Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Screening Room…Now Voyager

now-voyager-movie-posterFile this movie under greatest transformations of all time. nowvoyagerCan’t stress how good of a movie this is for style inspiration. Bette Davis goes from forgotten-spinster-aunt to honestly one of the chicest women you will ever see on film. To see such a drastic character transformation take place, will pleasantly surprise and remind you of how much is within your power.


This goes for style but it also stands true for the extremely complicated way in which we each see ourselves.


Because she feels badly about herself on the inside, she doesn’t believe she deserves to portray pretty on the outside. By pushing her to play the part of a lovely woman, she is made to realize that she is in fact lovely and that all it took to carry an evening gown was a woman who believed in herself.


It’s not that you should be valued by what’s on the outside – it’s the idea that sometimes seeing the beauty of your outside, can make you realize, your inside was just as lovely all along.


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  1. Fashion Snag

    November 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    • Simone Fraser

      November 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      I can’t believe I haven’t yet, either. Like the comment by Innate Style, i also grew up watching the classics from the 30s to 50s as they were often screened on the weekend as matinees or evenings for a nostalgia show.

      I’m glad Scott has entered this territory in writing about how we feel on the inside being manifested on the outside. I too felt like an unattractive child and teenager! Perhaps once I might have felt I could never rise to what was presented in the fashion magazines but now I feel secure as an adult and will buy them as I find them inspiring and creative.

      More than any of that, The Sartorialist has impressed on me the wonder and delight in people truly expressing themselves through their clothes. There has been so much inspirational creativity here. There’s no judgement on the subject through Scott Schuman’s camera, simply enjoyment and interest in the subject. That is liberating and encouraging, even to the point of possibly helping some viewers/readers drop negative thinking, both of others’ appearance and their own.

    • andreea

      November 14, 2014 at 7:52 am

      bette davis was a very interesting woman! who could we say it’s today’s bette davis? :)

  2. robert

    November 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I grew up in an era where we all watched ‘old movies’ ad infinitum, and in L.A. where most of the old stars were still living. Irene Dunne and Loretta Young would come to the house, Ethel Merman sang at a party and much more. My parents teased me just the other day that I’d watched ‘Now Voyager’ about forty times and they’re probably mistaken, it’s more. But they’re GOOD!

    Less good but more to the point was the book ‘Scruples’ which was a huge hit in the very late 70′s. The main character is a chubby, unpopular girl from the poor branch of a Boston Brahmin family. She is sent to Paris to live with a widowed French aristocrat and her daughters for a bit of polish. The family eats very sparsely but so deliciously. Further, she cycles everywhere. Soon her clothes fail to fit her and she catches on to what is happening, begins taking dance classes and learns to dress comme une vrai Parisienne.

    Of course the greatest transformation in a film is Sabrina, where little pony tailed gamin Audrey Hepburn becomes uber-chic Audrey Hepburn and returns to wow the entire North Shore of Long Island.

    - InnateStyle

    • PJ

      November 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      You are **so** speaking my language! I was an ugly-duckling teen in the 7os and lived for these movies. This one was one of my favorites, along with “Mr. Skeffington” (tag line: “A woman is beautiful only when she is loved.”) A real tear-jerker for one who appeared to be the only living 16-year-old in the free world without a date on a (every) Saturday night, lol. Fast forward to “Scruples”, which I just taped off cable last year. I was in secretarial school when it came out, lol, (the Creme de la Creme of them at the time–Katie Gibbs) where we were trained to be crack secys, hostesses, well-bred ladies with manners and style and discretion, lol. And let me stress the word “ladies”, lol. The ultimate, unspoken goal: work for a rich, powerful man and MARRY him, lol. I liked “Scruples”; missed it when it was on back in the day due to having to practice my shorthand every night and too poor to afford a VCR. I have a quote from the movie right here on my desk, and the Gods know it has rescued me from many a possible eating error (said by the widowed French aristocrat to the young and naive Lindsey Wagner): “In France, no one eats between meals out of respect for one’s body.”

      Loved Sabrina, too. Audrey Hepburn is a goddess. I always wanted those earrings she wore when she got off the train in LI and David gives her a ride “home”.

      Also, to Scott: Excellent commentary on “Now, Voyager”. Such a sweet and gentlemanly thing to write!

  3. Sabina

    November 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Katy Perry

    • JessieBerlin

      November 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      No. Definitely no. I see what makes you say that – there is a superficial resemblence on the film poster, but in reality she looked completely different. And if you ever watch a film with Bette Davis, you will see that she has infinitely more class than Katie Perry!

  4. Liz

    November 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    seems like such a great film

    giveaway on my blog!

  5. Helen

    November 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Oh, seems like a film I myself should see (I must have watched it as a child with my Gran, as she was a Bette Davis fan, and we’d watch her films over and over, but I don’t remember it at the moment). Thank you for the recommendation.

  6. rober

    November 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    One more anecdote if I may. Actress Ilka Chase who portrayed ‘Charlotte’s’ sister-in-law Lisa Vale; Ilka was the daughter of Vogue’s editor-in-chief for 40 years, Edna Woolman Chase, 1914-1952. Mrs. Chase was the precursor of Diana Vreeland and of course today’s Anna Wintour. She started her career in the mail room but someone noticed her eye and her style. She saved the magazine from folding during the Depression and later during the War when Paris fashion houses were closed during the German Occupation. Mrs. Chase rallied the American designers.
    Isn’t style wonderful? She began in the mail room, Scott.

  7. Silvia

    November 13, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Style is the best way often times to convey who we are on the inside. It’s a form of self expression and so a way to communicate with others.

    Scott is right: “Now, Voyager” is definitely a must see for anyone interested in great style.

  8. Dee Hall

    November 13, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    This is one of my favorite movies of all time! I am thrilled that someone else appreciates it as much as I do!

  9. handy orten ohne zustimmung

    November 14, 2014 at 7:51 am

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    What would you suggest in regards to your publish that you simply made a few days ago?
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    • JessieBerlin

      November 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      “Handy orten ohne Zustimmung” means “mobile radio-location without permission” and that is what is being offered under the link above. The website goes on to suggest one spy on one’s partner or child by checking out on the sly where they’re spending their time. How you earn your money is, I suppose, your own decision, but I do not want to see this sort of “service” being advertised here!

  10. Sunny Side

    November 14, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Oh yes you are so true ! it’s seems it’s also your story ! So great change, you seems so loose and joyful, the clergyman is gone !

  11. jorg

    November 14, 2014 at 11:10 am

  12. Rustin Buckets

    November 14, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I have followed your blog for several years. Love it. Your posted photos of Bette Davis made me think of Kate Winslet. There is a resemblance…..enough that she could play her in a movie if ever there was one to be made. She could do it. Something about the shape of Kate’s mouth. Do you see it? I can even hear her transformation of voice. This would be Kate playing Bette and not a remake of, “Now, Voyager”. I hate remakes. Let the originals stand.

    I think we all love a transformation…to see how anyone can, through whatever process, change appearance. The biggest change, however, must happen on the inside for the outside to really matter. A physically beautiful person can be the ugliest person in the room if they lack compassion and kindness. They can fool some of the people, but eventually everyone in the room has their number……… Clothes don’t make the man/woman. They have to KNOW why they are wearing what they are wearing. You can’t buy style. You can buy elegance. ;)

    • JessieBerlin

      November 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I can picture Kate Winslet playing Bette Davis, and I see the resemblence ;)

  13. Noelia

    November 14, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    … and viceversa.

    I take note of this: m-u-s-t-w-a-t-ch-N-o-w-v-o-y-a-g-e-r :)

  14. Alina

    November 14, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    This is one of my top five favorite films. Bette Davis was one of a kind. She wore the clothes; the clothes didn’t wear her.

  15. Marina

    November 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Scott,

    I don´t know if your read the comments… it´s virtually impossible to read ´em all. In any case, I´ve been thinking of this for some time, here it is: I´ve been following your blog for a few years now. The first, to me at least, of the street style era. The thing is, I´m so thankful that you have stayed true to what I think you meant at the beginning. Growing, yes. But always with heart, you know… with the surprise and sense of pleasure so many of us who were attracted by fashion and beauty in the first place appreciate. We can see through your images and your choices something´s untouched and it pleases me.

    Thank you


  16. Kati H-P

    November 14, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Thank you for this! This is one of my all-time faves. So great to see it on the big screen if you have a revival house nearby. Also, let’s talk a bit about all the times they have a cigarette? I think someone compiled all those moments into video on YouTube. Definitely the greatest makeover movie of all time. And Bette Davis is always a treat! Not to mention Claude Rains, who motivated Davis’ character to change. And her horrid mother, played by the wonderful Gladys Cooper. Oh, I love it!

  17. Zyx

    November 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    amazing how much her pix on left (as ‘ugly’ duckling) looks like Helena Bonham Carter. Which says something about how we see ‘beauty’ depending on the times. Those weird drawn-on eyebrows were a big part of the transformation that made her ‘glamorous’.

  18. Krista

    November 16, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Claude Rains is so sexy in this! We always think of him as the sort of bland choice in Casablanca, but he is so suave and handsome in this! Also, there is a lot of borderline, no, outright hilarious “sultry” cigarette lighting in this movie, it really gets to be laughable, it turns into this “thing” they do, all full of meaning…for the record, I love movie makeovers-my favorites are Sandy in Grease and Tristan in Stardust.

  19. Vicky

    November 16, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Very nice movie! Bette Davis, always fantastic!

  20. Ramona

    November 17, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    One of the best

  21. Jens

    November 18, 2014 at 10:11 am

    It’s the outside that gives the inside a chance.

  22. Ron

    November 18, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    This is by far my favorite Bette Davis film. So thank you for sharing this post, Scott!

  23. Tina

    November 19, 2014 at 9:55 am

    …and yet I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a beautiful full figured woman on your site

  24. Tah Nola

    December 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    My favorite movie of all time. I saw it when I was a teenager, and the concept of the power of transformation was indelibly imprinted on my brain. It still thrills me to see that spectator pump come down the gangway…..

  25. cocoagadget

    January 10, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    One of my favorite movies of all time…

  26. Miss Carrington Holidays

    January 5, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I do not know this movie however I would like to watch it further to the article you wrote. I love the Large Sun Hat : TOP of Elegance in the fifties! and hopefully the accessory we can easily wear during holidays!

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