Reel Infatuation: Paul Henreid in Now Voyager (1942)

source: Warner Bros.

The start of my love for classic films goes back to my freshman year of high school. I remember, specifically, it was a Cinema Appreciation class where the first movie my teacher introduced to us was Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

As soon as the screen faded to black, I was hooked.

I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. At the time, I had no clue that those,”black and white” movies could be so enthralling. I was one of those people who wouldn’t touch a classic film with a ten-foot pole. As that class continued, my teacher went on to introduce me to more marvelous films like Rear Window, Lawrence of Arabia, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Sabrina.

The motion pictures that I was introduced in that class, left a lasting mark on my life.

After the course was over, I sought after as many classic films as I could. In fact, for the next couple of years during my high school career, I made it my duty to watch as many classic movies as I could get my hands on. From film noirs like, To Have and Have Not, to musicals like An American in Paris, and even the occasional romantic comedy such as Pillow Talk.

I was obsessed.

now voyager
source: Warner Bros.

So much much so, I started dressing, talking and moulding myself into what I believed a woman of that era should look like. Not only did I look the part, I felt it. And those feelings trickled down into how I interacted with members of the opposite sex.

Due to my excessive classic movie viewing, I started to get a sense of what true romance really was. The men in those movies seemed, to me, to be so much more gentle and tactful than their modern-day counterparts. I started to analyze all the leading men in these movies, and because of this analysis, the way I was attracted to men changed.

One of the movies that had a huge influence on me was Now Voyager, from 1942. Directed by Irving Rapper and co-starring Bette Davis and Paul Henreid, the film tells the story of Charlotte Vale, a frumpy looking, Boston socialite who has a very nervous disposition. This is mostly brought on by her overbearing mother (played by Gladys Cooper), who causes her to, slowly but surely, go mad.

Bette and Paul 2
source: Warner Bros.

Convinced that there’s something wrong with her, Charlotte’s mother hires a psychiatrist to try to help ease her daughter’s woes. Dr. Jasquith (played by Claude Rains) comes into the Vale family household to tend to Charlotte’s needs. After a few days of back and forth, Charlotte comes out of her shell and, somehow, Jasquith manages convinced her to take a cruise to Rio de Janeiro.

While on the cruise, Charlotte encounters a handsome stranger that goes by the name of Jerry (played by Paul Henreid.)

Considering the fact that she spent the last few weeks working on her self-esteem, Charlotte is hesitant that a man this good-looking could be interested in her. But after Jerry, ‘butters’ her up a bit, she eventually lets her guard down.

source: Warner Bros.

The pair has an affair in Rio, despite Jerry being married. After a few weeks at sea, their time together runs out, and Charlotte returns to her home back in Boston. When her family first see her step off the boat, they’re very surprised that their frumpy, homely, looking family member could be transformed into such a beautiful young woman.

The rest of the movie sees Charlotte’s struggle to adjust to her new climate and a number of other obstacles that sees her faith tested.

At this point, I don’t want to spoil the rest of the film, because it’s such a gorgeous movie to watch for the first time, I don’t want to take away anyone’s chance to experience that.

I do, however, want to talk about why I choose Paul Henreid for this blogathon.

Now Voyager2
22 years after Now Voyager was released, Henreid and Davis would team up again to make 1962’s Dead Ringer. Here is a ‘behind the scenes’ photo of the two recreating that famous double cigarette lighting scene.

Now Voyager is one of the movies that had the biggest influence on me. Paul Henreid as Jerry is essentially my dream man.

Jerry should be everyone’s dream man.

Yes, I know he cheats on his wife, and yes, I know that he makes some questionable choices in the movie, but that doesn’t stop me from swooning over the way he’s so loyal to his daughter and to Charlotte. This scene, alone, should be the only reason why you should be attracted to Jerry.

The fact that even when they were miles apart and he still shows his concern for Charlotte and her well-being, tells me that Jerry is a true gentleman. I mean, what more can you ask for? Isn’t that what every girl wants?

I don’t know about you, but, I would love for a man to have that level of concern for me. I suppose that is what makes Jerry so attractive. Not only does he look like this, he also has a heart of gold, and because of that, he’s changed the way I’m attracted to men- forever.




If you would like to read the other entries in this blogathon, click: here!



21 thoughts on “Reel Infatuation: Paul Henreid in Now Voyager (1942)

  1. Paul Henreid is certainly swoon-worthy in this film. He and Bette Davis make a beautiful couple, no?

    Thanks for sharing part of your journey of becoming a Classic Film Enthusiast. That must have been an incredible teacher you had in high school. (I like to think these films sell themselves, but that ain’t always the case.) I can imagine these films would influence the qualities you find attractive in another person – and if you like courtesy and respect and kindness in a fellow, then I think you have good taste, indeed.

    Thanks also for joining the blogathon and reminding us what a dish Paul Henreid really is. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. She was a fantastic teacher! I’m really grateful that she introduced me to those films, I honestly don’t know why I’d be without them. As for Paul Henreid. Oh, man he really is something! Now Voyager is a fantastic movie, and Paul is one of its high point.


  2. Jerry and Charlotte have such a lovely connection. It is both ethereal and pragmatic. Jerry, in all situations, tries to do the right thing. Can we ask anything more of anyone?

    Speaking of the influence of classic movies, my husband often jokes that on our first date I was probably disappointed he wasn’t wearing a boater and spats. He teases, but he gets it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was a very exciting post! I loved it when you explained to us how you developped your love for classic films! Paul Henreid certainly is most charming in this film. I had the chance to meet his son when I was in Vienna. He showed us around me and my friend and was super nice! 🙂
    Excellent post!


    • Thanks for reading! I’m jealous that you got meet an offspring of Paul Henreid. I may have my chance, however. There’s a Humphrey Bogart film festival in Key West, Floria, about an hour away from where I live, and this year Monika Henreid is going to be down there talking about her father! Hopefully I could meet her, haha

      Liked by 1 person

      • That would be nice for you! I’m her friend on fb and with her son too. That’s why I came to meet him when I was in Vienna. 🙂 Gosh I would love to attend this festival! Say hello if you have the chance to meet Monika! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Paul Henreid as Jerry is just about the most ideal character crush I can think of. Dream man, indeed. Your post is wonderful. Thanks so much for joining the blogathon!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jerry is gorgeous. Charlotte is lucky to have met him. I also like how he is concerned for her and does love despite the fact he is married. Jerry is flawed, but he is certainly not a bad person.

    Personally though I always had more of a crush on Claude Rains in this film, and I felt certain that Charlotte would end up with his character (the doctor).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You had an excellent film teacher. Classic movies are like time travel; one sees all of the incidentals people used in every day life on display. ‘Now Voyager’ is one of my favorite Davis films. Other favorites are’ Dark Victory’ and ‘Mrs. Skeffington’. Thanks for the write up.

    Liked by 1 person

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