the artists' interpretations will encourage the public to search the film from an entirely new angle, from the artist's angle, seeking that which is especially significant in action and characterization. The pictures and story on the nine following pages give a vivid account of the unusual art project and reveal the painting methods of these prominent American artists.

The paintings will go on exhibition first in New York at the Associated American Artists Galleries, 711 Fifth Avenue, and then will tour American through the museums.

GEORGES SCHREIBER'S HOLLYWOOD CANVAS

On the last leg of its dramatic sea journey through the war zone to London, the crew of the S.S. Glencairn is bombed and machine-gunned by enemy planes when within sight of land. Schreiber, who well remembers Belgian bombing raids in the first World War, depicts the horror of the faces of John Qualen, Constantine Romanoff, Bob Perry and Thomas Mitchell as a bomb drops near the prow of their ship. This is he scene Georges Schreiber elected to pant in Hollywood. Commenting on his panting procedure, he says: "The Bombardment scene in 'The Long Voyage Home" was painted in oil on canvas, size 30 x 40 inches. The drama of human emotion has always interested me. Having scene the film in production as far as it was at he time, I selected for my theme the subject which not only expressed what I felt most, on account of its timelessness, but a scene I had experienced many a time in reality in my childhood in Brussels in the first World War--bombardments by enemy planes. In the painting I tried to express the entire story in the expression of the men, eliminating every detail which had no immediate relation to the situation. I also kept the color scheme very quiet, for it is my belief that the more tension of feeling an artist portrays, the quieter his palette has to be. With 'understatement" and 'holding back', an artists expresses drama. Overemphasis will turn his work into melodrama. The main characters in the painting are Thomas Mitchell and John Qualen, both of whom I studied at work on the set and of whom I made several sketches. Neither posed for the painting, for an intense emotional expression cannot be 'posed' it has to be interpreted by the artist with his 'feeling' and imagination. The painting was done in five days."

Of his portrait of John Ford, Schreiber said:

"The portrait of John Ford was painted in oil on canvas in 40 x 50 inches. After observing Mr. Ford for two weeks, directing "the Long Voyage Home', I selected the pose which was most typical of is activity. His clothes and cap were those he always wore during his work. They belong to the portrait of the man:I believe that the clothes in a portrait should be of the sitter's choice, reflecting the sitter's taste, rather than of the artist's choosing for color effects. Mr. Ford posed about three hours for the head. A paid 'stand-in' corresponding to Mr. Ford's figure was used for the body. This entire painting was also accomplished in five days. "

Georges Schreiber as born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1904. He experienced four long years of the horrors of World War before he could begin his career as an artist. He came to American and became a citizen of the United States as quickly as the law permitted. He is now one of America's most talented painters and illustrators.

Benton chose for his picture a scene in which the seamen of the S.S. Glencairn, ashore for the first time in months, express their utter contempt for the captain of a rival tramp, the Amindra, just about to leave the London docks. He shares the following with us concerning his interpretation of the episode"

"This picture is the result of walking in on a picture where John Ford was directing an incident in the motion picture version of Eugene O'Neiil's 'The Long Voyage Home'. The incident is not pictured as it will appear in the screen drama because I worked at an angle different from that employed by the camera. I worked from behind the set."

Painters

Rafael Soyer

Rafael Soyer Ned Scott photographed a number of paintings which Producer Walter Wanger commissioned for a film production in 1940. In this painting Rafael Sawyer depicts Barry Fitzgerald as Cocky, the spiteful steward of the British tramp steamer, S.S. Glencairn.  Prior to departure from the London docks, Cocky chats up the girls at one of the many Limehouse pubs surrounding the harbor.  Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

Robert Phillip

Robert Phillip ed Scott photographed a number of paintings which Producer Walter Wanger commissioned for a film production in 1940.  This painting by Robert Philip represents British actor Ian Hunter's character, Seaman Smitty.  Smitty, like many other crew, is hired in the shipping offices in London just before departure.  But he brings aboard a mysterious persona that is both aloof and secretive.  His behavior brings other crew members to suspect he is a German spy.  Little known to anyone, Smitty is just trying to escape his alcoholism. Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

Georges Schreiber

Georges Schreiber Georges Schreiber - Painting of Director John Ford

George Biddle

Thomas Hart Benton Ned Scott photographed a number of paintings which Producer Walter Wanger commissioned for a film production in 1940.  This painting by George Biddle represents John Qualen's character, Seaman Axel.  A favorite character actor of Director John Ford, Qualen plays a character who is perpetually optimistic, and he stands out among members of the crew of the S.S. Glencairn which is carrying dangerous cargo in wartime waters.  Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

Ernest Fiene

Ned Scott photographed a number of paintings which Producer Walter Wanger commissioned for a film production in 1940.  This painting by Ernest Fiene represents John Wayne's character, Seaman Ole Oleson, a Scandanavian man with a long hisory of seamnship. Ole is a part of a well cast group of seamen who bring different experiences to the deck of the British tramp steamer, S.S. Glencairn. John Wayne does a credible job in this film, using a Swedish accent to go with his character. Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

A significant salute to Grant Wood by Argosy Productions and Walter Wanger:  "Grant Wood is unquestionably one of America's greatest contemporary artists.  Born and raised in Iowa, this quiet, modest and scholarly man still maintains his studios close by the University of Iowa where he is a professor.  After being the sole support for his family at the age of ten, Wood began his art stuidies in Cedar rapids, then went to Chicago Art Institute and later studied abroad. After serving as a camouflage artist with the U.S. Army in World War I, Wood developed a rugged styleof painting which he has completely reversed to become the foremost realist of his day.  Wood creates but two or three pantings a year and only one of his canvasses remains outside a museum or private collection.  More than any other artist Wood has the ability to capture the simple and spiritual qualities of American of the soil and his "American Gothis" and "Woman With Plant" are the two most frequently reproduced paintings of a decade.  Wood joined eight other American artists recently in painting scenes inspired by the colorful John Ford Argosy picture, "The LOng Voyage Home", by Eugene O'Neill, the largest group project in the history of American art.  

Grant Wood Grant Wood Grant Wood

Judith Linden, who has a prominent role in John Ford's Argosy Poduction 'The Long Voyage Home' (1940), looks on as Thomas Hart Benton, famous American artist, explains his work.  Benton is one of nine disttinguished painters brought to Hollywood by producer Walter Wanger to paint principals and scenes from this Eugene O'Neill classic drama of the sea. 

Benton at work on the set with actress Judith Linden

The Painters

From Left to Right: Ernest Fiene, Luis Quintanilla, Thomas Benton, George Biddle, Raphael Sawyer, Georges Schreiber, Robert Philipp, James Chapin.

From Left to Right:  Ernest Fiene, Luis Quintanilla, Thomas Benton, George Biddle, Raphael Sawyer, Georges Schreiber,  Robert Philipp, James Chapin.

Portraits

Arthur Shields as Donkeyman from "The Long Voyage Home"

The Long Voyage Home photos: Studio caption for this photograph reads, "Arthur Shields, well known as one of the stars of the Abbey Players, has an unusually strong role in John Ford's Argosy Production, 'The Long Voyage Home' made at Walter Wanger Studios.  Director Jhn Ford's dramatic saga of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

Barry Fitzgerald as "Cocky", the mess steward aboard the S.S. Glencairn.

Barry Fitzgerald as 'Cocky' Barry Fitzgerald as 'Cocky' Barry Fitzgerald as 'Cocky' The Long Voyage Home photos:  Studio caption for this photograph reads:  Beautiful Carmen Morales supplies much of the romantic interest in the torrid tropical scenes for John Ford's Argosy Production of "The Long Voyage Home". A native of the Canary Islands, Miss Morales was educated in the United States and has sung and danced in all the large cities of Europe and South America.  This is her second motion picture in English, and she is known as the "Spanish Girl" amoung the bumboat crowd.  Director John Ford's epic tale of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

Constant Franke as "Norway", a member of the shipboard black gang.

Ian Hunter as 'Norway' Ian Hunter as 'Norway'

Carmen Morales as a Spanish Girl providing romantic interest

The Long Voyage Home photos:  Studio caption for this photograph reads:  Beautiful Carmen Morales supplies much of the romantic interest in the torrid tropical scenes for John Ford's Argosy Production of "The Long Voyage Home". A native of the Canary Islands, Miss Morales was educated in the United States and has sung and danced in all the large cities of Europe and South America.  This is her second motion picture in English, and she is known as the "Spanish Girl" amoung the bumboat crowd.  Director John Ford's epic tale of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940. Carmen Morales as a Spanish Girl providing romantic interest

Constantine Romanoff as Big Frank, the Hairy Ape

Constantine Romanoff as Big Frank, the Hairy Ape Constantine Romanoff as Big Frank, the Hairy Ape Constantine Romanoff as Big Frank, the Hairy Ape

Douglas Walton as the second mate aboard the S.S. Glencairn

The Long Voyage Home photos: Studio caption for this photograph reads, "Douglas Walton, who has the role of second mate aborad the S.S. Glencairn in John Ford's Argosy Production of Eugene O'Neill's 'The Long Voyage Home'.  This picture is the first one ever to truly present the lives of sailors on a tramp steamer, and is hailed as the first true translation of O'Neill to the screen with absolute fidelity."  Director John Ford's dramatic tale of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

Ian Hunter as "Smitty", man of mystery aboard the S.S. Glencairn

Ian Hunter as 'Smitty' Ian Hunter as 'Smitty' Ian Hunter as 'Smitty' Ian Hunter as 'Smitty' Ian Hunter photos: Ian Hunter, pictured here as "Smitty", ordinary seaman aboard the S.S. Glencairn, a British tramp steamer sailing with dangerous cargo through wartime waters.  The caption to this photograph reads: "In one of the finest opportunities of his career, Ian Hunter, famous character actor, plays Smitty, the man of mystery aboard the S.S. Glencairn."  Smitty keeps to himself during the voyage, and it creates problems when the rest of the crew begin to suspect he is an enemy spy.  Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940. Ian Hunter as "Smitty", man of mystery aboard the S.S. Glencairn, a cargo vessel which carries dangerous cargo during WWII.  Smitty has just signed on as ordinary seaman along with many others of the crew.  Because Smitty remains aloof during the course of the voyage, he is suspected of being an enemy spy.  Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, 'The Long Voyage Home', 1940.

Jack Pennick as seaman "Johnny"

The Long Voyage Home photos: Studio caption for this photograph reads, "A veteran character actor who has played in most of John Ford's productions is Jack Pennick.  He has a strong role as ordinary seaman, 'Johnny', in Ford's Argosy Production of Eugene O'Neill's 'The Long Voyage Home' made at Walter Wanger studios."  Direcor John Ford's epic tale of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940. Jack Pennick as seaman 'Johnny' Jack Pennick as seaman 'Johnny'

John Qualen as seaman "Axel"

The Long Voyage Home photos: John Qualen, leading character actor, here portrays ordinary seaman Axel.  Axel is a Swedish sailor aboard the S.S. Glencairn, a British tramp steamer bound for wartime waters carrying dangerous cargo.  On board he is known among the crew for draggging weird tunes from his flute. Director John Ford's epic tale of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940 John Qualen as seaman 'Axel' Ned Scott photographed a number of paintings which Producer Walter Wanger commissioned for a film production in 1940.  This painting by George Biddle represents John Qualen's character, Seaman Axel.  A favorite character actor of Director John Ford, Qualen plays a character who is perpetually optimistic, and he stands out among members of the crew of the S.S. Glencairn which is carrying dangerous cargo in wartime waters.  Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

Joe Sawyer as seaman "Davis"

Joe Sawyer as seaman 'Davis' Joe Sawyer as seaman 'Davis'

John Wayne as seaman "Ole"

The Long Voyae Home photos: John Wayne as seaman Ole, crew member aboard S.S. Glencairn during a perilous voyage in Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, 'The Long Voyage Home', 1941. Studio caption for this photograph reads: John Wayne, popular young leading man, who has another unusually fine role under the director who made him famous in "Sagecoach", John Ford.  Wayne has the part of a Swedish sailor in Ford's Argosy production of "The Long Voyage Home" adapted from Eugene O'Neill's classics." John Wayne with an Ohio Blue-Tip match stick. He is immitating Ned Scott's habit of chewing on one around the studio. John Wayne plays Ole, Scandanavian seaman aboard SS Glencairn, as the vessel enters dangerous waters with a perilous cargo during John Ford's epic sea drama, 'The Long Voyage Home, 1941' John Wayne as seaman John Wayne Photos John Wayne Photos During a break in filming, John Wayne takes a dialect lesson from Walter Wanger contract star Osa Massen for his role as 'Ole' in Long Voyage Home'. Notice the cigarette. Directed by John Ford
John Wayne Photos

Mary Carewe as "Smitty's wife"

The Long Voyage Home photos:  Mary Aiken, widow of Edwin Carewe, once a famous movie director, makes her first bid for a comeback in pictures in a role in John Ford's Argosy Production of Eugene O'Neill's classic of the sea, 'The Long Voyage Home'.  Mary plays Elizabeth, wife of Smitty (Ian Hunter), the aloof, mysterious sailor thought to be an enemy spy. Director John Ford's dramatic tale of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

Thomas Mitchell as the bosun aboard the S.S. Glencairn.

Thomas Mitchell as the bosun aboard the S.S. Glencairn. Thomas Mitchell as the bosun aboard the S.S. Glencairn. Thomas Mitchell as the bosun aboard the S.S. Glencairn. The Long Voyage Home photos:  Studio caption for this photograph reads, "Two-fisted bosun of the S.S. Glencairn is Thomas Mitchell as Driscoll in John Ford's Argosy Production of Eugene O'Neill's 'The Long Voyage Home'.  Mitchell considers this the greatest role of his picture career so far, and expects it to do as much for him as the first picture he did with John Ford, Walter Wanger's 'Stagecoach'.  Director John Ford's dramatic tale of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.

Unknown Actors

Actor is unknown Actor is unknown

Wilfrid Lawson as the Captain aboard the S.S. Glencairn

Wilfrid Lawson as the Captain aboard the S.S. Glencairn Wilfrid Lawson as the Captain aboard the S.S. Glencairn Wilfrid Lawson as the Captain aboard the S.S. Glencairn Wilfrid Lawson as the Captain aboard the S.S. Glencairn

Movie Scenes

Long Voyage Home movie scenes

Scene from Long Voyage Home The Long Voyage Home photos:  The Caption for this photograph reads: Ward Bond as Yank and Carmen Morales as a bumboat girl in a torrid scene from the stirring John Ford-Argosy production of "The Long Voyage Home".  This is a tropical scene in the Caribbean Sea.  Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940 Scene from Long Voyage Home Scene from Long Voyage Home  The Bumboat girls cavort for Ole (John Wayne) and Driscoll (Thomas Mitchell) in The Long Voyage Home
Scene from Long Voyage Home Scene from Long Voyage Home Scene from Long Voyage Home Scene from Long Voyage Home
Scene from Long Voyage Home The Long Voyage home photos: Studio caption for this photograph reads:  Wilfred Lawson, captain, and Douglas Walton, second mate, check up on the stabbing of a sailor aboard the S.S. Glencairn, British tramp steamer, in John Ford's Argosy Production of Eugene O'Neill's "The Long Voyage Home". Besides the officers those in the pitcure include Thomas Mitchell, Constantine Romanoff and John Wayne.  An on-set photograph supporting Director John Ford's epic drama of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.  Scene from Long Voyage Home Scene from Long Voyage Home
The crew of the S.S. Glencairn get their final orders before disembarking on their long, perilous journey through treacherous wartime waters with dangerous cargo.  John Ford's epic drama of the sea, 'The Long Voyage Home',1940 Scene from Long Voyage Home Crew members of the S.S. Glencairn catch up with their drinking in a Limehouse pub while on shore leave just prior to their departure on a perilous voyage with dangerous cargo.  John Ford's epic drama of the sea, ' The Long Voyage Home', 1940 Ward Bond as Yank and Ian Hunter as Smitty discuss things over a pint while Carmen Morales looks on in scene from John Ford's Long Voyage Home 1941
Ian Hunter as the mysterious Smitty and Thomas Mitchell as ship's bosun Driscoll scan the horizon from the deck of the SS Glencairn in John Ford's 'Long 'Voyage Home', 1940 Ole (John Wayne) drinks with a B-girl in a dockside pub prior to departure on the SS Glencairn in John Ford's The Long Voyage Home, 1940 The crew of the S.S. Glencairn enjoys a boozy evening in a dockside Limehouse pub before shipping out on their long, perilous journey with dangerous cargo in their vessel, the S.S. Glencairn.  The November, 1940 issue of U.S. Camera Magazine featured this image in their article discussing the film.  And John Ford liked Ned Scott's stills this from the film so much that he kept them displayed in his home for years The crew of the S.S. Glencairn gathers in a dockside alley the evening before they depart on their hazardous journey in John Ford's The Long Voyage Home, 1940
The Long Voyage Home photos:  Three of the SS Glencairn’s crew react to the attack by a German warplane on their vessel.  Ole, played by John Wayne, Axel played by John Qualen, and Driscoll the Bosun, played by Thomas Mitchell all cower in fear and dread as the warplane cricles their vessel in John Ford’s epic tale of the sea, The Long Voyage Home, 1940 An off-set photograph of the bumboat girls, gathering around the S.S. Glencairn’s two-fisted bosun, Driscoll (Thomas Mitchell), and the hardened ordinary seaman Ole Oleson (John Wayne), in a playful moment aboard ship. Director John Ford’s epic drama of the sea, "The Long Voyage Home", 1940.